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UPDATED: Kenny Wayne Shepherd is no best a adversary for this year’s Dejection Music Awards, due to altercation over his “Dukes of Hazzard” replica car and its Amalgamated banderole imagery, which had been afresh been alleged out by anxious and affronted associates of the allotment Dejection Foundation organization.
The Dejection Foundation additionally appear that Ken Shepherd, the artist’s father, has been asked to footfall bottomward as a affiliate of its lath of directors.
The moves followed statements from arresting abstracts in the dejection association who adumbrated they planned to abstract themselves from the org because of the acclaim this year for Shepherd, a antecedent Dejection Awards winner. Muddy Waters’ daughter, Mercy Morganfield, had said she was resigning from the lath because of the abutment for Shepherd. Supporting Morganfield, Kim Wilson, acclaimed for his assignment with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, said he had asked for his own nominations to be rescinded.
However, Shepherd said backward Thursday afternoon that he had apparent the errors of his means “years ago” and had abandoned the “Dukes” car and its flag, accordant that the adumbration was aching to Blacks and that he apologized for accepting perpetuated it.
Shepherd had already courted publicity for accepting a Dodge Charger congenital into a replica of the “General Lee” car from the 1979-85 series, which included a Amalgamated banderole corrective on the roof. The appearance and its signature agent accept connected to be accepted amid ample swaths of Southerners to the present day. He had additionally airish with a guitar that adopted the logo and adumbration of the custom-built car he had dubbed the “Xtreme Lee.”
In a account beatific to Variety backward Thursday, Shepherd said: “I accept aloof abstruse that the Executive Committee of the Dejection Foundation Lath of Admiral has fabricated the accommodation to abolish my choice for the 2021 Dejection Rock Artist of the Year award. We accept been told this accommodation has been fabricated because In contempo days, apropos accept been aloft apropos one of the cars in my beef car collection.
“The car was congenital 17 years ago as a replica and admiration to the iconic car in the television alternation ‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’” the artist continued. “That CBS appearance was one of the accomplished rated and best accepted programs of its era and like millions of others, I watched it every week. In the show, one of the axial ‘characters’ was a beef car which displayed a amalgamated banderole on its roof. Years ago I put that car in abiding accumulator and some time ago, I fabricated the accommodation to assuredly awning the banderole on my car because it was absolutely adjoin my ethics and abhorrent to the African American association which created the music I adulation so abundant and I apologize to anyone that I accept accidentally aching because of it.”
Shepherd concluded, “I appetite to accomplish article actual bright and unequivocal; I adjudge and angle in complete action to all forms of racism and abuse and consistently have.”
Although Shepherd says he put the car beneath awning years ago, some who accept been adopting the affair in the dejection association say photos and videos announcement the car accept alone been deleted from amusing media in contempo days.
In a 2015 contour of the agent in the Wall Street Journal, Shepherd had said that bodies of all contest admired the car. “The amalgamated banderole can be controversial, but not in this case,” Shepherd told the WSJ at the time. “I get thumbs up from everybody, behindhand of race. The African-American association created the music that I play; racism is not a allotment of my DNA.” He told the Wall Street Journal’s anchorman that he got the abstraction to body a replica application a best Dodge afterwards seeing a agnate amusement at his acquaintance Kid Rock’s house. “The horn plays the aboriginal addendum of ‘I Wish I Was in Dixie’s Land,’ aloof like the TV car,” he said.
The calefaction that was on the Dejection Foundation to ambit itself from Shepherd came abundantly as the aftereffect of a connected Facebook column by Morganfield, which came beneath the appellation “The Way My Daddy Looks At a White Man Winning a Dejection Foundation Music Accolade While Waving A F*****g Amalgamated Flag.” Although her bulletin was afterwards deleted from Facebook — with abounding claiming she’d been censored by the amusing media armpit (Variety could not ability Morganfield for comment) — her bulletin was afterwards best up and reposted by abounding in the dejection community.
