Tag Archives: Kansas Music Hall of Fame

The Billboard Roll Call: Dawayne Bailey

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who have charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Today’s Roll Call features a a sideman who’s had a great career, although he’s not a household name.

Dewayne Bailey grew up in Manhattan, Kan. He founded Rathbone, a regional band, and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

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Today in KC’s Music History: Joe Turner Born

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Big Joe Turner

Happy Birthday to KC legend Big Joe Turner, who was born 100 years ago today.

Born in Kansas City, Turner started singing on the streets and in church. In his early teens, he began singing in clubs and became known as the Singing Barman. Continue reading

Producer Garth Fundis to be Inducted Into Kansas Music Hall of Fame

Garth Fundis

The Kansas Music Hall of Fame announced this week that Nashville producer Garth Fundis will be inducted as part of the class of 2011.

Fundis is being honored with the Directors Award. According to Bill Lee, the hall’s president, Fundis was born in Baldwin City, Kan., about 45 miles southwest of Kansas City and just south of Lawrence. Fundis got his start playing in Lawrence-area bands and as a booking agent.

He moved to Nashville in the 1970s and has been a fixture in the country music community ever since. His production credits include some of country music’s best and best-known artists, including Trisha Yearwood, Keith Whitley, Sugarland, Alabama and Emmylou Harris. He also was an executive at RCA Records and Almo Sounds in the 1990s.

Fundis is the owner of Sound Emporium Studios, one of Nashville’s oldest running studios. Sound Emporium traces its roots to Jack Clement, the legendary producer who produced Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash at Sun Records in Memphis and moved to Nashville in the early 1960s.

Clement opened Jack Clement Recording Studios in 1969, which was sold and renamed Sound Emporium in 1979.

Fundis joined the studio as an intern in 1971 and became a house engineer a few years later. He bought Sound Emporium in 1992.

The 2011 induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, in Lawrence.

Vinyl KC: “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers

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The most important lesson I learned as a musician is also one of the hardest to apply: it’s not the notes you play, but the notes you don’t play.

To put it another way, playing simply is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do.  A master class on how to do it is contained in the Bill Withers classic Lean on Me.

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Vinyl KC: “Shake Rattle and Roll” by Joe Turner

I just started collecting old records that have a connection to Kansas City’s music history. I’ll be spotlighting these in future blog posts.

First up is my prized possession and probably the most important record made by a Kansas City musician: Shake, Rattle and Roll by Big Joe Turner.

Turner had an amazing career, having a hand in most of the significant musical developments in the first half of the 20th Century, including blues, big band, boogie-woogie, rhythm and blues, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Turner first sang in church. When he was about 14, he started singing in KC’s nightclubs. He performed at the important From Spirituals to Swing concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1939, which lead to his recording career.

A gig with the Count Basie Orchestra in the early 1950s resulted in Turner being signed to Atlantic Records. Turner recorded a number of R&B hits for Atlantic, but Shake, Rattle and Roll took his career to a whole new level.

Shake, Rattle and Roll is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s foundational records. With this performance, Turner became one of the transitional artists between R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. According to legendary songwriter Doc Pomus, “Rock ‘n’ roll would have never happened without him.”

Shake, Rattle and Roll was recorded in New York on Feb. 15, 1954. Released in April 1954, it hit No. 1 on the R&B chart in June 1954. (Interestingly, Bill Haley & His Comets recorded their version the same week Turner’s version hit No. 1 and was released later that year.)

Turner continued to record and perform into the 1980s. He died in 1985 at age 74. He’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.

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Big Joe Turner: Rock & Roll Hall of FameKansas Music Hall of Fame