The Musician’s Hall of Fame is no longer Nashville’s best-kept secret. It is an iconic place where history lives and grows.
The Hall of Fame’s motto “Come See What You’ve Heard,” it is an absolute perfect fit for them. If you’ve not been to the Musician’s Hall of Fame and you are thinking it would be just another boring tour-stop, think, think again! For not only would you be fascinated by all the incredible history that is housed there and the knowledge of the person walking you through the tour, the establishment offers so much more.
For instance, this past October 26, the Musician’s Hall of Fame held the 5th Annual Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Concert, complete with incredible performances by all the inductees, who brought along some dear friends and fellow musicians to share in the evening – and to literally “play along.”
Inductees included: Garth Brooks & The G-Men (Brooks’ studio session musicians who were responsible for creating his sound as we know it), Ricky Skaggs, former Eagle Don Felder, musician and recording artist Jerry Reed, and musicians from the Sigman Sound Studio Rhythm Section.
Sharing in the spotlight that evening were greats like Kenny G., Melinda Doolittle and Russell Thompkins Jr. of the Sylistics, Steve Wariner, Bruce Hornsby and Peter Frampton.
Kenny G hosted the show and rendered an amazing solo the likes of which we may never see again. Frampton joined Felder to perform an incredible version of “Hotel California,” Bruce Hornsby and Kentucky Thunder joined Skaggs for an amazing bluegrass version of “The Way It Is.” Wariner honored the late Jerry Reed with rousing versions of “Amos Moses” and “Eastbound & Down,” while Doolittle paired with Thompkins Jr. to honor Sigma Sound Rhythm Section.
It was an evening that could only be described as mesmerizing. The night not only honored the musicians, but also the amazing engineers and producers who are in part responsible for creating the incredible music we have the privilege of listening to each day. Producer Allen Reynolds and engineers Lou Bradley, Mark Miller and Joe Tarsia were also inducted. To be in the audience during such iconic performances you knew you were basking in the glow of the greats.
There were quite a few memorable moments during the course of the evening.
Wariner’s tribute to Reed was very heartfelt and his rendering of “Amos Moses” and “Eastbound & Down” brought thunderous applause – and a few tears as well. It was a very kind and sweet tribute with Reed’s daughters Lotty and Seidina on hand to accept the award.
Another moving moment in the evening was when the G-Men took the stage with Brooks and performed “The Thunder Rolls,” “Friends In Low Places,” and “The Dance” – not only to honor the audience with a grand performance but also to honor the late, great bass player of the group, Mike Chapman., whose bass guitar was lovingly displayed on the stage while the group played.
When Brooks accepted his award, he said of Chapman, “I keep hearing the word ‘family’ and that’s what we were.” Chapman’s wife also spoke at the event and was thanked the MHOF for honoring her husband with the award – and was grateful he had been recognized and made aware of the award prior to his death. A private ceremony had been given earlier in the year in order to ensure Chapman would be recognized and able to accept the award.
Another memorable moment was when Thompkins Jr. took the stage. When his incredible vocals saturated the room there was an epic “awe” that seemed to happen. And when joined by Doolittle, pure magic fell over the room.
Then there was the phenomenal, tear-the-house-down performance by Felder and Frampton as they teamed up to perform their rendition of “Hotel California,” and received a standing ovation that did NOT want to die down.
But one cannot leave out the always-awesome Skggs, who never disappoints. Who knew that “The Way It Is” could sound so new and fresh while being played as a bluegrass version! And Bruce Hornsby still rocks!
Will such another opportunity come along to see so many phenomenal players and performances all in one night? Perhaps. But it will likely only happen again next year – when the Musician’s Hall of Fame reaches into the hat and pulls out the names of the musicians who’ve made magic – and musical history over the years.