David "Honeyboy" Edwards – Rest in Peace (1915 – 2011)

David Honeyboy Edwards passed away last night, Aug. 29 at around 3 am. He was just short of 96 years old. He is, essentially, the last of the blues players who was there for the early years.

Update – 8:00 Tuesday, August 30th — The following details have been posted on Honeyboy Edward’s website

David Honeyboy Edwards, the “Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen” has died. This morning Monday August 29, 2011, about 3 am while resting peacefully at home, Honeyboy moved on to blues heaven. He lived a long, full life, and he felt at peace. He loved to say, “The world don’t owe me nothing.” Just shy of his 96th birthday, Honeyboy played his last gigs at the Juke Joint Festival and Cathead Mini-Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi April 16 and 17, 2011.

Prior to his health turning for the worse in late April, Honeyboy was scheduled to play numerous gigs in Chicago, across the USA and in Europe, including today at Millennium Park in Chicago for the noon time concert series. His manager Michael Frank had to cancel all those dates due to Honeyboy’s declining health. He maintained a strong spirit until the end, telling stories and showing off his dexterity in his hands.

Visitation will be Thursday September 1 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with an open mic for comments by his friends and fans from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the funeral home. Services will
be private on Friday September 2.

McCullough Funeral & Cremation Services
851 E. 75th St.
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: (773) 488-8900

For further information., contact his manager Michael Frank, Earwig Music Company, Inc., Chicago, Il. 773-262-0278    mfrank@earwigmusic.com

David “Honeyboy” Edwards was the last of the original American delta bluesmen, surviving delta piano player Pinetop Perkins, who passed earlier this year. He was one of the very few remaining living links to the heyday of delta blues in the 1930s, and has been revered as a national treasure for years.

Born in 1911, he was one of the last original delta blues man, adopting the rambling, migrant life of a delta musician in his early teenage years, he may have been the last person alive to have known blues legend Robert Johnson. Edwards was first recorded by Alan Lomax in Clarksdale, Mississippi — “ground zero of the blues”. For the vast majority of his long life, he was a professional musician, receiving several Blues Music Awards, a 2008 Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album, and last year a celebrated Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.  Honeyboy regularly maintained a rigorous touring schedule, playing hundreds of shows a year before his retirement last month.

While he lived a much celebrated and full life, Honeyboy’s passing creates a gaping hole that cannot be filled in the world of music. He was truly a unique artist, and will be dearly missed.


Please, leave your remembrances of  Honeyboy in the comments.


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9 thoughts on “David "Honeyboy" Edwards – Rest in Peace (1915 – 2011)”

  1. I got to speak with Honeyboy one night in a small diner in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He spoke with full confidence and gusto, exceptionally alert as he drank a beer I had bought him. Rolling Rock, I believe. He told me too many musicians these days don’t take their time to nourish a note; let it vibrate. He talked fondly with me — right up until a woman across the room caught his attention and he had better things to do! You will be missed, Honeyboy.

  2. Honey turned 96 in June of this year – his last gig was at the Juke Joint Fest and Cathead MiniFest in Clarksdale, Ms. – I had the good fortune of meeting him there, interviewing him and just ‘hanging’ – he said the only thing bothering him were his knees – wonderful storyteller, musician, human being – he will be missed. R.I.P. Honey

  3. Am saddened by the news of Honeyboy’s passing but I will have forever my images of seeing him on several occasions since the 1970’s and booking him for a couple of very memorable gigs during this past decade ! What a class act and real gentleman, and the Stories he told… ! it was incredible listening to his razor sharp memories of his life on the road. Long Live David ” Honeyboy ” Edwards ! R.I.P. J.R. dance and stay young productions D.A.S.Y.

  4. Honeyboy Edward’s visitation is from 7 to 9 pm Thursday September 1 at McCullough Funeral Home 851 E. 75th St., Chicago, IL 60619

    After the visitation, at Lee’s Unleaded Blues club, 7401 S. South Chicago Avenue, Chicago Honeyboy’s manager Michael Frank is hosting a fans and friends gathering.

  5. I was lucky enough to see Honeyboy here in the UK on a few occasions and the impression he always left was of someone who loved to play and loved the crowds. The twinkle in his eye is something that will stay wth me forever alongside his playing.

    The true Bluesmen have moved on and given us a rich heritage and even richer sense of community – Honeyboy, you embodied that community. RIP

  6. he knew and played with robert johnson and pinetop perkins, do you have to say anything else?
    i got to see him play twice, will never forget it.

  7. I was lucky enough to see Honeyboy Edwards at Hughs Room in Toronto in August of 2010. After his show, I went up on stage and Thank Mr Edwards for pouring his heart and soul out for us tonight. Looking into his eyes, you knew that you where looking into history. You will be missed, and you will never be forgotten.


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