Nine giants of Memphis music have been named, at a press conference at Hard Rock Café on Beale Street, to be 2014 inductees into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. They include such all-time greats of rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm & blues and soul as Carl Perkins, Ann Peebles, Chips Moman, Lil Hardin Armstrong and the recently-departed Jesse Winchester.
Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Perkins, Hi Records soul sister Peebles, classic songwriter Moman, Memphian singer-songwriter Winchester and Lil Hardin Armstrong (second wife of Louis Armstrong and a respected jazz artist in her own right) are joined by four other notables in this year’s list: Stax Records owner and leading light of racial integration, Al Bell; seminal melodic rock band Big Star; blues trailblazer Walter “Furry” Lewis; and John Fry, founder of Ardent Studios, home to many early Stax recordings and countless other classic recordings.
Honorees will be recognised at the annual Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this autumn, and will join 38 previous inductees, who include B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, Al Green, Otis Redding, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, W.C. Handy and Memphis Minnie. Each inductee into the Hall of Fame receives the Mike Curb Award, a locally hand-crafted trophy which is the official award of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
Details were also announced at the press conference about the current construction of a Hall of Fame exhibit and museum, which is scheduled to open in early 2015 and will be located at 126 Beale Street. That’s the former address of Lansky Bros., the retail clothing store with an international reputation as the “Clothier to the King,” for outfitting Elvis Presley as well as Jerry Lee Lewis, Rufus Thomas, David Porter, Roy Orbison and other stars.
Renovation is being completed on the building, which will be the new site of Memphis’ Hard Rock Cafe, scheduled to open next Thursday (July 3). The building will also house the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, when it opens in the new year, and a Lansky’s retail store.