2011 Inductees

 

2011 Inductees
Count Basie Central Standard Time James Gadson Rudy Love
Pat McJimsey Charlie Parker The Rainmakers Riverrock
Bobby Watson Jimmy Wilson Chely Wright
Garth Fundis Jesse Stone

Directors Award:
Garth Fundis

Bob Hapgood Award:
Jesse Stone

Count Basie
 

Count Basie
Wikipedia

William “Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 — April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie’s theme songs were “One O’Clock Jump” and “April In Paris”.

Kansas City Years — The following year, Basie became the pianist with the Bennie Moten band based in Kansas City, inspired by Moten’s ambition to raise his band to the level of Duke Ellington’s or Fletcher Henderson’s. Where the Blue Devils were “snappier” and more “bluesy,” the Moten band was classier and more respected, and played in the “Kansas City stomp” style. In addition to playing piano, Basie was co-arranger with Eddie Durham, who actually did the notating. During a stay in Chicago, Basie recorded with the band. He occasionally played four-hand piano and dual pianos with Moten, who also conducted. The band improved with several personnel changes, including the addition of tenor saxophonist Ben Webster.

Central Standard Time
Central Standard Time
website

Central Standard Time evolved out of the last of the original Red Dogs in January of 1970. Kent Leopold, Evan Johnson, Randy Shaw, Bob Meyerhoeffer, Roger Walls and Richard Tade were all members of the last original Roarin’ Red Dogs Band when they decided to leave the mid-west on their quest to make it big in the music business. Since not all of the Red Dogs wanted to make this move, Mitch Bible, Mike Redd and Larry Church were added to the band that would soon become Central Standard Time. Kent Leopold and Evan Johnson were the leadership behind the band that landed the band it’s first gig in Boston in February of 1970. Before leaving Kansas, the band changed it’s name to Central Standard Time.
Below are the original members of Central Standard Time, instruments played and home town.

Kent Leopold – Sax and Flute (Coffeeville, Kansas)
Evan Johnson – Drums (Topeka, Kansas)
Bob Meyerhoeffer – Vocals & Guitar (Hastings, Nebraska)
Randy Shaw – Drums and Vocals (Council Grove, Kansas)
Mike Redd – Bass Guitar and Vocals (Wichita, Kansas)
Richard Tade – Hammond B-3 & Piano (Wichita, Kansas)
Mitch Bible – Lead Guitar and Vocals (Mulvane, Kansas)
Roger Walls – Trumpet & Vocals (Rose Hill, Kansas)
Larry Church – Trumpet (Wichita, Kansas)

Below are CST band members that played in later editions of the band.
Bob Eckhoff (trumpet)
Greg Ayers (trombone)
Doug Owen (vocals)
Jim Doherty (drums)
Dave Ferguson (lead guitar)
Moose (drums)
Robbie Barker (organ)

James Gadson
James Gadson

Drummer, producer, singer, and songwriter — James was born in Kansas City, MO, in 1939. As a teen he naturally took to the drums with the influence of his father Harold, who was a drummer in the legendary Kansas City scene. James eventually found his way to L.A. and joined the legendary 60’s funky soul group, Dyke & the Blazers, where he laid down drums on “let a woman be a woman” which later would be sampled by the Bomb Squad for Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrodome.” After Dyke’s tragic murder and still in L.A., he and other members of the Blazers would end up forming The Watts 103rd Street Band and with the help of Bill Cosby hooked a record deal with Warner Bros. He wrote and sang on some songs like the soulful “dance a kiss & a song”. He played on the best known 103rd Street cuts like “Express yourself,” which was sampled by Dre for NWA’s “Express Yourself”. This was just the beginning for Gadson’s prolific career, which next found him in the mix with Bill Withers producing, writing, and playing on the soulcessful Still Bill LP, which featured “Use Me,” “Lean on Me,” and the funky “Kissing my Love,” which has been sampled to no end. The Jungle Brothers cut up his drums live for “Straight out the Jungle.” From there he became one the most sought out studio drummers, playing on 300 gold records at last count, though you would never suspect it from his ever-humble disposition. He played on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s get it on,” the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Herbie Hancock’s Manchild, and most recently Beck, Paul McCartney, and Ray Charles discs. Currently he is doing more sessions and is a founding drummer of the Keepintime project with photographer B+.

Rudy Love
Rudy Love
biography

Rudy Love & the Love Family were a sibling group headed by older brother Rudy. Over the years, non-siblings performed under the name, but Rudy remained the driving force; Love Family blood members are Bob, Gerald, Peggy, Denise, and Shirley. Rudy was born September 15, 1948, in Oklahoma and the family moved to Wichita, KS; it was a large brood as Rudy has 14 brothers and sisters.

He developed a love for singing and performing from his gospel singing/musician father, Robert, and went from there. A touring singer, Robert crisscrossed the country as a performing musician with gospel and R&B artists. Rudy, the eldest son, became the man of the house while dad was away playing. Through his father, Rudy met many of the top names in music when they passed through Wichita. He formed his first group in grade school and went through many others before settling on Rudy Love & the Love Family in college. The group performed locally, but didn’t record since Wichita wasn’t and isn’t exactly a music mecca.

