Happy Birthday Charles Atkins (October 23, 1944)

Sir Charles Atkins, also known as Professor of the Blues, has been letting us know that “the blues is alright” since he first sat down at the communal piano in his dorm at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine. Atkins is a notable performer, recording artist and teacher. He’s toured the country and shared the stage with multiple groups including the D and B Romeos, who he joined at the School for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Blues Boys. When he’s not playing out live or in the studio, the Professor of the Blues teaches the Blues Lab at Florida State University. In addition to teaching at FSU, Atkins also participated in the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program (1995-96). Charles Atkins was awarded the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 2002 for his musical accomplishments and willingness to share his knowledge and experience with others.

In honor of his birthday, please enjoy two selections from Sir Charles Atkins’ appearances at the Florida Folk Festival:

“Key to the Highway”
[audio:http://floridamemory.com/fpc/memory/collections/folklife/mp3/cd5/15atkins.mp3|titles="Key to the Highway"|artists="Charles Atkins and the Blues Boys"]
Download: MP3
More Info: Catalog Record, Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night: Blues Music from the Florida Folklife Collection

“Little Run-A-Round”
[audio:http://floridamemory.com/fpc/memory/collections/folklife/mp3/blues/s1576_d-96-8_atkins_runaround.mp3|titles="Little Run-A-Round"|artists="Charles Atkins and the Blues Boys"]
Download: MP3
More Info: Catalog Record

For more information about his life, upcoming performances and discography, visit the Charles Atkins homepage at http://www.downhomebluesband.com