Above, Bernie Kugel, Buffalo’s “Godfather of Punk”, with his band The Good, performing Walk Around the World. Boy, do they still bring it! The night is about the inductee’s stories, and their introducer’s stories. But what makes this a special music night in Buffalo every year is having most every live inductee perform for us, many a time the rarest of performances as some folks just don’t play out too much anymore. I love the trend of there being an effort to have them perform with their own original bands whenever possible. Bravo Bravissimo!
I enjoyed Mary Louise Nanna, from the classical music world, who performed a beautiful violin solo, from Antonin Dvorak’s ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’. I also liked Billy McEwen, Class of 1989, who acted as introducer on this night, talking about how someone “touched the lives of many people in my life”, but that none of the charges stuck. There were three Denton Cottier and Daniels scholarships awarded to three high school students for studying music. The winners were Michael Christie from Kenmore East $500, Teagan Faran from Williamsville East $500 and Katelyn Fridmann from Lancaster Central $250. Congratulations! I love that the Hall is involved with encouraging young local musicians. Students from Buffalo and its closest counties were eligible.
He was the first to use the word “Funk” in a song, and that song was about Buffalo’s Broadway…
The song was Funky Broadway. Arlester “Dyke” Christian and his band were influenced by James Brown’s band, and created this song about a Broadway that is just a mile away from where we were watching the induction here at the Tralf. Dyke performed with James Brown at the Apollo Theater in New York. Dyke’s career came to a tragic ending when he was about to tour England, and about to record with Barry White, when he was shot dead in a city where he often performed, Phoenix, Arizona, at the tender young age of 27.
Past members of the Hall of Fame that were in town gathered on stage
For current living members, we saw them all come up on stage, up to the microphone, one by one, announce their name, the year they were inducted, and then assemble at the other end of the stage. The biggest laugh here was when we heard “Eddie Tice 1856”. But he looks so young! (Actually he is Class of 2010) And so, for a brief moment, most of the current members in town were all together on one stage, the best of Buffalo music’s living past and present. So if you see them around town, and can’t recognize them in their performance outfits, now you know what they look like, and can wish them warm congratulations. What a great opportunity for up and coming musicians to identify and network with superstars that can help them get to the top.
Inductee Tadj Szymczyk and the Buffalo Touch brought the house down with their version of “Living Next Door To Alice”, a song written by a couple of Australians (hmmmm… Australian Polka?), Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, back in 1972. A polka tragedy, for sure, where Alice lived next door to our hero, she suddenly moves away without explanation, and he deeply regrets never having made his move. Uh oh! Is polka actually country music in disguise? Perhaps. Even induction introducer Mike Nowakowski wore a black cowboy hat. Anyway, a lot of the audience stood up for the first time this night, and really got into it clapping and singing along. When the audience repeated the “Alice” and “where the hell is Alice”, it made me think of call and response songs from the old jump blues songs we used to hear by the Jump Kings in Buffalo clubs in the mid 90’s. And then there were the four hotties that shouted “We Love You Tadj!”! Yup, polka groupies. One of the polka guys did a great bit about things to do to not get into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, but to hear that you are going to have to wait for when the replay comes out on the upcoming DVD from the night on the org’s merch page. And finally, one of the polka guys closed with, “Nastrovia (A toast to your health). Thank you very much. I’ll be at the bar.”
What the Class of 2012 do to get here? Please see Buffalo Music Hall of Fame announces Class of 2012.
What happened earlier in the show? Please see 30th Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is a Smash.
Coming soon look for Part 3, the final part of this series…
Please share with us any memories you have of these great Buffalo music legends…