Opera, Gospel, Rock, Big Band: The Newest Class of The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame

Nov 14, 2013

The W.Va. Music Hall of Fame

The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame will induct its latest class of notable musicians Saturday, November 16.  West Virginia PBS and West Virginia Public Radio will air the ceremony live from the Culture Center Theater in Charleston at 8 p.m. Executive Director Michael Lipton considers the induction ceremony and the short video bios about the artists being inducted as historical documents that highlight the diverse array of musical styles for which West Virginia is known.

"It goes all across the board this year. It's everything from opera to gospel soul," said Lipton about this year's class.

Wayne Moss

  An accomplished bassist, guitarist and songwriter, Wayne Moss is a true legend among Nashville studio musicians. His credits include sessions for hundreds of country and rock artists as well as stints in storied Nashville groups, Area Code 615 and Barefoot Jerry. Along with fellow West Virginians Charlie McCoy and Russ Hicks, Moss was a member of the house band for the TV show Hee Haw for 15 years and played on seminal Bob Dylan records including Blonde on Blonde. He also played on sessions for Tammy Wynette, Simon & Garfunkel, Nancy Sinatra, and countless others. Moss played the signature guitar line on Roy Orbison’s No. 1 hit “Oh, Pretty Woman,” the often-imitated guitar solo on Waylon Jennings’s “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” and on Tommy Roe’s No. 1 million seller “Sheila.”

The Swan Silvertones

Claude Jeter formed the gospel group in 1938 as the Four Harmony Kings while he working as a coal miner in West Virginia. After relocating to Tennessee, the group became The Swan Silvertones. 

Lipton said legendary record producer Al Kooper has contributed a video congratulation for their induction.

Kooper's involvement in the band's career was turning Paul Simon on to the group. After being inspired by the band, Simon was inspired to write what he called the best song he'd ever written, "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

Tim O'Brien

  Grammy-winning bluegrass/country/folk artist Tim O’Brien is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. The Wheeling native came to prominence with the Colorado-based bluegrass band Hot Rize, and its tongue-in-cheek country-Western alter ego, Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers. Since Hot Rize disbanded in 1992, O'Brien has recorded solo, with his group the O’Boys, with his sister Mollie, and giutarist Darrel Scott, as well as guesting on scores of recordings by other artists. When his 2005 release, “Fiddler’s Green,” earned him a Grammy for “Best Traditional Folk Recording,” he became one of the most sought-after session players on the folk-country-progressive-bluegrass circuit and has appeared on dozens of releases.

Peter Marshall

Probably best known as the host of 5,000 episodes of Hollywood Squares, Huntington native Peter Marshall started as a singer in his teens. Going on to comedy, Broadway, and other artistic endeavors, Lipton said Marshall is being inducted for his contributions to big band music.

"He's done it all. But his first and greatest love is big band music. He's veritable encyclopedia. Name a song and he'll not only tell you who the band leader was but who was playing on the session," said Lipton. 

Nick Clooney, father of actor George Clooney, will present Marshall with his award.

Melvin Goins & Ray Goins

  Born on Sinai Mountain, near the coal mining community of Goodwill, Mercer County, Melvin and Ray Goins hold a significant place in the history of bluegrass music. Both together and separately, the brothers played in The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, The Stanley Brothers, and The Shenandoah Playboys as well as The Goins Brothers Band. From the early ’50s, both have been involved in radio and TV, first on Bluefield radio station WHIS and later on stations in Prestonsburg, Hazard and Paintsville, KY.

Elenor Steber

"She very well be the most internationally famous person we've inducted," said Lipton of Steber, a Wheeling native born in 1914.

"It was at a time when opera was basically part of popular culture. If you won the Metropolitan Opera competitions, it was like winning American Idol. You were an instant rock star."

Ada "Bricktop" Smith

  Bricktop was a dancer, singer, vaudevillian, and self-described saloon-keeper who owned the Paris nightclub Chez Bricktop. She has been described as “one of the most legendary and enduring figures of 20th Century American cultural history.” After working as a chorus girl in Chicago and Harlem, Bricktop moved to Paris around 1924 to escape the racial tension in the U.S. Soon, Cole Porter hired her to entertain at his parties. His song, “Miss Otis Regrets,” was written especially for her to perform, and Hot Jazz innovators Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli wrote a song titled “Bricktop.” Bricktop’s drew many celebrities including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck.

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. will also be presented with the Spirit Award.