MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis businessman, entrepreneur, and music lover Tommy Peters has passed away after battling COVID-19 and kidney failure, his family said. .
We're told Peters died in Orlando, Florida, and had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks.
"There is no one in the world that loved B.B. King and Blues and Memphis and the music of America more than Tommy Peters," his lifelong friend and B.B. King's drummer, Tony Coleman said.
Coleman said Peters was a Beale Street legend and worked hard to bring Memphis music to the restaurants and clubs he owned across the country.
Peters was known in the bluff city as the man behind Beale Street Blues Company, serving as President and CEO. The company is behind several well-known local music joints like B. B. King’s Blues Club, Lafayette’s Music Room, and restaurants like Itta Bena and Moondance. He also owned places in other cities, including Orlando, Florida.
"Tommy gave everything, like B.B. King, when it came to trying to preserve and honor blues and soul and rock and roll," Coleman said.
Peters was also known for helping musicians by employing them at one of his many restaurants. Michael Vance performed at B.B. King's in Nashville and became friends with Peters.
"It’s meant a lot to a lot of people, obviously a lot of the people because of working at B.B.’s," Vance said. "I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve talked to today who have basically said how grateful they were to have him and to have somebody who constantly just loved it so much."
Vance said Peters' gift of bringing people together through music will always live on.
"He was a businessman first and foremost, but when it came to the music side of it he just loved it," Vance said. "It just made him happy and at the end of the day that’s how we were all able to communicate with him was through the music."
Peters received a Brass Note on Beale Street in 2011.
This is a developing story and we will bring you more as it becomes available.