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Awards and Media Stories

2005 Keeping the Blues Alive Award


Keeping Blues Alive Award

Keeping the Blues Alive Award

In 2005, the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation was honored to receive the Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Education from the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.  Following is the Blues Foundation’s statement announcing the award.

"What began in 1959 as a meeting place for local musicians, the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation has, since 1998, been teaching Blues history in schools, hospitals, festivals, and libraries. After the death of Piedmont Blues guitarist Archie Edwards, his barbershop became the center of his wish--to keep the stories and guitar licks alive. A foundation was created; the barbershop was given a face lift; and his longtime friends, Michel Baytop, Richard “Bones” Thomas, Napoleon Brundage, NJ Warner, Eleanor Ellis, and Miles Spicer took up Edwards’ mandate."

Senate Resolution S. 376. On November 20, 2002 the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the community services of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation and the importance of the blues in American culture. The resolution also designated November 29, 2002 as Blues Friday and the start of Heritage Appreciation Fortnight.
The "resolution" describes Archie Edwards as “a self-taught musician whose music was acclaimed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, who, for 40 years, provided a haven in the District of Columbia for all those who loved the blues to play, listen, and socialize.”  The Foundation was recognized for its dedication to “preserving Mr. Edwards’ memory and extending the positive influence of his music in the Washington, DC community,” and its commitment to “carrying on Mr. Edwards' legacy by maintaining an open forum for people in the community to meet, learn, and share the music he loved;” its support and expansion of “community outreach programs that provide entertainment and promote the blues to citizens in nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and other venues;” and its recognition of the “importance that the blues has played in our country’s heritage.”

African-American Heritage Trail. An important site to Washington’s rich cultural history, Archie’s Barbershop is a stop on the African-American Heritage Trail of Cultural Tourism DC.

Media Stories

Appalachian Blues: Blues from the Mountain.
By Barry Lee Pearson
Smithsonian Folkways Magazine™   
Summer 2010

Smithsonian Folkways Magazine, Summer 2010.  Barry Lee Pearson traces the history of and influences on Appalachian blues, which encompasses styles including  vaudeville blues, piano blues and boogie, string-band dance blues, guitar and harmonica-based down-home blues, ragtime blues, East Coast rhythm and blues, and so-called white mountain blues.


Calories, culture at library
Chocolate Fest, blues concert two of many programs

Southern Maryland Newspapers Online
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011


Archie Edwards may be gone, but Archie's Blues Barbershop lives on
By Whitney Shefte
The Washington Post
Sunday, August 8, 2010



Barbershop is gone, but the music continues
Blues still draws a crowd at a former Riverdale bookstore
by Sarah Richards | Staff Writer
April 2010




The Legacy of the Piedmont Blues
October 2009

Music and conversations with living legends Phil Wiggins, Warner Williams, Jay Summerour, Eleanor Ellis, Rick Franklin, and Michael Baytop... by Aaron Henkin & Cliff Murphy From Maryland to Georgia, nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic tidewater lowlands, you'll find the sprawling foothills of a region known as The Piedmont. Its rich soil is perfect for farming, and its musical history is equally lush. Gospel, country, ragtime and jazz, musical traditions black and white, rural and urban – they've all swirled together to lay the foundation for a signature musical style: The Piedmont Blues. In this episode of The Signal, producer Aaron Henkin and Maryland Traditions folklorist Cliff Murphy hit the road together and head out to the unofficial headquarters of the Piedmont Blues – a storefront barbershop in Riverdale, Maryland. It's the local hangout for Piedmont Blues legends Phil Wiggins, Warner Williams, Jay Summerour, Eleanor Ellis, Rick Franklin, and Michael Baytop. You'll hear them share their stories, memories, and songs in this special edition of The Signal.
© Copyright 2009, WYPR



Movin' on, February 1, 2008, Washington Times.  Robyn-Denise Yourse describes the rollicking yet somehow spiritual music and interviews several of the participants at the last jam at Archie's Barbershop before the move to HR-57;  several photographs accompany the story.


Final Bow for a Musical Mecca, January 31, 2008, Washington Post.   As the Saturday jams at Archie's Barbershop were set to move to their new location at HR-57, Richard Harrington provides an affectionate look at the atmosphere, people, and music that made Archie's Barbershop the place to be on Saturday afternoons; story includes several photographs of the last jam at the Barbershop. 


Last Jam at Archie Edwards Barbershop, Friday, January 11, 2008, WAMU Metro Connection.  Stephanie Kaye spent time in the legendary home of the blues , with interviews and sounds from one of the last  one of the last Saturday afternoon jams.


Saving Archie's Barbershop, January 2007, Blues-rag, Baltimore Blues Society. Larry Benicewicz provides a detailed history of the Barbershop and memories of Archie Edwards, illustrated with rare pictures of Archie as well as many in the Barbershop family.

A Barbershop of Chords but No Cuts Is Hanging On by a String, July 30, 2007, Washington Post.   Writer Marc Fisher describes his visit with his son to a Saturday jam at Archie’s Barbershop, the people he met, and the history of the shop and its uncertain future.  (Click on the pages for a PDF version of the story as it appeared in print. Page 1 and Page 2)


The Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation is keeping East coast acoustic folk blues alive.  Through weekly Saturday jams, performances, workshops, exhibits, and lectures, AEBHF carries on the educational tradition of celebrated Piedmont blues artist Archie Edwards. 


You can mail us donations or information to the following address:
The Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 10124
Washington, D.C. 20018


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