Actor John Goodman, a Saint Louis native, is the latest high profile personality to advocate the National Blues Museum in Saint Louis. In a video posted on YouTube today (seen below), Goodman discusses the rich history of blues in Saint Louis, the many famous blues men and women that called the town home, and the Museum’s exciting features.
“I’m proud to know that my hometown is doing something no city’s ever done before,” he begins. In the video, Goodman discusses the history of Saint Louis Blues, the powerful blues icons that came from the city, and says that the museum would be a welcome addition to Saint Louis, and a fitting tribute to America’s greatest musical art form.
The Museum received an enormous boost towards it’s opening by the recent announcement of a $6 million contribution from Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. and Lumière Place Casino and Hotels. This emerging cultural attraction will showcase the Blues as the foundation of modern American music and illustrate its rich history. Upon opening, projected for 2014, the museum will include a performance venue, highly interactive touch screen exhibits and educational programming that will include onsite and in-classroom opportunities to explore the history of Blues music and its influence on rock and roll, hip hop, jazz, gospel, and R&B.
For nearly a century, St. Louis has played a central role in the development of Blues music. As early as 1916, the city and the music were linked together through the publication of W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues,” a tune that has since gone on to become the most widely covered Blues song in the world. In the 1920s and 1930s, St. Louis was home to some of the Blues world’s earliest stars, including Lonnie Johnson, Walter Davis, Roosevelt Sykes, Peetie Wheatstraw and many more. In the 1950s and 1960s, St. Louis was home to such towering figures as Chuck Berry, Ike Turner, Albert King and Little Milton who would not only modernize the Blues, but push the music into such new forms as rock, soul and funk.