The Rocky Mountain Way

The Rocky Mountain Way

August 13, 2017

The Rocky Mountain Way - Colorado Music Hall of Fame

The Rocky Mountain Way

at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre 

Colorado Music Hall of Fame hosted an induction concert honoring Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh & Barnstorm and Caribou Ranch on Sunday, August 13, 7 p.m. at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre.

The event, “The Rocky Mountain Way,” featured Garth Brooks, Amy Grant & Vince Gill, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Randy Owen of Alabama, Richie Furay, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Michael Martin Murphey and surprise guests paid tribute to the late Dan Fogelberg and James William Guercio’s Caribou Ranch, the legendary recording studio. The classic Colorado lineup of Barnstorm—Joe Walsh, Kenny Passarelli and Joe Vitale—reunited and performed, and famed music producer Bill Szymczyk received the CMHOF Award of Excellence.

A closer look at the inductees, the seventh group enshrined in the CMHOF since its inception in 2011:

Dan Fogelberg - Colorado Music Hall of Fame


The son of Lawrence, a bandleader, and Margaret, a pianist, Fogelberg left his studies at the University of Illinois and headed for the West Coast, finding inspiration during a week in Colorado before moving on and securing a recording contract. For his second release, Souvenirs, Fogelberg enlisted producer Joe Walsh, who had recently recorded at Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Colorado, and “Part of the Plan” went to the top of the charts. While touring through Colorado in the mid-1970s, Fogelberg bought a house from Chris Hillman, situated 9,000 feet up on top of the Rocky Mountains. His time there resulted in the songs on Nether Lands, a platinum seller. He recorded part of his next venture, Phoenix, in Colorado, and the songs “Heart Hotels” and “Longer” were pop hits. The Innocent Age, released in 1981, included four of his biggest singles—“Same Old Lang Syne,” “Hard To Say,” “Leader of the Band” and “Run For the Roses.“ Fogelberg bought land in the San Juan Mountains and constructed his Mountain Bird Ranch. High Country Snows, made with some of his favorite acoustic pickers, became one of the best-selling bluegrass albums of all time. He built a home studio at his spread; The Wild Places, released in 1990, was the first album he self-produced and mostly tracked there. His rendition of the Cascades’ 1963 hit, “Rhythm of the Rain,” peaked at No. 3 on the adult contemporary chart. Fogelberg’s long career was interrupted in 2004, when he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He finally succumbed to the disease in December 2007.

JOE WALSH & BARNSTORM - Colorado Music Hall of Fame


Joe Walsh built a considerable reputation as lead guitarist and lead vocalist for the Cleveland-based James Gang. Such tunes as “Funk #49, “Tend My Garden,” “Walk Away” and “The Bomber” brought wide popularity and endless touring, and, as the big bucks beckoned, Walsh turned the other way. In 1971, encouraged by his friend and producer Bill Szymczyk, Walsh made the difficult decision to relocate to the open air of Colorado’s Boulder County. He formed a new group called Barnstorm with drummer Joe Vitale, a former Kent State classmate, and Colorado bassist Kenny Passarelli. Barnstorm was the first album ever recorded at the legendary Caribou Ranch studio near Nederland. Walsh freely indulged himself with beautiful choruses, country tinges and pastoral pop hooks on “Mother Says,” “Here We Go” and “Turn to Stone.” Accompanied once again by Passarelli and Vitale, Walsh officially went solo the following year with his second album, The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get. The first Top 10 album of Walsh’s career, it went on to sell more than a million copies. “Rocky Mountain Way,” co-written by Passarelli and inspired by Walsh’s move to Colorado, opened up a massive audience for Walsh and his band. Barnstorm disbanded amicably in 1975, allowing Walsh to produce Dan Fogelberg’s Souvenirs album. So What, his third solo album, included “Welcome to the Club” and a remake of “Turn to Stone.” At the end of 1975, the Eagles drafted their old friend to join them; Walsh’s tenure with the popular West Coast country-rock quintet gave him enhanced visibility, and he continued his pattern of successful solo albums.

CARIBOU RANCH - Colorado Music Hall of Fame


Owner James William Guercio got his start producing a string of hits for the Buckinghams circa 1967; he became a staff producer for Columbia Records and began working with Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Through five albums with Chicago, he gathered up enough money to buy Caribou Ranch for a reported $1 million in 1971. Caribou, in its idyllic setting nearly 9,000 feet up near Nederland in the Rocky Mountains, had been the largest privately owned an Arabian stud farm in the country. Guercio installed the studio in 1973 and then transformed the place into an opulent retreat for pop music’s aristocracy. Caribou Ranch, the first “destination studio,” gained prominence when Elton John recorded three albums there, including the gratefully titled Caribou in the spring of 1974. The life-in-the-fast-lane ambiance that usually accompanied a recording session disappeared at Caribou. There wasn’t a nightclub down the street, and artists didn’t have to send for food or commute back and forth from a hotel or even worry about the laundry. During the studio’s glory days, an entourage got full use of the facilities for a basic rate of $1,500 a day, and record companies were only too willing to shell out the money during their boom years. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Caribou Ranch 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. The studio was in operation until the control room suffered extensive fire damage in March 1985.




