Inaugural Class

Inaugural Class

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Jazz Masters

Exhibit

Jazz Masters &
Beyond

East High

Colorado has an incredible wealth of actors, artists, and musicians to call our own, and it’s astounding to see how many of them came out of East High School. Many of our Jazz Masters inductees attended East High. Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, and Andrew Woolfolk of Earth, Wind & Fire all went to East High School, and so did Bill Frisell and Ron Miles, as well as prior inductees Judy Collins and Paul Whiteman.

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While Philip Bailey was singing in the Youth Choir with future actress Pam Grier, future guitar great Bill Frisell was playing clarinet in the school band. A few years later, Ron Miles was playing trumpet in the East High Jazz Band with actor Don Cheadle on saxophone.

A long list of renowned East High alumni spanning many generations have all benefited from the remarkable music programs there.

The East High School Music Program is the very first recipient of the Barry Fey Visionary award presented to the school for making great music possible in Colorado. Jazz teacher Keith Oxman and choir program director Wil Taylor accepted the award.

Inductee Page

Charles Burrell

Any story of jazz in Colorado must begin with Charles Burrell, also known as the Jackie Robinson of classical music. He was the first African-American to ever play in a symphony orchestra. He was also a brilliant jazz musician, playing with all of the luminaries of that time.

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Charlie learned from some of the best, and he passed it on in so many ways, but most notably in tutoring his cousins George Duke, who became a world famous keyboard player and producer, Purnell Steen, also a well-known keyboard player, and his niece, the celebrated singer Dianne Reeves. Charles Burrell has had an enormous impact on music during his 97 years, especially on jazz in Colorado.

Charles Burrell received the Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture, the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, and Congresswoman Diana DeGette led a tribute to him on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, referring to him as “a titan of the classical and jazz bass.” Congratulations to Charles Burrell and his induction to the Jazz Masters class of 2017.

Inductee Page

Miles & Frisell

By the time Bill Frisell graduated East High School, he was already an incredible guitarist, and had begun working with some of the greats. Bill has held the number one Guitarist spot in the annual Downbeat Critics Poll for nine out of ten years. He has been named Guitarist of the Year 18 times, and he has won numerous Grammys for his work recording with Petra Haden, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson and Ron Miles. Bill continues to collaborate with a wide range of artists and musicians,from Paul Simon to Vinicius Cantuaria. But his most lasting connection and collaboration has been with Denver’s own Ron Miles.

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Ron Miles has played in many genres and styles of music with artists from all over the world… Yet there is something uniquely Colorado about the way he approaches all music equally.

Ron Miles has played in many genres and styles of music with artists from all over the world… Yet there is something uniquely Colorado about the way he approaches all music equally.

As much as Ron and Bill are both renowned for jazz playing, they both frequently cross musical boundaries into styles like folk, country music and Americana. It is fitting that these two were inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame together in 2017.

Miles Inductee Page

Frisell Inductee Page

Dianne Reeves

Denver native Dianne Reeves has achieved remarkable status as a vocalist in the jazz world. The unique timbre of her voice and the style and sensitivity she brings to her songs have made her an American treasure. Music was everywhere in Dianne’s family when she was growing up, and she honed her jazz chops with her cousin, George Duke, and her uncle, Charles Burrell.

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Friends and family played a huge role in Dianne’s life. She moved to Los Angeles in 1976 at the suggestion of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey, and the two quickly rose to the top of their respective fields.

Ms. Reeves ranks among the top echelon of jazz singers, winning five Grammy Awards, two honorary doctorates, and numerous other awards. She sang with everyone from Stanley Turrentine to Harry Belafonte, and she was the featured singer in George Clooney’s film Good Night and Good Luck.

We are fortunate that she decided to move back to Colorado in the 1990s, and we treasure her for her elegance and evocative voice and the way she makes us feel as she explores and re-imagines jazz standards and new compositions. Congratulations to Dianne on being inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Inductee Page

Earth, Wind & Fire

Certain songs will always remind you of particular moments in your life; like your first time you fell in love, or of a certain time and place, or a special event in your life. It’s a feeling that truly masterful musicians can create for us. But there is one funky group that seems to do this quite often. We are specifically talking about Colorado’s Earth, Wind & Fire – the local band gone global. It is the grounding that all these players have in jazz that has made Earth, Wind & Fire so enduring and expressive. Every time people hear these songs, they only love them more. Members Philp Bailey, Larry Dunn, and Andrew Woolfolk all attended East High School.

