Blues festival is heating up soon

Published 10:09 am Friday, August 21, 2015

Her obituary was rather standard, giving all the pertinent information about surviving and deceased relatives but very little about her accomplishments in life.

Enotris Johnson was a Bogalusa resident who passed away on Aug. 2.

Few people knew she played a role in writing one of the great American tunes. She co-wrote “Long Tall Sally,” with Robert Blackwell and Richard Penniman, better known as “Little Richard,” who went on and recorded the song.

Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival Director Malinda White said Johnson’s musical talents will be recognized during the Sept. 25-26 Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival at Cassidy Park. Johnson’s name will be added to the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival’s Blues Trail.

The trail already includes a list of other notable musicians and writers. Among those currently on the trail are Professor Longhair, Gatemouth Brown, Snoozer Quinn, Hoyt Garrick, Jim Bateman, Richard Thomas and The Rhythm Aces.

“Enotris Johnson is to be admired and respected,” White said during Tuesday’s Bogalusa City Council meeting. “Every year we honor someone who has contributed to the arts, whether it’s visual, word or music.”

White said ticket sales are brisk and she expects a bigger turnout than the approximately 7,500 who attended last year’s event. JJ Grey and Mofro headlined the 2014 festival.      

“Ticket sales are good,” she said. “They are coming in steadily. We’re estimating 10,000 will attend the festival this year. We’ve increased our level of musicians. They are guaranteed to bring in many folks. They definitely have a following.”

Keb’ Mo’ headlines the festival this year.  He appears on the Blues Stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Terry “Harmonica” Bean begins the Sept. 26 Blues Stage performances at noon. Artists on the Sept. 26 Blues Stage also include Mia Borders, Johnny Sansone, Jon Cleary and The Absolute Gentlemen, and Royal Southern Brotherhood.

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers return after their energetic 2014 performance and will headline the Sept. 26 Heritage Stage.

Mandeville High School’s Big Band kicks things off on Sept. 26 on the Heritage Stage at 11:30 a.m. They are followed by Remedy, Beware of Bear, Tea J. Moore and Gail Holiday & The Honky Tonk Revue.

Lil Red and Big Bad opens the festival’s musical offering on the Blues Stage on Sept. 25. Little Freddie King follows. Tinsley Ellis closes out the night’s performers when he takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Along with the music, the second BBHF 5K is scheduled for Sept. 26. The 5K attracted 150 participants last year. White said participation in the 5K should increase. Bogalusa Heart Study is partnering with the BBHF.

Activities also include the popular harmonica workshops on Sept. 26, along with canoeing on the Bogue Lusa Creek. A Kid Zone to entertain the little ones will be available.

White said camping sites are going fast.

“We have a few camping spots left and out-of-towners are grabbing them up quickly,” White said. “We’re getting calls from Florida for camping sites for as far away as Bogue Chitto State Park near Franklinton.”

Tickets are $10 per day.

White said the festival is a win-win situation for Bogalusa and Washington Parish.

“The Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival is a good economic boost to the city and parish,” she said. “This is one of those good news things. People are going to bring in money and that is what it’s all about.”

The BBHF is a mere 33 days away. Let the countdown begin.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer for The Daily News. He can be contacted by calling 985-732-2565 or by emailing