Eariler this month, my friend Sun / Chess / Vee-Jay recording artist Billy “The Kid” Emerson received the 2017 Florida Folk Heritage Award. This award is given to outstanding Florida folk artists and folk culture advocates who have made long-standing contributions to the folk cultural resources of the state.
As you may know, Sun Records is the birthplace of rock and roll. Billy is the earliest surviving Sun Records artist, having released his first records over 63 years ago in January, 1954. No other African American artist has released more sides on Sun than Billy “The Kid.” His songs were recorded by the links of Ann Margaret, Rod Stewart and Elvis Presley.
I was honored to be asked to speak at his event. A well deserved award for an American Music treasure.