Pat McJimsey
Pat McJimsey
website

Wichita’s Pat McJimsey began heading up bands at the age of 17 with Velvet Honey. Later he formed the Bear Valley Blues, the Entire British Navy and Four Brothers. Pat toured with John Manning, Finnegan & Wood, Leon Russell and Freddy King. Upon his death the PAT (Performers Assistance Trust) was established by the Wichita Blues Society to offer financial help to musicians who can’ t play due to major illness, accident or medical emergency or to their survivors to help with final expenses.

Shortly before his death and due to many requests from his fans, Pat McJimsey digitally re-mastered the “I Dig Girls” Album originally released in the 80’s.

He was very excited about this re-release and had plans to come out with a new, “all blues album”, later in the year. Thanks to the magic of the internet, and the devotion of his family and friends, Pat’s extrordinary talent lives on to be experienced here by old and new fans alike.

Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
wikipedia

Childhood — Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Charles and Addie Parker. Charles, an alcoholic, was often absent. Parker attended Lincoln High School. He enrolled in September 1934 and withdrew in December 1935 about the time he joined the local Musicians Union.

Parker displayed no sign of musical talent as a child. His father presumably provided some musical influence; he was a pianist, dancer and singer on the T.O.B.A. circuit, although he later became a Pullman waiter or chef on the railways. His mother worked nights at the local Western Union. His biggest influence however was a young trombone player who taught him the basics of improvisation.

Parker began playing the saxophone at age 11 and at age 14 joined his school’s band using a rented school instrument. One story holds that, without formal training, he was terrible, and thrown out of the band. Experiencing periodic setbacks of this sort, at one point he broke off from his constant practicing.

Early career — It has been said that, in early 1936, Parker participated in a ‘cutting contest’ that included Jo Jones on drums, who tossed a cymbal at Parker’s feet in impatience with his playing. However, in the numerous interviews throughout his life, Jones made no mention of this incident. At this time Parker began to practice with great diligence and rigor, learning the blues, “Cherokee” and “rhythm changes” in all twelve keys. In this woodshedding period, Parker mastered improvisation and developed some of the ideas of be-bop. In an interview with Paul Desmond, he said he spent 3–4 years practicing up to 15 hours a day. It has been said that he used to play many other tunes in all twelve keys. The story, though undocumented, would help to explain the fact that he often played in unconventional concert pitch key signatures, like E (which transposes to C# for the alto sax).

Groups led by Count Basie and Bennie Moten were the leading Kansas City ensembles, and undoubtedly influenced Parker. He continued to play with local bands in jazz clubs around Kansas City, Missouri, where he perfected his technique with the assistance of Buster Smith, whose dynamic transitions to double and triple time certainly influenced Parker’s developing style.

In 1938, Parker joined pianist Jay McShann’s territory band. The band toured nightclubs and other venues of the southwest, as well as Chicago and New York City. Parker made his professional recording debut with McShann’s band. It was said at one point in McShann’s band that he “sounded like a machine”, owing to his highly virtuosic yet nonetheless musical playing.

As a teenager, Parker developed a morphine addiction while in hospital after an automobile accident, and subsequently became addicted to heroin. Heroin would haunt him throughout his life and ultimately contribute to his death.

The Rainmakers
The Rainmakers
website

Missouri has long boasted of being the home of two of America’s greatest artists, Mark Twain and Chuck Berry. However, it wasn’t until The Rainmakers thundered into the national music spotlight in 1986, had anyone combined the guitar power of Berry with the social wit of Twain into a unique brand of Missouri rock n’ roll.

Originally formed in 1983 as a 3-piece bar band known as “Steve, Bob, & Rich,” these Kansas City rockers became an instant favorite throughout the Midwest. Soon, fans were standing in line to see this trio they described as “energetic,” “intense,” but most importantly “fun.” Within months of finishing their first independent release, “Steve, Bob, and Rich” had signed a multi-album contract with Polygram Records, added a fourth member, and had changed their name to The Rainmakers.

Heralded as “America’s Great Next Band” by Newsday, The Rainmakers were soon drenched in critical acclaim. Feature articles in Newsweek, Rolling Stone, CMJ, USA Today and others poured in singing the praises of this hard working Midwest band who provided new life to a traditional rock format.

Critics particularly enjoyed the unique writing style of Bob Walkenhorst, whose talent for choosing unusual and sometimes controversial subjects provided an eye-opening perspective of life, sprinkled with sarcastic humor. The Rainmakers received notoriety for their songs’ lyrical content, including Music Connection’s award for Lyric Line of the Year: “The generation that would change the world is still looking for its car keys,” and in the unlikely source of author Stephen King, who twice quoted lyrics from Rainmakers songs in his best seller “The Tommyknockers,” and again in his 1991 novel “Gerald’s Game.”

