Clear your calendars, because the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental just announced its second induction ceremony this year, with Joe Bonamassa and Warren Haynes on hand to keep the music coming.
On December 3, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame will host the inductions of ’70s rock/fusion guitarist Tommy Bolin; award-winning blues pioneer Otis Taylor; Zephyr and its dynamic lead singer, Candy Givens; Colorado legends Freddi & Henchi, “The Crown Princes of Funk;” legendary concert promoter Tony Spicola; and Colorado music journalist Wendy “Rock & Roll” Kale.
The ceremony at the Mission Ballroom will include performances by David and Anna Givens, the Otis Taylor Band, Freddie Gowdy and members of the Freddi & Henchi Band (backed by Chris Daniels and the Kings), and the Tommy Bolin Tribute Band, featuring such former members of Tommy Bolin’s band as Stanley Sheldon (longtime member of the Peter Frampton Band), Johnnie Bolin (Tommy’s brother and a member of Black Oak Arkansas), Max Carl (current lead singer of Grand Funk Railroad and former singer for 38 Special), Bobby Berge (formerly of Zephyr and the Buddy Miles Band), Lucas Parker, Jeff Cook (co-writer with Tommy Bolin) and Joey Porter (keyboard wiz from The Motet), along with special guests Joe Bonamassa and Warren Haynes.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. December 3 at the Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop Street, with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. MDT October 25, through AXS.com.
This induction ceremony follows the November 9 inductions of Swallow Hill, the Mother Folkers, Dick Weissman and Walt Conley at a fortieth-anniversary celebration for Swallow Hill at the Central Presbyterian Church. That evening will include performances by twenty current and former members of the Mother Folkers, including Mary Flower, Liz Barnez, Mollie O’Brien, Carla Sciaky and a cast of the most prominent women in folk; additional guest performers and acts will include Harry Tuft, Weissman, a tribute to Walt Conley and much more.
Doors open at 6 p.m.; tickets are now on sale here.
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The Colorado Music Hall of Fame was founded to honor musicians, individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the music scene, to preserve and protect historical artifacts, and to educate the public regarding everything that is great about Colorado music. Previous inductees include John Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, five-time Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, Philip Bailey from Earth Wind & Fire, swing-era giant Glenn Miller, KBCO radio, Harry Tuft, promoter Barry Fey of Family Dog fame, Firefall, the Astronauts, Flash Cadillac, KIMN radio, folk legend Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind, Chris Daniels, Stephen Stills/Manassas, Poco, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many more.
Keep reading for more on the 2019 inductees from the CMHOF.
Tommy Bolin’s meteoric assent to fame began with his role as guitarist for Zephyr; in addition to working as a solo artist, he later replaced Joe Walsh in the James Gang and worked with Deep Purple and such jazz-fusion icons as Billy Cobham (at the age of 22, Bolin played on Cobham’s award-winning album Spectrum). He passed away in 1976, but his music lives on.
Zephyr, with Candy and David Givens, John Farris, Robbie Chamberlin and Tommy Bolin, produced the first psychedelic-rock superstars to come out of Colorado in the 1970s. (Candy Givens has often been compared favorably to Janis Joplin, and Zephyr’s appearances with Jimi Hendrix were highlights.) The band’s song “Going Back to Colorado” inspired the title for the Colorado Music Hall of Fame Class of 2019 induction.
Boulder-based Otis Taylor is one of the world’s most prolific blues artists and the founder of the Trance Blues Festival. He’s the winner of multiple W.C. Handy awards, and has inspired young blues artists and fans alike to explore the role of race and oppression in the music.
Freddie Gowdy and Marvin "Henchi" Graves were part of a wave of late-’60s soul/rock-era acts like Sly and the Family Stone. They came to Colorado in 1970 as Freddi Henchi and the Soulsetters, and for thirty years the Freddi-Henchi “party” was the best soul review in the area.
Concert promoter Tony Spicola owned KDZA-AM, Pueblo’s powerhouse radio station. He brought the Who to Colorado for the band's first-ever appearance in the state, and subsequently booked concerts by Ike & Tina Turner, Buffalo Springfield, the Yardbirds, the Everly Brothers and so many more. In the ’80s, he sparked a music renaissance in southern Colorado, and his infamous “Van Halen Brown M&M Concert” at USC Pueblo made MTV’s Top 12 Roughest Nights in Music History.
The late Wendy “Rock & Roll” Kale started her music career as a publicist for the CU Program Council; her music writing helping ignite the careers of Big Head Todd & the Monsters, the Samples, Chris Daniels and many more.
Swallow Hill was founded in 1979 by Harry Tuft of the Denver Folklore Center and grew into the nation’s second-largest folk and acoustic music school and concert organization, attracting more than 64,000 concert-goers annually and helping 75,000 under-served children by bringing music education into area schools.
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The Mother Folkers, or MoFos, began in 1973, when several women musicians realized they all had followings, and that by combining to perform a show, they might be able to have fun playing music to larger audiences. A Mother Folker concert will feature a few songs with everyone on stage; most of the show is a dynamic and evolving combination of performers and musical styles. Suitable for all ages, there is truly something for everyone in shows that bring audiences to their feet. Superb musicianship, tight vocal harmonies, humor and powerful original songs make for an evening of complete entertainment.
Dick Weissman is an award-winning banjo player, musician, author and educator who founded the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts & Media’s music business program and worked with John Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas) and the Journeymen.
Walt Conley is considered one of the founding fathers of folk music in Colorado, influencing artists like Judy Collins. Conley was also known for his social activism and an acting career that includes movies, voiceover and television appearances on such shows as The Rockford Files.
Find more information on the Colorado Music Hall of Fame here.