The Official Newsletter of The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame www.LMHOF.org June, 2009
In this edition:
- Little Richard, Johnny Rivers Inducted; Virtual Museum Galleries Open
- Executive Advisory Board Taking Shape
- So Much Music, So Little Time!
- Induction Process: There’s Method in the Madness
- Everyone Can Help
The LMHOF inducted Little Richard as its 36th official member Saturday, May 30, 2009 in New Orleans at “The Domino Effect” fundraiser concert for the Drew Brees Foundation. At the request of promoter Dave Rosen, LMHOF Executive Director Mike Shepherd was brought on stage during Little Richard’s performance to present the induction plaque. After an extended standing ovation for the legendary artist, Richard, who had earlier told the crowd a little about his history in New Orleans, said “I don’t see how nobody can’t love New Orleans…There’s nowhere in the world like it.” Little Richard was born in Georgia but his musical influences came in New Orleans and his rise to international fame started with “Tutti Frutti” recorded (at the suggestion of Lloyd Price) in New Orleans under producer Cosimo Matassa with New Orleans musicians including Earl Palmer and Red Tyler. The rest is history.
LMHOF Inductees Fats Domino & Little Richard backstage (wearing their LMHOF pins)
Fats Domino was in attendance and had earlier acknowledged the crowd with a wave from the upper deck, where he sat, accompanied by WWL personality Eric Paulsen and his children Antoine and Adonika. As Little Richard ended his set, Fats and his entourage came down and backstage to visit with his old friend. That visit moved to Little Richard’s dressing room where he held court for numerous media and friends, including Ronnie Jones (son of Joe”You Talk Too Much” Jones), Norman Thrasher (of the Midnighters), WWOZ’s Reddy Teddy, Keb Mo, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson and others. Little Richard and Fats found time to have a lengthy and heartfelt talk about the golden days.
Rare footage of some of the show including Drew Brees’ address to the crowd, Fats recognition from the upper level, Little Richard’s induction into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame and snippets from Little Richard’s performance in tribute to Fats can be viewed in the Galleries Musique virtual museum under “Inductees Videos > Little Richard”. More info on Little Richard can be viewed at his LMHOF official induction page and Fats info can be viewed at his LMHOF official induction page
Johnny Rivers might become the only person who can ever say he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame twice. That’s because our 37th Inductee was supposed to be our 23rd Inductee but life circumstances intervened. “Last year, I had already gathered the Galleries material, arranged the presentation date and obtained the Governor’s certificate and made the plaque,” Mike Shepherd recalls. “As the date approached Johnny’s mother became ill and passed away, so all parties agreed it would not be a good time to go through with the induction.” After a few additional false starts, Mike was able to catch up with Johnny at his recent show at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi where the official presentation was successfully accomplished. Rivers cracked a wry smile as Shepherd awarded TWO induction plaques, the current one with Gov. Jindal’s signature on the certificate, as well as the earlier version signed by former Gov. Blanco.
Fans of Johnny Rivers will find a treasure trove of classic and unusual/rare video performances spanning his career in the Inductees Video Section of The Galleries Musique. Be sure to read more about this prolific hitmaker on his Induction Page here.
Executive Advisory Board Taking Shape
We are excited and honored to have announced this week that our Executive Advisory Board now includes a former Governor, Secretary of State, and two sitting district attorneys as active support grows for our effort. (News Release Here.)
The release named the following members:
- Jean Armstrong, President, League of Women Voters of Baton Rouge
- Jim Brown, former La. Secretary of State and board member of La. Music Center/La. Music Hall of Fame (1981-85)
- Alan Edelman, former Undersecretary of Louisiana Dept. of Commerce and board member of La. Music Center/La. Music Hall of Fame (1982-86)
- Bonnie Fussell, Musician, former La. State Police Chief of Staff; former President, Louisiana Lottery Corp.
- Florent Hardy, Louisiana State Archivist
- Del Moon, former entertainment journalist and 1st founder, La. Music Center/Louisiana Music Hall of Fame (1980-87)
- Deacon John Moore, Musician, LMHOF member and President, American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496 (New Orleans)
- Hon. Walter P. Reed, District Attorney, La. 21st Judicial District – St. Tammany and Washington Parishes
- Hon. Earl B. Taylor, District Attorney, La. 27th Judicial District – St. Landry Parish
- Hon. David C. Treen, former La. Governor and former U. S. Congressman
In addition to the above names, we are pleased to also announce yet another addition in this newsletter. This week, public relations practitioner par excellence LeAnne Weill of The Weill Agency has also accepted the invitation to serve on the Executive Advisory Board.
So much music, so little time!
