Back in the day, a man they called Rooster was proud to be BMOC (Blues Man on Campus) in the Eugene-Springfield area. 

Gavin “Rooster” Fox, who founded the KLCC Blues Power radio show in the late 1970s, earned a name for himself by hosting jams at Taylor’s Bar & Grill, an immensely popular hangout for Duck fans for generations until it shut down last year.

“That’s how I got to know Rooster, he was hosting a blues jam at Taylor’s,” said Jivin’ Johnny Etheredge, a fellow radio personality. “People like Robert Cray and Curtis Salgado were touring, and Rooster’s blues jams brought a lot of attention to musicians from all around.”

Rooster’s life was cut short by ALS. He died in 1999 at the age of 51. But his blues legacy lives on with the Rooster Awards, voted on annually – after a brief hiatus – for the top local blues artists. Go to rainydayblues.org to place your votes in any or all of the following categories: Best Female Vocalist, Best Male Vocalist, Best Self-Produced Album, Best Traditional Blues Act, Best Blues-Rock Act, Best Soul-Blues Act, Keeping The Blues Alive. Votes must be in by Feb. 28. 

“Rooster was a bright guy, and he was really good when he did his radio show,” said Etheredge, a weekend DJ on KRVM. “But he continued doing radio shows and hosting blues jams until shortly before he passed away. That’s what he loved to do. 

“We were sort of a mutual admiration society because I know he liked to listen to my show too.”