Meet Our Board Emeritus

Moving into our second decade, the Hall’s board of directors is thrilled to present the inaugural members of the newly formed, Colorado Music Hall of Fame Board Emeritus. These four individuals consist of former board members (some, even founding members!) who have contributed to the Hall of Fame’s evolution and success.

Journalism intern from University of Denver, Haley Birt, interviews our inaugural Board Emeritus:

JC Ancell
Associate Director, University Memorial Center/ Staff Advisor, CU Program Council
University of Colorado (Retired)

What motivated you to join the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“I was at the University of Colorado and the staff advisor [for the Program Council]…and [Phil Lobel, a fellow board member] convinced me… that I might be useful to the board. I had lived in Colorado my whole life…I was a music fan and involved in the music business from the university perspective….Music business and artist recognition was sort of my forte and things that I was interested in.”

What has been most rewarding about your time on the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“I was instrumental in helping to develop the material and the presentation when Wendy Kale was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I contributed to her biography, contributed some photos and personal artifacts that supported her induction into the Hall. And I was fortunate, and grateful, that I was able to actually induct her into the Hall myself.”

What is your favorite Colorado music memory?

“Being involved with hosting back-to-back Rolling Stones concerts at Folsom Stadium in 1981….It took extensive planning and a lot of precautions and programs that weren’t necessarily common at other concerts we produced….We were recognized nationwide as being two of the smoothest run rock-n-roll concerts ever so it was a big feather in our cap…. It was a great show, full success, very smooth,… [and] it was an opportunity for me to see my favorite rock-n-rollers up close and personal.”

Aaron Friedman
Vice President, Finance
AEG Presents Rocky Mountains

What motivated you to join the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“Music is a big passion of mine; [it] always has been. Before I worked for AEG Presents, I was doing lots of things in the music business, as many people in the music business do…. I had various nonprofit experience as well as the music industry passion, and because I am in finance and accounting,…I kind of recognized that I might be a good fit and volunteered.”

What has been most rewarding about your time on the board 0f Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“The most rewarding thing, I really do think, is celebrating the legacy of music in Colorado specifically. Colorado has this really rich and interesting and deep musical tradition, and both getting to explore that and learn about it, myself, and getting to celebrate it and publicize it is really the most exciting aspect.”

What is your favorite Colorado music memory?

“It’s really hard to distill down to a single favorite. You can’t not mention Red Rocks. That place just gives you the chills. I’ve been to hundreds of shows at Red Rocks, and, every time I go, I still get a feeling of it being the greatest place in the world….Going to Red Rocks is an amazing experience.”

Phil Lobel
Founder & Chairman
Lobeline Communications

What motivated you to join the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“From the moment I snuck into my first concert at the Folsom Stadium when I was a freshman in Colorado in Boulder,…my connection with Colorado music has always been a part of my life. I moved out to L.A. in 1986 to start my own PR firm but always stayed in touch with and worked with Barry Fey and Chuck Morris on various tours that I was working on. Ten years ago, when Chuck [Morris] was putting together the idea of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, I couldn’t think of a better way to renew my connection to the music of Colorado than to be one of the founding board members.”

What has been most rewarding about your time on the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“The induction of Firefall was just an incredible moment. That was probably for me personally one of the most rewarding moments of the last ten years of Colorado Music Hall of Fame-o have this band that I had a one-on-one relationship [with] in college, [and then] to see them recognized on stage and become one of the early inductees into the Hall of Fame….The other personal induction that really meant so much to me was, I had nominated Barry Fey,… who was at various times, my mentor, my boss,and in his last years, my client….So, to be able to nominate Barry Fey and to also at that time be his publicist for the book about his life was really very rewarding.”

What is your favorite Colorado music memory?

“In 1977, when Barry Fey and Chuck Morris called me about doing the first stadium show at CU, which was…FleetWood Mac along with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, the first thing I said to them was, ‘There’s no way we’re going to do this stadium show without adding Firefall onto the bill.’ So yes, Firefall played on that stadium show–61,500 people sold out, in advance…. To work so hard to get the University to change direction and allow us to book a stadium show and then to book the hottest stadium show in the country…was amazing.”