The opening months of 2009 have begun of a new phase in our organizational development. In three years, with limited private funding and no public financial support, La Musique Louisianne, Inc. has grown from an idea reborn to a living museum. To date, 37 internationally-recognized music greats have been formally inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and a vibrant online “Virtual Museum”, the Galleries Musique is rapidly expanding with over 4,000 image, music and video files. The “hits keep on coming” – that is, internet “hits” at www.LMHOF.org– with over 30,000 visitors since January alone and the pace is increasing in leaps and bounds. LMHOF is appearing higher and more often in Internet search engine results. Networking opportunities continue to grow through our pages on MySpace and Facebook and sample videos on our You Tube page invite folks to enjoy hundreds more to visit our Galleries Musique.
We have concentrated on “walking the walk” instead of just “talking the talk,” which is why it makes more sense in this digital era (and under difficult economic times) to build an online museum first. To be sure, we envision a future “home” with exhibits and other exciting physical “expressions” of the LMHOF mission, but we aren’t waiting around for that. We are working closely with State Archivist and Advisor Florent Hardy to provide backup files of everything we are producing to the Louisiana State Archives under Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, to ensure it is preserved. So until that future time when you will have a “place” (or “places”) to go, you are literally witnessing a museum being built before your eyes and ears on our Web site. Please tell your friends and other music lovers to stop by and enjoy. But now we are approaching a “critical mass” of interest and it’s time to take this project to another level. How you can help? Keep reading and we’ll tell you how below. But first…
The Induction Process: There’s Method in the Madness
The most common questions and comments we get are concerning the induction process. Rightfully so, fans of particular luminaries ask us why their favorite musician has not been inducted. Pete Fountain is in, but Al Hirt is not. Al “Carnival Time” Johnson is in, Professor Longhair is not. Webb Pierce is in, Faron Young is not. And where are the Cajun and Zydeco greats? The list goes on and on, and the answer is simple and straightforward: please be patient, we’re getting there! The fact is, we did not set out to make a priority list of the most important/influential stars and start from the top down with awards. We do have a list with scores of names of certain and likely inductees spanning over a century of unique music history, but the overriding consideration has been to reach those artists and surviving families that are still with us FIRST.
The official recognition (including presentation of an induction plaque and Governor’s certificate) is long overdue for all of these artists.
So this explains why we have inducted Pete Fountain and the late Al Hirt is still in the pending stage.
Secondly, the induction process is not quick, easy and without expense. Formal induction requires research and contact, collecting/borrowing sufficient artifacts, scanning, transferring and formatting files, creating presentation artwork and Governor’s welcome, etc. It takes at least 40 hours to prepare and install each honoree on the Web site. Travel and communications eat time and expense as well. Finally, there is opportunity. When Buddy Guy made a rare appearance back in his native Baton Rouge last year, we jumped on the opportunity to make a presentation and obtained enough documentation to create his Inductee section in the Galleries Musique. So serendipity has played a role in some of the presentations.
There are many worthy names yet to be engraved on the Hall of Fame rolls, so if you don’t see your favorite music legends yet you can rest assured that they are “in that number” to march into Induction in the not-too-distant future.
We always welcome your comments, ideas and feedback and we hope this basic explanation helps you to understand our thoughts, capabilities and limitations that must be overcome. Two years ago we had a dozen inductees and the Virtual Museum looked a bit sparse. Today it is a much better representation, and two years from now…LOOK OUT!!
Everyone Can Help
As suggested above, our only limitations are time and resources, and we are eager to advance our mission at warp speed with the proper support it needs and deserves. The feedback from around the world has been unbelievable. We have far more leads to follow, pieces of history to retrieve, and ideas to develop than we have time or resources to immediately address. Not only is this an incorporated non-profit organization, at this point it is also a 100% volunteer-driven effort. Our core of board supporters and volunteers are dedicated to this cause, and we have been attempting to attract grants and other funding resources to get the project out of the “incubator,” but progress has been slow on that end.
Executive Director Mike Shepherd is not looking for any medals, but the facts are that he has devoted nearly all of his time, energy and effort to the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame concept since 2005, when the passing of his friend and music legend John Fred inspired to him to take up the cause to give those of his stature the recognition they deserve. Not only has he self-funded much of the entity’s expenses, he has voluntarily semi-retired his video and audio production company to dedicate himself to the LMHOF work. All of the technology being used for this project – HD video cameras, editing and transferring/scanning equipment, IT architecture, etc. is made possible from the company’s and Shepherd’s resources.
Plans are in development for a number of programs designed to inform, educate, promote, recognize and preserve the rich and diverse history and culture of Louisiana music, and to stimulate the state’s music industry to return to its former glory days. But plans are just that…plans. They need funding and support. We humbly ask that you consider what we have accomplished already and support LMHOF with a membership donation to La Musique de Louisianne, Inc., an IRS certified 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. All donations are therefore tax deductible.
To donate, click the “Donate” button on our Home Page to go to our secure online payment page. If you want membership information or a mailing address visit the “Krewe Musique” page. We are actively seeking sponsors and corporate partners for events, Web site banner advertisement and for in-kind donations that reduce expenses for actual budget needs. And if you would like to offer some of your individual time and talent, let’s talk and see how we might be able to utilize your skills.
You can always direct your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.