Bobby “Blues” Bland is a Memphis native who honed his craft on Beale Street. The so-called “Lion of the Blues” is considered one of the genre’s greatest male singers ever. He’s a member of both the Blues and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame and a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ann Patchett has written numerous bestsellers to critical acclaim, including the novels Bel Canto, State of Wonder and The Magician’s Assistant. Time Magazine named her to its 2012 list of the 100 Most Influential People.
And Jim Sherraden is the man behind the renaissance of Hatch Show Print. The letterpress has made posters since 1879, under Sherraden’s leadership it’s grown into an internationally recognized design firm and become a division of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Bland, Patchett and Sherraden will all be recognized with the Governor’s Distinguished Arts Award at a ceremony next month.
Additional awards and recipients:
Folklife Heritage Award
Polly Page, a 94-year old dollmaker and woodcarver from Pleasant Hill
WDVX, a nonprofit Knoxville radio station specializing in traditional music
Arts Leadership Award
Donald Fann, executive director of the Arts Center of Cannon County
Jim Martin of Johnson City, patron of the arts throughout Northeast Tennessee
Knox Phillips, music producer and engineer called “the goodwill ambassador and lobbyist for Memphis music”
David Porter, Memphis songwriter whose hits include “Soul Man” and “Hold On I’m Coming” and first chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Film, Tape and Music Commission