Soul men Steve Cropper, Dan Penn, Don Bryant among the honored at Memphis Music Hall of Fame ceremony

The NewsDesk
Read Time6 Minutes, 57 Seconds

CLOSEAutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideThe Memphis Music Hall of Fame honorees included R&B underdogs and pop icons, soul men and blues men, Tony award winners and opera divas on Friday night — but no matter the genre, sound or style, the common bond was Memphis.Eight more names were added to the roll call of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. The Hall — launched by the Smithsonian-branded Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum in 2012 — enshrined its eighth class, bringing the total number of artists, players, producers and other key contributors to 82 inductees.Hailed as a celebration of “the music that changed the whole world,” the event honored a diverse 2019 group:Stax Records guitarist and songwriter Steve Cropper,hitmaking studio band The Memphis Boys,soul songwriter/producer Dan Penn,R&B veteran Don Bryant,bluesman Charlie Musselwhite,jazz and Broadway star Dee Dee Bridgewater,opera pioneer Florence Cole Talbert McCleave,and pop superstar and West Tennessee native Tina Turner.Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, was not present, but was honored with a performance of her greatest hits. The late McCleave, known as the “queen of the concert stage,” was recognized for a trailblazing career in the classical world. She was the first African-American woman and opera singer to perform abroad and receive critical acclaim. McCleave’s family, led by her granddaughter Beverly Watkins, accepted the award. They thanked the Hall and Opera Memphis, which has established the McCleave Project, an initiative to engage with minority communities. Contemporary opera soprano Michelle Bradley paid tribute to McCleave with a solo performance. In one of several emotional moments during the ceremony, R&B singer Don Bryant was inducted.A Hi Records singer and songwriter, Bryant penned songs for artists such as Solomon Burke, Albert King and Etta James. His biggest commercial success, however, came with his wife, Memphis Music Hall of Famer Ann Peebles.Bryant wrote or co-wrote many of Peebles’ signature hits, including “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” “99 Pounds” and “Do I Need You.” After a decades-long break, Bryant resumed his own performing career in recent years with the acclaimed comeback album, “Don’t Give Up on Love.” Inducted by Bo-Keys bandleader and “Dolemite Is My Name” film composer Scott Bomar, Bryant joined his wife Peebles as the first couple to be enshrined in the Hall.“There’s just so much I’d like to say,” offered a clearly moved Bryant. “I’d like to say it’s been a long time coming, and I thank God it’s here and I am allowed to be a part of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.”Bryant then delivered a spirited performance, backed by the Bo-Keys.   Hit songwriter Mark James (“Suspicious Minds,” “Always on My Mind”) helped induct the legendary house band The Memphis Boys, calling them “truly unique musical geniuses … who added their own special kind of magic to every track.”   Between 1967 and 1972, the Memphis Boys, led by producer and 2016 Memphis Music Hall of Famer Chips Moman, would cut 122 chart records, an unmatched achievement.The band — guitarist Reggie Young, drummer Gene Chrisman, pianist Bobby Wood, organist Bobby Emmons and bassists Mike Leech and Tommy Cogbill — would cut hits for the Box Tops (“Cry Like a Baby”); Dusty Springfield (“Son of a Preacher Man”); Neil Diamond (“Sweet Caroline”); B.J. Thomas (“Hooked on a Feeling”); Bobby Womack (“Fly Me To The Moon”); and, most famously, Elvis Presley (“Suspicious Minds”). Surviving Memphis Boys Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood, along with members of the Cogbill, Emmons, Leech, and Young families, accepted the honor.“It’s been a long haul,” Wood said. “But this town been really good to all of us.” Through tears, Chrisman remembered his late bandmates and producer.“I miss all the guys: Reggie, Bobby (Emmons), Mike, Chips,” he said. “But I tell you, it was such a pleasure working with those guys. We had more fun working together than two Christmas monkeys. We had a great time.”Wood and Chrisman watched as group of singers, including Tower of Power vocalist Marcus Scott and Vicki Loveland, performed a medley of American Studios-made hits.Beloved 86-year-old Mississippi R&B great Bobby Rush inducted his fellow bluesman, “my brother from another mother … we talking ‘bout Charlie Musselwhite,” he said. A winner of seven Grammys, more than 30 Blues Music Awards and already a Blues Music Hall of Famer, the Bluff City-bred harmonica master said that his life had come full circle with the honor.