Rochester Music Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Class of Inductees

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Board of Directors and Sponsors Prepare for Second Awards Ceremony and Musical Gala on April 28th at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

We have worked extremely hard over the last four years to research the music history of Rochester and then formulate a structure of criteria by which to select from this inordinate amount of talent,” said Karl LaPorta, RMHF founder and board president.

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame will honor the 2013 class of inductees, which includes a myriad of iconic musical legends that have made their mark in the genres of classical, rock, pop, jazz and folk music. The induction ceremony and musical gala will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 28th 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 and was greeted by a nearly sold-out crowd. Presenting sponsor Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and other organizations and individuals make the gala possible.

Tickets are on sale now and available through the Eastman Theatre Box Office by calling 585-454-2100, online at or, and all area Wegmans. Regular seats are $50-$35. Students and educators can purchase discounted balcony tickets for $20. Visit for more information.

The Rochester Music Hall of Fame 2013 Inductees:

George Eastman – Industrialist, philanthropist and the greatest music enthusiast in Rochester’s history. He sought to make his favorite city a world-renowned musical center. He established the Eastman Theatre, Eastman School of Music, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, WHAM and more.

Lou Gramm – Singer/songwriter. His supercharged voice propelled the multi-platinum band Foreigner to become one of the most successful rock acts of all time, singing such hits as “Cold As Ice,” “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.” After a string of top-40 solo hits including “Midnight Blue” and “Just Between You and Me,” it came as no surprise when he was nominated to the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame. Gramm was born in Rochester and attended Gates-Chili High School. He is also an alumnus of Monroe Community College.

Eddie James “Son” House, Jr. – Delta Blues singer/bottleneck guitar player, circa 1930s, rediscovered in Rochester in 1964. He’s a seminal figure in blues history having influenced generations of blues performers including Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Keb Mo and Jack White. “Death Letter Blues” and “John the Revelator” are signature songs of his. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1980.

Bat McGrath – Singer/songwriter/guitarist. He’s become an admired Nashville songsmith, writing for some of country’s biggest stars including Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd. His rise to fame began in the 1960s with the sensational rock band The Show Stoppers followed by the folk/blues duo Potter and McGrath. Along with Don Potter, Bat McGrath also appeared on several legendary Chuck Mangione albums, and has also released a number of solo albums.

Mitch Miller – Musician/Singer/Conductor/Record Producer. Beginning as a musician who studied at the Eastman School of Music, he would become one of the most influential figures in popular music during the ‘50s and early ‘60s. As the head of Artists and Repertoire at Columbia Records he 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 and others.

Nick Nickson – DJ. “The Ole Professor” first on the air in Rochester at WARC in 1947 and then on WBBF until the mid ‘60s. 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. His voice was heard for decades on the air doing commercials and promoting the Irondequoit Oktoberfest.

Jack Palvino – DJ. “Smiling Jack” had the top rated morning show in Rochester for nearly 20 years on WBBF. As Executive VP of the Lincoln Group, Jack and his partners acquired ownership of half the stations in town and were featured along with WVOR in the book “Radio, In Search of EXCELLENCE,” a study of eleven of the best run radio stations.

Don Potter – Singer/songwriter/guitarist/record producer. Said to be “the man who created the Judds’ sound,” Don has worked with a host of hit makers including Kenny Chesney, Reba McIntyre, James Taylor and Elton John. He collaborated with Chuck Mangione on the Friends & Love concert with super duo partner and fellow ex-Show Stopper Bat McGrath, and was also a member of The Brass Buttons, who signed with Atlantic/ Cotillion Records in the 1960s.

“We have worked extremely hard over the last four years to research the music history of Rochester and then formulate a structure of criteria by which to select from this inordinate amount of talent,” said Karl LaPorta, RMHF founder and board president. “These names represent the finest in their field, span various musical styles and disciplines, and represent decades of Rochester’s rich and diverse musical history.”

Getting involved:
The Rochester Music Hall of Fame provides the opportunity to cement Rochester as a world music center. The organization encourages community support to help make this happen. For more information about 2013 sponsorship opportunities visit or contact Karl LaPorta at 585-747-5721.

For more information visit For real time updates follow RMHF on Twitter at @RocHallofFame or on Facebook at Rochester Music Hall of Fame.

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About the Rochester Music Hall of Fame
Launched in April 2010, the RMHF is a non-profit organization made up of local musicians, business owners, community leaders and other professionals. Its mission is to recognize those with ties to Rochester whose talents have contributed to the creation of musical excellence. Each year new members will be honored through ceremony and celebration and their achievements memorialized to promote an appreciation for the greater Rochester area’s rich and diverse musical history and culture.

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