|News Musique December 2009|
The Official Newsletter of The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame
In this edition:
· Heaux Heaux Heaux! LMHOF Giving Triple Play Holiday Gifts!
· New Book will ROCK the world: Louisiana Rocks: The True Genesis of Rock and Roll
· Recent Induction Notes and Links
· Special Announcement & Presentation Coming Soon!
· Offbeat gives LMHOF a Blurb
· Director’s End of Year Report
· Coming in January: B.R. Region HOF Inaugural
Gifts For You - A Triple Play of LMHOF Christmas Music and Videos
Every year since 2006, LMHOF has reached into its vault and pulled out a treasure trove of holiday theme recordings by some of Louisiana’s greatest music makers and shared it as a streaming audio program accessed through our Web site. In 2008, we also had our breakthrough Christmas Party show with some amazing performances by newly-inducted Hall of Famers Ellis Marsalis and Jay Chevalier as well as several songs by up and coming talents like David St. Romain, Chris Guillot and Acadiana’s L’Angulus band featuring the incredibly talented Rees family.
This year, we are expanding our offerings in a special holiday “Triple Play” and offering it to you as a gift for being a supporter and follower of our nonprofit program. Unwrap these triple treats as the month rolls on:
1. Christmas Music Videos on FacebookEvery day, another music video clip - many from our Christmas show - will be shared on Facebook at our “Friends of Louisiana Music Hall of Fame” fan page. If you have a Facebook account, be sure to join our fan page to get your daily dose of bayou holiday cheer. If we can find the time, we will also post some of these videos on YouTube and MySpace.
2. 2008 Christmas Party show – Complete videoWatch the entire 2008 holiday concert held at Abita Quail Farm, including (in addition to those mentioned above) some amazing cuts by Hall of Famers Deacon John and Al Johnson and New Orleans Regional inductee Lenny Capello. It is a poignant farewell for the LMHOF as the late Gov. Dave Treen – one of our first Executive Advisory Board members- can be seen as a featured guest and even takes a stab a song himself. To view the show simply go to Galleries Musique>LMHOF Main Gallery>2008 LMHOF Christmas Party and Inductions or to the Louisiana Christmas Music section.
3. New and Improved Christmas Music On the LMHOF Web SiteOur past Christmas music page presented a streaming music program which you could listen to like a radio show. We have opened our 2009 Christmas music page, reorganized in the GALLERIES MUSIQUE > Louisiana Christmas Music and modified so you can select the individual cuts you wish to hear by artist and song. Listen to the best in Louisiana Christmas music songs from LMHOF members including Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain, Allen Toussaint, John Fred plus a 2-hour mix with selections from Benny Grunch to Britney Spears to Harry Connick Jr., & more. And Christmas videos!!! Enjoy!
Louisiana Rocks: The True Genesis of Rock and RollIs a Real Eye-Opener!
The book is the culmination of years of research. Inspired by a suggestion from the late John Fred, who also inspired Louisiana Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Mike Shepherd to resurrect and advance the recognition program in the state. Aswell explores the very roots of rock. His findings: despite claims to the contrary, rock & roll was born in New Orleans a full four years before Ike Turner’s 1951 recording of Rocket 88, which some writers have ascribed as the first rock and roll song.
It was 1947 when Roy Brown, still stinging from the rejection of his song by Wynonie Harris, entered Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio to record his own version of Good Rockin’ Tonight, a song Elvis Presley would cover in 1954, as well as Hank Williams and Jerry Lee Lewis. As soon as it became evident that Brown’s song was a hit, Harris had a sudden change of heart and rushed into the studio to record it himself and it was his version that was selected by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as One of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.
As the book traces the tributaries that lead to the river of rock Aswell also provides a rich bounty of Louisiana artist biographies and little-known vignettes gathered from interviews with the artists and close associates. Those who have previewed the book are raving about it. Bob Robin, retired New Orleans (WTIX) disc jockey and producer for record labels Stax, Tower, Bell, Warner Bros., Capitol, and ABC Paramount, commented that “I could not put it down once I started reading. It brought back a lot of old memories.”
Visitors to the LMHOF Virtual Museum have already sampled Aswell’s writing as he has generously provided the overwhelming majority of the inductee biographies found there. We are deeply grateful for Tom Aswell’s contributions and are excited to share news of this book release with the world and give it our full endorsement. LMHOF has also provided dozens of archived exclusive and unique photos for Tom's book.
Aswell and the publisher are finalizing plans for a statewide book tour and we will share the schedule with you as soon as it is announced. The book should hit store shelves over the next week and is available on Amazon and other online bookseller sites. An Amazon preview version is available on Google Books now.
