Any blues historian worth his or her salt would surely corroborate it: The so-called “Chicago blues” germinated anywhere but. Whether it’s the gospel blues, the jump blues, Delta blues, electric blues or otherwise, Arkansas has been a vital incubator for the sound, and we pay tribute to a handful of those pioneers with a crossword puzzle. Stumped? see the answer key at



1. Two words: Williamson, muse to the Yardbirds, cornmeal brand namesake.

7. Little Rock’s Robert __, author of 1981’s “Deep Blues.”


11. Historic street in Helena-West Helena, home to the Delta Cultural Center.

14. Blues pianist Sykes, aka “The Honeydripper.”


18. Powerhouse vocalist for Brick Fields and Divas on Fire, first name.

19. Peetie, real name William Bunch.

21. Luther Allison directive, “Hand Me _____ My Moonshine.”

22. “Son” ____, Alligator Records mainstay from whom Phish borrowed “Funky Bitch.”



2. Two words: Broonzy, penner of “Black, Brown and White” and “When Do I Get To Be Called A Man?”

3. Two words: Flagship blues festival, est. 1986.

4. Blues style popularized by Brinkley native Louis Jordan.

5. Gypsy Rain frontwoman, first name Charlotte.

6. “Somebody Done _____ The Lock on My Door,” a hit for both Casey Bill Weldon and Louis Jordan.

8. King, musical godfather to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray, buried in Crittenden County.

9. Bluesman Larry McCray’s Columbia County birthplace.

10. Davis, butter knife virtuoso.


12. Tharpe, Cotton Plant’s electric gospel blueswoman.

13. Guitar pupil to Robert Johnson, with whom he shares a first name.

15. Akeem _____ Band, Morrilton’s modern blues ambassadors.

16. Undersung local bluesman _____ Woods, collaborator to Ivan Yarbrough.

17. Sonny _____, longtime host of “King Biscuit Time.”

20. Washboard _____, singer of “Diggin’ My Potatoes.”