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Cephas dedication drew admirers from all over

Date published: 7/1/2014

Cephas dedication drew admirers from all over

If you weren't at the Bowling Green John Cephas Piedmont Blues historic marker dedication and tribute on June 21, you missed an absolutely fantastic time.

We had guests from Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and points in between.

Guests heard family, Smithsonian archivist Jeff Place, Bowling Green town officials and Phil Wiggins (Cephas' music partner) speak at the dedication of the marker at Main Street and Broaddus Avenue in Bowling Green.

Cephas and Wiggins won the W.C. Handy Award as Blues Performers of the Year in 1987 and were awarded the National Heritage Fellowship form the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989.

After the dedication, a music tribute was presented at the Caroline Community Center south of Bowling Green. A trio led by Robert Flowers played many Piedmont Blues hits.

Ortisha Wilson, Cephas' granddaughter, sang "I Will Always Love You," and then Phil Wiggins played harmonica accompanied by Michael Roach.

Save the date! Next year the annual Bowling Green John Cephas Piedmont Blues Festival will be held in Bowling Green on June 13. Stay tuned!

William H. Thornton


The writer is chairman, Bowling Green Arts Commission.