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Mellencamp To Receive Steinbeck Award

02:01 PM Wednesday 6/6/12 | |

The Center for Steinbeck Studies will honor Indiana’s musical son in July during an event which goes on sale this weekend.

  • John Mellencamp

    New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, La.
    May 1, 2011

    (John Davisson)


John Mellencamp will join Joan Baez as the only music artists to have earned the Steinbeck Award and the Woody Guthrie Award. Mellencamp was honored with the latter in 2003.

Mellencamp will receive the award during a presentation at the California Theatre in San Jose, Calif., July 30.  The “Conversation and Special Performance” will include a talk with the Farm Aid co-founder moderated by Grammy Museum executive director Robert Santelli plus a performance by the singer/songwriter.

“John Steinbeck’s remarkable ability to give voice to the common man and to people on society’s margins, to describe their plight and aspirations, continues to inspire us more than a century after his birth,” Mellencamp said in a statement. “I’m very honored to be the recipient of an award given in his name.”

Located at San Jose State University, the Center For Steinbeck Studies is considered the world’s leading archive of materials related to the author who penned “East Of Eden,” “Of Mice & Men,” “Grapes Of Wrath” and “Cannery Row” along with other novels. Past Steinbeck Award recipients include Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Brown, filmmaker Michael Moore, author Studs Terkel and MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow.

Tickets for the event go on sale June 9. Visit JohnMellencamp.com for more information.