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Larry Dunn was working clubs seven nights a week by the time he was 15, and he signed with Earth, Wind & Fire at the tender age of 17. Larry was already playing rock and jazz gigs and had a regular gig with local blues artist Sam Mayfield.

Andrew Woolfolk is a natural-born saxophone player who infuses every song with exquisite and adventurous playing. Philip Bailey’s four-octave range makes Earth, Wind & Fire’s songs unique, beautiful, and timeless.

Earth, Wind & Fire has taken us on an extraordinary musical journey for more than 40 years. They have used elements of jazz to create pop songs that have become a part of our lives, truly living up to the term “Jazz Masters.” Congratulations, Larry, Philip, and Andrew, for your induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Jazz is alive and thriving well here in Colorado, and these artists are used to performing around the world, influencing genres from pop to rock and much more. We are incredibly proud to be able to present the first ever Jazz Masters “Class of 2017”: East High School Music Program, Charles Burrell, Bill Frisell, Ron Miles, Dianne Reeves, Larry Dunn, Philip Bailey, and Andrew Woolfolk.

Inductee Page

Do you love and appreciate the history of music? Head over to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, where you get to learn and enjoy the rich history of music in Colorado.

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Rocky Mountain Way

Rocky Mountain
Way Exhibit

Joe Walsh

Best know for what he called the. “National Anthem of Colorado” Joe Walsh came out of Cleveland and the success of his band The James Gang, with hits like “Funk #49” to Boulder, Colorado largely due to his friendship with Bill Szymczyk (the producer of many of the James Gang hits and later of the Eagles and J. Geils Band.

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After moving into the mountains and living what he would call a “rustic lifestyle” Walsh formed Barnstorm in 1972 with Joe Vitale from Ohio who had played in the legendary Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent’s band), and bassist Kenny Passarelli from southern Colorado. Their first “self titled” album, produced by Szymczyk, was the first album to come out of Jim Guercio’s new studio at Caribou Ranch. The “barn” was still not in full operation but Wash, Passarelli and Vitale had the freedom to create an entirely new sound that incorporated both the hard rock and the inventiveness of all three. Taking that sound on the road required more than the trio so they added Rockie Grace and Tom Stephenson (among others) for their touring dates.

It was their next album, “The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get, also recorded at Caribou with Bill Szymczyk serving as producer that gave the band their first hit (Top 10)and it sold over a million copies. The song “Meadows” charted but it was Wash’s anthem “Rocky Mountain Way,” (co-written by Passarelli) that would become not only an international hit but also an iconic homage to Joe’s love for the State and a song that rivaled John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” for best Colorado song ever written. As Walsh said in an interview with G Brown, “It’s the attitude and the statement. It’s a positive song, and it’s basic rock ‘n’ roll, which is what I really do well.”

In 1974, after the death of his young daughter in a car accident, Walsh continued in Colorado for a time, producing and recording with Dan Fogelberg, and in LA with various artists. Barnstorm officially broke up in 1975 and Walsh would go on to work with some of the most respected and talented artists in the business eventually joining the Eagles and working on the seminal “Hotel California” including co-writing credits on “Life In the Fast Lane.” Keny Passarelli is probably best known for his work with Elton John, Dan Fogelberg, and Hall & Oates and Joe Vitale continues to play with acts as diverse as Crosby, Stills & Nash and Peter Frampton.

Personal Life

Joe Walsh and Barnstorm created one of Colorado’s most iconic tribute songs and even though the trio’s tenure was relatively short, their impact and inventiveness propelled all three of their careers to heights that rivaled the peaks where the songs were recorded.

Inductee Page

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Dan Fogelberg

The double album included four of his biggest hits: “Same Old Lang Syne”, “Hard to Say”, “Leader of the Band”, and “Run for the Roses”. He drew inspiration for The Innocent Age from Thomas Wolfe’s novel Of Time and the River. A 1982 greatest hits album contained two new songs, both of which were released as singles: “Missing You” and “Make Love Stay.” In 1984, he released the album Windows and Walls, containing the singles “The Language of Love” and “Believe in Me.”