David McReynolds
President
Columbine Health Plan

What motivated you to join the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“When [Chuck Morris] first started talking about putting [Colorado Music Hall of Fame] together, I told him I would support him in any way I could. I love music as well, and I love [the] history of music and the history of the music of Colorado. So, it was an easy choice for me to join.”

What has been most rewarding about your time on the board of Colorado Music Hall of Fame?

“Being able to highlight to the public all of the bands that had history and a foundation in Colorado. Some of the bands people were aware of, the famous bands and what have you, people don’t really realize that they had roots in Colorado. So, exposing that to the general public and honoring [the inductees] for all the fine work they’ve done [was] certainly very rewarding.”

What is your favorite Colorado music memory?

“The [Colorado] Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Fiddlers Green where [Dan] Fogelberg and Joe Walsh were there. Essentially, that was one of the great pinnacles of music in Colorado…. That was a special, special night…It was one of the highlights of music events that I’ve been to.”

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The Sink: Remembering Herbert Kauvar

Many members of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame board have a longstanding relationship with Boulder’s iconic restaurant, The Sink, whose former owner, Herbert Kauvar, passed away on October 24, 2020, at the age of 93.

“I became friendly with Herbie when I stopped by the Sink after I left Norlin Library. One day I told him I had dropped out of CU grad school, and he offered me a job managing the Sink….I started booking local bands in the back room and upstairs in the pool hall. After hearing their rehearsals, I booked the second show ever of Flash Cadillac in the back room of the Sink on a Friday afternoon and paid them all they could drink. That show broke every record for beer sales and they went on to a great career… Thanks to Herbie’s faith in me, my career really got started — and for that I will always be grateful.”

Chuck Morris, Founder of Colorado Music Hall of Fame; Chairman Emeritus, AEG Presents Rocky Mountains; Chairman, Music Business Dept., Colorado State University

“I worked for Herb in the early ’70s when I was a student at CU…He was such a nice man and a wonderful boss. My mom and dad had their first date at the Sink! That was long before Herb’s time.”

Kathie Broyles, Board member, Colorado Music Hall of Fame; Owner, Broyles Creative; Senior Vice President & Creative Director (retired), CBS

“When my dad brought me to the CU campus in Boulder back in the 70’s, we took a walk up to the Hill. We passed by the Sink, and my dad said “Stay here” and walked inside for thirty seconds. When he came back out, he said, “You don’t ever have to go here!” When he left to head back home to New Jersey, the Sink was the first place I went off-campus!”

Phil Lobel, Board member, Colorado Music Hall of Fame; Founder & Chairman, Lobeline Communications

Read more about Herb and Chuck here: https://www.thesink.com/blog-press/farewell-herb-kauvar-former-owner-the-sink

Herb’s obituary in the Daily Camera: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailycamera/obituary.aspx?n=herb-kauvar&pid=197179668

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#SAVEOURSTAGES

As a nonprofit organization founded to celebrate our state’s music heritage and to champion the future of Colorado music, Colorado Music Hall of Fame recognizes the impact that our independent venues have on our communities, both economically and culturally. As such, Colorado Music Hall of Fame is proud to support the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and officially endorse the bipartisan #SaveOurStages Act which will provide federal COVID-19 relief for our music industry. NIVA is comprised of more than 3,000 of the most influential independent music venues and promoters across the U.S, including almost 100 music venues in Colorado alone. These members have joined forces to collectively support each other and advocate to local and federal government to ensure that they have a chance for survival during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read CMHOF’s letter to Congress HERE.
Learn more about the Colorado affiliate, CIVA HERE.
Learn more about what happens now that #SaveOurStages has passed HERE.
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Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day 2020

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Dear Colorado music fans,

With large concerts cancelled and small venues struggling to survive, so many of us have had to experience music from our homes this year. Musicians and music producers got very creative, providing all of us, hungry for live entertainment, with a plethora of web-based “living room” concerts and previously recorded live shows. The music never stopped; it just came to us in different packaging.

Even so, many of our music friends – – musicians, venues, music stores, nonprofits and industry professionals –have had a devastating year with crippling financial losses that for some will be insurmountable. It’s been a year none of us could have predicted or prepared for.

