Kansas Music Hall of Fame
You may vote for a total of up to ten acts, or as few as one. They may be chosen from those listed below, or you may “write in” up to three others. Either mail or email your choices to the Hall of Fame by midnight on Saturday, October 1st, 2017. Please include your name, phone number and email address in case there are any questions about your votes. Email your votes to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Kansas Music Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 4957, Topeka, KS 66604. The 2018 inductees will be announced shortly after the above deadline on the Kansas Music Hall of Fame facebook page, and on the website ksmusichalloffame.org. They will be inducted at Liberty Hall in Lawrence on Saturday, April 15th, 2018.
Additional information about many of the nominees listed below can be easily found with an online search.
_____ Alferd Packer Memorial String Band- Lawrence
In 1978, a sculptor and washboard player named Jim Brothers got a postcard with a drawing of Alferd Packer. The Drawing of the infamous 1870's “Colorado Cannibal” looked just like Jim. The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band has now been on the road in middle America for 38 years, playing in at least 130 Kansas towns, underwritten by The Kansas Arts Commission (from 1982 until their demise) and by The Mid-America Arts Alliance. The band performs a lively, engaging stage show with audience involvement that joyously evokes their own musical traditions. 1870's costuming and raucous humor compliment their performance of an eclectic mix of traditional and original songs. The 5 piece multi-instrumentalist band is known for establishing one of the first “tax night” parties in America in 1987. The annual celebration, barn dance, and tax filing gauntlet at the Lawrence Post Office has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg.com, Readers Digest, and the CBS Sunday Morning Show. Their website is www.alferdpackerband.com “Dorothy could have stayed in Kansas! OZ was never as strange as this band” – Bill Geist, CBS Sunday Morning Show.
_____Ted Anderson- Kansas City
Part of the Good Karma stable of acts (Brewer & Shipley, Danny Cox, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, etc.) Ted Anderson plied his trade as a singer/songwriter out of Kansas City for over 30 years. Anderson move to KC in 1969 from Los Angeles, where he'd already cut a single for Capitol Records, and been a member of folk groups such as The Hammer Singers and The Back Porch Majority. He was a perennial opening act for The Ozark Mountain Daredevils during their heyday, and played many famous local venues like The Cowtown Ballroom with regularity. As a songwriter, Anderson's most famous composition is “Seems Like A Long Time”, recorded by both Rod Stewart and Brewer & Shipley. Other songs were recorded by acts including The New Society, Maffit & Davis, and The Hagers. Ted Anderson now lives in Nashville, where he continues to write and record. His latest CD is “Digressions Of A Dogface Cowboy” (2017).
_____Birth- Dodge City
Birth was formed in 1967. A name suggesting the creation of something was decided on in the midst of the psychedelic era by four friends who had grown up together almost from the cradle in Dodge City KS, and are still playing together today. Once they'd seen The Beatles on the “Ed Sullivan Show” they were never the same. Putting a band together was the next step and with time, determination and help from parents and friends, they began playing school dances, VFW, Elks Clubs, Church dances, proms, parties, picnics, school lyceums, and later on in local clubs as well as hosting their own dances by renting local venues. In their early teens when they started performing together, the same four friends now have all reached their sixties.
They are: Bill Warshaw, Dodge City KS, Drums and Percussion, Chris Cave, Dallas TX , Organ, Harmonica & Vocals, Jon Jambor, Lawrence KS, Fender Bass & Vocals, and Lewis Mock, Colorado Springs CO, Lead Guitar & Vocals. Playing together for a lifetime, this little garage band from Dodge City KS still brings people together for great times and great memories.
