2012 Harry Chapin Award recipient Dee Snider of Twisted Sister -
Dee Snider is a singer-songwriter, screenwriter, radio and TV personality, author and actor who is best know as the frontman of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. Born in Astoria, Queens, Snider grew up in nearby Baldwin and graduated from Baldwin Senior High School in 1973.
Snider is widely renowned for his many charitable works, most especially serving as national spokesperson of the March of Dimes’ Bikers for Babies initiative against premature births. His interest in this topic is personal; two of his four children were born prematurely, and Snider wants to raise money so other babies can be born healthy.
On September 15 of this year, Snider was joined by the March of Dimes and 2,000 motorcyclists for his 10th annual Bikers for Babies Ride at Lido Beach Town Park. This year, more than 35,000 people will participate in March of Dimes Bikers for Babies rides across the country.
Snider was the winning Project Manager on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice on NBC and raised $325,000 for the March of Dimes.
He is also active with the Jam for Autism in support of the Sid Jacobson JCC’s Special Needs Center, which addresses the needs of children, teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families through innovative programs and services; the Gibson Girl Foundation, which awards scholarships and instruments to underprivileged children who display talent and have a desire to participate in programs designed to nurture their individual skills in the performing arts; and the Station Family Fund, which benefits the victims of the 2003 Station Nightclub fire in Providence, Rhode Island.
He has appeared on television on the reality show Growing Up Twisted, on Dee Snider Radio and on Broadway in Rock of Ages. He is the author of Shut Up and Give Me the Mic and the creator and star of Dee Does Broadway.
Record Industry Executive Ron Alexenburg – http://www.berchmedia.com/
Ron Alexenburg spent his early years in the business representing companies such as Dunhill, Mercury, Phillips and United Artists Records. In 1965, he joined CBS Records. With a roster of more than 100 artists, he became the youngest head of promotion for Columbia and worked with the label's superstars and new talent to develop airplay. He achieved wide recognition and many industry awards.
In 1971, Columbia promoted Alexenburg to vice president of Epic Records; a division of the CBS Records group. In 1972, he was given responsibility for the label's growth and in 1977, he was named senior vice president and general manager of the division. He grew Epic's sales from $6.5 million when he took over to over $300 million in the next seven years. For five consecutive years the organization signed, developed and successfully marketed more than 25 new artists each year - a feat that has never matched. Among the artists Alexenburg brought to Epic were Boston (first album sales of 30+ million), Meatloaf (first album sales of 45+ million), Charlie Daniels, and Michael Jackson and the Jackson Family (total sales over 200+ million). Michael Jackson’s Thriller became the largest-selling album in history.
In 1978, in association with MCA, Alexenburg left CBS Records and established Infinity Records. Label's first record, by Hot Chocolate, went gold, with another gold single by Orleans soon after. Spyro Gyro had a gold LP for Infinity. The label did $11.5 million its first year. Rupert Holmes' Pina Colada hit Number 1 and turned gold.
Alexenburg was host of the interview series Then and Now. He has branched out into many areas and has represented theatrical enterprises and created a television show that is broadcast live nightly from the NASDAQ headquarters in NYC, as well as representing many contemporary recording artists. He is also an author with a soon-to-be released book showcasing his many accomplishments.
Alexenburg won recognition and numerous awards as a professor at NYU, manager, producer and marketing expert for many entertainment and corporate programs.
Ron Alexenburg lives on Long Island with his wife and son; his two daughters live in California with his four grandchildren. He serves as a past president of the Mid-Island YMHA, is an official for the Music and Performing Arts division of B'Nai B'Rith and is active in the activities of the TJ Martell foundation for Leukemia Research and Special Olympics.
Classic rock band Barnaby Bye – http://www.barnabybye.com/
Barnaby Bye was founded in 1970 when is twin brothers Billy and Bobby Alessi met guitarist Peppy Castro while they were all part of the Broadway production of Hair. A talent scout from Atlantic Records suggested they do a showcase for some executives at her company, and while other labels were interested in signing them, Atlantic founder, Ahmet Ertegun offered a deal on the spot. The band was completed with the addition of drummer Mike Ricciardella.
Long Island natives, the Alessi Brothers are best known for their 1984 hit Savin' the Day and also their 1977 hit Oh Lori. In 1977, they climbed to Number 8 in the UK Singles Chart with Oh Lori, and in 1982 were on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with Put Away Your Love. Oh Lori became a Top Ten hit in 17 more countries. The Alessi’s recorded five albums on major record labels, sold more than eight million records worldwide, and toured with Andy Gibb on his Shadow Dancing tour.
