My name is Michael Packer and i played 2nd guitar and toured with the late David “Honeyboy Edwards. I was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame on September 26th,2011. Honeyboy passed away in August of 2011 and i was invited to be the house band for a Honeyboy Edwards Tribute @ BuddyGuy’s Legends on October 19th, 2011. It was an honor for me. My band arrived about 5 minutes before Legends opened @ noon. We were tired and ragged and Legends opened their doors and their hearts to us giving us the dressing rooms to rest,clean up etc.I was amazed how everyone @ Legends was so friendly to us. What a great bunch of people. I was also made an ambassador so i could induct Honeyboy and his long time manager Michael Frank into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. The tribute was great with everyone telling stories about Honeyboy and i got to honor Honeyboy Edwards who called Chicago home.We left that night for the long ride back to New York feeling really good.
In January 2012 i became ambassador to the New York Blues Hall of Fame where i inducted Levon Helm in Woodstock NY and in the coming months inducted John Hammond, Shemekia Copeland, Johnny Winter and many others of the famous and the not so famous but should be like Jon Paris, Prof. Louie,and Alexis Suter. In the spring of 2013 Buddy Guy was performing @ Eric Clapton’s Crossroads @ Madision Square Garden in NYC. I was playing @ BB Kings and to my surprise Greg and Jeff Guy, Mark Maddox and Johnny stopped by to meet me. They wound up staying the whole night. Johnny got the crowd dancing. Greg and Mark played some guitar. Fun night with my new blues friends!
When i think of the blues i think of Chicago. To me it is the blues capitol of the world, It is the only city where you can go hear the real deal 7 nights a week in not just Legends but 4 or 5 other outstanding venues. So i thought Chicago needs to be honored. In April of 2013 @ Legends i inducted Jimmie Johnson, Toronzo Cannon, Corky Siegel, Eddy Clearwater, Muddy Waters and sons Mud & Bill, Willie Dixon and his grandson Alex.plus others like BuddyGuy. It was truly a magical night. What an honor just to be there. In June of 2014 i went back to Chicago and Buddy Guy’s Legends to a warm welcome. i Inducted Lonnie Brooks, Willie “the touch” Hayes. We had the Howling Wolf, Koko Taylor, Brooks Dynasty and Buddy Guy families all in the same room.For me it gave me chills and Bob Stroger shaking my hand and saying “thank you” I was blessed to be able to do this. I believe it.
So in my opinion should there be more then one Blues Hall of Fame? Yes! What they do in Memphis is a great thing for the blues there is no denying it but when Linsey Alexander tells me how great he feels that i am honoring him because nobody recognizes him or when i see the smile on Liz Mandeville’s face in her photo with BuddyGuy i know this is the right thing to do because it comes from the heart! Priceless!
-Michael Packer Ambassador to the Blues