Al Hirt and Dave Bartholomew Induction Photos and Videos Now Up
In our last News Musique we announced the induction event for the late great trumpeter Al Hirt, which was held at Chris Owens’ cabaret on Bourbon Street, the last place that Hirt ever performed. On hand to receive the Induction Award was Hirt’s widow Beverly and several old friends and former band members. As an added surprise, LMHOF inducted Hirt’s longtime drummer Paul Ferrara, who also laid down the beat for Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra among many others, as our first Performer’s Stage Inductee at the event.
Dave Batholomew (left) beams as LMHOF's Mike Shepherd announces Dave's induction and host Allen Toussaint enjoys springing the special surprise on his old friend.
We also hinted at another surprise induction that would take place in New Orleans that same weekend. Our Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint was hosting a special tribute party for Dave Bartholomew at the newly-reopened Blue Room and requested that we surprise Dave with his Induction Award during the show. The program, which was organized and hosted by Toussaint for a select group of invited guests, featured an amazing slate of artists who each presented a favorite Dave Bartholomew song. Toussaint presented Bartholomew with a specially commissioned oil painting. LMHOF produced a 12 minute video biography at Toussaint’s request to kick off the show. Bartholomew is rightfully a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, but his name is not as widely known as it needs to be among music lovers. In addition to having his own successful recording career that began in the ‘40s, the trumpeter/songwriter/ producer is largely responsible for launching and sustaining the “Sound of New Orleans” era begun in 1949 in conjunction with Hall of Famers Cosimo Matassa and Fats Domino, who Bartholomew discovered and wrote many of Domino’s biggest hit songs. His tasteful performances, prolific writing, uncanny business sense and unfailing promotion of New Orleans music changed the course of history and we are indebted to Allen Toussaint for providing a worthy event to give him his due from The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
You can view video from both induction events, as well as many vintage photos and videos (especially for Al Hirt) in their respective tabbed sections within the Galleries Musique Virtual Museum through our Web Page. You can also read more about the Bartholomew event in Keith Spera’s Times Picayune story posted NOLA.com at this link.
Special Announcement Coming Soon
While we are taking a much-needed breather from induction activity over the holidays, there is something brewing that addresses our broad development plan and involves one of our Hall of Fame members. We cannot publish details at this time, but look for a special announcement soon about a partnership of LMHOF and one of our biggest honorees to establish a legacy and expand our goal to engage programs to preserve our unique music and bring attention to new artists that represent that sound. All that, added to a special commemorative presentation for a historic December date. What can it be???
Enjoy some Christmas music and stand by for this truly special announcement!
Offbeat Magazine Publishes LMHOF Story
So we want to thank Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans’ longtime print (and now online) voice of the city’s music scene, for taking notice of our efforts with a brief article in their December edition. You can read the article HERE. -
Media is understandably wary of the validity and/or relevance of emerging programs, many of which turn out to be of little substance or harbor overtly profit-making or personal agendas that are not “newsworthy.” And in the music business there have been plenty of half-baked promotions and recognition projects that have contributed to a suspicious atmosphere.
Specifically to LMHOF, while there was no legitimate Louisiana Music Hall of Fame entity between 1987 and 2005, during that time the name has been misappropriated around the state without consent on several occasions. As a result, we find ourselves often having to explain that those instances were not official and do not have any documentation or corporate history for support. As our activities and growth continue this confusion is (thankfully!) becoming a thing of the past.
LMHOF Director’s End of Year Report
LMHOF Executive Director Mike Shepherd has finally beaten the flu bug and is busy getting the Christmas music put together, but he will prepare an End of Year Report to share with our members and newsletter subscribers early next month. Watch for it!
Coming in January
Connecting the “Dots” and Opening the Baton Rouge Region Hall of Fame
Last month we rolled out our New Orleans Regional Hall to provide due recognition to regionally successful La. artists with induction of Coco Robicheaux, Lenny Capello and Joe Clay into the NOLA Regional Hall.-
In January, Lenny Capello and LMHOF are putting together a reunion of The Dots, Baton Rouge’s first rock and roll band that included many notables in its lineup over the years, including Capello (originally from NOLA), drummer/songwriter/producer Cyril Vetter, and bassist/trumpeter Harold Cowart (John Fred, Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Andy Gibb etc). LMHOF will take advantage of this special reunion to induct the Dots (and a few others) to ‘open’ the Baton Rouge Regional Hall. We will share show details for the Dots reunion as soon as Lenny and Mike complete the arrangements
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! to you and yours from the LMHOF
How Can You Support LMHOF?
-The only way we will grow and succeed with our mission is with the support of the musicians and music lovers like you. Please become a supporting member with a tax-deductible donation of $25 or more today that will help us defray the cost of inductions and Web site maintenance for our unique Virtual Museum. For membership information visit the "Krewe Musique" page. You can also simply click the "DONATE" button on our Home Page to go to our secure online payment page. We are actively seeking sponsors and corporate partners for events, Web site banner advertisement and for in-kind donations that reduce expenses.
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