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Rochester Music Hall of Fame announces class of '13

Rochester Business Journal
February 28, 2013

Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm, George Eastman and Delta Blues singer Eddie James “Son” House Jr. are among the 2013 inductees to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame. They are to be honored at an event in April.

The grassroots Rochester Music Hall of Fame group came together to honor musicians, organizations and venues that have contributed to the area's music scene.

The 2013 inductees are:

Eastman: The industrialist and philanthropist had the goal of making a world-renowned musical center. He established the Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and WHAM, among others..
Gramm: The singer-songwriter’s hits with Foreigner include “Cold As Ice,” “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”  His song “Rev on the Red Line” includes a nod to Rochester’s  Lake Avenue.
House: Known for his highly emotional style of singing and slide guitar playing, House made some recordings in the 1930s in Mississippi. In the 1940s, he moved to Rochester, where he worked as a railroad porter for the New York Central Railroad and as a chef. He was "rediscovered" in Rochester in 1964. He’s an influential figure in blues history.
Bat McGrath: This folk singer, songwriter and guitarist became an admired Nashville songsmith, writing for some of country’s biggest stars, including Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd. McGrath wrote the lyrics for Chuck Mangione’s “Friends & Love” and performed with him in concert. In the late 1970s, he recorded “From the Blue Eagle” and “The Spy." In the 1960s, he was in The Show Stoppers, then the folk/blues duo Potter and McGrath.
Mitch Miller: As head of Artists and Repertoire at Columbia Records, Miller worked with many of the biggest recording stars of the day, including Doris Day, Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis. His own hit recordings, Mitch Miller and the Gang, led to his hit TV show “Sing Along With Mitch,” which featured Leslie Uggams.
Nick Nickson: The disc jockey called “The Ole Professor” was first on the air in Rochester at WARC in 1947, and then on WBBF until the mid-1960s, when he moved to the front office. He ushered in the age of rock ‘n’ roll and stayed around for the British Invasion, garnering the highest ratings ever of any Rochester DJ.  He continued to do commercials and promos until he retired in 2007.
Jack Palvino. Another DJ, “Smiling Jack” had the top-rated morning show in Rochester for nearly 20 years on WBBF.  As executive vice president of the Lincoln Group, he and his partners acquired ownership of five local stations and three  elsewhere, and were featured along with WVOR in the book “Radio In Search of Excellence,” a study of 11 of the best run radio stations.
Don Potter: Said to be “the man who created the Judds’ sound,” Potter has worked with Kenny Chesney, Reba McIntyre, James Taylor and Elton John.  He collaborated with Chuck Mangione on the Friends & Love concert with McGrath.

The induction ceremony and musical gala is slated for 7 p.m. April 28 at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Live performances by many of the inductees are expected, as well as appearances by several Grammy Award-winning celebrity musicians and internationally renowned actors.

The first induction ceremony took place last year.
Tickets are on sale now and available through the Eastman Theatre box office, online at or, and all area Wegmans Food Markets Inc. locations. Regular seats are $50 to $35. Visit or click here for details.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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