As a teenager, Peppy Castro was a member of the Bronx-based psychedelic band Blues Magoos. They signed with Mercury /Polygram Records in 1966 and released their debut album Psychedelic Lollipop. The band’s single (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet, hit number 5 on the American charts in January 1967, leading them into various TV appearances including The Smothers Brothers Show and Kraft Music Hall.
A professional drummer since his teens, Mike Ricciardella was a member of The Illusion. After the release of 3 hit albums and a top 20 hit with Did You See Her Eyes the group toured nationally with Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Allman Brothers, Chicago, and Sly & the Family Stone. His drumming expertise is showcased on two instructional drumming guides Fabulous Sounds of Rock Drums: A Method for the Beginner and Drum Star Jazz Combos. He is sponsored by the GMS Drum Company.
Barnbaby Bye’s albums include Room to Grow (1973), Touch (1974) and Thrice Upon a Time (2008), and their hits include Tumblin’ Inn, Jessie Girl and Can't Live This Way. They packed venues on Long Island during the 1970s, most notably LIMHoF Inductee My Father’s Place in Roslyn. After a long layoff as a band, they are again touring and recording.
The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Joe Butler and Steve Boone - http://www.lovinspoonful.com/
The group was founded in the early 1960s, with its roots in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the day. When producer Eric Jacobson suggested that drummer-vocalist Joe Butler and bassist Steve Boone hook up with John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, the Lovin' Spoonful was born.
When asked about the band, John Sebastian is reported to have said it sounded like a combination of Mississippi John Hurt and Chuck Berry, which led his friend Fritz Richmond to suggest the name Lovin' Spoonful from a line in Hurt's song, Coffee Blues.
Their hits include Do You Believe In Magic, You Didn't Have to Be So Nice, Daydream, Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind, Summer in the City and Nashville Cats. At the peak of its success the band was originally selected to perform on the television show that became The Monkees and also gained an added bit of publicity when Butler replaced Jim Rado in the role of Claude for a sold-out four-month run with the Broadway production of the rock musical Hair.
The Lovin' Spoonful's song Pow! was used as the opening theme of Woody Allen's first feature film, What's Up, Tiger Lily. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. They recorded seven albums for Kama Sutra Records.
Beside his role in Hair, Joe Butler was in the 1971 rock opera Soon and the musical Mahogany. He has appeared in a half-dozen feature films, including Born to Win with George Segal and One Trick Pony with Paul Simon. He also composed music for many commercials. Butler continues to perform with The Lovin’ Spoonful on autoharp, with his primary role as lead vocalist. He also plays guitar and percussion for the group. His daughter is actress Yancy Butler.
After the Lovin' Spoonful stopped touring in 1968, Steve Boone went to work producing an album for Mercury Records by the Oxpetals. Soon after finishing the album Boone bought a 56-foot sailboat he named Cygnus and moved onto it in the Virgin Islands. In 1973 he sold his boat and moved to Baltimore and started Blue Seas Studios. His first project was recording Little Feat's Feats Don't Fail Me Now album, followed by many more well-known artists who recorded there.
In the early 1990s Butler and Boone teamed up with Jerry Yester and Jim Yester to resume the Lovin' Spoonful's concert touring.
Singer Taylor Dayne - http://www.taylordayne.com/
Taylor Dayne is a singer-songwriter and actress. She began singing professionally after graduating from high school in Baldwin, singing in little-known rock bands such as Felony and Next. Her first major hit came when her debut single Tell It To My Heart reached Number 7 on the Hot 100. The song was an instant smash worldwide, peaking in the top five of most major markets worldwide, and achieving a peak of Number 1 in many countries, including West Germany. (August 2012 marked the song’s 25th anniversary.)
Dayne has a string of hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the Number 1 Billboard hit Love Will Lead You Back. In the U.S., she achieved three gold singles with Tell It to My Heart, I'll Always Love You and Love Will Lead You Back. She has had 18 individual hit songs reach the top ten in Billboard.
During the course of her career, Dayne has sold more than 75 million albums and singles worldwide, and garnered three Grammy nominations.
As an actress, Dayne appeared in the 1997 sci-fi television series Nightman and performed on Broadway in Elton John's Aida in 2001. She has had roles in independent films, as well as the Warren Beatty-produced 1994 remake of Love Affair. Dayne also had a recurring role on the Showtime series Rude Awakening.
In 2009 Dayne contributed songs to the movie Sex And The City 2 and in 2010 she performed Facing A Miracle, the official anthem of the Gay Games VIII—Cologne, during the opening ceremony in Germany.
