Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame
Blue Dogs, The Parrots, Ann Caldwell
Rob Fowler emcee
Sun. Oct. 28
1 p.m.
Hannahan Amphitheater
3100 Mabeline Road

The fourth annual Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame is locked and loaded for this weekend, and this year’s inductees include everyone from a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer to local rock royalty. Michael Davis of Ye Olde Music Shop debuted the awards ceremony specifically to honor local legends who may or may not have received any accolades of late but whose names deserve to be documented as change makers in the Charleston music scene. Guests are welcome to bring a cooler, although barbecue sandwiches will be on hand as well. The Lowcountry Blues House Band will perform along with inductees the Blue Dogs, the Parrots, and Ann Caldwell. It’s all free.

And the winners are:

James Jamerson

You’ve heard him before, whether you realize it or not. An uncredited studio musician, James Jamerson laid down legendary bass grooves on many a Motown record, including that of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, the Jackson 5, the Supremes, and Smokey Robinson. His cousin Anthony McKnight has spent 20 years campaigning for Jamerson’s induction into the S.C. Hall of Fame, and although that hasn’t been fruitful as of yet, Jamerson has received two lifetime achievement Grammy Awards, a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, and inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Musician’s Hall of Fame, and the Fender Music Hall of Fame. And now, the Lowcountry Music Hall of Fame. Damn straight.

Jack McCray

Musician, journalist, and so much more: Jack McCray’s death in 2011 is one that shook the local music scene. Founding member of Jazz Artists of Charleston and creator of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, everyone knew him. In addition to his significant contribution to live jazz music, he also documented the local jazz happenings for prosperity — an invaluable service. He wrote for the Post & Courier, so the byline was always anticipated, and he authored the book Charleston Jazz, published locally by Arcadia, which documents the evolution of the art of jazz throughout Charleston’s history and cements its place in the American jazz vernacular world. He deserves this award and so much more.

Joe Meli

“Joe was the owner of Desperados, and they brought a ton of shows when it was the Plex and Desperados,” Davis says. “He’s been really helpful to this scene.” The Plex and Desperados operated as two separate entertainment venues in North Charleston, existing from 1993 until 2008, hosting about 500 concerts during their years of operation, including performances from the Strokes and the Flaming Lips.

Ann Caldwell

Anyone remotely familiar with the local music scene will know her by name. Ann Caldwell sings it all, from gospel to pop, and her Magnolia Singers group have performed Gullah spirituals for over a decade. More recently, you may have heard their voices on the popular, Peabody Award-winning podcast, Uncivil, which uncovers little-known, horrifying truths centered around the Civil War.

Bobby Alvarez

He’s the vocalist/percussionist for Plane Jane, a local party band that’s serenaded Lowcountry bars and weddings for the past 20-plus years. The band finished up their two-decade reign at the end of last year, marking the end of an era. But Alvarez can still be found flexing his vocal muscles around town, like during Brad and Jennifer Moranz’s annual variety shows at the Charleston Music Hall.

The Parrots

The Parrots was a pop band, one of the biggest bands in Charleston, during the late ’70s and early ’80s, performing regularly at the Windjammer and the legendary haunt, Myskyns. You may recognize a few of the members’ names: Charlie Thompson, Cambridge Trott, Leon Meyer, Danny Grady, and Ricky Morse. Their brand of original rock ‘n’ roll led the Parrots all over Charleston radio, winning the 95SX Miller Beer Rock to Riches Homegrown 2 competition.

The Vistas

If you were in Charleston during the 1960s, perhaps you encountered the Vistas performing on the Folly Beach Pier. One of the top local bands back then, members Steve Ledford, Frank Borland, Rusty Terry, Andy Daniel, Cliff Meyers, and Bill Joiner were on a roll locally and beyond, gaining popularity when their song “Keep on Keeping On” became a regional hit. The guys called it quits in 1969.

The Blue Dogs

The Blue Dogs are still going strong after 30 years. The country-rock of the Blue Dogs all began in 1987 when standup bassist Hank Futch and acoustic guitarist/vocalist Bobby Houck joined forces. The group can be found every December around New Year’s Eve at the Charleston Music Hall. This year’s reunion show is extra special, not only because it’s the official 30th anniversary show but because the band will bring special guests galore to the party.

Cap’n Harry Cochran

We definitely remember the cold beer, live music, and good times at Cap’n Harry’s Blue Marlin Bar off John Street (now Coast) back in 2000, but did you know that the Key West-themed bar originally opened on Cumberland Street in 1977, where Jimmy Buffet would sometimes turn up fresh off the boat? The hotspot later moved to Savannah Highway, where it first began to host big bands like Widespread Panic. Yet another move landed owner Cap’n Harry Cochran, one of this week’s honorees, and his business at the Edisto Pavilion before the John Street stint. Cochran himself will be in attendance to regale you with plenty of stories that begin with, “And then this one time …”

Clarence Jackson

Clarence Jackson is no small mention. He’s getting honored at the Hall of Fame for his years spent as a quite famous country music radio announcer in the late ’40s and early ’50s. Many older country music fans will recognize the name, but he was known for more than radio. Jackson could also play a mean dobro and is an official member of the South Carolina Hall of Fame.

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