As a nonprofit whose activities have centered around annual live induction concerts, Colorado Music Hall of Fame, like so many others, also felt this impact and had to pivot this year. Rather than venturing into the new world of virtual concert production (for now!), we opted instead to postpone our 2020 induction in hopes that we can all come together for a live show sometime in 2021. This shift was not an easy one to make, since, along with it, came the loss of our primary revenue source. Although the Hall of Fame maintains a lean budget, being a principally volunteer-led organization with only one staff member, we still had to dip into our cash reserve in order to remain operational. We recognize that our small nonprofit is one of the lucky ones in that we were able to make this choice rather than having the choice made for us.

Now, as we enter this season of giving, we encourage all of you who have the means to do so to consider a tax-deductible donation to Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Or, select another music nonprofit in our state. Support local musicians and music venues however you can. We need them, and they need us. This is the time to make sure that the music doesn’t stop.

We’re all in this together, and MUSIC WILL PREVAIL.

Colorado Music Hall of Fame is looking forward to a fresh start in 2021—which is a big year for us, our 10th anniversary! In our first decade, we captured the state’s music history, inducting over 40 legendary musicians, industry professionals and institutions. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we plan to make more history, as a champion for all Colorado music—past, present and future.

This concert-less year of 2020 provided us with an opportunity to reflect on what the Hall of Fame has accomplished and dream about the road we can pave into the future.

JOIN US. Our next 10 years are going to be a journey filled with local-grown Colorado music!

Help us keep the music playing (loud!),
Karen Radman
Executive Director
Colorado Music Hall of Fame

Schedule your Colorado Gives Day donation today or give on December 8 by clicking the image below!

Colorado Gives Day

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Become a Member

Make a meaningful impact on the legacy of Colorado music and history by becoming an introductory or patron member of Colorado Music Hall of Fame. By making a meaningful annual contribution, you can play a pivotal role in preserving the past, present, and future of music in Colorado.

With your support, our facility can continue to honor our state’s storied musical history and build a widespread appreciation for music, all through the power of education. From expanding exhibits and securing historic artifacts to leading community programming and planning local events, Colorado Music Hall of Fame can do all this and more through the generosity of our members and patrons. And to show our appreciation for your support, Colorado Music Hall of Fame grants our members and patrons exclusive benefits.

Colorado Music Hall of Fame Introductory Members

Has your love for Colorado music and history inspired you to become part of our state’s music community? As a member of Colorado Music Hall of Fame, you’ll be joining a community of music lovers who want to be sure that our state’s musical history is known for generations to come. Because of your donations, we will be able to continue welcoming guests of all ages, sparking a passion for music and a respect for the industry’s most iconic talents.

In addition to the knowledge that you’re part of the music and arts community in Colorado, becoming a Colorado Music Hall of Fame member will also provide you with an array of benefits.

Monthly E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest museum news and upcoming events with our monthly e-newsletter, conveniently delivered directly to your email inbox. Every month, you’ll receive information about special performances, featured exhibits, and more.

Discounted Pricing on Exclusive Collectors’ Books

Bring your Colorado Hall of Fame experience home with a collector’s item coffee table book, all while taking advantage of your 25% discount as a museum member. “Colorado’s Rock Chronicles” and “Telluride Bluegrass Festival – The First Forty Years” each combine stories and photographs to depict the many fascinating parts of Colorado music history. Both books will be available in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame online store, which will be opening soon.

Members-Only Online Group, “Friends of Colorado Music Hall of Fame”

Connect with fellow music lovers and history buffs in our members-only Facebook group, “Friends of Colorado Music Hall of Fame.” Through group discussions, video and photo sharing and more, you can interact with other museum members. Plan group outings to the museum or an upcoming performance, converse about your favorite concert experiences, or share resources, all from a convenient exclusive online platform.

Access to Ticket Pre-Sales

Once we are able to produce events again, members will have the option to pre-purchase tickets So you can be sure that you never miss another great induction concert or Hall of Fame event. Beat the rush and avoid the disappointment of a sold-out event by securing your tickets before they even go on sale to the public.

How to Become a Member of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame

Becoming an introductory member is simple, and costs as low as $50 per year (minimum donation per person). We will put your membership fee directly back into the museum, facilitating future programming, exhibits, expansions, and more.