In 2011, Dayne released her latest single, Floor on Fire, which garnered her 18th Top Ten Billboard hit. Floor on Fire reached Number 8 on the Billboard dance chart. She also won an HMMA award for Change the World, which was featured on the trailer for the hit film, The Help and finished a tour throughout the U.S. and Australia.
In January 2012, Dayne was featured in the highly-anticipated Celebrity Cook-off show for The Food Network with Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri, and was on the winning team.
Songwriter Ervin Drake - http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/C8
Ervin Drake was born in 1919. His songs include such American Songbook standards as It Was a Very Good Year, Tico-Tico and the lyrics for Perdido. He had a major hit in 1945 writing both words and music for The Rickety Rickshaw Man, which sold over a million copies. Among his best-known songs is I Believe, introduced by Jane Froman, which became a Number 1 hit for Frankie Laine in 1953 and holds the record for number of non-consecutive weeks spent at Number 1.
As a lyricist, Drake, with composer Irene Higgenbothom, wrote the jazz standard Good Morning Heartache. It has been recorded by over 100 artists, including Diana Ross for the movie Lady Sings the Blues. His songs have also been recorded by, among many others, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, The Kingston Trio, Ella Fitzgerald, LIMHoF Inductee Barbra Streisand, Rosemary Clooney and Elvis Presley.
Other successful Drake songs included A Room Without Windows (words and music), recorded by Steve Lawrence, Across The Wide Missouri (with Jimmy Shirl), Castle Rock (lyric, with Al Sears and Jimmy Shirl), Quando Quando Quando (English language lyric to an Italian song by Elio Cesari and Alberto Testa) and Father Of The Girls, which was a success for LIMHoF Inductee Perry Como in 1968. Other collaborators included Johnny Hodges, Ernesto Lecuona, Max Steiner, Paul Misraki, Robert Stolz, A. Donida and Tony Renis.
Besides composing music and lyrics for dozens of pieces, Drake was also a television producer and worked with performers including Jackie Gleason and Milton Berle. Between 1948 and 1962, he worked primarily in television, where he wrote, composed and produced some 700 primetime network programs. Drakes’ series included Sing It Again, Songs for Sale, The Jane Froman Show, The Frankie Laine Show, The Mel Torme/Teresa Brewer Show and The Merv Griffin/Betty Ann Grove Show. He also produced the Timex Comedy Hour. In addition, Drake was writer and producer of some 40 specials for LIMHoF Inductees Tony Bennett and Perry Como, along with such stars as Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, Nat "King" Cole, Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka and Gene Kelly. Drake won a Sylvania Award in 1957 as composer, lyricist and co-producer of NBC's The Bachelor.
For Broadway, Drake wrote lyrics and music for What Makes Sammy Run? and for Her First Roman (for which he also wrote the book, based on a play by George Bernard Shaw).
From 1973 to 1982, Drake was President of the American Guild of Authors and Composers, and as such he was a leader of the successful campaign for the passage of the U.S. Copyright Law of 1976. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983.
CSS, (Concert Security Systems, Inc.) and Founder Ira Maltz – http://www.csssecurityservices.com/
Ira Maltz started in the security business in 1972 at the Academy of Music on 14th Street in Manhattan as a security guard. In 1975 he founded CSS (originally Concert Service Specialist, Inc.) at the Calderone Concert Hall on Franklin Avenue in Hempstead as he says, “thanks to two men named Mark Puma and Phil Basile who gave me that chance.” A short time later Maltz received calls at various venues. 2010 LIMHoF Inductee Denis McNamara requested his services for what was to be the first of many WLIR parties in the park at Firemen’s Field in Hempstead; CSS handled Long Island concert security through the years for many other WLIR events.
The next call was from promoter Larry Vaughn to handle backstage security at Nassau Coliseum. CSS handled security for Aerosmith after they played the Calderone and did a small theater tour for Aerosmith across the East Coast and a club tour across Long Island at Speaks in Island Park and Hammerheads in Babylon. The Calderone closed in 1980 and Maltz went out on tour with Aerosmith.
Maltz was next approached by Richard Flanzer, who produced the Sunset Concert Series at Belmont Racetrack in the summers of 1981 and 1982, where CSS brought in security for the rock concerts after the races. When Maltz came off the road Ron Delsener asked him to open the Jones Beach Theater in 1983 and handle security there, where he remained for the next 22 years.
Maltz has since handled security for everyone from The Rolling Stones to LIMHoF Inductee Billy Joel to the Allman Brothers to Pink Floyd to Paul McCartney, from rock and roll to hip hop, country and folk to Broadway openings. In addition to Belmont Racetrack and Jones Beach, CSS has also handled Long Island concert security for Brookhaven Amphitheater, Stony Brook University, the Waldbaum’s Balloon Festival in Suffolk County, the Woodstock Festival in Yaphank and shows at the Vanderbilt and C.W. Post College, among many others.