Famed music producer Bill Szymczyk’s first major success came when he convinced blues legend B.B. King to cut contemporary-sounding albums; the result was King’s first major pop crossover, “The Thrill Is Gone,” a hit in 1970. Szymczyk then signed and produced the James Gang, featuring Joe Walsh. He 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, a small independent label based out of a funky old house just east of downtown Denver on Gilpin Street; the label folded in 1973. Szymczyk went on to have great success in the 1970s, both as an A&R man and behind the board, regarded for his great success working with Joe Walsh. When the Eagles wanted a more rock ‘n’ roll sound, they hired Szymczyk, and the unprecedented chart success of the 1974 On the Border and 1975 One of These Nights albums made both parties millions.

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Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country

Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country

June 10, 2017

CMHOF’s VIP reception “Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country” was a huge success for attendees, judging by the number of smiling faces and superlatives offered.

Board member Paul Epstein was the driving force behind this event, offering his encyclopedic knowledge of the Dead and his wealth of artifacts to craft a memorable experience for Deadheads. Everyone in attendance was smitten by the timeline exhibit that will now be displayed at CMHOF’s home in the Red Rocks Amphitheatre Trading Post.

Board member “Pasta Jay” Elowsky and his staff did their typically brilliant job in creating a festive, celebratory atmosphere for the band and its fans with the incredible Dead-inspired cuisine, balloons, etc. It was easy to entertain a room of happy, well-fed people!

After opening remarks, renowned Grateful Dead authority David Gans (“The Grateful Dead Hour“) performed a few songs in tribute to the band, then moderated a panel of Paul, Grammy winner David Glasser (Airshow Mastering) and promoter Don Strasburg (special thanks to Don and chairman Chuck Morris for working with band management on CMHOF’s behalf).

Celebrity Deadhead Bill Walton made an appearance and graciously posed for pictures and signed autographs.

The three original members of the Grateful Dead—Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann—arrived and offered their good-natured insights into the band’s defining events in Colorado. Fans were over the moon!

The afternoon ended with the distribution of “swag” envelopes containing a “Red Rocks 7/8/78” 3-CD set and commemorative comic, menu and postcards. The attendees then got to see a wonderful performance by Dead & Co. in their club level seats.

The silent auction figures are being tallied, but CMHOF made well over $6,000. The Jerry Garcia etching of “The Guys” fetched $3,500, and Scramble Campbell’s donated painting of the Dead at Red Rocks was sold for $1,500.

Lots of people helped to make this event a special Thank you to all involved.

G. Brown
CMHOF director

Colorado Getaway Event Photos

Bill-Kreutzmann at Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Mickey-Hart from the Grateful Dead at the Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Bob Weir at Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Colorado Getaway: The History of the Grateful Dead in the High Country Exhibit - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

David Gans Performs at Colorado Getaway event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Don-Strasburg-David-Glasser-and-Paul-Epstein at Coloraedo Getaway - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Grateful Dead panel at Colorado Getaway - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Grateful Dead panel - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

The Dead at Red Rock painting - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

Deadhead swag from the Colorado Getaway Event - Colorado Music Hall Of Fame

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20th Century Pioneers

“20th Century Pioneers” Induction Event

April 16, 2016

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame held its “20th Century Pioneers” induction event on April 16, 2016, at the Glenn Miller Ballroom on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus. Singer and entertainer Lannie Garrett, who was also inducted, paid tribute to Paul Whiteman (“the King of Jazz”), Billy Murray (“the Denver Nightingale”), soprano Elizabeth Spencer and Max Morath (“Mr. Ragtime”), and the Glenn Miller Orchestra enshrined legendary bandleader Glenn Miller. The evening featured video tributes and a first look at the CMHOF “20th Century Pioneers” permanent exhibit.