_____Bureman & O'Rourke- Kansas City
Bruce Bureman and Tim O'Rourke have been bringing their special vocal blend and musical stylings to both KC area and national audiences since 1964. Performing under several band names over the years, with many great local musicians, they are once again Bureman & O'Rourke. Bruce and Tim were drafted into the Army, and ended up at the same post in Ft. Mead, MD, playing gigs during nights and on weekends. They performed at an Armed Forces Music Festival, with headliner Roy Clark and master of ceremonies Ed Sullivan, before top brass and an audience of thousands. Back in KC during the 70's, Bruce and Tim formed a band with bassist Bob Schad and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Mark Higbee (KMHoF inductee) that was very successful both locally, and for notable runs in Reno and Lake Tahoe, NV. A live album ,“Strawberry Pickins” resulted during the 70's, as did a 1976 studio LP “Somebody Give Me A Smile”. Composed mostly of original songs by Bruce and Tim, the additional session players included Lynn Pillar (steel guitar) Eric Bikales (keyboards) Peter Jacobs (drums) and Allen Blasco (guitarist, multi- instrumentalist, producer) all of whom are KMHoF inductees. A 45 single, “Pleasure to Love” b/w “Foolsgold” was released in 1979. Bureman & O'Rourke's latest production, the 2013 CD “Shoulder To Shoulder” features 100% original songs by the duo. Along with the usual great session players, longtime friends and KMHoF inductees Brewer & Shipley are guest vocalists on the title track.
_____ Calvin Coolidge- Kansas City
Calvin Coolidge is the fifth cousin of our 30th President, and he's as carefully calibrated in his comedy as was his famous relative in political life. It all started in the mid-60's when he opened a teenage club in downtown Overland Park named “Cal's Place” that featured his group Calvin Coolidge & The Presidents, along with many up and coming KC bands of the time. In the years since, Calvin has developed his own unique combination of music and comedy that's guaranteed to please pretty much everyone. After an evening with Calvin, a room full of strangers suddenly become old friends. He's opened for such diverse acts as Doc Severinsen, The Beach Boys, Barbara Mandrell, Connie Stevens, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Three Dog Night, Frankie Avalon, George Jones, Helen Reddy and Fabian.
_____Dana Cooper- Kansas City
Highly literate lyrics are set to energetic folk-rock arrangements by Nashville-based Dana Cooper. Recording with Shake Russell in the late ‘70s and with his own rock band, Dana Cooper's DC3, in the ‘80s, Cooper has returned to the intimate, acoustic guitar-backed sounds of his early performances. Dana first attracted attention when he performed in KC folk clubs City at the age of 16. Dropping out of college and moving to L.A., he caused a stir with his poetry-like songs. A self-titled album was released by Elektra Records in ’73, and Cooper moved to Nashville in ’88.
Crosswind was first organized in 1978 and last performed in 2008. Several musicians can claim membership in this band. The most popular line-up was Steve Hinrichs, Max Davidson, Jim Hedman, Ronnie Noe, and Tom Wiley. Other members included Doug Boatright, Dana Brown, Mike Goodwin, Joel Cunningham, Russ Rudy, Mike McAdams, Sonny Bass, and Rick Pontallion.
_____John Dale- Topeka
Originally from Iola, Jim Dale graduated from Emporia State Teachers College. While a student in Emporia, he cut his first record, a 1959 single on Inner-Glo Records called "Guitar Pickin’ Man", on which he called himself Jimmie Dee. The song's co-writer, Chuck Cowan, sang the flipside. Dale was a seventh and eight grade teacher and coach in Madison when he recorded "VW" in 1963, backed by the Lawrence band the Comancheros who’s instrumental "TP" was on the other side. By early 1965, Dale put out another record called "Who'll Be The Fool Of The Year” on Command Records. In June of 1965, Monument Records released a 45 on Jim Dale- a rock version of the old folksong “Mountain Dew.” The record was recorded in Nashville, and featured Ray Stevens, Floyd Cramer and drummer Jerry Carrigan. While the song received a lot of airplay, it failed to reach the national music charts. Three University of Kansas coeds, including the reigning Miss Kansas, Cathy Bergstrom of KC, toured the country with Dale to promote Mountain Dew. Jim's back up band in 1965 was called the Goldfingers.
