Rhode Island may be small, but there’s no doubt it’s big on talent. To honor and preserve that talent, the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame (RIMHOF) was formed in 2011. “Rhode Island has produced an inordinately large number of truly great, successful and important artists,” says RIMHOF Vice Chair and Archive Director, Rick Bellaire. “Sometimes it’s easy to forget that world-acclaimed artists have roots right here.” The RIMHOF aims to make it impossible to forget that fact.
This is the organization’s second year honoring Rhode Island-based musicians with an induction, and it expects this year’s ceremony and concert to rival last year’s sold-out show. The 2013 inductees include The Cowsills, made up of six siblings and their mother, who raised her chart-topping brood in Newport; George M. Cohen, who had his start in Fox Point; Sissieretta Jones, who managed her astounding opera career from Providence’s East Side; Bill Flanagan, who started in Rhode Island and headed to the top, promoting music from his home state all the way; Jimmie Crane, who maintained a Providence-based jewelry manufacturing company while huge stars like Doris Day and Elvis crooned the songs he wrote; Federal Hill-born Bobby Hacket, who grew up to be one of the best jazz improvisers ever seen; Eddie Zack & The Hayloft Jamboree, a band known for bringing country and western music to the Northeast; and Paul Geremia, who grew up in Silver Lake to become a world-acclaimed acoustic musician. The final inductee is Steve Smith & The Nakeds, who is celebrating its 40th anniversary, putting out a new album titled Under the Covers, and planning a full tour schedule. But that doesn’t mean the band doesn’t have time to honor its roots by joining The Cowsills in a special concert that follows the induction ceremony.
To allow more fans to be part of the action, this year’s ceremonies, which will be held on April 28, will be split into two events. Afternoon inductions and performances will be held from 2 to 4 pm, and the evening inductions and performances will begin at 7 pm at The Met. If you’re attending both sessions and are looking for something to do between them, head to the RIHOF museum space in the Hope Artiste Village at 4:30 pm to see the unveiling of nine new displays honoring the 2013 inductees. As theorganization grows, the museum will hold over 100 inductee displays, as well as Rhode Island music memorabilia, complete with interactive components. According to Bellaire, the museum space is just one of the RIHOF tools that will allow the organization to showcase the best musical talent in Rhode Island.
To purchase tickets to the events or view the day’s schedule, go to http://www.rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com.