Colorado Music Hall of Fame Patrons

For those with a deep dedication to keeping the state’s musical legacy alive, a patron-level membership can be a wonderful way to honor Colorado’s music heritage. Your contribution will have an impact that lasts for generations, supporting our mission to celebrate and share the greatest moments and talents in Colorado music history. Every time you visit Colorado Music Hall of Fame, you can take pride in knowing that you have directly contributed to the future generations’ appreciation for music.

As a patron of Colorado Music Hall of Fame, you will enjoy all of the benefits of a member, plus more.

A Free Collector’s Item Book

In addition to all members’ benefits noted above, patrons are gifted a free copy of one of the two Colorado Music Hall of Fame books. Choose from “Colorado’s Rock Chronicles” or “Telluride Bluegrass Festival – The First Forty Years,” two stunning publications that capture the true art of music history in Colorado.

How to Become a Patron of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame

For a $1,000 donation, you can join the ranks of the dedicated patrons of Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Did You Know? Your Donations and Membership Fees are Tax-Deductible

Because Colorado Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID #27-2529106), all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about deducting your donations to Colorado Music Hall of Fame, please contact your accountant or tax advisor.

Other Ways to Get Involved at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame

In addition to becoming a member of Colorado Music Hall of Fame, there are many other ways that you can get involved and support our efforts to honor the state’s music history.

On behalf of music lovers everywhere, we thank you for your support.

Remembering Two Fallen Colorado Musicians

Remembering Two Fallen Colorado Musicians

Two beloved Colorado musicians passed away in March following complications from COVID-19. It is during challenging times such as these that we appreciate the contributions of talented artists more than ever, as we truly understand the way that music can represent the incredibly full range of human emotion. From joy and humor to collective sadness, there is no emotion that cannot be expressed through the power of music.

The two musicians that Colorado lost because of coronavirus each demonstrated that in their own way. Today, we honor and celebrate the memories of Freddy Rodriguez Sr. and Rod Powell.

Freddy Rodriguez Sr.

Born in Denver in 1931, Freddy Rodriguez Sr. was a powerful presence in the Colorado music scene for nearly half a century. Known for his incredible improvisational skills, big heart and a true passion for his art, Rodriguez was unquestionably a mainstay of the jazz community.

After spending some time in both Los Angeles and New York City, Rodriguez returned to Denver in the 1970s. It was here that he would truly put down his musical roots, calling El Chapultepec his home stage for more than forty years. Whenever he took the stage with his saxophone, the crowd knew that they were about to witness something special.

For decades, Rodriguez played with many of the biggest names in traveling jazz, welcoming performers such as Jaco Pastorius and the Marsalis brothers to join him onstage. As the evening would wind down, he would often invite young amateurs to sit in on a few songs, opening his arms to budding talents.

Freddy Rodriguez Sr. passed away at the age of 89 on March 25. His dynamic presence and kindness will be deeply missed.

Rod Powell

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Rod Powell became a fixture in Vail, where he delighted tens of thousands of visitors during his decades as the town’s favorite entertainer. He was the community’s après-ski musician of choice, and could often be heard performing his signature cover of “Hotel California.” A passionate skier himself, Powell was a fixture both on the slopes and at local spots such as Pepi’s.

Throughout his career, Powell had no shortage of memorable moments. At his very first gig at Pepi’s, none other than Gregory Peck sat in the audience. His performances have been enjoyed by movie stars, ambassadors, and even a U.S. President, Gerald Ford. Iconic musicians such as Stephen Stills, Dan Fogelberg, Edwin McCain and the Doobie Brothers joined Powell for jam sessions.

One of Powell’s proudest contributions was his work with the Colorado Make-a-Wish Foundation, including hitting the slopes with a young man whose wish was to visit and experience Vail.

Rod Powell passed away at the age of 64 after contracting coronavirus; he will be missed by friends, family and everyone who’s ever been part of the Vail community, even just for a short stay.

Honor the Legacy of Colorado’s Greatest Musical Talents at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame

Although the Colorado Music Hall of Fame has temporarily closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still continue in our mission to celebrate the state’s diverse musical heritage and brightest stars. Our exhibits at the Red Rocks Trading Post include a collection of historical artifacts, and we also provide educational programming and musical events for the Colorado community. Our current priority is ensuring the health and safety of community members, but we look forward to welcoming visitors once again when it is safe to do so.