In New York City, CSS provides concert security at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC, Town Hall and Central Park Summerstage, Randall’s Island, Governors Island, Shea Stadium and now Citifield, Yankee Stadium and all of the free concerts that ever happened on the Great Lawn in Central Park.
Ira Maltz has lived on Long Island since 1965 and is proud to have helped make the concert business on Long Island a success over the past 36 years. He and CSS will continue to do so well into the future.
Songwriter Ellie Greenwich - http://www.elliegreenwich.com/
Ellie Greenwich was born in 1940 in Brooklyn, moved to Levittown at age 11 and was writing songs by 13. At that time she formed her first "girls group," The Jivettes, with two high school friends and the trio performed original songs at hospitals, schools and charity benefits throughout Long Island.
Greenwich attended Hofstra University, where she was Spring Queen and was graduated with top honors (earning a BA degree in English) and a listing in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. During her latter years in college, Greenwich met Jeff Barry. Eventually, the couple married and went on to become co-writers of some of the most memorable classic pop/rock hits.
In 1962, shortly after college graduation and a three-and-a-half week high school English teaching stint, Greenwich began working in the offices of hot songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in The Brill Building in New York City. Joining forces with legendary producer Phil Spector, she helped create a string of legendary hits including Be My Baby, Da Doo Ron Ron, And Then He Kissed Me, Chapel Of Love and River Deep, Mountain High. With Barry, this trend continued with Number 1 smashes such as Hanky Panky, Do Wah Diddy and Leader of the Pack, co-written with 2006 LIMHoF Inductee Shadow Morton.
Greenwich and Barry were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2004, Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest rock songs included six Greenwich-Barry compositions. In 1964, they were responsible for writing 17 singles that reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She also provided background vocals and vocal arrangements for diverse artists such as Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Lou Christie and Frank Sinatra, as well as Electric Light Orchestra, Blondie and LIMHoF Inductees Cyndi Lauper and Gary U.S. Bonds.
Elton John, Cher, Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, U2 and Hanson, as well as LIMHoF Inductees Mariah Carey and Twisted Sister, are some of the contemporaries who have recorded Greenwich songs .One of her compositions, Christmas, Baby Please Come Home, started the holiday season for more than 15 years on Late Night With David Letterman.
Ellie Greenwich died in 2009.
Jones Beach Theater - http://www.jonesbeach.com/
Jones Beach Theater opened in 1952 as Jones Beach Marine Theater, part of Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh. The theater originally had 8,200 seats and and hosted musicals. It was designed to specifications provided by Robert Moses, who created Jones Beach State Park. Moses' friend and LIMHoF Inductee Guy Lombardo performed often in the early years.
The opening show was the operetta extravaganza A Night in Venice by Johann Strauss II, produced by film producer Mike Todd, complete with floating gondolas and starring Enzo Stuarti, Norwood Smith and Nola Fairbanks.
The theater design featured a water gap between the stage and audience where Lombardo would arrive by motorboat from his Freeport home. The Guy Lombardo Orchestra would pass through the "moat" on a yacht during the intermissions, and the band would play tunes while floating in front of the audience.
The shows, produced from 1952 until 1981, featured many prominent Broadway and Hollywood stars of the day. Among the shows were Show Boat, Around the World in 80 Days, Mardi Gras! (with LIMHoF Inductee Louis Armstrong), South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Carousel, The Music Man and Damn Yankees, starring Joe Namath. Lombardo's final show was the 1977 production of Finian's Rainbow, with Christopher Hewett in the title role. After Lombardo's death in 1977, the series resumed in 1978 with Annie Get Your Gun, starring Lucie Arnaz.
Beginning in the 1980s, the primary focus of the venue would change to concerts. In 1991 and 1992, under contract from concert promoter Ron Delsner, the theatre would undergo an extensive renovation, adding a second level, and increasing the capacity to 11,200 seats. The capacity was expanded again in 1998 to 15,000 seats.
In 2002, the company of clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger purchased the naming rights to the venue, giving it the name Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater for four years. The venue became the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in 2006, presenting top international touring groups, which this year includes LIMHoF Inductees Kiss, as well as Peter Gabriel, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, System of a Down, Mary J. Blige, Phish and Def Leppard.
In 2009 Jones Beach introduced The Bay Stage, with a general admission capacity of 5,000.
