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Happy 40th, Living Blues


The 40th anniversary issue of Living Blues, published in Oxford, features some if its past covers.

The 40th anniversary issue of Living Blues, published in Oxford, features some if its past covers.
Photo by: Courtesy



Special to The Dispatch



OXFORD -- America''s first blues publication, Living Blues, not only celebrated its Ruby Anniversary when its 208th issue hit newsstands Aug. 1, but also marks 40 years of setting the international standard for blues journalism. 


"It''s a big deal for a small magazine like this to make it 40 years in such a narrow genre," said editor Brett Bonner, who has worked with the magazine for nearly 25 years. "We are fortunate to have a loyal core of people who love what we do, and they have kept us afloat. It''s cool for us to get this far." 


Founded in Chicago by Jim O''Neal and Amy Van Singel in 1970, Living Blues has been the authoritative voice for blues legends such as Howlin'' Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Koko Taylor and John Lee Hooker, just to name a few. Acquired by the University of Mississippi in 1983, Living Blues is published by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. 


"Living Blues delivers an addictive content that satisfies the needs, wants and desires of a blues audience that is hungry for more," said UM journalism professor Samir Husni, the world''s premiere authority on magazine publishing and Living Blues consultant. 


"It''s remarkable for any magazine, let alone a specialty bimonthly like Living Blues, to survive four decades," said Husni (aka "Mr. Magazine"). 


Best of 


Included in the milestone publication is the final installment of the "Best of the Decades" lists assembled by one of the nation''s most respected blues journalists, Jim DeKoster. 


"Jim has compiled a best-of-the-decade list for each issue this year starting with the ''70s," Bonner explained. "He has also done a ''30 you might have missed'' list with obscure gems from each decade. The scope and breadth of his knowledge of blues is amazing. He''s been invaluable to Living Blues, and our readers love him." 


"The emotional connection with the listener is what I love most about the blues," said DeKoster. "It''s rewarding to know that Living Blues is still going strong and better than ever." 


To learn more, visit, or call 800-390-3527.



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