Photos top to bottom—poster; Lannie Garrett and band; Glenn Miller Orchestra; Paul Whiteman and Glenn Miller exhibit panels; Billy Murray and Elizabeth Spencer exhibit panels; Max Morath and Lannie Garrett; Max Morath and CMHOF chairman G. Brown; buttons

20th Century Pioneers Event

20th Century Pioneers Event CMHOF

CMHOF 20th Century Pioneers Induction Ceremony

Paul Whiteman & Glenn Miller Exhibits CMHOF

Bill Murray & Elizabeth Spencer Exhibit CMHOF

CMHOF 20th Century Pioneers Induction Ceremony

Max Morath

CMHOF 20th Century Pioneers Induction Ceremony Pins

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Poco, Firefall, Manassas, Nitty Gritty Induction

Poco, Firefall, Manassas, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Induction Event

January 9, 2014

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame hosted an induction concert with performances from original members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Poco and Firefall, with a tribute to Stephen Stills/Manassas featuring Nathaniel Rateliff, on January 9, 2014 at Denver’s Paramount Theatre. The evening, also featured video tributes and celebrity speeches by comedian and veterinarian Kevin Fitzgerald, producer Jim Mason and CMHOF chairman Chuck Morris. The pre-concert gala (a meet-and-greet with the inductees) included a historic array of exhibits and archival photographs. Also honored were Chris Hillman, Richie Furay and comedian/banjo player Steve Martin.

Photos top to bottom—Governor John Hickenloooper; Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Jock Bartley (Firefall), Richie Furay (Poco) and Nathaniel Rateliff; Rateliff, Hanna, Bartley and Furay; Firefall’s Bartley, Rick Roberts, Mark Andes and Larry Burnett; Firefall’s Sandy Ficca, Steve Weinmeister, Andes, David Muse and Bartley; Poco’s Rusty Young, Paul Cotton, Furay and Timothy B. Schmit; Furay, Young, Cotton and Schmit; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Hanna, Jimmy Ibbotson and John McEuen; NGDB’s Ibbotson, Jimmie Fadden, Hanna, McEuen and Bob Carpenter; t-shirt.

Governor John Hickenloooper
Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Jock Bartley (Firefall), Richie Furay (Poco) and Nathaniel Rateliff
Rateliff, Hanna, Bartley and Furay
Firefall’s Bartley, Rick Roberts, Mark Andes and Larry Burnett
Firefall’s Sandy Ficca, Steve Weinmeister, Andes, David Muse and Bartley
Poco’s Rusty Young, Paul Cotton, Furay and Timothy B. Schmit
Furay, Young, Cotton and Schmit
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Hanna, Jimmy Ibbotson and John McEuen
NGDB’s Ibbotson, Jimmie Fadden, Hanna, McEuen and Bob Carpenter

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Judy Collins Induction

Judy Collins Colorado Music Hall of Fame Induction Event

November 8, 2013


Folk music legend Judy Collins was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame on November 8, 2013 at Denver’s Paramount Theater. The stellar induction class included the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lind and Chris Daniels. Collins gave a full concert, Lind and Daniels performed, and guest members of Paper Bird commemorated the Serendipity Singers’ hits. The evening also featured a video tribute to Denver’s folk scene of the late 1950s and 1960s, and celebrity speeches by Fred Gowdy (Freddi-Henchi Band), Al Chapman (owner of the Analyst coffeehouse), attorney Steve Farber and Harry Tuft (Denver Folklore Center) . The pre-concert gala (a meet-and-greet with the inductees) included a historic array of exhibits and archival photographs.

Photos top to bottom—The Serendipity Singers’ Brooks Hatch, Patti Davis, Diane Decker, John Madden, Steve Farber (inductor), Tom Tiemann, Lynne Weintraub; Paper Bird’s Mark Anderson, Gen Patterson, Esme Patterson, Sarah Anderson, Tyler Despres; Chris Daniels & the Kings; Bob Lind; Harry Tuft, Judy Collins; Judy Collins, Chris Daniels







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Rockin’ the ’60s Induction

Rockin’ The ’60s Colorado Music Hall of Fame Induction Event

September 8, 2012

ROCKIN THE 60s - marquee_32_across_1

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame honored the Astronauts, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac and KIMN radio at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, Sept. 8. The “Rockin’ the ‘60s” induction event featured video tributes, interviews with the inductees, celebrity speeches, and performances featuring inductees and guest members of popular Colorado bands (String Cheese Incident, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Rose Hill Drive). The gala also included a historic array of exhibits and archival photographs.


• The Astronauts, the legendary surf band from Boulder (not exactly known for its great waves) who became more successful than the Beach Boys…in Japan!

• Sugarloaf, who recorded the smash radio hits “Green Eyed Lady” and “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You.”

• Flash Cadillac, the beloved oldies band featured in the movies American Grafitti and Apocalypse Now and television’s Happy Days.

• KIMN radio, the AM giant in Denver and friend of every teenager in town during the ’60s.

Photos top to bottom—Boulder Theater marquee; Rob Squires, Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd & the Monsters), Jim Gallagher, Storm Patterson (Astronauts), Daniel Sproul (Rose Hill Drive), Jeremy Lawton (Big Head Todd & the Monsters); Rob MacVittie, Bob Webber, Jerry Corbetta, Myron Pollock, Bobby Pickett, Bob Yeazel, Bob Raymond (Sugarloaf); Mick Manresa, Kasey Phillips (Flash Cadillac).