_____Dixie Cadillacs- Kansas City
The Dixie Cadillacs have shared their musical skills on many stages in many countries through out the world. Their songs have charted on the Billboard Top 100 and music videos have received world wide appeal. Sharing stages with some of the best in the business over the last 30 years, they have garnered “best of awards” locally, Nationally as well as within the music industry; from fairs to colleges to clubs, festivals and concert stages the Dixie Cadillacs have delivered their roots-driven country based feel good dance music to the delight of audiences from Canada to Puerto Rico and across the Europe and the US. Whether playing an original tune or an audience favorite, the Cadillacs continue to be elite entertainers.
This quartet is usually called a punk band, but the band describes themselves as “Blister Pop.” From 1979-1983 they were the most popular band in the state, but stopped performing when two of the members decided to move to Boston. The band has had several reunion concerts.
_____The Euphoria Stringband- Lawrence
The Euphoria Stringband has performed at contra dances, festivals, and in concert halls throughout Kansas and the mid-west since 1987. Euphoria started off as mainly as an old time stringband, heavily influenced by Country music legends such as Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon, Gid Tannder and the Skilletlickers, and The Highwoods Stringband. Euphoria merged all those influences together to create their own sound. Over the years and through personnel changes, the band has stayed true to its original sound, while allowing elements of Blues, Irish, Folk, Jug Band, Country, and Rock into the mix. The band has performed such great festivals as The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, and The Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in Battle Ground, IN. They have performed live on radio stations such as KANU (now KPR) and KKFI over the years. Euphoria won the Ensemble Folk Singing Award at the 2000 Kansas Fiddling and Picking Championship. Visit their website at www. euphoriastringband for more information.
_____EZ Pieces- Topeka
After more than three decades as a band, EZ Pieces claim to fame is endless diversity, and the ability to entertain any audience at every event. Whether you prefer rock rock reggae, country or calypso, swing or salsa, ballads or the blues, EZ Pieces can deliver.
_____Get Smart- Lawrence/Chicago
Get Smart was a three piece band formed in Lawrence in 1980 consisting of Marc Koch, Lisa Wertman Crowe and Frank Loose. The band formed while at KU and, along with bands like the Embarrassment and the Mortal Micronotz, they were prominent in the local alternative music scene. They released their first record in ‘81, which was a flexi disc released with Talk Talk magazine. This was followed by self-released 4-track EP. Next was a four band split cassette. In ‘82 they relocated to Chicago.
_____Bill Glenn- Wichita
Bill Glenn started his professional career in the late 60's, playing in various rock and show bands throughout the mid-west (Last Free Exit, Spider & The Crabs, etc.) . Joining the Army Band program in 1971, Bill was a top honor graduate of the Armed Forces School of Music. After a tour in the military came college at Wichita State University, where he graduated with a percussion performance degree. Following college, Bill toured nationally with multiple lounge and show bands (The Jesse Lopez Show). In 1981, an audition landed him a touring position with international recording artists The Lettermen, which lasted until 2012. As a freelance artist, Bill has performed with The Wichita Jazz Orchestra, Music Theater of Wichita, Dan Hearle, Don Lanphere, Hank Mobley, Mose Allison, Martha Loren, Eddie Daniels, Alan Wise, George Graham, Glenn Holmes, Craig Owens, Rich Matteson, Jerry Hahn, Mike Steinel, Dawayne Bailey, The Four Lads, The Ink Spots, and Wayne Newton. Bill has been teaching at Friends University since 2011.
_____Freedy Johnston- Kinsley
A New York City-based singer-songwriter originally from Kinsley, Freedy has scored several minor hits since the early ‘90s. Johnston's songs are often about troubled loners, and cover topics like heartbreak, alienation and disappointment. Known for the craftsmanship of his songs, he has been described as a "songwriter's songwriter."
_____Magic Kitchen- Pittsburg
Little is known about this late 60’s horn band, except that at least some members went to Pittsburg State Univerity, and the lead guitarist was Steve Gains, who with his sister Cassie, went on to join Lynard Skynard. Lasting for about a year, people who saw them perform live called them legendary. Additional known members were Rob Withrow (guitar), Mark Marcono (keys), Ronnie Brooks (drums) and two brothers with the last name of Poole.