Classical composer Leo Kraft – http://www.festivalofthearts.50megs.com/catalog_12.html
Leo Kraft was born in Brooklyn in 1922 and is a composer, educator and author of numerous books on music theory. He composes for orchestra, chamber ensemble, piano, voice, band and electronics. His major compositions include Inventions and Airs, Variations for Orchestra, For Those We Loved, -Testimonium and Seven Hebrew Songs. In 1995, his Symphony in One Movement was performed by the American Composers Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. His music has been recorded for CRI, Capstone, Albany, Centaur and Arizona University Recordings.
Kraft was a founding member of the College Music Society, the American Society of University Composers (now the Society of Composers, Inc.) and the Society of Music Theory. He is past president of the American Music Center, professor emeritus (although he prefers Full composer) of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music.
Since his 1989 retirement from the Copland School, Kraft has devoted himself to writing music. His recent works include Sextetto, written for the Stony Brook Contemporary Players, For Those We Loved for orchestra, Toccata for two pianos, Brief Encounters for flute, clarinet and piano and Partita A Tre for clarinet, cello and piano. His most recent work is the revised version of Five Piano Pieces with A Reprise, which was premiered two nights ago in Manhattan.
Kraft has also written for and had works performed by the Florilegium Chamber Choir, the Geigen String Orchestra of Tokyo, the Cincinnati Orchestra, clarinetist Esther Lamneck, the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble of New York University, flutist Patricia Spencer, the Vassa College Flute Ensemble, Dorian Wind Quintet and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference.
Leo Kraft’s music is published by Seesaw/Subito, and recorded on the CRI, Capstone, Albany, Centaur and Arizona University Recordings labels. He is a member of ASCAP.
Kraft is a longtime resident of Great Neck, a town that has been home to many great American classical composers, including Elie Siegmeister, Benjamin Lees, Hugo Weisgall and 2010 LIMHoF Inductee Morton Gould.
Hip-hop pioneers Salt-n-Pepa - http://www.saltnpepa.net/
Salt-N-Pepa is a hip hop trio from Queens and Brooklyn that was formed in 1985 by Cheryl Wray ("Salt"), Sandra Denton ("Pepa") and Deidra Roper ("DJ Spinderella"). As one of the first female rap crews, Salt-N-Pepa broke barriers and opened doors that were once closed to women in hip hop and gave women a voice in a male-dominated genre.
The group entered hip hop at a time when rap music was believed to be a fad and record companies were reluctant to sign rap artists. 1986’s Hot, Cool & Vicious, 1988’s A Salt with a Deadly Pepa and 1990’s Blacks' Magic produced hits in the U.S. and U.K., but it was 1993’s Very Necessary that brought them to a wider public. The album featured songwriting and production by Salt, Pepa, Spinderella and Hurby Azor, a hip hop producer. It launched the hits Shoop (U.S. Number 4, U.K. Number 13), co-produced by Pepa; Whatta Man (U.S. Number 3, U.K. Number 7), featuring En Vogue; and None of Your Business, a Top 40 U.S. hit and a Top 20 U.K. hit. The album eventually sold seven million worldwide, with five million of those in the U.S. (five times platinum), making Salt-N-Pepa the first female rap act (solo or group) to have a multi-platinum selling album.
The trio won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1995 for the single None Of Your Business, making them the first female rap Grammy winners; Very Necessary has been the best-selling album by a female rap act. In 2010 Salt-N-Pepa also received the I Am Hip Hop Award at the BET Hip Hop Awards.
Both Salt and Pepa appeared on VH-1's Hip Hop Honors in November 2004, as the trio were honorees. All three women reunited the following year for the next Hip Hop Honors program and performed Whatta Man with En Vogue.
In October, The Salt-n-Pepa Show debuted on VH1. Pepa initiated the series’ formation, as she had previously appeared on the network in The Surreal Life. The Salt-n-Pepa Show chronicled events in the lives of Pepa and Salt as they work out past issues and return to the recording studio. Spinderella was featured in several episodes.
Twenty-five years into their career, Salt-N-Pepa continues to aspire to great heights with history-making firsts. They have teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to become the one of the few select rappers to have the distinct honor to ever perform on The Oprah Winfrey Show during its run.
The Thunder Bird Sisters from the Shinnecock Indian Nation - http://www.shinnecocknation.com/
The Thunder Bird Sisters are from the Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island and have been composing and performing music since the early 1970’s. Margo, Becky, Holly, Tina and brother Ben are grandchildren of Chief Thunder Bird.
They write and sing in solidarity with those who struggle in so many ways in this life. The melodies and harmony carry the words to those who might be touched by the message being shared.
