Buddy Guy Receives Kennedy Center Honors | NBC Chicago

Buddy Guy Receives Kennedy Center Honors

Legendary Chicago bluesman honored along with David Letterman, Led Zeppelin, Dustin Hoffman



    Getty Images
    Musician Buddy Guy attends the Kennedy Center Honors reception at the White House.

    Chicago's Buddy Guy isn't singing the blues about his latest accomplishment.

    President Barack Obama presented the legendary blues singer with this year's Kennedy Center Honors Sunday night at the White House.

    Chicago's Got the Blues

    [LXTVN] Chicago's Got the Blues
    There's no question that blues music is a part of Chicago history-- the Windy City was after all, the home of Chess Records. And blues is still a part of Chicago culture today. Blues legends Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor weigh in on Chicago's Blues scene, from past to present. Find more music and entertainment at LXTV. (Published Tuesday, March 31, 2009)

    Guy was honored along with talk show host David Letterman, actor Dustin Hoffman, rockers Led Zeppelin and ballerina Natalia Makarova.

    The honors are the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The recipients were later saluted by fellow performers at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

    Obama drew laughs from his guests when he described the honorees as "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."

    Noting that Guy made his first guitar strings using the wire from a window screen, he quipped, "That worked until his parents started wondering how all the mosquitoes were getting in."

    Singers Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman and others got most of the crowd on its feet singing Guy's signature "Sweet Home Chicago" during the program.

    Morgan Freeman hailed Guy as a pioneer who helped bridge soul and rock and roll.

    "When you hear the blues, you really don't think of it as black or white or yellow or purple or blue," Freeman said. "Buddy Guy, your blue brought us together."

    Guy, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. He was born in Louisiana in 1936, but moved to Chicago in 1958, recording for a time with the legendary Chess Records.

    The show will be broadcast later this month.