• 39°

Local musician honored with lifetime achievement award

NATCHEZ — YZ Ealey of Natchez said he has been playing the blues most of his life.“I see the blues as my heritage,” Ealey said.

Throughout his career Ealey has had many honors, he said. Among those honors are having plaques dedicated to him in The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, in the Ole Miss Blues Archive in Oxford and a Blues Trail marker.

As for awards, however, Ealey said he has not received many.

That’s why his latest accolade, “The Muddy” Lifetime Blues Award, presented to him by the Jus Blues Music Foundation July 29 through Aug. 1 in Tunica.

“I feel flattered,” Ealey said of receiving the award. “I’m very honored and very flattered.”

Ealey said he traveled to Tunica for the event where he performed over the weekend, sharing the bill with other notable blues performers.

Other blues musicians who received awards at the event, include some living and some deceased, Irma Thomas, Little Milton, Trudy Lynn, Bobby Blue Bland, KoKo Taylor and Denise LaSalle.

Ealey, at age 82, said he enjoys performing the blues at every opportunity, and he played 100 shows last year.

“I don’t travel far,” Ealey said, “mostly the Mississippi Delta and the Miss Lou.”

Some of Ealey’s favorite blues musicians, he said, include B.B. King, Albert King, Little Milton and, of course, the namesake of his lifetime achievement award, the late Muddy Waters.

Ealey said he has been honored to have shared a stage with some of those legends.

Ealey, however, said he never got to perform with or to see Muddy Waters perform live, only on television.

Ealey said he hopes when he performs for audiences they understand that he is performing authentic blues, which Ealey said he believes has deviated from its roots.

When the blues became popular in the 1950s, Ealey said it was authentic. Later it branched out with Rhythm and Blues. Over the years Ealey said he believes the blues has strayed.

“They started changing the meaning of the blues and started giving blues all kinds of different titles,” Ealey said. “In the earlier years R&B meant rhythm and blues, which stood for slow tempo and the up tempo was the rhythm. Now they give R&B all kinds of titles. Blues is my heritage. When I perform, I feel like I’m trying to hold on to something that is real,” Ealey said, adding he hopes that audiences understand that.

BREAKING NEWS

Officials rescue suspected burglar at Frazier school, found suspended from ceiling

News

Famous-ish: Mississippi teen lands role on ABC show

News

Alcorn State to inaugurate first female president

News

American Legion hosts statewide convention at Natchez

News

Texas native loves the green of Natchez

News

City readies for Spring Pilgrimage 2021

News

Waterproof crash claims two lives

News

City: Be patient with limb clean up

Business

New chicken tender restaurant coming to Natchez

News

Mississippi expands COVID vaccine eligibility to anyone 50 or older

News

New Visit Natchez director aiming to bridge gap between tourism partners

News

Vidalia man turns himself in to Ferriday police for October shooting incident

News

Governor’s orders do not relax local COVID-19 restrictions

News

Forbes calls Natchez No. 5 in “Top 10 Best Places In America” to avoid pandemic

COVID-19

Gov. Reeves lessens COVID-19 restrictions

News

Neighbor helping neighbor a common sight after winter storm

News

Supervisors: No employee raises possible because of budget concerns

News

Chamber pot spares Stanton Hall from further storm damage

News

Supervisors approve payment system for attorneys

News

3 alleged to have broken into vehicles in Beau Pre in Adams County custody

News

Six scouts sworn in as Eagle Scouts together

News

Dart:Sagos mix business with Rhythm Night Club passion project

News

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

News

Author Richard Grant speaks about book, Natchez at Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration