• Print

    Remembering Sid Selvidge

    Mary Smith, NEA Media Arts Specialist
    Sid Selvidge

    Photo courtesy of Archer Records


    Sid Selvidge knew music.

    His stock and trade was blues and folk, but his range went far beyond.

    It is with great sadness that the Media Arts program says goodbye to one of our panelists and grantees, Sid Selvidge. Sid was the producer of Beale Street Caravan, a radio series heard on 285 stations in the UnitedStates and another 100+ abroad — altogether reaching almost 2 ½ million people worldwide every week. He traveled to musicfestivals all over the U.S. to record the best blues music being played by musicians as varied as Bobby Rush at the Blues and Heritage Festival in Arkansas to Steve Cropper and the Five Royales Review at Lincoln Center in New York.

    Sid was a critically acclaimed musician in his own right. His final album wasthe 2010 release I Should be Blue. He made eight albums as a solo artist and produced albums for Alex Chilton, Cybill Shepherd, and others.

    While Sid was the consummate musician and music booster, we at the NEA knew him best as a panelist. Whenever Sid was engaged to serve, he brought with him not only his wealth of music knowledge, but his deep understanding of public radio. Sid understood that despite the attraction to the latest and greatest technology, radio was still a primary medium for listening to and learning about music.

    Sid played in the big leagues but also was instrumental in standing up for the little guys. He served on the board and as president of the Association of Independents inRadio (AIR) at a time when AIR was transitioning into a major player in the public media sphere.

    Sid was a thoughtful panelist, a responsible grantee, and great fun to catch up with. He will be missed.