_____ Ida McBeth- Kansas City
Ida's musical style is so unique that it's hard to classify. Over the years her repertoire has included Pop style ballads, Jazz and Blues, Show Tunes, Funk, R&B,gospel, and well known Standards. By the age of five, Ida McBeth knew she wanted to be a singer. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Ida was provided early exposure to a variety of talented vocalists by her mother. Today, some 30 years and five albums later, the critics still laud the talents of Ida McBeth. The New York Times applauded her “technique, taste and sass... her precise intuition, guts and raw confidence.” And Ida’s lithesome vocals continue to embrace the subtleties of jazz, pop, blues and soul, both in her home base of Kansas City and on the road.
_____Julia Lee- Kansas City
Julia Lee was raised in Kansas City and began her musical career around 1920, singing and playing in her brother’s band. She first recorded on the Merritt label in 1927 with KMHoF inductee Jesse Stone, and launched a solo career in 1935. 1n 1944 she joined Capitol Records for a string of R&B hits, including “Snatch and Grab It” and “King Size Papa.” She became known for her trademark double entendre songs. Although her hits dried up after 1949, she continued as one of the most popular performers in KC until her 1958 death in California from a heart attack at the age of 56.
_____Kevin Mahogany- Kansas City
Jazz singer Kevin Mahogany gained prominence in the 90s, but he’d been performing with KC bands since he was in high school. After graduating from Baker University in 1981 he returned to Kansas City and fronted The Apollos and Mahogany. His first solo release was in 1993 and prompted Newsweek to call him “the standout Jazz vocalist of his generation.” Well known for his “scat” singing, he now makes his home in Europe.
_____Midnight Flyer- Hays
Formed in 1979 and lasting until 1983, Midnight Flyer featured musician/singer/songwriters at the top of their craft. Bandleader, lead vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter Jack Trice brought his talents and signature style to both of the band's albums, “First Flight” (1980), and “A Quart Short And Three Bricks Shy” (1981). The group was rounded out by bassist/composer Leon Holl, drummer/percussionist Dean Kranzler, and organist/keyboardist Paul Draper. Their instrumental expertise was such that they all served as session players at Sunset Recording Studios in Hays KS. Given their exceptional prowess in the studio, nothing could compare with seeing Midnight Flyer live. Weather they were playing private parties, clubs, festivals, motorcycle rallies, etc., the band delivered energy, enthusiasm, improvisation, and artistry to every show as they toured Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Except for the late Leon Holl, who passed in 2011, all the members of Midnight Flyer continue to make music together and separately, as they have for the past 30-plus years.
_______Ricky Dean Sinatra- Lawrence
Out of a lot of Kansas bands in the late 1980s, Ricky Dean Sinatra is one of the most original, popular, and enduring bands from that era. Alan Murphy (aka Ricky Dean) is not only a terrific front man but a great stream of conciseness type of unique poet/songwriter. Mark Roseberry (aka Dewy Mantini) is an original guitar player and Rock 'n Roll poet in his own right. Shaw Wilson (aka Clovis Salvadore) is one of the most inventive drummers and went on to co-found the Country music group BR5-49. In the late 1980's into the early 90's, Ricky Dean Sinatra was the toast of Lawrence, with many newspaper articles, TV appearances, and huge crowds wherever they played. They were part of a recent documentary by Lawrence filmmaker Chris Snipes which was broadcast on Lawrence cable TV, and also on KC Public Television station KCPT. A 2010 CD release with 21 songs,“Galaxy of Love” documents the band's heyday. Ricky Dean Sinatra is undoubtedly part of the great story of Kansas music.