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Colorado Artist Spotlight: 3OH!3

3OH!3 came together in Boulder in 2004 during the Myspace cultural revolution. Founding members Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte named the electronic music duo after the area code that once covered all of Colorado, and what started as a way to entertain friends at parties soon grew into a musical phenomenon.

From the release of their first album in 2007, 3OH!3 has thrilled fans with one successful single after another and albums full of exciting tunes that blend multiple genres of music.

3OH!3 Hits

The self-titled debut album spawned 3OH!3’s first successful single, “Electroshock.” 3OH!3 signed with Photo Finish Records, a division of Atlantic, and since then, Foreman and Motte have continued to produce hit music for more than ten years.

Here are a few of the greatest 3OH!3 songs:

  • “Don’t Trust Me,” from the album Want
  • “Starstrukk,” also from Want, featuring Katy Perry
  • “Follow Me Down” written for the film Alice in Wonderland
  • “I Know How to Say,” featuring Kesha, written for Disney’s Mars Needs Moms
  • “Hit It Again,” released to iTunes in December 2010
  • “My First Kiss,” featuring Kesha, from the album Streets of Gold

Besides these singles, 3OH!3 contributed “Sex on the Beach,” a theme song for The Real World: Cancun, and created an anthem for the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team.

The duo’s music also appears via sampling in the work of other famous artists: Lil John sampled its music on the track “Hey” from his 2010 album Crunk Rock, and Kesha featured 3OH!3 on her song “Blah Blah Blah,” which went to number seven on the Billboard charts.

3OH!3 Performances

While 3OH!3 started out playing Colorado venues such as the Fox Theatre in Boulder and the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins, the act broke out on the Warped Tour 2008 and subsequently took their music all over the country at appearances like these:

  • MTVU Spring Break in Panama City Beach, Florida, on March 2009
  • Mile High Music Festival in Denver in July 2009
  • End Fest in Sacramento, California, in 2009
  • Kiss Concert ’09 in Mansfield, Massachusetts
  • Kiss the Summer Hello 2009 in Buffalo, New York
  • Reading/Leeds festival in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2009

3OH!3 Videos

In addition to its unique style of music, 3OH!3 is also known for some mind-blowing video work. The video for “Don’t Trust Me,” for example, tells the story of two male models who are the only survivors of a virus that wipes out every other man on the planet.

They appear in various famous locations around the world while beautiful women run toward them, but never seem to get close. And the video for “Starstrukk” is a collaboration with Katy Perry. These videos extend the feel of 3OH!3’s music to the visual realm.

 

More of 3OH!3 Coming Up

In 2018, the musicians behind 3OH!3 celebrated the tenth anniversary of the release of Want. Today they tell stories of couples who met at concerts in those early days and are now married and raising children.

Myspace has gone the way of the dodo, but 3OH!3’s music continues to evolve and grow for platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. A new generation is discovering the duo’s music in new ways.

Whether you’ve followed 3OH!3 for the last ten years or you’re new to their music, you can keep up with what’s next by visiting 3OH!3’s website, where you’ll find upcoming performances and appearances as well as fun merchandise.

3OH!3’s music brings people together from various personal and musical backgrounds, yet the team never takes themselves too seriously: Check it out and join the fun!

Also, make sure to visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame website for news of upcoming events and concerts.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Timo Nausch

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Listen up, Colorado!

Colorado’s music scene is about much more than its famous musicians: Without the support of music-minded businesses, this state’s award-winning scene might never have developed.

ListenUp’s Beginnings

Definitely deserving the status of best-supporting player, ListenUp has been an intrinsic part of the scene for almost five decades. The business got its start in 1972, when college friends Walt Stinson, Mary Kay Stinson and Steven Weiner opened a small storefront in Denver with a single goal: to offer the very best in sound. From there, ListenUp has grown into a company with over 100 employees and stores in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Albuquerque and Portland, as well as a robust online presence that’s given it a global reputation. But providing incomparable sound and service remain the primary missions. “To put it simply, our goal is to create loyal and enthusiastic customers,” says Walt Stinson. “From staying ahead of the latest technologies and trends to hiring and retaining the people best qualified to take care of our clients, we are totally focused on that goal.”

