Since 1983 the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame has been honouring musicians who have not only called the Buffalo area home at one time or another; but have also made significant contributions to the musical culture of western New York, the United States, and the world. Along with the music, the artists have given their time…and sometimes music…to charity, various causes, and even helping along the next generation with their musical endeavours.
Currently the BMHOF has over 300 artists, groups, and bands in its membership.
On August 8 the BMHOF revealed the 2018 class of inductees at a press conference held at the Buffalo History Museum.
Anthony Green of the Buffalo History Museum opened the presentation with a few words of welcome before BMHOF President Anthony Casuccio and Vice President Tom Lorentz presented the newest members to the Hall of Fame.
Western New York native Gary Baker is the recipient of this year’s President’s Award. Along with having been the musical director for Marie Osmond, Baker has written or co-written a number of hit songs including songs for the Backstreet Boys, Alabama, Reba McEntire, the chart topping hit by Lonestar “I’m Already There”, and the 20 million selling hit song “ I Swear” that was recorded by Country music singer John Michael Montgomery and the R&B group All 4 One.
Since there founding over50 years ago by Robert Schulz and 30 plus year direction by Marcia A Giambrone, the Buffalo Choral Arts Society has spread its musical wings far beyond western New York to Carnegie Hall, Walter Reed Veterans Hospital, the National Cathedral, the Kennedy Center, the Mozarteum, Notre Dame, and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial to name only a few.
This year’s Industry Award is presented not to a musician, but a man who paints them. Philip Burke has created artistic impressions of some of the most iconic artists in music including members of the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, Neil Young, Bruno Mars, Ani DiFranco, and Goo Goo Dolls leader Johnny Reznik. The Buffalo native has seen his work appear on the wall of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the exhibit “The Colours of Rock”.
DJ, musician, and songwriter Imhotep Gary Byrd has entertained audiences with his radio shows and original songs that include “Village Ghetto Land”, “Black Man” and “The Crown”. Byrd’s collaborations include music legend Stevie Wonder.
This year’s Founder’s Award goes to the southern rock band Fare Trade who have been entertaining western New York audiences for over 40 years. Fare Trade members include David Lee Frost, David Buxton John Kensinger, John Pokrandt, Michael X Runo, and Mike Terreri.
The Pioneer Award goes to Dwayne Hall who along with being a musician in his own right, owns and runs a recording studio and the entertainment venue The Sportsman’s Tavern where he hosts musical acts several times each week.
While he hails from the Buffalo area, drummer Ray Hangen frequently finds himself on the road touring. Over the years he has performed with Sean Costello, the Bruce Katz Band, Joe Beard, Lurrie Bell, Eddie Kirkland, Lou Pride, Joe Louis Walker, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Brandon Santini, Ana Popvic, and John Nemeth.
Blues man Willie May is not only a prolific recording artist with nearly two dozen albums. He passes on his musical knowledge to the next generation of musicians.
Western New York pioneers The Steam Donkeys are known as well for their songwriting abilities as they are for their musicianship. The original song “If You Lose an Angel” appeared in the Academy Award nominated film “Nebraska”. The Steam Donkeys members include Buck Quigley, John Brady, Charlie Quill, Dave Kimball, Doug Moody, John Weber, Joe Mancusso, and Dan DeLano.
Filling out this year’s list of inductees in pop star Chris Trapper of the Push Stars who along with having over a dozen albums both with the band and as a solo artist; also has seen his music recorded by the Celtic band Great Big Sea.
The 2018 class of inductees to the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame will be officially honoured on October 11 in a ceremony at the Cardinal O’Hara Performing Arts Center.