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Starting out in local bands playing rock n roll Fogelberg found his passion on acoustic guitar ands 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.”

In the mid 1980s Fogelberg built what would become

his ultimate home and recording studio in the San Juan mountains near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. After a weekend at the Telluride Bluegrass sitting with friends and bluegrass legends, Fogelberg recorded High Country Snows with some of his favorite acoustic pickers and that album became one of the best-selling bluegrass albums of all time. The Wild Places, released in 1990, was the first album he self-produced and mostly tracked at his Mountain Bird Ranch. His rendition of the Cascades’ 1963 hit, “Rhythm of the Rain,” peaked at No. 3 on the adult contemporary chart. Dan Fogelberg, like Jackson Brown and JD Souther understood that ‘hit songs” were often generational and the late 90s after an injury to his hand Fogelberg turned to performing solo and in varied acoustic settings. And then, in May, 2004, he was diagnosed with an advanced prostate cancer. He continued recording with friends and the help of skilled engineers like James Tuttle until he finally succumbed to the disease on December 16, 2007. He died at his home. He was only 56 years old. Fogelberg wrote “Sometimes a Song” for his wife Jean in 2005. She released the song on the Internet and all proceeds went to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The song was released on Valentine’s Day 2008 and was also included on a CD released in September 2009 titled Love in Time.

Inductee Page

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Caribou Ranch

NEDD CONTENT

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NEED CONTENT

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NEED CONTENT

Inductee Page

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Coming Soon

Do you love and appreciate the history of music? Head over to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, where you get to learn and enjoy the rich history of music in Colorado.

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20th Century Pioneers

Exhibit

20th Century
Pioneers

Billy Murray

Pop music is among the most popular and widely loved genres of the industry. From Bruno Mars to One Republic pop is King, or Queen if you are talking about Taylor Swift. The international acclaim and success of pop artists all over the world can trace its roots to humble beginnings back as far as the rise of the popular songs of Stephen Foster in the mid 1800s and minstrel shows that led to Vaudeville. Early in the 20th century the advent of the 1877 Edison “talking machine” saw an entire revolution in the music industry that was similar to our era’s digital revolution and internet. Pioneers of that time came from all over the country including Colorado. In 2016 The Colorado Music Hall of Fame inducted one of these iconic pioneers by the name of Billy Murray (no relation to the Saturday Night Live actor).

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Background

Billy Murray was one of the most prolific and iconic singers in the United States. He was born on May 25th, 1877 (the same year Edison invented the “talking machine”), in Philadelphia to Patrick and Julia Murray who were immigrants from Ireland. His parents moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1882, where Billy grew up.

Career

As a kid, Billy, fell in love with theatre. His passion and enthusiasm for the performing arts drove him to join a traveling troupe in 1893, performing in minstrel shows and later Vaudeville shows across the country. In 1897, Murray made his first recording for Peter Bacigalupi who owned a popular phonograph company in San Francisco. Seeking to perfect his art, he endeavored to record regularly in New York and New Jersey where major recording companies were based.

Murray performed with some of the most famous names of the time, such as Ada Jones and the Premier Quartet among others. Billy’s unique musical style combined comedy and a romantic touch that won the hearts of audiences all over the country. Nicknamed “The Denver Nightingale,” his clear vocal intonation with high-quality – crystal clear enunciation, combined with his loud “theater voice,” made his style even more attractive to early recording studios who did not have electronic microphones until the 1920s.

Murray recorded everything from Broadway musicals and “comic fare” to sentimental ballads and topical pieces. His popularity spread with the popularity and sale of early record players and his clear vocal style (described as “hammering”) became a “standard” adopted by early singers of the era. His hits included K-K-K-Katy and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

With the invention of the electronic microphone Murray’s musical style had to change to adapt to the transition. He adjusted to a softer and smoother sense of style. In addition, he ventured into recording dialogues for film cartoons and stories. He became the voice for several animated cartoons including the iconic “follow the bouncing ball” sing-along cartoons and the Fleischer Studios character Bimbo. Murray continued to work throughout the 1930s making his last recordings for Beacon Records in 1943 with Jewish dialect comedian Monroe Silver.