ListenUp on The Road

To realize that goal, ListenUp has often taken its show on the road. In the mid-’70s, it orchestrated regular weekend concert broadcasts for KFML at the legendary Ebbets Field (where “Sound by ListenUp” became a hallmark), then went on to install the sound system as well as a recording studio at the legendary Rainbow Music Hall, founded by Colorado Music Hall of Fame members Barry Fey and Chuck Morris and which, like Ebbets, was named Billboard magazine’s Club of the Year. “We created a pretty amazing system – it still gets talked about,” remembers Stinson. “We were doing more live broadcasting than had ever been done in Denver’s history.”

LIstenUp & Technological Innovation

But soon ListenUp became known for another technological innovation: The founders bet the company’s future on compact discs, laying the groundwork for the CD market before the product even hit the streets in the early ‘80s and helping CMHOF inductee KBCO become one of the first stations in the country to adopt that digital format. A few years later, they created a custom installation department, focusing on the best in high-fidelity, high-definition sight and sound, an emphasis that continues to this day. When ListenUp moved its longtime headquarters at the start of the millennium, it created the cutting-edge Reference Theatre as a testing ground for new technologies.

LIstenUp’s Commitment to Excellent Service & Products

And since everything old is new again, ListenUp has rededicated itself to analog perfection with its world-class selection of turntables, accessories and service. From ListenUp’s hands-on customer service to its stellar reputation for commercial sound reinforcement, the company is a part of Colorado’s music past, present and future, continuing to provide sound systems for businesses and venues like Fiddler’s Green, as well as outfitting homes around the country. “Our knowledge of commercial systems prepared us well when home systems began to get more complex,” recalls Weiner. Adds Phil Murray, longtime ListenUp marketing manager, “We’ve helped music fans bring the excitement of a night at Red Rocks to their home audio systems.”

ListenUp Supporting the Music of Colorado

As Listen Up’s reputation continues to expand, it hasn’t forgotten the state it calls home, or the music fans who live here. And just as Walt Stinson was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame in 2009, ListenUp has recognized Colorado’s own music all-stars. The company recently renewed its sponsorship of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, in an extension of its commitment to the music community. ListenUp helped design and install the screens for the CMHOF’s archived movies and videos on display throughout our Trading Post location at Red Rocks; those movies bring the history of Colorado music to life for the thousands of music fans and visitors who see the Hall exhibits. “We’re proud to continue to support the state’s musical heritage through our involvement with the Colorado Music Hall of Fame,” says Murray.

Listen up, Colorado!

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The Fray - Colorado Music Hall of Fame

Colorado Artist Spotlight: The Fray

The Fray is a pop-rock group that made a name for itself around the globe within the span of just a few years in the 2000s. Led by Isaac Slade’s piano, power-ballad sound and songwriting, and distinctive vocals, the group eventually claiming double-platinum status in four countries and establishing a huge presence on the world stage. But the group got its humble start in Colorado, performing at events like Film on the Rocks and using early social media platforms such as MySpace to build its fan base.

The Members

The core group consists of four members: Slade, lead vocalist and pianist; Joe King, who pulls a triple as a rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist and backup vocalist; Dave Welsh, the lead guitarist and bass guitarist for in-studio recordings; and Ben Wysocki, percussionist, and drummer. These four often work alongside additional members on tours, including bass guitarist Einar Pederson.

Building the Band

The Fray marks its official beginning as 2002. However, the act’s roots can be traced back further, to when three of the four members attended the same Christian school and led the musical portions of worship services in a number of Denver churches. Several of the members enrolled at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Arts and Media, where they studied music, music business and recording. That’s also where they wrote some of their most iconic songs. The band went through a few member changes (for a time, Isaac Slade’s brother was a part) before settling on the current lineup, and each change seemed to further inspire the Fray’s instrumental chops along with its songwriting.

Early Success

The Fray might enjoy global acclaim today, but the four-man band’s earliest successes came in Denver. The act recorded the Movement EP in 2002, but it wasn’t until the production of the Reason EP that the Fray began to find a measure of local success. Despite this acknowledgment, the band still struggled to get good reviews and to have its songs played on the resident radio station, KTCL. This changed when the Fray submitted “Cable Car” (later changed to “Over My Head (Cable Car)”), the song that launched the group straight to fame.

