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Peavey Awards Honor B.B. King in Mississippi

On June 7, B.B. King joined Peavey Electronics, The Recording Academy and the State of Mississippi in celebrating the musical legacy of the “Birthplace of America’s Music” at the annual Mississippi Grammy Legacy Celebration and Peavey Awards at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss.

“It’s an honor for Peavey to be part of the rich musical legacy of Mississippi,” said Hartley Peavey, founder of Meridian, Miss.-based Peavey Electronics. “I was fortunate to hit my teenage years during the early days of rock, and the music of artists like B.B. King inspired me to learn how to play guitar. In fact, it was a 1957 Bo Diddley concert that gave me the creative spark to build the first Peavey amplifier. The history of Peavey Electronics and the music of Mississippi — blues, country and rock & roll—are forever intertwined.”

B.B. King received the Peavey Award during the celebration. Established in 2007, the Peavey Award is named for Hartley Peavey and honors those who have played a major role in creating and promoting Mississippi’s musical heritage. Previous honorees include Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Stuart, Brandy, Paul Overstreet, Mavis Staples, Charley Pride, Pinetop Perkins, The North Mississippi Allstars, James Burton and more.

Jon Hornyak, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy's Memphis Chapter commented, “The incredible musical influence of Mississippi artists is undeniable, and it is safe to suggest that virtually every GRAMMY nominee and winner has used Peavey products on stages and in studios during their careers.”

The evening also saw performances by North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther and Cody Dickinson, who performed as a duo; conductor Benjamin Wright, whose credits include work with Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Barry White and The Temptations; Jimbo Mathus; Shannon McNally; and Jay Dean and the Tropical World of Tango.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Mississippi Blues Commission to support the Mississippi Blues Trail project. To date, the commission has placed more than 100 interpretive markers at notable historical sites to explain the significance, history and growth of blues music.

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor, and his non-Pulitzer-Prize-winning stories have appeared in Guitar Aficionado, Vintage Guitar, Total Guitar and countless other publications, including 13.7 metric tons of daily newspapers. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton and Ty Tabor chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (one of which appears in the 2015 Disney film 'Tomorrowland' starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson). He's in two NYC-area bands and plays Teles with four-way switches, B-benders and semi-snazzy aftermarket pickups. He quotes Terry-Thomas twice daily.