Hall of Fame pro­duc­ers work­ing on celebrity guests for cer­e­mony

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - MUSIC -

Tickets go on sale Satur­day for the 2016 Mem­phis Mu­sic Hall of Fame in­duc­tion cer­e­mony.

This year’s class of in­ductees is led by Stax Records star Wil­liam Bell, garage-rock legend Domingo “Sam the Sham” Sa­mu­dio, iconic R&B house band the Hi Rhythm Sec­tion, and jazz sax­o­phone great Charles Lloyd. Renowned opera star Mar­guerite Pi­azza — who died in 2012 her adopted home­town of Mem­phis — and blues­man John Lee Hooker, who was born in Tutwiler, Mis­sis­sippi, launched his ca­reer in Mem­phis and died in 2001 — will be hon­ored posthu­mously.

The cer­e­monies — tak­ing place Nov. 3 at The Can­non Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts — will have a lot to live up to af­ter last year’s star-stud­ded gala, which in­cluded ap­pear­ances by Hall of Famer Justin Tim­ber­lake, rock legend Keith Richards and “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fal­lon. Even “Web­ster” star Em­manuel Lewis made a sur­prise ap­pear­ance dur­ing Sam Moore’s epic fi­nale.

“We are try­ing our best to get Em­manuel back,” jokes John Doyle, head of the Hall of Fame and the man charged with putting the cer­e­mony to­gether. “Be­cause we know that’s what will put us over the top again this year.”

Although the lineup of per­form­ers and guests typ­i­cally isn’t fi­nal­ized un­til a few days be­fore the ac­tual show, Doyle has al­ready con­firmed some tal­ent for the event.

“We do know that Wil­liam Bell is at­tend­ing and will­ing to per­form. John Lee Hooker Jr. is com­ing and will per­form in honor of his fa­ther. Also, Sam Sa­mu­dio is ex­pected to ap­pear,” says Doyle. “Un­for­tu­nately, Charles Lloyd has a con­cert in Mi­lan, Italy, and won’t be able to at­tend.”

The Hi Rhythm sec­tion will once again serve as the house band — along with event’s mu­si­cal direc­tor, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell — as well as per­form­ing their own fea­tured set.

Over the next month, Doyle will be work­ing dili­gently to bring in more celebrity names to serve as pre­sen­ters and per­form­ers, likely un­til the last mo­ment. “It’s al­ways that way,” he says. “Last year, Wil­liam Bell will be among the in­ductees and per­form­ers at the Mem­phis Mu­sic Hall of Fame cer­e­monies.

Fal­lon and Keith Richards, those were peo­ple we hadn’t con­firmed un­til al­most the very last minute. That’s the na­ture of

these things. But be­cause we have such a great class, we’ve reached out to a lot of great peo­ple, and we’re ex­cited about who all is go­ing to be there on Nov. 3.” This year’s six-mem­ber Hall class will join 54 pre­vi­ous in­ductees — in­clud­ing B.B. King, Elvis Pres­ley, Otis Red­ding and Tim­ber­lake — bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of mem­bers to 60 for the Rock ‘n’ Soul Mu­seum-af­fil­i­ated Hall .

Tickets to the 2016 Mem­phis Mu­sic Hall of Fame cer­e­monies are $50 and $100 (this ticket price also in­cludes a free silkscreened poster). They go on sale at 10 a.m. Satur­day at all Tick­et­mas­ter out­lets, tick­et­mas­ter.com or (800) 745-3000.

Square Blues

Since the re­de­vel­op­ment of Over­ton Square kicked into high gear a few years ago, blues has been a ma­jor com­po­nent of the area’s pub­lic en­ter­tain­ment.

This week­end, the genre will be given an even greater fo­cus as the Mem­phis Blues So­ci­ety presents the first Bona Fide Blues Fes­ti­val. The fest, which fea­tures 28 dif­fer­ent acts, will take place to­day and Satur­day in and around Over­ton Square. The event will be ded­i­cated to the re­cently de­parted Ruby Wil­son, the “Queen of Beale Street.”

The lineup of per­form­ers in­cludes a num­ber of fa­mil­iar Mem­phis, MidSouth and Mis­sis­sippi names. Those sched­uled to ap­pear in­clude Wa­ter­melon Slim, John Németh, Sons of Mud­boy, and South­ern Av­enue, as well as Hill Coun­try stars Cedric Burn­side, Kenny Brown, Leo “Bud” Welch, and Sharde Thomas and the Ris­ing Star Fife and Drum Band.

Shows at Over­ton Square’s out­door stage will be free and open to the pub­lic. There is a cover charge for each of the con­certs at in­di­vid­ual venues. How­ever, the fes­ti­val is of­fer­ing all-ac­cess wrist­bands for $25 in ad­vance, $50 at the gate. VIP passes are also avail­able for $100.

To pur­chase tickets and for the full sched­ule, go to bonafide­blues­fest.com.

river Se­ries

Live mu­sic re­turned the Har­bor Town Am­phithe­atre last week­end. The fifth edi­tion of the River Se­ries con­cert pro­gram kicked off with per­for­mances by Mem­phis blues-rocker Steve Selvidge and North Carolina folk gui­tarist Daniel Bach­man.

Two more shows have been con­firmed for the fall con­cert pro­gram, which is booked by Goner Records and Shoul­der Tap Records, and takes place at the am­phithe­ater lo­cated across from Miss Cordelia’s on the cam­pus of the Maria Montes­sori School, at 740 Har­bor Bend Road.

On Oct. 23, nine-mem­ber lo­cal col­lec­tive The African Jazz En­sem­ble will per­form as part of a show sponsored by the In­die Mem­phis Film Fes­ti­val. On Nov. 5, Texas garagepsych artist John Wes­ley Cole­men will ap­pear.

Doors for the con­certs open at 3 p.m. with mu­sic start­ing at 4. A do­na­tion of $5 or more is sug­gested for each con­cert. Miss Cordelia’s sells food, and Wiseacre Brew­ing Co. pro­vides beer. Pro­ceeds ben­e­fit the Maria Montes­sori School.

PHOTO BY DAVID MCLISTER

BOB MEHR

MEM­PHIS MU­SIC BEAT

Photo By She­vaun Wil­liams

Wa­ter­melon Slim will one of nearly 30 dif­fer­ent acts per­form­ing at the Bona Fide Blues Fes­ti­val this week­end in over­ton Square.

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