VOL. 129 | NO. 198 | Friday, October 10, 2014
Memphis Music Hall of Fame Prepares to Induct Nine
By Andy Meek
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame, administered by the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, next month will induct its new batch of honorees, a collection of music legends that each in their way left big marks on the industry’s landscape.
The induction ceremony, set for Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at Downtown’s Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, is the hall of fame’s third such yearly event and will feature Memphis musicians, up-and-comers and national touring artists all on hand to tip their hat to this year’s honorees.
This year’s inductee list ranges from talent like industry executives Al Bell and John Fry to folk rocker Jesse Winchester and American Studios producer Chips Moman.
For the second consecutive year, Royal Studios’ Boo Mitchell will produce the ceremony, and Hi Rhythm will serve as the evening’s house band.
“No other city could bring together such an incredible roster of musicians and honor them within a Hall of Fame,” said Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum executive director John Doyle, who’s also executive director of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. “These incredible Memphis musicians and producers literally changed the world.”
This year’s list of honorees includes Bell, a former disc jockey who later ran and owned Stax Records in Memphis, as well as Fry, Ardent Studios founder and producer.
Moman’s American Sound Studio during the ‘60s and ‘70s produced more than 120 charting singles, including 40 gold records.
Among the other inductees, meanwhile, is singer Ann Peebles, whose song “I can’t stand the rain” was recorded or sampled by artists ranging from Missy Elliot to Tina Turner and Seal, with John Lennon once reportedly calling it “the best song ever.”
Raised in Memphis, hall of fame inductee Winchester was a singer-songwriter whose songs gained him a cult following, and fellow inductee Big Star – the original members of which were Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens – was a group from Memphis at the vanguard of the power pop era.
Rounding out the hall of fame’s list of honorees this year are Carl Perkins, who with his 1956 hit “Blue Suede Shoes” helped define rockabilly music and elevate the stature of Sun Records.
Perkins, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, also was a member of the so-called Million Dollar Quartet, which included Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.
Inductee Lil Hardin Armstrong was the second wife of jazz great Louis Armstrong. A Memphis native, she was raised in a boarding house near Beale Street and went on to become a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer and bandleader, helping her to be considered one of early jazz’s most prominent female artists.
Completing the list is Walter “Furry” Lewis, who moved with his family to Memphis in 1900. He was a songwriter, country blues guitarist, vocalist and humorist.
This year’s inductees join 38 music legends already added to the hall of fame, including Otis Redding, Sam Phillips and B.B. King. With this year’s batch, the hall of fame now has 47 inductees.
Tickets for next month’s event are $50 per person or $100 per person for Gold Circle seating, which includes attendance to the post-concert VIP reception.