The group has an extensive history of live performances at many music festivals, PowWows and concert halls. The Thunder Bird Sisters have taken part in events over the years sharing the stories of the people through benefit concerts for organizations and individuals in support of human rights, indigenous rights, protecting the environment, alternative education, cultural preservation and peace. They performed at the Black Hills Survival gathering in1981 provided backup vocals for Bonnie Raitt.
The Thunder Bird Sisters received the Native American Music Award - Best Folk/Country in 2000 for their Still Singin’ CD.
From street rallies to Carnegie Hall, The Thunder Bird Sisters have sung songs of inspiration as prayers for the future that reflect the joys and sorrows of life. There is harmony in life and these memories live on in music.
As they have stated, “The Thunder Bird Sisters have placed their loyalties in honoring the earth, our blessed ancestors and continuing to bring awareness of the constant struggle to protect sacred places including many ancient burials sites, and working to end the desecration of all sacred sites here on our ancestral land, Sewanika (Long Island).”
Singer Connie Stevens – http://www.foreverspring.com/aboutconnie.htm
Coming from a musical family, Connie Stevens joined a singing group early in her career called The Fourmost, in which the other three vocalists—all males—went on to fame as The Lettermen. At 16, she replaced the alto in The Three Debs. In 1953, Stevens moved to Los Angeles with her father. She enrolled at Georgia Massey's School of Song and Dance in the San Fernando Valley, sang professionally and appeared in local repertory theater.
Stevens’ first solo album was 1958’s Concetta. She had hits with the standards Blame It On My Youth, Looking For A Boy (music by George Gershwin) and Spring Is Here. She recorded the novelty song Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb in 1959 as a duet with Edward Byrnes. It reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Stevens also had hit singles as a solo artist with Sixteen Reasons in 1961, reaching Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Too Young to Go Steady, also in1960. Other single releases were Why'd You Wanna Make Me Cry?, Mr. Songwriter and Now That You've Gone.
Stevens played “Cricket Blake” in the popular television detective series Hawaiian Eye from 1959 to 1962, a role that made her famous (her principal costar was Robert Conrad). In a 2003 interview on Larry King Live, Stevens recounted that while on the set of Hawaiian Eye she was told she had a telephone call from Elvis Presley. "She didn't believe it, but in fact it was Elvis, who invited her to a party and said that he would come to her house and pick her up personally,” and they subsequently dated.
Stevens was the star of more than 40 feature films and TV shows, and starred in the Broadway production of Neil Simon's The Star-Spangled Girl with Anthony Perkins in 1966. She has also made nightclub appearances and headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms for 15 years. In the 1970s, she was a frequent guest on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast.
In spring 1977, Stevens appeared in one of the two pilots for The Muppet Show. She also was seen numerous times on the Bob Hope USO specials, including his 1988 Christmas Show from the Persian Gulf.
In 1994, Stevens issued her first recording in several years, Tradition: A Family at Christmas, along with her two daughters. In 1997 she wrote, directed and edited a documentary, A Healing, about Red Cross nurses serving during the Vietnam War; the following year it won Best Film honors at the Santa Clarita International Film Festival. Stevens’ feature-length directorial debut, Saving Grace B. Jones, will be released December 14, 2012, worldwide. She has already won the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival’s 1st Place Award for drama – Motion Picture, and then recently, The New York City International Film Festival’s Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Metal band Suffocation - http://www.facebook.com/suffocation
Suffocation was formed in 1988 on Long Island by vocalist Frank Mullen, bassist Josh Barohn, guitarists Guy Marchais and Todd German, and Barohn's friend on drums. Guitarists Terrance Hobbs and Doug Cerrito, along with drummer Mike Smith, former members of a local band Mortuary that disbanded at the time, joined Suffocation and created a new lineup with Mullen, Hobbs, Smith, Cerrito and Barohn. The quintet was mainly influenced by fellow American death metal bands as well as the British band Napalm Death and Brazilian Sepultura.
Suffocation created a blueprint for death metal—which features guttural vocals with downtuned guitar sound, and fast, complex guitar riffs and drumming—with their 1991 debut album Effigy of the Forgotten.
Mullen and Hobbs reformed the band in 2003 with Smith, Marchais and Derek Boyer of the bands Dying Fetus and Decrepit Birth on bass. In April 2004, Relapse Records released Souls to Deny. After playing more than 400 shows in the U.S. and Europe (including the Wacken Festival in Germany, playing to over 33,000 fans), the band released their self-titled album, Suffocation, in 2006. In 2007, the band was featured in The History Channel's promotional video for The Dark Ages documentary, playing the song Bind, Torture, Kill.
