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Bill Ferris

Historian William Ferris won two Grammy Awards for his box set Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians, produced by Dust-to-Digital. (photo by Jon Gardiner)

The pinnacle of many academic careers arrives with a Nobel Prize recognition in Sweden, but for William Ferris, that highlight moment came in California.

Ferris, the Joel R. Williamson eminent professor emeritus of history, won two Grammy Awards at a February ceremony in Los Angeles. Ferris’ box set Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians (produced by Dust-to-Digital) won best historical album and best liner notes. The four-disc set features dozens of Ferris’ audio recordings of blues and gospel musicians, storytellers and documentary films.

“When I heard I was a Grammy nominee, it’s to my world like a Nobel award because the Grammys are all about music and recordings, which is what my life has been dedicated to,” said Ferris, who is also senior associate director emeritus of the Center for the Study of the American South.

See Ferris’ acceptance speech and learn more at Watch a video of Ferris at

Published in the Spring 2019 issue | The Scoop

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