Friday, November 30, 2012

Memphis Music Hall of Fame inducts Elvis, Otis Redding, more

Photo: File / The Tennessean
ADRIAN SAINZ?Associated Press/The Tennessean

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is inducting its first class Thursday night with a roster of 25 music greats spanning generations, from rock 'n' roll icon Elvis Presley to Oscar-winning rap group Three 6 Mafia.

The Hall of Fame will also induct blues guitarist B.B. King, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, R&B singers Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes and influential R&B-soul-rock group Booker T. and the MGs.

Sponsored by the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the hall has been in the planning stages for about seven years. All the inductees have strong ties to Memphis, where many soul, blues and rock n' roll pioneers have worked and performed.

Some inductees have ties to Presley, who moved to Memphis from Tupelo, Miss., as a young teenager. They include Sam Phillips, who recorded Elvis' first song, "That's All Right" at Sun Studio in 1954, and Dewey Phillips, the force behind the "Red, Hot and Blue" music show and the first disc jockey to play Elvis songs.

Sam Phillips — no relation to Dewey — also recorded songs by inductees King, bluesmen Bobby "Blue" Bland and Howlin' Wolf, rock n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis and R&B singer Rufus Thomas at Sun Records.

Several musicians have ties to the city's other prominent production studios, including Stax Records, Hi Records and Ardent Studios.

Hayes, Redding and The Staple Singers recorded at Stax Records, helping create the "Memphis Sound." Booker T. and the MGs was the house band at Stax, and also recorded the 1962 classic "Green Onions."

Stax founders Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart are being inducted.

The Staple Singers and fellow inductees ZZ Top, the Southern rock group, recorded at Ardent Studios. Representing Hi Records is Willie Mitchell, a trumpeter and bandleader who ran the studio, and soul singer Al Green.

Memphis-based Three 6 Mafia was the first rap group to take home an Academy Award for Best Original Song for their 2005 song, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."

The hall of fame also is honoring early popular music pioneers such as blues musician and songwriter W.C. Handy — known as "The Father of the Blues" — and Lucie Campbell, a composer of gospel songs who died in 1963.

The inductees were determined by a nominating committee consisting of national authors, historians and music industry representatives. Inductions will be held annually.
Memphis Music Hall of Fame Inductees

Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart — Founders of Stax Records

Bobby "Blue" Bland — Blues singer

Booker T. and The MG's — R&B/soul/rock group

Lucie Campbell — Gospel composer/writer

George Coleman - Jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader

Jim Dickinson - Musician, songwriter, producer

Al Green — R&B/soul singer

W.C. Handy — Blues pioneer

Isaac Hayes — R&B/soul singer

Howlin' Wolf — Blues musician

B.B. King — Blues guitarist

Jerry Lee Lewis — Rock n' roll singer, piano player

Jimmie Lunceford — Band director, orchestra leader

Professor W.T. McDaniel — Music teacher, jazz performer

Memphis Minnie — Blues guitarist, singer

Willie Mitchell — Trumpeter, bandleader; former head of Hi Records

Dewey Phillips — Disc jockey; first to play Elvis Presley

Sam Phillips — Founder of Sun Studio; recorded Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis

Elvis Presley — Rock n' roll singer, actor, international celebrity; known as "The King of Rock n' Roll."

Otis Redding — R&B/soul singer

The Staple Singers — Gospel/soul singers

Rufus Thomas — R&B singer, disc jockey

Three 6 Mafia — Academy Award-winning rap group.

Nat D. Williams — Teacher, editor, disc jockey

ZZ Top — Southern rock band

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