Biggest Hits and the Rise to Fame

This band’s biggest hits were released early during its rise to fame and helped carve out a place for this pop-rock group on the ever-competitive Billboard sales and airplay charts. “How to Save a Life” was released on September 2005, and despite the initial success of “Over My Head (Cable Car),” it was this song that would become an anthem for a generation, an iconic statement of hope and perseverance. It was incorporated into an episode of the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, with various members of the cast singing along to the song as it was woven into the plot. The act’s next big success came in 2008 with the release of You Found Me, an award-winning track that nearly topped the How to Save a Life album in popularity.

Awards

Over the years, this band has collected its fair share of awards. Some of the most noteworthy wins:

  • Digital Album of the Year, 2006 – How to Save a Life
  • Digital Album Artist of the Year, 2006
  • New Rock Artist of the Year, 2007
  • International Work of the Year, 2010 – You Found Me

A Colorado Inspiration

Isaac Slade and other members continue to give back to Colorado through their work going back into CU Denver’s classrooms, doing seminars for high school students, working with Take Note Colorado and performing for the CMHOF at various induction events. You can visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame to learn more about other famous talents from this state, as well as check out upcoming events.

Image Credit: dwphotos

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7 Things to Know About the Grateful Dead in Colorado

Deadheads know that the Grateful Dead, icons of rock, got their start in San Francisco, but the Dead also have a storied history in Colorado. The Grateful Dead’s Colorado legend began at a simple Denver venue in 1967; they would go on to play at all of Colorado’s most legendary venues and stadiums. Take a walk down memory lane with these facts about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Grateful Dead.

The Warlocks

Before they had settled on the iconic name we know today, the band originally went by the name The Warlocks. The only catch? Lou Reed’s The Velvet Underground put out an album of the same name, so Jerry Garcia and the gang decided they needed something more unique. While flipping through a book of folklore, Garcia happened across the phrase “grateful dead.”

The term appeared in folktales from a variety of cultures, and means a soul that is grateful to a charitable person on earth who arranges the soul’s burial.

The Dead on the Road

All said and done, the Dead played a staggering 2,317 shows from their beginnings in 1967 until Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. While they put out an impressive 13 studio albums, the band was mostly known for their mellow, community-driven shows. Diehard fans of the band were known as Deadheads, and many Deadheads would follow the band around, going to all of their shows. Some fans did this for years.

Grateful Dead Colorado

Even though the band is best known for the members’ affiliation with the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco, the Grateful Dead history in Colorado is also impressive. In September 1967, the Dead played two shows at The Family Dog in Denver. They followed this up with their only acoustic set ever performed in the state n 1970.

They played Folsom Field for the first time in 1972 and then went on to regularly perform at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The band later said that Red Rocks was a sacred space for their music.

Honoring the Dead

Despite their status as legends, the Grateful Dead never won a Grammy until 2007, when they were bestowed with a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. The band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. They were further honored with an exhibit at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame titled “Colorado Getaway – The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country.

Their only chart-topping hit was “Touch of Grey.” This song reached number nine on the Billboard 100 in 1987.

Jerry Garcia and Life After Death

Singer and guitarist Jerry Garcia was the heart of the band. He was an artist and songwriter responsible for many of the band’s greatest hits and artwork. Tragically, Garcia died of a heart attack soon after his 53rd birthday in 1995. The surviving band members continued to tour and play together; however, they retired the name Grateful Dead and went by names such as The Dead and The Other Ones.

Iconography

The Dead were known as much for their iconography as they were for their music. Fan art and T-shirts have been adorned with the band’s skull and lightning logo, dancing bears, and skulls and roses.

Legacy

Beyond creating beloved music, the Grateful Dead have done extensive philanthropic work through their nonprofit Rex Foundation. Since its founding in 1983, the foundation has raised more than $10 million for human rights, arts and education.

See Dead and Company at Folsom Field

In keeping with their love affair with the fans of Colorado, Dead and Company will be closing out their 2019 tour at Folsom Field. The band features original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and John Mayer who will fill in for Jerry Garcia. See the band and check out the Dead’s Colorado Music Hall of Fame exhibit “Colorado Getaway – The History of the Grateful Dead in High Country.”

 

This piece has been revised since it’s original posting in August 2017