Blues in the Afternoon: A Monterey Tradition

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B.B. King, 1967
B.B. King, 1967

Blues music has been represented in almost all of the Festivals ever since Jimmy Witherspoon's appearance in 1959. That acclaimed performance was followed the very next year by the performance of "Evolution of the Blues Song" by Jon Hendricks, which was commissioned by the Festival and literally composed at the Monterey Fairgrounds. The piece recounts the history of the blues and was performed by Hendricks at two other festivals as well. Beginning in 1964 the Saturday afternoon program was entirely devoted to the blues, and this continued for many years, making the blues a permanent part of the Festival's offerings.

King photo courtesy of the Monterey County Herald ; Hooker photo by Elde Stewart