TERRE HAUTE —
Old rockers and crooners joined to celebrate their own at a Sunday afternoon hall of fame ceremony.
The 20th Annual Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame induction banquet opened up at noon with barbecue and beans. Meanwhile, 18 musicians prepared for induction and an afternoon of jam sessions.
In addition to the regular play and fundraiser for local youth programs, Toby Myers, former bass player for John Mellencamp, was also in attendance helping raffle off a Fender Squire Stratocaster autographed in 2012 by Mellencamp.
Retired since 2000, Myers said he might be induced to join in one of the jam sessions later.
“There’s a possibility,” the 63-year-old grinned.
Myers was there in support of “We the People,” a youth program in which students compete in activities based on the U.S. Constitution. The team in Brown County was raising money for an upcoming trip, and Myers came to help sell raffle tickets for the guitar.
Beginning in 1982, Myers traveled the country with Mellencamp through 2000, when his son was born.
“Basically, I retired when my son was born,” he said, explaining the time commitment involved in being in a band. “Now I’m my son’s driver,” he laughed.
Prior to 1982, Myers played in a band called Roadmaster, which he said performed in Terre Haute regularly. From the time he was 13, music was his primary pursuit.
“That’s all I did,” he said, explaining the feeling of accomplishment he had upon learning to play the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer.”
Traveling all those years with Mellencamp was fun, but a lot of work.
“You’re not at home much when you’re with Mellencamp. It was kind of like being in the Navy. You get paid to see the world,” he said. “It was fun.”
Andrew Hayes, president of the hall of fame’s board of directors, said this year’s inductees represent an eclectic mix of genres.
“It’s a lot of variety of music, and that’s what we love,” he said.
Proceeds from the organization’s activities go to youth programs. Half of the money generated at a 2012 summer concert and picnic on Shrine Hill was donated to that organization’s hospitals, he said.
Clair Woodward, 84, served as the senior inductee Sunday. The 27-year professional at Indiana State University began work there in July of 1967 as director of music extension, where he arranged tours for 10 university musical groups, in addition to scheduling the Indiana State School of Music Association’s solo and ensemble auditions.
But his own work as a musician began as a first-grader, when his mother gave him a small pocket knife for singing a new song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” at a school Christmas program. In addition to work in schools, Woodward directed for the U.S. Air Force while a lieutenant, and ultimately earned a doctor of education before moving to Terre Haute.
Accompanying Woodward was his wife of 601⁄2 years, Jeri.
“It’s a surprise. So far I’ve met four people that I know,” he said of his being inducted.
2013 Inductees Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame
• Doug Butrum
• Rick Chesterfield
• Ray Columbo
• John Danner
• Brad Davis
• John Ford
• Jimmy Hollingsworth
• Gary “Soapy” Hopkins
• John E. Jackson
• David Joy
• Mike Myers
• Dan Rockwell
• Dave Riley
• Jerry Wayne Strain
• Jim Thistle
• Robert “Buddy” Thomas
• Tony Tingley
• Clair Woodward
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