_____The Scamps- Kansas City
The origins of the Scamps go back to the late 30s and a CCC camp in Parsons. There, workers Earl Robinson (from Kansas City) and James Whitcomb (from Baxter Springs), along with two others, would entertain to pass the time. As time went on, the unremembered two would be replaced by brothers Wyatt and Torrence Griffin (two more KC residents). The personnel changed many times over the years, but this group continued to entertain with their enthusiastic style of jazz, a bluesy flow and swing that created great dance music regardless of the tempo. When the group lost its long-time front man “Lucky” Wesley, the group folded.
______The Secrets*- Kansas City
The Secrets* (Brent Hoad, Steve Davis, Norm Dahlor and Pat Tomek) released a 1979 single on Kansas City's Titan Records. Only 1000 copies of "It's Your Heart Tonight" b/w "Get Your Radio", two Hoad songs, were pressed and were quickly gone. The Secrets* were a good match for the power pop record company, but the one single is all they ever did for Titan. The band had a song on KY102's "Homegrown 1980" album. A couple of years later, the Secrets* did another single and an album for Canada's Quality label. In the band's six year history, the only personnel change was when Tomek left to join Kansas City's Rainmakers and later the Bombpops. Randy Miller replaced Tomek on drums.
_____The Shyster Mountain Gang- Topeka
The Shyster Mountain Gang has been performing in Topeka and NE Kansas for more than 25 years. Their engagements have included Wheatstock, The Apple Festival, Cider Days, Elmont Opry, various Bluegrass festivals, The State Historical Museum, coffehouses, state and local fairs, conventions, etc. In 2014, they received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Wheatstock. The group originally consisted of four attorneys, and were known as the Shyster Mountain Boys. In 1997, the name was changed to The Shyster Mountain Gang. Over the years, the group has worked with numerous notable musicians in the Bluegrass field.
Formed in Dorrance, KS when they were still in high school, Submytion relocated to Hays KS, where they studied at Ft. Hays State University. Submytion was known for high energy 80's covers, with powerful vocals, electrifying musicianship, catchy originals, and a riveting stage presence. Developing a large fan base over their 15 years together, they played shows as far west as Coronado Island CA, and as far east as Pisa, Italy. Submytion appeared with bands such as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Kansas, Night Ranger, The Romantics, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Extreme, LA Guns, Dream Theater, plus many more. They were honored to be selected by the Department of Defense to perform for American troops stationed in Germany and Italy in 1989. Their first original 10 song CD “Finally” was released in 1992, when the band relocated to Kansas City. Rodell Records stated: “The tunes are hook-laden, full of infectious riffs, and the band never seems to run out of concentrated grooves”. The second CD “heart of Darkness” followed in 1993, which included the song “Circles”, also featured on a nationally released compilation CD “Raw Cuts Encore”.
_____Tony Teebo- Fort Scott
Tony was a 2009 KMHoF inductee as a member of the Sensational Showmen (1972-4), but he's spent most of his career in music as a solo artist with many singles and albums, in addition to extensive success with commercials, TV, and movie soundtracks worldwide. Starting in 1963 after a stint with the USAF, he formed The Aardvarks which had a large midwest following for five years. In 1968, he formed The New Survivors, who recorded “The Pickle Protest” for the Kan-Wic label out of Wichita. The single was quickly picked up by Scepter Records (NY), and is still selling online. In 1974, Teebo graduated with a degree in K-12 teaching from Pittsburg State. In 1974, he signed with GRT Nashville, where he recorded such hits as “Alabama Summershine”, “Something Old, Something New” and “Rock & Roll Cowboy”, which topped the Canadian charts. In 1980, his recording of “Welcome Home” was played at the White House for the returning Iran hostages. He currently lives in Branson, MO, where he continues to write and record. His latest albums, “Small Consolation” and “Earth Touch” came out in 2015.
