Most people aren't familiar with the musicians who make their favorite songs possible. But at the inaugural Musicians Hall of Fame awards ceremony at Schermerhorn Symphony Center Monday night, the people behind many of the hits of the 1950s, '60s and '70s were finally given their due, as they were recognized for their contributions to the soundtrack of decades of American life.
Broadcasting legend Ralph Emery, songwriting icon Tom T. Hall and mega-producer Buddy Cannon were just a few of the music fans and industry folk alike who were on hand at the event.
The musicians inducted into the Nashville-based Musicians Hall of Fame included Nashville's A-Team, the session players on thousands of recordings by Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan and countless others; Johnny Cash's Tennessee Two; Motown's Funk Brothers recording aces; Elvis Presley's original Blue Moon Boys band members; members of L.A.'s Wrecking Crew, the session musicians who immortalized records with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Simon and Garfunkel; and the Memphis Boys, who worked on thousands of recordings with Presley, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson and others.
The surviving honorees, many of whom are in their 70s now, took to the stage to perform with some of the people they had originally recorded with at this incredible show, hosted by The Office's Creed Bratton, himself a former member of chart-topping pop group the Grass Roots. George Jones, Dobie Gray, B.J. Thomas, and the Supremes' Mary Wilson were just some of the talent on hand to perform their classic hits with the musicians who helped make them famous.
Other performers on the bill included Vince Gill (doing three Presley songs), Mandy Barnett, Ray Scott, Keith Anderson, Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine, John Carter Cash, Rodney Crowell (who Cash introduced as "my old brother-in-law"), guitar legend James Burton, the Byrds' Roger McGuinn, Amy Grant, and Peter Frampton, who was clearly over the moon to be playing with the surviving Funk Brothers. And the legendary Jordanaires vocal group sounded as great as ever as they sang backup on a number of songs.
Garth Brooks and the Memphis Boys ended the show with a performance of Presley's "Suspicious Minds," as most everyone involved poured onto the stage. But Brooks, the biggest-selling artist in history, didn't exactly steal the show, nor was he trying to. He was there as just one more appreciative recording artist who knew he'd be nothing without great musical accompaniment. As he so succinctly noted, very seldom is an artist actually responsible for making his or her own record.
Standing ovations were the rule of the evening, and while a few of the acceptance speeches were a little long, one can't blame a person for wanting to speak for a few minutes after being ignored for decades. This was a one-of-a-kind show that will never be repeated anywhere again. And it could only have happened in Nashville.
The Musicians Hall of Fame is more than something to be inducted into; it's an actual working museum tracing America's modern musical development. Opened in 2006 by songwriter and businessman Joe Chambers, the Musicians Hall of Fame houses historic instruments played on famous popular recordings, including instruments donated by the players inducted at Monday night's ceremony. The complex also houses a school of music and a performance hall.
Visit the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum on the web at:
Article Written & Submitted by Rick Moore