Personal Life

Billy Murray retired to Freeport, Long Island in 1944. He died ten years later at the age of 77 in Jones Beach. Murray married three times, the first two ending in divorce, and he was survived by his third wife, Madeleine. He is buried in the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, New York but he was always known as the “Denver Nightingale.” On April 16th, 2016, he was inducted to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame for his widely acknowledged contributions to the record and entertainment industry.

Inductee Page

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Elizabeth Spencer

The preservation of musical history is an important part of our mission. Early pioneers of the music industry laid the foundation for what’s become our modern music tradition and industry. Due, in part, to these contributions the Colorado Music Hall of Fame recognizes the musicians, institutions and individuals that left their mark on our music heritage. One such iconic pioneer is Elizabeth Spencer.

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Background

Born in 1871 to Julia and Col. John M. Dickerson, Elizabeth was the youngest of four siblings. Following the sudden and tragic death of her father, her mother married Col. William Gilpin in 1874. They moved to Denver where Elizabeth received vocal training and play various musical instruments, including the violin and the piano. Because of her passion and love for music, she performed in various local venues and churches when she had the opportunity.

Career

Her iconic and powerful soprano voice, said to have a “sterling operatic quality combined with the ability to sing in the vernacular,” led to a 1905 opportunity for a performance at Denver’s Orpheum Theatre and then to additional roles on Broadway. She moved to New York in 1910 where Thomas Edison gave her an exclusive recording contract and signed her to his recording company. During this period, she performed both as a soloist and in various duets, trios and choruses with well-known artists of the era.

Personal Life

Elizabeth Spencer married Otis Spencer, an attorney with the justice system and they lived in Montclair, New Jersey, until her death in 1930 at the age of 59.

Elizabeth Spencer was inducted into the Hall

Elizabeth Spencer was inducted into the Hall in 2016 in a celebration held at the Gelnn Miller Ballroom at the University of Colorado in Boulder along with other early 20th Century Pioneers like Paul Whiteman and Glenn Miller. You can learn more about the rich history of Colorado music, musicians and the music industry and the contributions made by various pioneering artists at www.CMHOF.org

Inductee Page

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Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller is a legendary Colorado musician and bandleader whose signature big-band sound and life story is still with us today. From the blockbuster movie starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson to his unequaled recorded of 23 number-one hits in just four years, more than Elvis Presley or the Beatles, Miller’s phenomenal recording success include “In the Mood”, “Moonlight Serenade”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “A String of Pearls”, “At Last”, “(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo”, “American Patrol”, “Tuxedo Junction”, “Elmer’s Tune”, and “Little Brown Jug” to name only a few.

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Early Life

Glenn Miller was born on March 1st 1904 to Mattie Lou and Lewis Elmer Miller in Clarinda, Iowa in the southwestern part of the State. The family moved to Nebraska and then Missouri. Along the way Miller found music as a constant in his life, playing mandolin, cornet and switching to trombone in 1916.Miller’s family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado in 1918 where he played football and was named the “Best Left End in Colorado” on his high school team that won the Northern Colorado American Football Conference Championship in 1920. It was here that he would begin to develop his love for what was called “dance band music” the EDM of its era. In 1923 Miller enrolled in the University of Colorado with the intention of becoming a successful musician. Because dance music was his first love, he spent much of his college years playing gigs with the Boyd Senter’s band in Denver. He spent so much time performing that he had to drop out of CU but he kept perfecting his style and sound studying the “Schillinger technique” of arrangement with Joseph Schillinger, and that became part of his signature theme in “Moonlight Serenade.”

