Alive After Five Welcomes Morristown Native

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Alive After Five Welcomes Morristown Native

Posted: 01/09/2009
The Knoxville Museum of Art's Alive After Five music series presents an evening of classic blues performed by the Wallace Coleman Blues Band on Friday, January 16, from 5:30 - 8:00 pm.

Wallace Coleman is a native of Morristown, TN, where as a youth he first heard blues music on the radio, Nashville's WLAC. He heard blues legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and harmonica greats Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson. Playing guitar on many of those records was Robert Lockwood, Jr., who would play a role in Coleman's music career some 25 years later.

Coleman left Tennessee in 1956 and found work in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland also had a thriving blues scene, too, with B. B. King, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed and many of the musicians he had heard on the radio came to play. A self-taught harmonica player, Coleman was playing at the Cascade Lounge in Cleveland when he caught the ear of Lockwood, who was the stepson of the legendary Robert Johnson. Two years later, after retiring from his "day job", Coleman joined Lockwood's band and toured with him for ten years. Shortly before he formed his own band, Coleman performed on Lockwood's Grammy-nominated CD "I Gotta Find Me a Woman". In 2005, he became one of the first two African-Americans to receive the Ohio Heritage Fellowship, the state's highest honor for traditional artists.

Mr. Coleman maintains his East Tennessee roots, returning here at least once a year to reunite with family and friends and to perform at the Rose Center in Morristown and sometimes other venues.

For more information about Wallace Coleman, visit

Admission to this performance of Alive After Five is $9 for non-members, and $5 for museum members and students with ID. The winter series of Alive After Five is sponsored by Cherokee Distributing Company, Knoxville News Sentinel, WVLT-TV8 and WDVX-FM.

For more information about the Alive After Five series, call (865) 525-6101 or visit