Press Release

August 25, 2015
Contact: Manny Leto


History Center has the Florida Blues

Florida’s Got the Blues, an exhibition showcasing Florida blues music,
opens at the Tampa Bay History Center Sept. 12

(Tampa) – Did you know that Hudson Whittaker ― better known as Tampa Red ― released more 78 rpm records than any other blues artist? Or that Ray Charles refined his signature rhythm and blues piano style while playing night clubs on Tampa’s Central Avenue? Did you know that Blind Blake – one of the greatest ragtime and blues guitarists – is connected with Jacksonville, Florida?

These early bluesmen are just a few of the musicians featured in Florida’s Got the Blues, a new exhibition opening at the Tampa Bay History Center on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Curated by the Museum of Florida History, Florida’s Got the Blues will highlight Florida’s blues music legacy, showcasing the artists who played juke Joints and night clubs from the panhandle to Miami, through photos and interactive audio recordings. Visitors will get to spin blues records in the gallery or pick up an acoustic guitar and compose their own blues riffs.

In addition to Florida’s Got the Blues, the show will also include a collection of rock-n-roll photography from the archives of the Tampa Bay Times featuring performers who have played on stages across Tampa Bay including Elvis, Tom Petty, The Ramones and U2.

Florida’s Got the Blues is part of the Museum of Florida History’s Traveling Exhibit (TREX) program.

Florida’s Got the Blues will be on exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center beginning Saturday, Sept. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay Center at (813) 228-0097 or online at

Schedule of Events

Sept. 12 – Opening Day

Sept. 23 – Florida Conversations: Celebrating Tampa’s Blues with Larry Lisk


Download the PDF of this press release.