Civil Rights icon and blues advocate Dr. Edgar E. Smith of Jackson, will be honored at 4:05 p.m. on Monday, March 18, 2019, with Senate Concurrent Resolution 541 saluting his longtime dedication to promoting the blues and seeing that blues musicians could find financial assistance when needed.
Dr. Smith, a retired biochemist, is chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission’s Blues Musicians Benevolent Fund, supported primarily by the sale of Mississippi Blues Trail license plates, a $10,000.00 yearly gift from the Mississippi Blues Marathon, and private donations.
“As a son of the Delta, I am keenly aware of the challenges that confront these artists on a daily basis. Many musicians, especially the older ones, have no health insurance and no other source of income other than what they get from blues gigs,” said Smith, who has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist struggling blues artists.
”It honors all that is good about Mississippi for the Legislature to pay tribute to Edgar Smith. He has done so much to support the people whose artistry birthed America’s popular music,” said Senator John Horhn, primary author of the resolution.
Immediately following Smith’s honor, Senate Concurrent Resolution 633 will be presented to members of the Central Mississippi Blues Society Inc., a nonprofit group that promotes the blues with educational, civic and community projects.
Mississippi State Senate Press Release