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T-Bone – Big Mama Thornton Together

T-Bone – Big Mama Thorton – Ann Arbor Blues

T-Bone Walker and Big Mama Thornton are performing together at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. At the same time, this magical moment is happening, photographer Willa Davis is front and center and captured the moment.

The 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival is a three-day event running from Friday, August 1 to Sunday, August 3, 1969. It takes place at Fuller Flatlands on the outskirts of the University of Michigan campus.

T-Bone & Big Mama Together

For $14, a festival goer can totally immerse themselves in the blues. What’s more, 24 headlining artists perform across daily and nightly concerts. Saturday afternoon there are workshops, and a midnight jam session at the Michigan Union Ballroom after the day’s performances.

The historic gathering of the blues was presented by a small group of blues-obsessed U of M students. Who are determined to give their blues heroes and heroines a public spotlight to shine before it’s too late. Furthermore, these students, created as an event of local blues rock acts that morphed into the ultimate blues festival.

The Performers

Besides T-Bone Walker and Big Mama Thornton, the lineup includes other blues legends. Such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Cotton and Son House. Furthermore, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker, Junior Wells, Clifton Chenier, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Lastly, Pinetop Perkins, J. B. Hutto & His Hawks, Roosevelt Sykes, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Big Joe Williams, Charlie Musselwhite and more.  

The Overview

Additionally, it’s not unusual to find scenes like B.B. King playing his forthcoming single for Mississippi Fred McDowell. Big Mama Thornton, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, catching up with each other. The family reunion backstage leads to an all-star game onstage. Blues fans get to witness a living history of the blues from its inventors, innovators, and greatest talents.

Keeping the Blues Alive

To learn more or donate to Keeping the Blues Alive, visit our website at

Video Credits: Traveler Into The Blue/Big Mama Thornton- Looking The World Over & Big Mama Thornton-Big Mama’s Bumble Bee Blues / Photographer: Willa Davis

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