The Georgia Music Hall of Fame welcomes Gregg Allman, John and Jane Barbe, Drivin’ N Cryin’, John Huie, Sam Moore and Monica Pearson into its latest class of inductees with posthumous recognition bestowed upon Sonny Limbaugh, Philip Walden, Jr. and Tim Wilson. The 37th annual awards ceremony, produced by Friends of Georgia Music Festival, Inc., will be held Sat., Sept. 26, 2015 in the Georgia Ballroom at the Georgia World Congress Center located in downtown Atlanta.
At 8 p.m. on Saturday, the awards will be televised live across the state of Georgia by GPB (Georgia Public Broadcasting). Tickets are still available for the gala event which includes a VIP Red Carpet and Governor’s Reception, seated gala dinner and a program of tributes, salutes and performances along with the presentation of the GEORGY™ Awards. For information, call 770-491-9494 Ext 15 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Moore, the legendary R&B and soul singer, songwriter and unmistakable lead vocalist of the famed 60s duo Sam & Dave, enters the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in the Performer category. His singing partner, Dave Prater, a native of Ocilla, Ga., was posthumously inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and Moore sang at the ceremony. But at that time, Moore was still under the impression he’d been born in Florida. Later in life, however, he learned that he’d actually been born in Macon County, Ga., before his family moved to Florida. So in 2015, Moore, who celebrates his 80th birthday on Oct. 12th, will take his rightful place alongside Prater and fellow homegrown soul legends Ray Charles, James Brown, Otis Redding and William Bell in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Excitement is high among fans for the Group induction of Drivin’ N Cryin’, the rock band celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The band played its first gig ever in 1985 at Atlanta’s infamous 688 Club and as legend goes, the clubowners loved the band so much they started a record label, Scarred but Smarter, and recorded an album that immediately found a home on college radio. Over the three decades since, Drivin’ N Cryin’ has released numerous critically acclaimed albums for major and indie labels, shot videos, toured tens of thousands of miles and influenced generations of fans and fellow musicians with a dogged devotion to artistic integrity, the road and rock and roll. “Honeysuckle Blue,” “Straight to Hell” and “Fly Me Courageous” are among DNC’s signature songs.
While he’s already been inducted as a member of the Allman Brothers Band and as a solo performer, Gregg Allman picks up his third GEORGY in the Songwriter category. Though the Allman Brothers Band officially played its last show in 2014, its founding member, keyboardist and vocalist (who lives in Richmond Hill outside Savannah) has continued to tour heavily with his solo band. Earlier this year he released Gregg Allman Live: Back to Macon, a DVD/CD featuring the complete performance recorded on Jan. 14, 2014 at the Grand Opera House in Macon, where the Allman Brothers Band began more than 40 years ago. The 16 tracks include “Statesboro Blues,” “Melissa,” “Whipping Post,” “Queen of Hearts,” “I’m No Angel” and more.
John and Jane Barbe are recognized for their contributions to music and popular culture with the 2015 Pioneer Award. A clarinetist, composer and arranger, John Barbe spent almost three decades in Atlanta writing arrangements for big bands and singers and composing and producing music for more than 300 commercials, ten documentaries and more. His wife, the late Jane Barbe, a singer, dancer and actress, holds the distinction of having been the mysterious Telephone and Time Lady. Back in the days of landlines, users—to the tunes of millions per year—would call a local number to hear the time…and the voice they heard all over the U.S. was Atlanta’s own Jane Barbe.
The Non-Performer inductee, John Huie has been a powerful force behind the scenes in the talent booking world for more than 30 years. He was born in Macon, Ga., where he started his career at The Paragon Agency with another Georgia Music Hall of Famer, Alex Hodges. In 1979, he joined Ian Copeland in NYC to launch Frontier Booking International, which was instrumental in breaking artists including The Police, R.E.M., The Go-Go’s and Joan Jett. He spent time at ICM in the 80s before joining the influential Creative Artists Agency, where he remains today as co-leader of the Nashville office. His clients include Faith Hill, Jennifer Nettles, Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum and more.
Monica Pearson, a familiar face to Georgians after spending 37 years as a news anchor on WSB-TV Atlanta, will receive the Chairman’s Award. Though she retired from WSB in 2012, Pearson hosts a weekly radio show on KISS 104.1 FM, writes a column, teaches part-time and continues to host her popular Closeups program on WSB. She has been the recipient of numerous accolades and honors during her long, distinguished career.
There are three inductees in the Posthumous category. Philip Walden Jr. (1962 – 2011) joins his father, Phil Walden Sr., in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Philip was born in Macon and grew up surrounded by music greats such as Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Sam and Dave and later, members of The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie and The Marshall Tucker Band. After graduating from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, Philip began his career at King & Spalding in Atlanta before joining his dad to revive Capricorn Records in Nashville. Later, he joined the legal team at Turner Broadcasting’s Music Group and was an avid volunteer for the Street Law program and Georgia Lawyers for the Arts.
Comedian and country singer Tim Wilson (1961 – 2014) released more than a dozen albums during his career. He collaborated with fellow comedians including Jeff Foxworthy and Ron White, appeared frequently on television and radio programs and kept fans in stitches with tunes like “Garth Brooks Ruined My Life” and “The Ballad of John Rocker.” Born in Columbus, Wilson worked with the legendary muisc publisher Bill Lowery at his Southern Tracks label and had the members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section performed on many of his recordings.
Sonny Limbaugh, an Alabama native, got his start in 1969 at Rick Hall’s Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Ala., where he worked on several big hits of the era including Mac Davis’s “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me” and Clarence Carter’s “Patches.” Later he migrated to Atlanta to work with Bill Lowery and his stable of artists including Joe South, Billy Joe Royal and Alicia Bridges. A DJ, promoter, engineer, producer and songwriter, Limbaugh is remembered as a great friend to musicians.