Hall of Fame plays out at the national level
By ANNE NEVILLE
News Staff Reporter
The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Museum will induct 10 people and groups Thursday at a ceremony in Club Paradise, Blasdell.
“I’m very happy with this group,” said Katie Hildreth, owner of Noize Productions of Buffalo and president of the music hall of fame. “It’s a good mixture of people who are on a national level, as well as people who are still based here in Buffalo. And because of the technology today, people can stay in Buffalo and still do a lot of work and have a very full career.”
One of those is inductee Nelson M. Starr, says Hildreth. Starr, a composer, singer, musician and producer, has written scores for the TV programs, “Psychic Detectives” and “Missing Persons Unit.” He still performs live, and just finished a tour with Jeff Martin of Canadian band the Tea Party.
David Lee Shire, a Buffalo-born composer of Broadway and off-Broadway musicals, as well as film and television scores, will be inducted. Shire composed and adapted music for “Saturday Night Fever” and won an Oscar in 1980 for Best Song for his title song for “Norma Rae,” “It Goes Like It Goes.”
He was married to actress Talia Shire, and in 1974 he scored the movie “The Conversation” for her brother, Francis Ford Coppola.
The nationally known group Take 6 will also be inducted with its members Claude V. McNight III, Joel Kibble and Mark Kibble. Take 6 has won awards in the categories of gospel, R&B, pop and jazz. The group is on tour and will not be able to make the ceremony.
Also honored will be:
• Michael Meldrum, longtime guitarist, singer and songwriter, as well as a promoter and founder of the Buffalo Song Project. Meldrum is famous for his “open mic” nights and annual tribute concerts to John Lennon and Bob Dylan at Nietzsche’s. Meldrum is “a mentor to a lot of other musicians,” said Hildreth.
• Jim Whitford, a singer, songwriter, composer and musician, formerly of the Desires and Pine Dogs.
• Bruce Moser, co-owner of Could Be Wild Promotions. “He’s worked with lots of national artists and is very close to Bono from U2,” said Hildreth.
• The Soul Invaders, now called the Billy McEwen Band, has been an award-winning local R&B band for more than a decade.
• Joseph Wincenc, a violinist, music conductor and educator who founded the Amherst Symphony Orchestra in 1946, the Orchard Park Symphony in 1950 and the Clarence Summer Orchestra in 1959 and worked as musical director and conductor at all three. He was also an associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He died in 2003.
• Lejaren A. Hiller, a retired professor of music composition and a pioneering theorist and composer of electronic and computer music, also composed both pop and classical music. He died in 1994.
• John H. Hunt, a jazz musician and promoter, led WBFO’s development as a force on the national jazz scene. He died in 1985.
Tickets cost $20 and will be available at the door of Club Paradise, 3950 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell. The evening’s musical performance includes John and Mary with the Valkyries.