ROCKIN THE 60s - Astronauts portrait

ROCKIN THE 60s - Sugarloaf portrait

ROCKIN THE 60s - Flash Cadillac performance

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Harry Tuft, Barry Fey Induction

Harry Tuft, Barry Fey Colorado Music Hall of Fame Induction Event

February 12, 2012

The Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s gala and dinner to induct music legends Barry Fey of Family Dog fame and the Denver Folklore Center’s Harry Tuft was held at the Stadium Club at Folsom Field in Boulder on Sunday, Feb. 12. The afternoon featured performances by Firefall, Otis Taylor and Grubstake with special guests Chris Daniels, Rob Drabkin and Dick Weissman, while patrons enjoyed a delicious Italian feast courtesy of Pasta Jay’s. Nick Forster of etown and Hot Rize fame gave the induction speech for Tuft, and celebrity veterinarian and comedian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald did same for Fey.



• Barry Fey began his career as one of rock’s most prolific promoters by opening the Family Dog concert hall in 1967, debuting with Big Brother & the Holding Company fronted by singer Janis Joplin. In ten months of its existence, the venue gained national attention as did Fey’s knack for booking the right bands at the right time. With such acts on its stage as Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead, the Family Dog established Denver as a “must-play” market for decades to come.

• It has been said that all acoustic musicians worth their salt have made the pilgrimage to Harry Tuft’s Denver Folklore Center to buy a guitar or soak up knowledge from the dean of Colorado’s folk scene. In 1960, Tuft traveled from his native Philadelphia to Colorado to ski, landing a jack-of-all-trades job at the Holy Cat in Georgetown. He ran into Hal Neustaedter, the owner of the Exodus, Denver’s premier folk club, who suggested Tuft might want to start a Folklore Center in Denver, which he did in March of 1962.

Photos top to bottom—Chuck Morris, Kevin Fitzgerald, Barry Fey; Nick Forster, Harry Tuft; Jerry Mills; Rob Drabkin; Dick Weissman, Rich Moore, Harry Tuft.



HARRY TUFT-BARRY FEY - Dick Weissman, Rich Moore, Harry Tuft

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John Denver Induction

John Denver Colorado Music Hall of Fame Induction Event

April 21, 2011

JOHN DENVER-RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE - Gov. John Hickenlooper-John Denver's kids-320px

Legendary pop superstar John Denver was inducted to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in a special benefit concert celebrating his music and life on Earth Day Eve, April 21, 2011 at 1stBank Center. The stellar evening featured performances of notable John Denver hits by host Olivia Newton-John, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lee Ann Womack, John Oates and former collaborators Bill Danoff of the Starland Vocal Band (co-writer of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”) and John Sommers (writer of “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”). Famed composer Lee Holdridge led the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra in a special tribute performance. Notable environmental activists also joined the stage in a commemoration of John Denver’s long life dedication to the environment. Joining John Denver in the hall’s freshman class was Red Rocks Amphitheatre.


• As music fans everywhere know, John Denver will always be associated with the Rocky Mountains and the city of his adopted name. During his 1970s heyday, he was one of the top five selling recording artists in music history.

• Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a naturally formed, world-famous outdoor venue just fifteen miles west of Denver, is recognized for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and ambience.

Photos top to bottom—Gov. John Hickenlooper, Jesse Belle Deutschendorf, Anna Kate Denver; John Oates, Olivia Newton-John; Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band); all-star finale.




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Inaugural Dinner Fundraiser

Inaugural Fundraising Dinner

March 13, 2011

INAUGURAL FUNDRAISING DINNER - Jock Bartley, John Magnie, Chris Daniels_320_across_1

A special inaugural fundraising dinner was held at Pasta Jay’s restaurant on Sunday, March 13, 2011, celebrating the exciting plans for the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Tableside perfomers included:

• Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Richie Furay, known for forming the bands Buffalo Springfield and Poco

• Jock Bartley, the guitarist, songwriter and leader of Firefall, the Boulder scene’s biggest success story of the late 1970s

• John Magnie, a founding member of the Subdudes

• Bill Nershi, a founding member and accomplished acoustic guitarist in String Cheese Incident

• Chris Daniels

• Kenny Passarelli

• Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Matt Morris

• Danielle Ate The Sandwich

Photos top to bottom—Jock Bartley (Firefall), John Magnie (Subdudes), Chris Daniels; Scott Sellen, Richie Furay; John Magnie, Chris Daniels, Fred Gowdy; all-star finale.


INAUGURAL FUNDRAISING DINNER - John Magnie, Chris Daniels, Fred Gowdy, Rick Roberts


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