On August 9 members of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame gathered among the artifacts – which includes musical instruments – of the Buffalo History Museum to announce the newest members to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
For Buffalo and its many residents they need not travel far along the six degrees of separation to find a connection with the city of Buffalo and its surrounding areas. And that fact was exemplified with the announcement of the 10 new inductees, some of whom are known – or at least their music is – across the country and around the world.
Before the official announcements, BMHOF members and musical duo Joe (Head) and Mark (Pinfil) entertained the crowd with some Irish tunes.
Buffalo History Museum executive director Melissa Brown got the proceedings started with a few opening remarks to welcome the crowd.
Noting that he says the same thing every year, BMHOF President Anthony Casuccio spoke on the exceptional group of artists chosen for induction into the Hall of Fame on this 35th anniversary of honouring those who have made musical contributions to the area.
Congressman Brian Higgins also spoke on the great creative contributions and cultural richness musicians have brought to Buffalo and the surrounding area.
Joe and Mark returned to present each of the newest members to the BMHOF.
The Presidents Award went to a man whose music in known to CBS News fans around the nation – composer and theme song writer Wayne Sharpe.
The Legacy Award went to Buffalo drummer extraordinaire Mike Phelps who is not only one of the house musicians at the Sportsman’s Tavern but is also the go to guy whenever a drummer is needed in the studio and on the stage.
For the past 20 years Howie Simon has called Los Angeles home but he owes his musical roots to Buffalo and as one of the newest members of the BMHOF he will be a permanent fixture in the Buffalo music scene.
Dave Schmeidler came on the Buffalo Music scene back in the seventies as a part of the Small Appliance Orchestra. Since then he has lent his guitar playing skills to everything from Celtic Music to Progressive Rock.
Known to many Buffalo residents as the voice of Elvis Presley, Terry Buchwald has performed thousands of times as the rocking musical pioneer, but Buchwald is also known around the area for the thousands of dollars he has raised for charitable causes.
Another distinguished western New York drummer, Jim Linsner is also an in demand instructor and has authored a number of books on drumming.
The only female inductee for 2017, Alison Piptone is a rocker in her own right, but she has also founded Hamburg Music and has raised thousands of dollars for charity including the piano fund at the Coloured Musicians Club.
One of the first composers to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Buffalo native Chauncy Olcott is another one of those artists whose music is far more well known than the man. Olcott’s musical contributions include “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” and “My Wild Irish Rose”.
Chauncey Olcott’s grandson
The first of two groups to be inducted this year The Jumpers join lead singer Terry Sullivan as members of the BMHOF.
Since he broke on to the western New York music scene in 1995 with “I Wanna be Ignorant”, Tom Stahl has become a notable Folkie and storyteller in song. Stahl and his band The Dangerfields round out this years BMHOF inductees.
The 2017 class of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inducteees will be honoured at a gala event on October 5 at the Cardinal O’Hara Performing Arts Center at 39 O’Hara Road in Tonawanda, New York. The event is open to the public and tickets cost $20 each. Tickets are available at buffalomusic.org.
All photos by Sherrill Fulghum
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