The Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival

The Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival occurs on just one day a year but pays benefits all year long, organizers say. The festival is held annually in Campbell County in East Tennessee on the last Saturday in September. The event honors Howard Armstrong, an acclaimed Black string musician who performed as Louie Bluie during a career that started in the 1930s in the Jim Crow South. He grew up in Campbell County’s LaFollette. He was also an artist, storyteller, and writer.

Despite his fame in the 1930s and a musical career that revived in the 1970s, Armstrong was not well known in the community where he grew up. When leaders in Campbell County started organizing ways to use the region’s local culture to build stronger communities, Armstrong’s legacy quickly became part of the discussion. In 2005, the nonprofit arts organization Campbell Culture Coalition was created. There were many ideas, and amongst them, a music and arts festival. And at the heart of the inspiration was Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong (1909-2003)… read more >

Louie Bluie 1930 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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