MEMPHIS HEROES AWARDS
ANNUAL MEMPHIS HEROES AWARDS
TO BE HELD TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2004
The Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy's first annual Heroes
honor musical pioneers Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana and the late Bill
Black (Elvis' original band); Ike Turner; Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown; and Big Star. The Heroes Award is the highest honor bestowed by
an Academy Chapter. It recognizes special individuals who have made
significant contributions to America's music and popular culture.
Recording Academy chapters have previously honored B. B. King, James
Brown, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick and Tom Dowd, among
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 7:30 p.m.
for the Performing Arts
255 N. Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana;
GRAMMY® winner Ike Turner; GRAMMY winner Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown; Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens of quintessential American power
pop band Big Star; and other well-known artists.
Live performances by the honorees and special guests who were influenced
by the honorees, alternating with video clips and artists paying tribute
to the honorees. A vintage guitar exhibit immediately precedes the event
and an official post party with live performances closes out the
evening. Performers announced and tickets on sale March 1. Contact the
Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy for more information.
Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts &
Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to
improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its
makers. An organization of musicians, producers and other recording
professionals, the Recording Academy is internationally known for the
GRAMMY Awards, and is responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach,
professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human
Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy
Web Site: firstname.lastname@example.org
press release courtesy the Memphis chapter of the National Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS): and EPE.
April 13 - Memphis Heroes Awards 2004
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 North Main St., Memphis,
|Bill Black, D. J. Fontana and
Scotty Moore with Elvis
© Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
The Memphis Chapter's first annual Heroes Awards, planned for April
13 at the Cannon Center of Performing Arts, will honor Elvis' first
bandmates, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Scotty Moore,
Bill Black and D.J. Fontana; GRAMMY
Award-winning musician/bandleader Ike Turner; GRAMMY
Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown; and indie rock band Big Star.
The Heroes Awards begin at 7:30 p.m. with live performances, awards
and video tributes. Artists participating in the event include Ronnie
McDowell, GRAMMY winners the Jordanaires;
GRAMMY winner John D. Loudermilk; Mike Mills,
bass player for GRAMMY-winning band R.E.M.; and three-time W.C. Handy
Award winner Joe Louis Walker. Tickets are currently
available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at ticketmaster.com
or by phone at 901.525.1515.
The Peabody Hotel is offering
Memphis Heroes Awards attendees a special rate. For information, call
Sarah Carroll at the Memphis Chapter office.
© Eggleston Artistic Trust
Much as 2003 was deemed the Year of the Blues to celebrate 100 years
of the blues, Memphis will celebrate 50 years of rock and roll in 2004.
On July 5, 1954, Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill's recording of
"That's All Right," produced by Sam Phillips for his Sun
Records, hit the airwaves and began a musical revolution. All three
musicians made stellar contributions to the track by shedding their
inhibitions, by mixing country and blues and going into new territory.
D. J. Fontana was added to the band in 1955. They are widely
acknowledged as the first great rock and roll band, influencing rockers
of later generations, including the Beatles and Rolling Stones.
In March 1951, Clarksdale, Mississippi-born teenager Ike Turner and
his band, the Kings of Rhythm, traveled to Memphis to record at Sam
Phillips' Sun Studio. Their original tune "Rocket 88" was
recorded and released with a lead vocal by sax player Jackie Brenston
under the name Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats. "Rocket
88" zoomed to the top of the R&B charts and is today regarded
by many critics as the first true rock and roll record.
Louisiana-born, Texas-raised multi-instrumentalist and GRAMMY winner
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown is an unclassifiable American
original who has been dishing up his unique blend of blues, R&B,
country, jazz and Cajun music for more than 50 years. A virtuoso on
guitar, violin, harmonica, mandolin, viola and even drums, Gatemouth has
influenced performers as diverse as Albert Collins, Frank Zappa, Lonnie
Brooks, Eric Clapton and Joe Louis Walker.
