Nola Blue, Inc. is owned and operated by Sallie Bengtson, a music aficionado with a heart full of blues. Sallie has a degree in Business Administration and Management from Albright College and more than 25 years of business experience in various administrative, management and ownership roles. The opportunity to combine her business skills with her enthusiasm and passion for music is a dream come true, and shines through in all of her efforts.
"I'm passionate about sharing the music we love and supporting the musicians who make it." -Sallie Bengtson
NOLA BLUE, INC. was formed in 2012 by Sallie Bengtson, who holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Albright College. Combining her 30 years of business experience with her enthusiasm and passion for music has proven a dynamic force in the blues community.
As Artist Manager for Benny Turner since 2013, Sallie provided strategic oversight and management of his transition from career sideman to front man, including the release of four albums, one autobiography, and key festival appearances including Chicago Blues Fest, Ann Arbor Blues Festival and Lucerne Blues Festival. She continues to provide comprehensive management and strategic planning to document, support, and preserve his extensive blues legacy.
The Nola Blue Records label was established with the 2014 release of Journey by Benny Turner. In the ensuing years, the catalog has grown to a total of 15 albums, including those from blues legacy artists Cash McCall (RIP) and Frank Bey (RIP). All My Dues Are Paid, the label’s second album by Bey, received a posthumous GRAMMY nomination for contemporary blues album of the year (2020). Artists and projects that have received Blues Music Award nominations include Benny Turner, Frank Bey, John Németh, and Clarence Spady. Nola Blue Records was named “Record Label of the Year” by The Josie Awards in September, 2020. Live on Beale Street: A Tribute to Bobby “Blue” Bland by Rodd Bland and the Members Only Band, is the most recent addition to the legacy projects from Nola Blue.
In 2017, SURVIVOR: The Benny Turner Story, was published. An oral history of Turner’s life, SURVIVOR chronicles his birth and early childhood in Gilmer, TX; the family's move to Chicago, IL; and the ultimate birth and development of his career in the gospel, R&B and blues genres.
In 2019, Sallie conceived and produced the inaugural Lone Star Blues and Heritage Festival held in East Texas not far from where Benny Turner and his brother, the late Freddie King, spent their early years and were first exposed to the blues. A celebration honoring Turner’s 80th birthday, the three-day festival was a showcase of the finest in Texas blues music, including Milton Hopkins, Trudy Lynn, The Keeshea Pratt Band and many more. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas provided official written recognition of this milestone and Turner's many contributions to music and music history.
In 2020, Blue Heart Records, a full-service label devoted to championing multi-generational blues and roots artists, was formed in partnership with Blind Raccoon. The label has released 14 albums in its first two years, including Rose-Colored Glasses, Vol. 1, the studio follow-up to Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps’ GRAMMY-nominated Here in Babylon (2019). Blue Heart Records was named “Record Label of the Year” by The Josie Awards in September, 2021. A new studio album from Memphis native, BMA-nominated Vaneese Thomas, is slated for early 2022 release
"Nola Blue Records works with traditional blues artists Benny Turner, the late Cash McCall, and the late Frank Bey earning them wider recognition as accomplished artists by releasing a series of wonderful records. The label also highlights contemporary blues artists with releases from Clarence Spady, Eric Johanson, and John Németh, proving there is a place and a need for small independent record labels." - Bill Wax, Former Program Director, SiriusXM Radio
"You are like the music-business Fairy Godmother of things I hate to deal with!" - Leslie Letven Bixler (Miss Bix)
"Frank's association with Sallie Bengtson of Nola Blue was the highlight of his final years; he told me that most labels would ignore an old man like him whose health was failing and whose music was unknown by so many. Yet in Sallie, Frank found an advocate for his life's work and art." - Thomas Dwyer, Executive Producer, You're Going To Miss Me