SBBS Insider

July 2002

King Biscuit Blues Festival

October 10, 11 & 12, 2002

Helena , Arkansas

 17th Annual King Biscuit Blues Festival

Plans Unveiled

  The Sonny Boy Blues Society is pleased to announce the stage line-up for the 17th Annual King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena , Arkansas .

 New stages and a new Main stage name will be dedicated during the opening ceremonies of this year’s festival. The Main Stage shall be dedicated as the Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage and the Frank Frost Stage as well as the Sam Carr Stage will be dedicated this year.   

With over 70 acts sharing the Sonny Boy Williams Main Stage, Houston Stackhouse Acoustic Stage, Robert Lockwood, Jr. Heritage Stage, the Frank Frost Stage, the Gospel Stage and the Sam Carr Stage the King Biscuit Blues Festival will continue its’ tradition of offering quality Blues music free for all to enjoy.  According to Liz Harrison, Festival Director, “the King Biscuit Blues Festival is similar to a museum.  Where a museum offers unique experiences in art, the King Biscuit Blues Festival offers unique experiences in music.  Most come away from the King Biscuit Blues Festival with the realization they have encountered something out of the norm.”  

 Some highlighted acts scheduled to appear on the Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage are:  Solomon Burke, Irma Thomas, Ike Turner, Robert Lockwood Jr., Pinetop Perkins & Bob Margolin, Jody Williams & Sean Costello and Roomful of Blues.  

The Frank Frost Stage is new to King Biscuit Blues Festival which will be situated between The Sonny Boy Museum /Official Merchandise Store and the Sonny Boy Music Hall . This year’s artists scheduled include Michael Hollaway, Forrest McDonald, Blues Oreo, Eric Hughes and Bill Ellis that will be featured on this stage.

Highlighted acts for the Houston Stackhouse Acoustic Stage are Spencer Bohram, Precious Bryant, Haweye Herman and Otis Taylor and on the Robert Lockwood, Jr. Heritage Stage Willie Kent, Al Garner, Rockin Johnny & Taildragger and Ed Davis will be performing.

Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage

Thursday 10/10
2:00/2:45                 SBBS Talent Contest Winner – Alex Maryol
IBC Winner - Chef Chris & The Nairobi Trio
4:15/5:20                 Sterling Billingsley
5:40/6:50                 Burton Gaar
7:10/8:25                 Floyd Taylor
8:45/10:00               Sonny Landreth
10:25/11:40             Luther Kent & Raful Neal

 Friday 10/11
12:00/1:00               John Weston
1:15/2:20                 Sam Carr & The Delta Jukes
2:35/3:40                 Deacon John
4:00/5:10                 Billy Branch
5:35/6:40                 Pinetop Perkins & Bob Margolin
7:10/8:20                 Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout

                                     Featuring Carey Bell & Johnny Dyer
8:50/10:00               Roomful Of Blues
10:30/11:45             Solomon Burke

 Saturday 10/12
12:00/1:00               Kelley Hunt
1:15/2:15                 Mem Shannon & The Membership
2:30/3:30                 Charles Walker
3:50/5:00                 Jody Williams & Sean Costello
5:20/6:35                 Robert Lockwood, Jr
Anson & The Rockets Big Band with Sam Myers
8:40/10:00               Irma Thomas
10:30/11:50             Ike Turner

Houston Stackhouse Acoustic Stage

Friday 10/11
12:00/1:00               Butch Mudbone
1:20/2:20                 Catfish Hodge
2:40/3:40                 Otis Taylor
4:00/5:00                 Hawkeye Herman

 Saturday 10/12
12:00/1:00               Dave MacKenzie
1:20/2:20                 Steve Avery
2:40/3:40                 Precious Bryant
4:00/5:00                 Spencer Bohran

Robert Lockwood Heritage Stage

Friday 10/11
5:30/6:35                 Henry Qualls & The Hash Brown Band
7:05/8:10                 Cleveland Fats
8:40/9:50                 Eb Davis
10:20/11:30             Rockin Johnny & Taildragger

