An Elvis impersonator, a songwriter who died in 1932, and a wealth of fabled journeyman rockers are soon going to be stepping into the spotlight as some of the newest members of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, just announced at a ceremony at the Buffalo History Museum.
The group of musicians will be honored at an induction gala at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Cardinal O'Hara Performing Arts Center at Cardinal O'Hara High School.
Here are the honorees:
Wayne Sharpe. An alumnus of SUNY Fredonia, Sharpe has made his mark composing for the television and entertainment industry. The classically trained Sharpe wrote the themes for Miss Universe and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. He also has shown his versatility by writing stirring scores for multiple Bollywood extravaganzas, bringing a Western sound to Hindi music. Sharpe, based in New York City, will receive the President's Award.
Mike Phelps. The drummer has an impressive list of recording credits and is one of the house musicians at the Sportsmen's Tavern. He will receive the Legacy Award.
Howie Simon. A renowned hard rocker, Simon has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1994. He got his start in Buffalo, touring with Ice Water Mansion and then his own band, Storm Warning. Simon has toured Europe a number of times with rock singer/songwriter Ken Tamplin and has played and recorded with Jeff Scott Soto.
Dave Schmeidler. The guitarist won renown in the '70s for his involvement with the Small Appliance Orchestra. He also also been associated with Gamalon, Mark Freeland's Electroman, Hoagie and the Blues Bombers, and the Celtic band Stone Row. He also makes his own progressive rock recordings.
Terry Buchwald needs no introduction to anyone in Western New York. He is, and has long been, the area's premier Elvis, tackling the master's music with both passion and humor. The Music Hall of Fame particularly wishes to recognize Buchwald for all the money he has raised for charity over the years.
Jim Linsner. Drummer Linser has made a name for himself with the Need, J.J. Swing and many other beloved Buffalo rock groups. He has also won a large following as an educator. He teaches and is the author of three books on drumming.
Alison Pipitone has long been one of the area's best-known woman rock artists. She is a founder and board member of Hamburg Music, which has raised $100,000 for charity over the past decade. Among her fund-raising successes has been a major contribution to the Colored Musicians Club's piano fund.
Chauncey Olcott. Born John Chancellor Olcott in Buffalo in 1858, he was one of the first members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame (he was inducted posthumously in 1970). His mother came from County Cork in Ireland, and Olcott honored his Irish roots with such songs as "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and "My Wild Irish Rose." He died in 1932 and Warner Brothers made a movie about him, called "My Wild Irish Rose."
The Jumpers rank with Raven, Flash, and Talas as among Buffalo's most-beloved bands. Singer Terry Sullivan is already in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, and now the Hall is honoring the rest of the group: Bob Kozak, Scott Miklasz, Roger Nicol and Craig Meylan.
Tom Stahl and the Dangerfields are a longtime draw on the Buffalo scene. The band has featured a Who's Who of talent over the years, all anchored by Stahl, who first commanded attention with his album "I Wanna Be Ignorant." The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame recognizes Stahl for his charity work.
Story topics: Buffalo Music Hall of Fame