This Friday, November 8, at the Paramount Theatre, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame's current inductees, which include John Denver, Barry Fey, Harry Tuft, Red Rocks, Flash Cadillac, Sugarloaf, the Astronauts and KIMN radio, will be joined by a brand-new class that includes a peer group of folksingers, including Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind and Chris Daniels.
"The idea with peer groups is that we can induct folks who have a shared experience and attract their collective fans," Colorado Music Hall of Fame director G. Brown explains. "It's proven to be a nice formula so far. Last year our induction class was Rockin' the '60s with the Astronauts, Flash Cadillac, Sugarloaf and KIMN radio."
Brown says Collins is arguably the biggest name ever to come out of Colorado, having been raised here. After graduating from East High School, Brown says, Collins played her first gig when she was twenty years old at Michael's Pub in Boulder, then played all the coffeehouses in town before leaving in 1961 to go to New York City's Greenwich Village. "She was the fulcrum of the folk scene in Denver back in the late '50s and '60s," says Brown, "which was enormous.... The importance of that particular time can't be overstated. It was a huge scene."
The Serendipity Singers got their start at the University of Colorado in Boulder around the time folk acts like the Kingston Trio were the rage. Originally two trios, five of the six members combined forces, added two more CU students and played around town as a seven-piece called the Newport Singers. They had a good amount of success before also moving to New York, where they scored a hit with "Don't Let the Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)" in the mid-'60s during a time when the Beatles and other members of the British Invasion were ruling the charts.
Bob Lind, meanwhile, graduated from Aurora Central High School and then went to Gunnison to study at what was then Western State College. He ended up dropping out, apparently, because he preferred to play guitar rather than go to class. He came back to Denver and played coffeehouses like the Green Spider, the Exodus and the Analyst.
That last place is where Lind made an early demo that he took with him to Los Angeles, where he'd been encouraged to try his fortunes. When he headed to the West Coast, he had a list of record companies to seek out, and he ended up being signed by the first one he walked into, World Pacific, which was a jazz label that had just been sold.
Lind's "Elusive Butterfly," which was actually the B-side of his single, ended up reaching number five on the charts both here and across the pond in 1966. Lind, who has had more than 200 people cover his songs, left the music business to write novels and screenplays. Lind got back into performing around six years ago and plays Swallow Hill a couple of times a year.
Although Chris Daniels will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of his R&B-and-blues group, Chris Daniels and the Kings, next year, he started out playing acoustic folk in the '70s, first with the Rosewood Canyon, which was supposedly one of Dead Kennedy's frontman Jello Biafra's favorite bands, and then with Magic Music, which has been hailed as Colorado's first jam band. Daniels returned to his folk roots with last year's Better Days.
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