Saturday 10/12
5:30 /6:35                 Ann Rabson
8:10                 Alberta Adams
8:40/9:50                 Al Garner
10:20 / 11:30             Willie Kent

 Frank Frost Stage

Friday 10/11
4:45 - 6:00                Bill Able & Cadillac John
6:30 - 7:45                TBA
8:15 - 9:30                Deep Cuts
10:00 - 11:30            TBA

Saturday 10/12
12:15 - 1:15             TBA
1:45 - 2:45                Mark Lemhouse
3:15 - 4:15              
Louisiana Queen, Ms Zeno & the Sky Dogs
4:45 - 6:00                Eric Hughes Band
6:30 - 7:45                Forrest McDonald
8:15 - 9:30               Blues Oreo
10:00 - 11:30            Michael Holloway

Sam Carr Stage

Friday 10/11
3:15 - 4:15               TBA
4:45 - 6:00                Kim Richardson
6:30 - 7:45                Blue Mother Tupelo

Saturday 10/12
12:15 - 1:15              McFarland’s                > Children’s Interactive Event
1:45 - 2:45                Crossroad Crusaders   > Children’s Interactive Event
3:15 - 4:15               Pat “Catman” Webb & the Confounders
4:45 - 6:00                Backsliders
6:30 - 7:45                Charlotte Taylor

Gospel Stage

Saturday 10/12


Sonny Boy Music Hall




 Side events planned for the festival are:  a 2002 Blues Summit hosted by the Sonny Boy Blues Society, a tribute presented by Delta Cultural Center, 5K Run, BBQ Contest with professional and backyard division, Children’s Interactive Area, and Arts & Crafts. Live Music will also ongoing during the festival at the Sonny Boy Music Hall .  

In Helena , Arkansas , a Delta town located some 70 miles southwest of Memphis on the Mississippi River , the blues has a long and rich history.  Between 1920 and 1965 Helena was the home of many of today’s “legends” of blues music, from Sonny Boy Williamson II to Robert Lockwood, Jr., Houston Stackhouse, Robert Nighthawk and Muddy Waters.  Robert Palmer. A noted author called Helena during the mid 1930s “the blues capital of the Delta”.  In Helena , between 1925 and 1941, the blues was heard in virtually every corner of the city -- from the docks to Walnut Street to the corner of Cherry and Elm.

 In 1986, a group of local citizens (later to become the Sonny Boy Blues Society) whose knowledge and love for the Delta Blues and Helena’s involvement in its’ progression combined with the organizers of the Main Street Helena organization whose focus was to revitalize and preserve the buildings on Cherry Street to develop an annual blues festival celebrating the Delta Blues. The festival has a profound economic impact on the area when upwards of 100,000 blues fans caravan into this community of 7,000 people. For at least for one day a year Helena becomes the second largest city in Arkansas .  

The King Biscuit Blues Festival is held on Columbus Day weekend on October 10th-12th, in downtown historic Helena , Arkansas .  The festival remains free due to the support of sponsors such as: Isle of Capri Casino Entertainment Resort, Delta Cultural Center , Budweiser, Coco Distributing, Coca-Cola, Southwestern Bell , Stephen’s Inc. and numerous other sponsors.

 Now in its’ 17th year, King Biscuit Blues Festival is considered the largest free festival in the South and one of the world’s premier Blues Festivals. 

 The King Biscuit Blues Festival was rank this year as #4 out of the Top Ten International Festivals


********Say goodbye to the old newsletter format*********

Please take note that newsletters will change in formats. We will be trying out a condensed version that will be emailed to you. In that version we will be providing you with a link to our webpage so you can enjoy the full version, including pictures. In the next issues we will be highlighting an artist from each stage in each issue, thanks to some very talented writers that have come to my rescue. The reason a change to a condensed versions is necessary is that the list has now grown to over 40,000 readers in one year and also to keep from sending you long emails.

 I am hopeful that by October that half of our attendees are online with us and that by 2003 everyone that attends the festival that owns a computer will be online with us. Never fear, non-computer users can still request a brochure for further information.


 For additional information and complete festival information visit the website,

 May the Blues be with you.