In 2008, the band signed to the German Nuclear Blast Records and released their latest album Blood Oath in 2009. The album charted on the US Billboard 200 at Number 135. In 2009, Relapse released the live album entitled Close of a Chapter—Live in Québec City, previously self-released in 2005. In May 2010 Suffocation toured with Napalm Death in South America and Mexico.
The current lineup is vocalist Frank Mullen, guitarists Terrance Hobbs and Guy Marchais, drummer Dave Culross and bassist Derek Boyer, with contributions over the years by former members Doug Cerrito on guitar, Chris Richards and Josh Barohn on bass guitar as well as Doug Bohn and Mike Smith on drums. In September of this year, Suffocation announced they will release their seventh studio album, The Pinnacle of Bedlam, in early 2013.
WALK-FM radio - http://www.walkradio.com/main.html
WALK-FM first went on air in 1952 as part of the Island Broadcasting System. Located on 97.5 FM, the station is licensed to Patchogue, New York (it is currently a Clear Channel Communications radio station) and features the slogan "Long Island's Best Variety."
In 2007, WALK-FM was nominated for top 25 markets Adult Contemporary station of the year award by Radio & Records magazine. In July of this year, the station changed its longtime adult contemporary format to a hot adult contemporary format.
The station has written the following in celebration of WALK’s 60th anniversary: “Over the past 60 years, the world and radio have changed. One thing, however, that has stayed consistent throughout the years has been WALK's commitment to the Long Island community and to our listeners, none of which would be possible without the music. The music we play has always been carefully researched to reflect and deliver what Long Islanders want to hear. By providing the platform to display this amazing music we have been able to better super-serve the community we broadcast to. We have always looked at radio as a conversation between friends allowing us to share information with our friends, whether it be a great song, important news or a community need.
“Recognized nationally for our community commitment WALK (winner of the Marconi Award) has literally raised millions of dollars for the Long (sland community. Recognized musically by Billboard and Radio and Record as “station of the year,” our roots remain in the music.”
We at WALK 97.5 salute all the amazing musicians that have helped WALK make a difference for over 60 years.”
Jazz pianist Randy Weston - http://www.randyweston.info/
Randy Weston was born in Brooklyn in 1926. His piano style owes much to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk (he has paid direct tribute to both on the "portraits" albums), but it is highly distinctive in its percussive and highly rhythmic qualities. Though Weston cites Count Basie, Nat King Cole and Art Tatum, as his other piano heroes, it was Monk who had the greatest impact. "He was the most original I ever heard," Weston remembers. "He played like they must have played in Egypt 5,000 years ago."
Weston’s first recording as a leader was made in 1954 on Riverside Records and he has since recorded nearly 50 other albums.
In the late 1960s, Weston went to Africa, settled in Morocco and traveled throughout the continent absorbing many musical styles; he was one of the first American musicians to do so. One of Weston’s most memorable experiences was the 1977 Nigerian festival, which drew artists from 60 cultures. "At the end," he says, "we all realized that our music was different but the same, because if you take out the African elements of bossa nova, samba, jazz, blues, you have nothing....To me, it's Mother Africa's way of surviving in the new world."
In 1997, Weston received the French Order of Arts and Letters and in 2001, a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was added to ASCAP’s Jazz Wall of Fame in 2009 and was honored by Moroccan King Mohammed VI in 2011 for his commitment to Morocco's Gnawa Music tradition. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s 1994, 1996 and 1999 Composer of the Year.
After contributing six decades of musical direction and genius, Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary. Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations continue to inform and inspire. "Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat," states jazz critic Stanley Crouch, "but his art is more than projection and time; it's the result of a studious and inspired intelligence...an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique".
Hip Hop/Electro Innovators Whodini – http://www.facebook.com/whodini
Members of Whodini are Brooklyn natives Jalil Hutchins, John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher and Drew ‘Grandmaster Dee’ Carter. They were among the first hip hop/electro groups to add R&B to their music, to cultivate a high-profile national following for hip hop and make significant inroads in urban radio. They were contemporaries of groups such as the Fat Boys, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and Afrika Bambaataa. The group was managed by Russell Simmons, brother of LIMHoF Inductee Joseph “Run” Simmons of Run-D.M.C.
In 1983, the group recorded the self-titled album Whodini; the single Haunted House of Rock was a Halloween-themed number that even today is still played in some clubs. Synthpop pioneer Thomas Dolby helped produce another of its singles, Magic’s Wand, which was originally conceived as an advertisement for prominent radio jock Mr. Magic, who worked for New York’s WBLS radio. Magic's Wand also has the distinction of being one of Whodini's most-sampled songs.
