(VICKSBURG, MS) – A Mississippi Blues
Trail Marker was unveiled by Mississippi Blues Commission on Tuesday May 28 in
Vicksburg, Mississippi to honor historian Dr. William R. Ferris. Ferris
documented Mississippians through recordings, books, film and photography, and
brought broader recognition to the blues and other folk expressions through his
advocacy work in academia and at the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“From the time he was twelve, he followed
his heart and over his lifetime has produced a priceless body of work that
preserves and tells the stores of the people of the South and of the
development of the Blues,” said longtime family friend Blake Teller, who spoke
at the unveiling.
Ferris was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame for
his book Blues from the Delta, called
one of the “classics of blues literature.”
Just recently Ferris received a GRAMMY Award for Best Historical Album
for the Dust-to-Digital boxed set Voices
of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris, which
features his recordings, photographs and films.
Dr. Ferris is the author of ten books,
producer of fifteen film documentaries, and has over 250,000 items preserved at
a library at UNC.
The William R. Ferris Collection is located in the Southern
Folklife Collection of the Wilson Library of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Here’s a link to a writeup we shared on William Ferris in 2015 that includes many links to see and listen to his vast collection.
Here’s another cool link to some interesting audio links and images from Ferris.