This year, The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation staged their second annual celebrations to remember the legendary father of the blues, Tommy Johnson (1896 – 1956).
On Friday morning a Blues Trail Marker for Tommy Johnson was unveiled at Railroad Ave. Crystal Springs. The ceremony was well attended and Alex Thomas, Heritage Trail Director of The Mississippi Development Authority (Tourist Division), gave a speech and read a citation from The State of Mississippi which recognized the historical and cultural importance of Tommy Johnson's music. The marker was unveiled by Vera Johnson-Collins, President of The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation. Afterwards, there was a reception, provided by The Crystal Springs Chamber Of Commerce at The Wisteria Cafe.
Then on Friday evening in Jackson at The Medical Mall, The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation held the official Reception for guests, visitors and family members. Guest speaker, Bob Long, from England, presented a paper on his thoughts about Tommy Johnson and his music which focussed on the legend of the crossroads and the question of what really happened (did he actually sell his soul to the Devil?) He concluded his presentation by singing Tommy Johnson's song Maggie Campbell Blues. Finally, Vera Johnson- Collins gave a tribute to her Sister, Lela B Johnson - Dorsey, the oldest surviving niece of Tommy Johnson.
On Saturday, The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation staged their blues festival in Crystal Springs at The National Guard Armory. The line-up included both local and visiting musicians including, Bob Long, Bill Abel, Ben Payton, Charley Taylor Junior, Louis Youngblood, Jesse Robinson and JT Watkins and his band.