Wednesday, November 28, 2007

AZ Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame Fund Raiser Brought Out the Best in Us All!

The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame fund raiser held Sunday at Bob Corritore's Rhythm Room was an outstanding night. Arizona's appreciation of its own arts and entertainment 'stars' was shining brightly from beginning to end! The event got off to a fabulous start thanks in great measure to the AZ Republic's Larry Rodgers.

Rodgers did a fabulous article (front page of The Arizona Republic Newspaper's Arts and Entertainment Section!) about one of the performers, (Andy Hersey, an acoustic singer/songwriter with a country bent, whose talent and attitude knocked everyone out!) Rodgers highlighted all the performers at the event in a front page inset to the story on Hersey.

has been a vocal supporter of the Az Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. It is journalists like Larry Rodgers who help the Arizona arts scene thrive. Without local media support, our own talent (in every creative genre) is left to languish. Thank goodness Arizona is finally getting over its decades old tendency to revere non-Arizona talent while ignoring our own.

KMLE's Jim West
did a bang up job emceeing the event and the auction. Before the music began, the tireless volunteers who worked so long and hard to make the September 23rd AMEHOF Induction Ceremony happen were acknowledged by name to enthusiastic applause. The title sponsor, Bob Ramsey's Glass Garden Lights was acknowledged and Ramsey was thanked for the memories Ramsey's Glass Garden Lights left with so many who embraced the hey day of 1960's music boom. Proud to admit they were part of the vibrant 1960's scene in Arizona, audience members hollered in thanks for Arizona's musical legacy.

The long running and busy Arizona Songwriter's Association was represented by its founder, Jon Iger (also on the AMEHOF Board of Directors) who did a splendid job assisting with the emcee duties and garnering support for the event. Many members of Iger's Arizona Songwriter's Association were there to cheer AMEHOF on.

An overflowing parking lot complete with a KPHO TV 5 van greeted event attendees. For a modest donation, people were entertained by Idle Abbey, a new band that we're sure to be hearing a lot more from, who opened the night. Performances by Walt Richardson (he is not only always sensational to listen to, but he suggested the idea of the fund raiser and offered to play! Way to go Walt!) Hans Olson, Marty Mitchell and the long beloved blues band the Rocket 88's were wonderful.

The Gin Blossom's Robin Wilson and Scotty Johnson who did a goose-bump making acoustic set that night deserve special mention. In spite of having to leave early the next morning to go on tour with the the Gin Blossoms they arrived at the fund raiser enthusiastically and characteristically humble. The Gin Blossoms are the perfect example of uniquely talented Arizona musicians who made it big and haven't forgotten their roots.

The Gin Blossoms have always actively supported Arizona music. When they're in town, Scotty Johnson hosts an open mic in Tempe and teaches guitar to the lucky few who get him as a teacher. Robin Wilson opened his own Tempe studio, Uranus Recording, which recruits new Az musical talent and has a coveted internship program for student recording engineers. Robin Wilson's hands on involvement with his studio is evident in the quality of the studio's work. George Keller, a very gifted studio engineer who worked for the late, masterful jazz talent Geordie Hormel, is in command of the board.

The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame was well represented on Sunday and the big turn out is testament to the community's support for AMEHOF. Among those who came by to show their support were AMEHOF Inductees Ray Herndon (2007) and Danny Zelsiko (2005) The video of AMEHOF's Sept 23rd Induction Ceremony at the Dodge Theatre played prior to the music and during the breaks. Spectacular videos about each inductee that were videotaped and flawlessly edited (by Ken Beals and Channel 12's Keith Ritchie respectively) awed viewers once more.

Those who were unlucky enough to miss the Sept 23rd Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony got a glimpse at why they should not miss any Az Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame event. AMEHOF continues to succeed in its mission of "Inspiring the Future by Remembering the Past."

The non profit organization relies soley on its all-volunteer board of directors, advisory board members, committees and community volunteers. To volunteer. comment or make a donation to the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame check out the informative website or click the link to AMEHOF's website on the KCAC Lives! Blog.


Terri said...

I'd like to personally thank all of our wonderful performers that are always willing to go above and beyond for the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Walt Richardson, Hans Olson, and Marty Mitchell performed stunning solo acoustic sets and spoke of their involvement with AMEHOF from its inception. As three of the first Advisory Board members for the organization, their dedication and passion is always inspiring. Robin Wilson and Scotty Johnson are also Advisory Board members and are always willing to step up any time they are asked. Thank you to all of you that so graciously agreed to perform when I called you. You are all good friends and assets to AMEHOF's Advisory Board.

Andy Hersey, who is excited to begin working with AMEHOF, as an Advisory Board member, was as humble as he is talented. If you missed him at our event, try to catch him on December 7th at Mardi Gras in Scottsdale with another of our Advisory board members, Steve Larson of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.

Danny Dobson and Idle Abbey travel with some of the best fans I've seen in a long time! They are reminiscent of the loyal Peacemaker fans, and for good reason. We will be seeing much more of Idle Abbey in the near future. Danny Dobson has also agreed to serve on our Advisory Board, much to our delight, as we need the input of the young, new musicians in Arizona. The Rocket 88's were also among the performers and did am amazing job, as always.

The event would not have been possible without the generosity of Bob Corritore and the Rhythm Room. The staff was great! Thank you! And thank you to the three members of the Board of Directors that were there that night helping us out...Sharon Kelley, Jon Iger and Mariah Fleming. Also, three of our dedicated volunteers were on hand, helping us out as they always do...Rhonda Hitchcock, Beve Cole and Jim West. Thank you!

Nico Holthaus was there with his crew, videoing the event for the AMEHOF archives. If you don't know who Nico is will soon. He is a local filmmaker who is doing great things, and is also willing to serve on our Advisory Board. And Tony Escobar and Wes Clubb were there to preview for us clips from the 2007 Induction Ceremony that they filmed and edited. The video will be on sale soon! Watch for it! It will be worth the wait! They did a wonderful job. Terry Miller, another Advisory Board member, photographed the event...and those will be available soon on our web site. Beautiful photos!

Thank you to all of you that came out to support such a worthy cause. We will be announcing our next benefit concert soon...where you will be able to enjoy more of "The Best of the Best" in Arizona.

Thanks for your support!
Terri Sussman
AMEHOF President

Anonymous said...

The Arizona Songwriter's Association's Beve Cole, Rhonda Hitchcock, Pandy Raye, Carl and Mary Kay Della Vella and Kat from Hacienda de La Mariposa resort were all there helping giving AMEHOF their support, as they were at the Sept 21 Induction Ceremony. These folks all embody the true spirit of community involvement in the arts, and deserve a BIG THANK YOU!