“The Dejection Foundation has rescinded Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 2021 Dejection Music Awards (BMA) choice for Best Blues/Rock Artist,” the org said in a account Thursday. “The accommodation to abolish the choice was based aloft continuing revelations of representations of the Amalgamated banderole on Shepherd’s ‘General Lee’ car, guitars and elsewhere. The Dejection Foundation has additionally asked Ken Shepherd, ancestor of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, to footfall bottomward as a affiliate of its Lath of Directors. The Dejection Foundation states that it is adamant in its charge to agilely abode racism and accord to a added candid dejection community.”
In her Facebook post, Morganfield wrote, “Blues Foundation — accept y’all absent your minds? It has appear to my absorption that a champ of the Dejection Foundation Accolade for Best Dejection Article or Other proudly displayed a Amalgamated Banderole on his amusing media pages, collection about with it on his fucking car. When this was acicular out to the Dejection Foundation the official account is ‘We are not a political organization.’ What do you all anticipate the Dejection is at its core? At its basal roots? If not political? This blazon of bits is not aloof pissing off Black people; it is pissing off a lot of white bodies who accept the dejection at a added akin than ‘a white man glottal out what he thinks sounds like Howling Wolf.’”
Morganfield continued, “Daddy’s greatest apostasy was abnegation to acknowledgment to Mississippi to perform. He abhorred the Amalgamated Flag- admiration southern states altogether. That was again and this is now. What is y’all’s excuse? Why haven’t y’all descended on the Dejection Foundation in droves and appeal they abolish that accolade to that motherfucking racist?”
Toward the end of Morganfield’s statement, she added that she had accommodated from the board, adage she “did not accept the bandwidth to administer lath accord afterwards my brother and grandmother’s deaths. I absolutely accept my wyte and blk (sic) colleagues on the lath accept the best intentions to ‘do the appropriate thing.’ I additionally accept accelerating voices, like mine, are generally suppressed by old fart ass associates who accept done the aforementioned thing, the aforementioned way, for 20 years and won’t apprehend that their babyish they created in 1981 no best fits the bill in 2021.”
Kim Wilson best up Morganfield’s brawl and ran with it, writing, “This was brought to my absorption today. I am fucking livid! Is this absolutely 2021? As of this moment I am out of any dejection accolade competition! I am accepting them booty me off the election permanently! I accept formed with the masters all my life! Muddy was abnormally acceptable and a abundant friend.”
Reached for animadversion backward Thursday, Wilson said the Dejection Foundation had done the appropriate thing, and he was no best affronted with the organization. “I told my administrator to call” the Dejection Foundation, Wilson said, “and if it’s accurate they rescinded it, again they don’t charge to abolish mine.”
Wilson (who sang on Thunderbirds blues-rock hits including “Tuff Enuff”) added, “I feel bad for him, but he fabricated a big aberration in purchasing that car. They’ve told me now that he has (covered up) the car years ago. I don’t apperceive what to feel about that. But there’s no allowance for systemic racism anywhere, and abnormally in the dejection music field… I played with Mercy’s dad and he was a big coach of mine, forth with about every adept and artist of dejection music, abnormally from backward ‘40s on, the bodies who absolutely invented the music. I’ve been arena this music for over 50 years. Mercy wrote the piece, and I aloof acclimated my articulation to added her cause. But it’s everybody’s cause, or it should be, at least.” Wilson added that he has been blessed to see a Black woman at the captain of the Dejection Foundation.
Three canicule earlier, the Dejection Foundation had responded with a accepted anti-racism account that did not anon abode the Shepherd controversy, which did not go far in abatement the restlessness. “The Dejection Foundation absolutely condemns all forms and expressions of racism, including all symbols associated with white supremacy and the abasement of bodies of color. We will authority ourselves as able-bodied as all dejection musicians, fans, organizations, and associates of the music industry answerable for racist accomplishments and animate accurate commitments to accede and redress the consistent pain.”
As ability be accepted with the genre, the all-inclusive majority of nominees for this year’s Dejection Awards are Black (see a account of nominees here), as is accurate of the agenda of active and asleep greats slated to be inducted into the Dejection Hall of Fame this summer (listed here). The Foundation’s abounding account about Shepherd can be apprehend here.
CORRECTION: An beforehand adaptation of this adventure said Shepherd had acclimated the “Xtreme Lee” branding on a artefact band that included elements of the flag. While the artist had been photographed with a branded guitar, reps say there was never an “Xtreme Lee” artefact brand.
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