Colorado Music Hall of Fame Presented by Comfort Dental Announces THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY
The event, "The Rocky Mountain Way," features performances from Garth Brooks, Amy Grant & Vince Gill, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Richie Furay, Randy Owen of Alabama, Todd Park Mohr, Michael Martin Murphey and surprise guests paying tribute to the late Dan Fogelberg and Caribou Ranch, the legendary recording studio. The classic Colorado lineup of Barnstorm-Joe Walsh, Kenny Passarelli and Joe Vitale-reunites to perform, and famed music producer Bill Szymczyk receives a CMHOF Award of Excellence.
Tickets go on sale this Friday at AXS.com, beginning at 10 a.m.
Many of the artists performing in tribute to Dan Fogelberg have participated in an upcoming tribute CD produced by Jean Fogelberg, Irving Azoff and Chuck Morris. Some of them recorded at Caribou Ranch and will perform those songs as well. Additional artists are being added to the show.
A closer look at the inductees, who will be the seventh group for enshrinement in the Hall since its inception in 2011:
• After leaving his studies at the University of Illinois, Dan Fogelberg set out for the West Coast, finding inspiration during a week in Colorado. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist subsequently bought a Nederland spread from original Byrds member Chris Hillman, and his time there resulted in the songs for his next album, Nether Lands (1977). Best known for his hits "Longer," "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne," the platinum-selling artist preferred to remain secluded on the ranch he later purchased near Pagosa Springs. Fogelberg succumbed to prostate cancer in December 2007.
• In November 1971, Joe Walsh left the James Gang and relocated to Colorado, forming a New Group called Barnstorm with bassist Kenny Passarelli and drummer Joe Vitale and releasing an album of the same name. Passarelli and Vitale would also be the core backing band members for the follow-up The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get (1973), Walsh's commercial breakthrough. The record cracked the Top 10 on the strength of the hit "Rocky Mountain Way," which was inspired by Walsh's move to Colorado. After 1974's So What, Barnstorm disbanded and Walsh continued as a solo artist and a member of the Eagles.
• Caribou Ranch, the first "destination studio" considered by many to be the Abbey Road of America, was built by producer James William Guercio on ranch property in the Rocky Mountains near Nederland. Caribou gained prominence when Elton John recorded three albums there, including the gratefully titled Caribou in 1974. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the studio hosted the biggest names in music, including such legends as Chicago, The Beach Boys, Stephen Stills, Billy Joel, Frank Zappa, John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire. Caribou Ranch was in operation until the control room suffered extensive fire damage in 1985.
A CMHOF Award of Excellence will be awarded to producer Bill Szymczyk, who came to Colorado in 1971 and worked as a disc jockey for free-form radio station KFML and was a co-founder of Denver's Tumbleweed Records. He is now regarded for his great success working with Joe Walsh, the Eagles, the James Gang and many other rock acts.
The performances and vídeo tributes of "The Rocky Mountain Way" will be captured by the PBS series "Soundstage."
Half of CMHOF's portion of the proceeds will be donated in Dan Fogelberg's memory to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
The Colorado Music Hall of Fame, presented by Comfort Dental, is a non-profit organization that educates the public on everything that makes our state's music great. Inductees include John Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheatre; Harry Tuft of the Denver Folklore Center and promoter Barry Fey of Family Dog fame; the Astronauts, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac and KIMN radio; folk legend Judy Collins, the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind and Chris Daniels; Stephen Stills/Manassas, Firefall, Poco and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; and "20th Century Pioneers" Glenn Miller, Paul Whiteman, Max Morath, Billy Murray and ElizaBeth Spencer with singer-entertainer Lannie Garrett. Other inductees scheduled for 2017 include "Masters of Jazz" Dianne Reeves, Charles Burrell, Bill Frisell and Ron Miles with Earth, Wind & Fire members Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn and Andrew Woolfolk.