But success did not stop at the U.S. borders, as European countries supported the band increasingly with each new release. The song “Let My People Go-Go” gave the Rainmakers their first Top-20 single on the British charts. Critics abroad sang the band’s praises, with feature articles in New Musical Express, Kerrang, Rock Power, etc. Frequently, The Rainmakers could be spotted on European television with live appearances on “Top Of The Pops,” and “The Tube,” and video play on MTV Europe.

European concert dates grew in number each year, with The Rainmakers often enjoying headline status on festival bills. Their reputation as an electrifying concert act eventually led to the recording of a live album at a sold-out show in Oslo, Norway for release solely in Scandinavian markets.

In 1990, after 4 albums, 5 videos, 500,000+ records sold, and concert dates too numerous to count, The Rainmakers put band business on hold to allow time for their personal lives and agendas. In 1994, the band returned to the studio to record a new album, entitled “Flirting With The Universe” – an album which achieved GOLD certification in Norway within 2 months of release.

Overwhelmed by the response to “Flirting…,” The Rainmakers reemerged from the studio in 1996 with “Skin.” With this effort, Bob Walkenhorst has again proved that no subject matter is too controversial by taking aim at pornography and its societal impact, via his unique perspectives – a Rainmakers trademark. A release, which in true Rainmaker form, is designed to provoke.

The Rainmakers are: Bob Walkenhorst (Vocals, Guitar); Steve Phillips (Lead Guitar, Vocals); Michael Bliss (Bass, Vocals); Pat Tomek (Drums)

Riverrock
Riverrock
website

Riverrock is “one of the most popular bands in Kansas City History,” says the Kansas City Star/Times. Since 1974, Riverrock has been a name country music fans could count on for an exciting show of hot pickin’, tight harmonies and spontaneous fun. They have shared the stage with dozens of recording stars, the likes of Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Hank Williams, Jr., Alabama, Suzy Bogguss, The Oak Ridge Boys, Minnie Pearl, Charlie Daniels, Wanda Jackson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tanya Tucker, Tracy Byrd and Emmylou Harris. Many of these performances were at state and county fairs, concert halls, music festivals, rodeos, college campuses and popular night clubs.

Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson
website

Best known for his work in the Jazz Messengers and Horizon, this post-bop alto saxophonist has recorded 26 albums as a bandleader and plays on nearly 100 others. He moved home to Kansas City in 2000 and currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at UMKC. He still manages to balance live engagements around the world with teaching.

Jimmy Wilson
Jimmy Wilson

Saxophonist Jimmy Wilson has been part of the NE Kansas music scene for many years, beginning with Larry Emmett & The Sliders in the late Fifties. In the Seventies, he was part Lawrence’s Used Parts and other groups. More recently he has spent several years playing in Johnny I & The Receders.

Chely Wright
Chely Wright
website

Lifted off the Ground may be Chely Wright’s seventh album, but on a number of levels it feels and sounds like her first, revealing an artist who has undergone a dramatic artistic transformation, emerging as a singer/songwriter of the first order. But the new album would never have come to be were it not for an equally dramatic personal transformation, which she has candidly and painstakingly documented. Lifted Off the Ground will be released on Vanguard Records May 4, the same day Random House publishes Wright’s autobiography, Like Me.

Garth Fundis
Garth Fundis
biography

An independent record producer, Fundis’ credits include some of country music’s cream of the crop; Trisha Yearwood, Keith Whitley, Don Williams, Sugarland, Terri Clark, Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris as well as New Grass Revival, Doc and Merle Watson, Sheryl Crow and Townes Van Zandt. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for NARAS (01-03), past Trustee and President of the Nashville Chapter, serves on the boards of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, Alumnus of Leadership Music. Fundis owns the renowned Sound Emporium Recording Studios. His latest project with Trisha Yearwood, “Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love” is scheduled for release on November 13, 2007 on Big Machine Records.

Jesse Stone
Jesse Stone
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (2010)

Born in Kansas, Jesse Stone began performing in his family’s minstrel show at the age of four. By the Twenties he was leading a jazz band that included saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, a future jazz legend. Jesse Stone and His Blue Serenaders became a fixture on the Kansas City jazz scene.

Jesse Stone was one of the greatest songwriters of the rhythm & blues and rock and roll era. Much of his best-known work was done at Atlantic Records, where he wrote, arranged and played on some key sessions. For the Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, he came up with “Money Honey,” which topped the R&B and pop charts for 11 weeks in 1953 and was covered by Elvis Presley early in his career. Another of Stone’s songs – “Sh-Boom,” by the Chords — was a doo-wop classic from 1954. “Shake, Rattle and Roll” – recorded by Big Joe Turner, Bill Haley and His Comets, and many others – became a turning point in early rock and roll history. The song served as a bridge to R&B for white teenagers, who accepted it as rock and roll.

Another standout from the era, “Your Cash Ain’t Nothing But Trash,” was a hit for the Clovers. As a musician, Stone led the house band on Chuck Wills’ rocking update of blues singer Ma Rainey’s “C.C. Rider.” On the jazz side, he wrote “Idaho,” which became a standard. Benny Goodman’s version topped the charts and Guy Lombardo’s version reportedly sold more than 3 million copies. Stone penned “Smack Dab in the Middle,” which became the signature song of Joe Williams.