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.
Rodger's 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.