The quintessential American power pop band Big Star remains one of
the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock and roll. The
group's three studio albums are listed in Rolling Stone
magazine's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time," and their
influence on subsequent generations of indie bands such as R.E.M., the
Replacements and the dBs is enormous. Their song "In The
Street" (as recorded by Cheap Trick) was chosen for the theme of
the television sitcom "That '70s Show."
The Heroes Awards will be recorded for television and will feature
presentations and performances by historic and contemporary artists
influenced by these musical pioneers.
Memphis Heroes Awards: Artists who helped create
Memphis’ rich musical legacy — and influenced the world of music
from the Mid-South — were honored at the Memphis Heroes Awards held at
the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on April 13.
|(l-r) David Bell, Mike Mills, Jody
Stephens, Jon Auer, Executive Director of the Memphis Chapter
Jon Hornyak and Ken Stringfellow
The Heroes Awards celebrate legends in the music industry,
acknowledging those artists who have made a lasting impact to the world
of music and popular culture. Just as Memphis’ musical history
encompasses an array of genres, the selected honorees represented
diverse backgrounds. Those whose outstanding careers were recognized
included Elvis Presley’s bandmates Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, and the
late Bill Black; power pop band Big Star; soul icon Ike Turner; and the
blues octogenarian Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown.
|Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana
The audience was treated to live performances, video tributes and
presentations to the honorees by their friends and fellow musicians.
Music lovers, fans, business leaders music executives and entertainers
from across the country were in attendance.
Mike Mills, a member of the alternative rock band R.E.M., touted the
influence of Big Star, while presenting the first award to the
under-acclaimed Memphis band. "If you’re a fan of rock and roll,
even if you haven’t heard of Big Star, you owe them, because I
guarantee you, any band you like did hear of them and listened to them,
and do their best to do as well as they did,” Mills said. Big Star
performed one of their most notable hits, “In The Street,” which
garnered even more fame when it was covered by Cheap Trick to be the
theme song to “That ’70s Show.”
|Neil Portnow and Ike Turner
Elvis’ dream team and bandmates, guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist
Bill Black, and drummer D. J. Fontana, were next to receive their
awards. Black’s children accepted his award on their late father’s
behalf. Ronnie McDowell, Joe Louis Walker, and the Jordanaires
accompanied Moore and Fontana during their musical performances, which
included the bluesy rock love-lost anthem “Heartbreak Hotel” and
Elvis’ signature version of the gospel classic “How Great Thou
After the heroes of pop and rock were recognized, Ike Turner took the
stage, but not after shedding a few tears upon receiving his award from
two of his friends and peers, Little Milton and Knox Phillips. “This
is totally unexpected,” Turner said. “I didn’t expect any of this.
I thought I was just coming to Memphis to do a couple of songs
tonight.” Turner performed his breakout hit “Rocket 88,” a tribute
to the Oldsmobile, which featured Little Milton on vocals, and the
electrifying soul chart-topper “Proud Mary.”
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown closed the evening with his unique
brand of Louisiana- and Texas-rooted blues that utilizes country, rock
and roll, soul, swing, jazz, Cajun, and Brown’s talent as a
multi-instrumentalist. Turner presented Brown with his award and noted
that Brown was the only guitar player he ever paid attention to.
Brown performed the up-tempo swing ballad “Take The ‘A’
Train.” He also silenced the audience when he held a single, haunting
high note on his violin for at least a minute that seemed to cry out to
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow summed the show up with one
great statement, “This isn’t just Memphis history. It isn’t just
music history. This is world history...[and] we celebrate the unique
power that music has to unite all of us.”
Special thanks go to Memphis Heroes Awards Presenting Sponsor Gibson
Musical Instruments/Baldwin Pianos, and all sponsors including WREG
Channel 3, Graceland, Phillips Recording, Spin Street, Memphis Flyer,
Memphis Radio Group, Blues Ball/Memphis Charitable Foundation, Pinpoint
Printing, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Peabody Hotel,
Another Roadside Attraction, Henry Turley Company, Memphis Marriott
Downtown, Sun Studio, Northwest Airlink, Running Pony Productions,
Ardent Studios, Select-O-Hits, Huey's, AMRO Music, BMI and Eskridge
& Eskridge Law Firm.