_____The Thingies- Topeka
Larry Miller was an Air Force brat, moving from base to base with his family. After graduating from high school in Abilene, TX. Larry joined the Air Force and went to basic training in Chicago, where he met John Rotham, a veteran of Bobby Vee's backup band. Sent to Topeka by the Air Force in late 1962, Miller put together a surf band called TR4. TR4 was a popular act, but by 1964 music was changing and so was the band. By the years end, TR4 had become the Coachmen. Another name change came the next summer when the guys were on their way to Kansas City to do some shopping. Inspired by a scene in the Beatles movie Help the band decided to become the Horrible Evil Thingies, which was soon shortened to The Thingies. The band's lineup at this point was Larry Miller (bass), John Dalton (lead gtr.), Gordon Marcellus (drums), Phill Weaver (lead vocals) and Ernie Swisher (organ). The Thingies quickly became one of the top band in Topeka, and like many of the others in town began to think about recording. In early 1966 a 45 was released on the local Casino label. "It's Been A Long Way Down b/w "Merry Go Round Of Life" got airplay on the Topeka radio station KEWI and KTOP. In 1968 the band broke up. The Thingies are available on CD today with material they recorded throughout their short existence, much of what was never released back in the day.
Together started as a cover band in the mid 60's known as The Renegades. Starting with R&B and Surf music, through The Beatles and Rolling Stones, they became a popular attraction, with a solid, loyal following in the mid west. The band at the time consisted of Bob Garrett (vocals, keyboards), Terry Gerkovich (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Rod Mikinski (bass) and Tom Rejba (vocals, percussion). In 1969, they changed their name to Together, after adding John O'Reagan (drums) and Bill Lynch (vocals, guitar, keyboards). They also changed their sound, growing artistically and developing a unique musical identity that included original songs. Together was very savvy in playing crowd pleasing offerings while also exploring lesser known material and bringing their audience along with them. The band's first big gig was opening for Vanilla Fudge at Memorial Hall, KC, KS. Later that same year, they played the KUDL Fun Fair at KC Municipal Auditorium, with the likes of The Steve Miller Band and Strawberry Alarm Clock. Late in 1969, Together topped off an amazing first year by opening for Johnny Winter at Memorial Hall. The band continued into the '70's with other memorable gigs such as opening for Canned Heat, The Tokens, playing for 8,000 people in front of Allen Field house at a 1970 anti-war rally, and for 5,000 people at Veishea Day in Ames, Iowa, plus a myriad of colleges, clubs, schools and concerts over a five state area in the mid west. From day one as a band, Together will be remembered for their all consuming commitment to live performance excellence.
_____Upside Dawne- Lawrence
The band did an album at Audio House, Lawrence KS in 1967. Essentially playing what is now known as “garage rock” (but with horns) Upside Dawne included vocalist/trumpet player Garth Fundis, currently a major league Nashville record producer. Members of this band evolved into the group Tide, who were 2013 KMHoF inductees.
_____Kelly Werts- Junction City
Kelly Werts has performed traditional and popular music throughout the Midwest for nearly thirty years. Kelly’s vocal and highly-individual guitar styles stem from a broad background of musical interests ranging from old-time folk music to blues and country. He has worked regionally with singers such as Connie Dover, Ann Zimmerman and Ashley Davis, as well as The Plaid Family, The Sons of Rayon, and more recently, Tiny Flowers. He has appeared at the Walnut Valley Festival several times with the Plaid Family and in a duo with his wife, accordion player Diana Werts, and will appear solo in 2016. Kelly’s music has also been featured in movies and television, notably the theme music to the KCPT-TV syndicated series on PBS, “Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations”. He placed twice in the National Fingerpicking Championship at Winfield, after winning the Kansas State Fingerpicking Championship. Kelly grew up in Junction City, has lived in Wichita, and currently lives in Fairway, part of the Kansas City metro area.
_____Lee Wright- St. John
Lee Wright always sang as a child in central Kansas, but was inspired to learn an instrument after seeing Peter, Paul & Mary perform for the first time. He was a major force in the birth of a creative and vibrant folk community in northeast Kansas in the 60's and 70's, producing benefit concerts, hootenannies, and musical get-togethers in Topeka. He also taught a class on folk music at Washburn University. Lee's CD, “Love to Love to Love” spans 37 years of his musical journey, and includes songs about family, hardship, hopes and dreams, summer days, and Christmas.
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