Whodini’s 1984 release Escape included Five Minutes of Funk and The Freaks Come Out at Night, and was certified for platinum-level sales by R.I.A.A., selling over one million albums upon release. Many of these songs were groundbreaking in hip hop culture, as each song told a unique story from the urban perspective.
From 1982 to 1986, Whodini was at its most productive. They toured with Run-D.M.C., 2008 LIMHoF Inductee LL Cool J, The Fat Boys and other prominent hip hop, R&B and funk bands. The group was involved in the first Fresh Fest tour, which was the first hip hop tour to play large coliseums nationwide.
Their 1986 release Back in Black received heavy local New York airplay. The 1994 hit single with It All Comes Down to the Money, co-produced by Public Enemy DJ Terminator X on his album Super Bad. The group's records have now become sample sources for contemporary emcees such as Nas, Master P, Prodigy and MF Doom.
In October 2007, Whodini was an honoree at the fourth VH1 Hip Hop Honors.
Progressive rock band Zebra - http://www.thedoor.com/
Zebra was founded in 1975 in New Orleans, Louisiana, although they are closely identified with Long Island. Its members are Randy Jackson, guitar and vocals; Felix Hanemann, bass; keyboards and vocals; and Guy Gelso, drums and vocals.
Zebra started their career by playing covers of Led Zeppelin, The Moody Blues and Rush songs. It was their early fans' reaction to their Led Zeppelin renditions that helped convince the band to bring their act to New York. They had introduced their original material into their cover sets years before they were signed to Atlantic Records, including The La La Song, Free and Bears (originally entitled The Bears are Hibernating).
Zebra got their start on the East Coast club circuit, frequently playing at clubs on Long Island. They were noticed by local colleges and even had some of their early original performances recorded by Long Island FM radio station WBAB. This culminated in the inclusion of one of their songs on a release of WBAB Homegrown Album, which commemorated some of the station's best local acts and performances culled from their on-air Homegrown Hour.
Zebra’s debut on Atlantic Records in 1983 was highlighted by the singles Tell Me What You Want and Who's Behind The Door. The album was certified gold.
Zebra released six albums for Atlantic and Mayhem Records, including No Tellin' Lies (1984), 3.V (1986), Live (1990), The Best of Zebra: In Black and White (1998), King Biscuit Flower Hour (1999) and Zebra IV (2003).
The band continued to tour throughout the 1980s but went on temporary hiatus in the early 1990s. Randy Jackson formed his solo band, Randy Jackson's China Rain, and released its only album in the year 1993. Zebra reunited in 1997 and released Zebra IV in 2003, their first album of all-new material since 1986. A DVD of recent live performances, mostly from a show at the House of Blues in New Orleans, was released in the summer of 2007.
In July 2010, during their 35th-anniversary performance at New Orleans' Mahalia Jackson Theater, Zebra was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
2011 Music Educator of the Year Robert W. Krueger
From 1957 to 1982, Robert Krueger served as Director of Music Education for the Northport–East Northport Union Free School District, where he developed one of the countries' premiere music programs, He served as president of Nassau Music Educator's Association (NMEA), Suffolk County Music Educator's Association (SCMEA) and New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education. He created the Northport Community Band in 1959, which performs to this day in a bandshell that now bears his name. He was the creator of the Newsday Marching Band Festival, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. Broadway legend Patti LuPone said of her past teacher, Krueger, in her book Patti LuPone: A Memoir, "Our bandleader, Robert Krueger, was a graduate of Northwestern University and was able to get the most current Northwestern musical arrangements and marching routines. People came to the football games as much to see the band as to see the football team." LIMHoF is proud to honor our 2011 Music Educator of Note Robert W. Krueger.
2012 Music Educator of Note William Katz
William Katz retired from the East Meadow High School as director of bands and department chairman after having taught in that district for more than 40 years. At the age of 80 plus he remains an active performer, educator and conductor. He was a pioneer in jazz education in public schools and is a noted bassoonist. He edited the jazz section of the NYSSMA manual and spearheaded the creation of an all-county jazz performing ensemble. Katz has been Director of the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble for the past 18 years and influenced the lives of hundreds of students during his tenure. He is the recipient of the NYSSMA Distinguished Service Award and is known as "Mr. Jazz" to many across the country and the state. Katz’s concert and jazz bands were among the best of both Long Island and New York State, and he has conducted all-state jazz ensembles in both New York and across the country. The fat that so many of his former students have successful careers in performing and teaching music is a great source of pleasure to him. LIMHoF is proud to honor our 2012 Music Educator of Note William Katz.