“It’s so great to be here in Memphis where I grew up. It’s even poignant in a way … to be here to be today with all the rough times I been though,” he said. “Well, I’m just babbling now … but I’m happy to be here.”Fittingly, Musselwhite then performed the autobiographical number, “The Blues Overtook Me.” Also honored was Dan Penn, the Alabama-born singer-songwriter and producer who exerted a crucial influence in the history of both Muscle Shoals and Memphis soul. He authored such classics as “I’m Your Puppet,” “Dark End of The Street,” “A Woman Left Lonely” and “Do Right Woman.” Introduced by Grammy-winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang and music manager Lisa Best, they would note that Penn’s songs have been cut by everyone from Aretha Franklin to Janis Joplin, Conway Twitty to Percy Sledge and many others.His productions for the Box Tops — including “The Letter” and “Cry Like a Baby” — remain among the biggest pop hits of the 1960s and songs to be cut in Memphis. As a vocalist, Penn would be hailed by no less than Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler as “by far the most soulful Caucasian singer I have (ever) heard.”  The laconic Penn accepted the honor with his typically dry humor. He recalled how he arrived in Memphis in 1966 to work with Chips Moman, his collaborator and sometimes competitor.“Everything wasn’t perfect but we did write two pretty good songs: ‘Do Right Woman’ and ‘Dark End of the Street.’ We wrote those two and then stopped. We were batting a thousand we didn’t want to go down,” said Penn, laughing. Penn — who moved to Nashville in the 1970s — said that his time in the Bluff City remains his most defining.“Memphis was good for me,” he said. “I had my hits here: Wrote some hits, cut some hits. I still miss Memphis.”Penn proceeded to play one of those hits, “Dark End of the Street,” which he dedicated to the late James Carr. Memphis-born, Michigan-raised Dee Dee Bridgewater — a jazz singer, Broadway performer, musical theater star and Grammy winner — was honored for her diverse career by Royal Studios head Boo Mitchell, who helped record the recent album devoted to her Bluff City roots, titled “Memphis …Yes, I’m Ready.”  “I am so humbled to be inducted to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame … because I came home. I felt I needed to come back to understand who I was,” said Bridgewater. “(Memphis) was in my blood, and it was in my soul. I am so honored and I will continue to sing the praises of my hometown, Memphis, Tennessee.” Texas guitar great Jimmie Vaughan, founder of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and elder brother of guitar icon Stevie Ray Vaughn, inducted one of Memphis soul’s pivotal figures, Steve Cropper.  “I can’t tell you how much guitar players love this guy,” said Vaughan, recalling the first time he heard Cropper play. “I ain’t never been the same since hearing ‘Green Onions.’ The whole record was bad-a–, but the guitar was really bad-a–. That was the beginning of my trip and my brother playing guitar.”   Already a Hall of Fame member as part of Booker T. & the MGs, songwriter, guitarist and producer Cropper was one of the foundational figures of Stax Records and the co-author of classics like “Knock on Wood,” “In the Midnight Hour” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” “Look at the artists I got to work with. My God — some of the best singers and players on the planet,” said Cropper, praising his fellow inductees Don Bryant and The Memphis Boys as well. “God bless you guys. I’m just happy to be part of this. I’m sharing this (honor) with Memphis.”Read or Share this story: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/11/08/memphis-music-hall-fame-inducts-new-members-including-steve-cropper-dan-penn-don-bryant/2538376001/

0 0
0 %
Happy
0 %
Sad
0 %
Excited
0 %
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Next Post

Rasheeda Frost Brings Her Son, Karter Frost To Her Pressed Boutique

Ron Collins Nov 9, 2019 9:02 AM PST Rasheeda Frost brought her son, Karter Frost to work and posted a short clip with him on her social media account. Her fans love the fact that his mom takes Karter to Pressed Boutique sometimes, and people get the chance to meet […]
rasheeda-frost-brings-her-son,-karter-frost-to-her-pressed-boutique

Subscribe US Now