Career

After leaving CU Miller signed on with the Tommy Watkins orchestra where he played for a few years. Like many musicians from the West of the time he gravitated to Los Angeles and Chicago with Ben Pollack where he was a featured soloist and he also played with Red Nichols, and Paul Ash and in the Broadway pit bands for shows like “Strike Up the Band” and “Girl Crazy” where he worked with Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa. In the mid-1930s Miller got a gig as a trombonist, arranger, and composer in The Dorsey Brothers. Miller composed several songs for the brothers whose tumultuous relationship is the stuff of legend. Miller appeared in his first movie in 1935. The YouTube/MTV of the era it was a Paramount Pictures release called “The Big Broadcast of 1936.” Miller was a member of the Ray Noble Orchestra performing “Why Stars Come Out at Night” and the movie featured Bing Crosby, the Bruno Mars of his time. In 1941 Miller and the band became a central part of the story in “Sun Valley Serenade,” that featured comedian Milton Berle and Dorothy Dandridge.

Miller began working on his “signature sound,” a way of arranging call-and-response swing using the clarinet and saxophone section as a single leading harmonized voice with trumpet and trombone counterpoint, that would land him his first major recording contract with Victor’s Bluebird label in 1938. Those records, “Little Brown Jug” and “In the Mood,” alongside his classic “Moonlight Serenade,” along with “Chattanooga Choo Choo” sold well over one million copies and Miller received the first-ever gold record ever awarded to a recording artist in 1942. That same year Miller joined the service to aid the war effort. He formed and led a number of ‘hit’ bands including the AAF Orchestra-that recorded songs with American singer Dinah Shore at the famed Abbey Road studios in London. General Jimmy Doolittle famed for his B-25 bomber raid on Japan said, “next to a letter from home, that organization was the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.” Miller was killed when his plane went down in the English Channel on December 15, 1944. While several theories were put forward as to the reason for his disappearance, modern analysis indicates it was due to a design flaw in the carbonator of the UC-64 that could not withstand severe icing conditions.

Glenn Miller was arguably

the most popular bandleader and musician of the big-band era and credited with more hits than Elvis. We were thrilled and induct him, and to have The Glenn Miller Orchestra perform at his induction into the Colorado Hall of Fame. Make sure to visit the Hall at the Trading Post at Red Rocks to learn more about Glenn Miller (alongside other musicians) and the rich history of music in Colorado.

Inductee Page

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Max Morath

Max Morath was born at the end of the Ragtime Era on October 1, 1926. Max’s mother left their Iowa home soon after, arriving in Colorado Springs with a piano bench filled with the tunes that Max says were his early influences. The syncopation and blue-harmonies that influenced the likes of Gershwin and Copeland fueled his passion for the music and earned him the nickname “Mr. Ragtime.”

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Background

Morath received a Bachelor’s degree in English that helped him in his work on screenplays, radio, and television writing that dominated his various careers in entertainment. From 1959 to 1961 Max wrote, performed, and produced two syndicated programs backed by KRMA in Denver. These two programs, The Ragtime Era and Turn of the Century, were aired on stations that were the predecessors of modern PBS stations and network. During those years, he created 26 half-hour programs that brought Ragtime to audiences who were rediscovering the music through the Newport Folk Festival, and later because of the music of Scott Joplin featured in the 1973 movie, “The Sting.”

While working in radio, Max played regularly at the Gold Bar Room in Cripple Creek, and it became his home away from home until he left for New York City in 1963. There, Max formed his own band, the Original Rag Quartet, and they played colleges and nightclubs all across the US.

In the mid-60s, Morath created a one-person show and took it on tour, “Max Morath at the Turn of the Century.” With the success of that show, he created three additional shows, “The Ragtime Years,” “Living a Ragtime Life,” and “The Ragtime Man.” Between tours, Max worked on and earned his Master’s degree in American Studies, and he and his wife published a book. “Max Morath: The Road to Ragtime” featuring extensive photographs documenting his travels through the years.

In 1982, Morath wrote and produced musical revue entitled “One for the Road.” It was a mixture of comedy and commentary that explored American culture including our changing attitudes about drugs and alcohol. Max co-wrote the screenplay for “Blind Boone” that won first place for a music-inspired drama at the 2015 Nashville Film Festival.

Even though Morath stopped touring in 2007,

he remained active in publishing and as a contributor to publications and performances on the culture and music during the days of ragtime.

Max is part of the exhibit at the Red Rocks Trading Post where you can learn more about the incredible heritage of our state at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Inductee Page

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Paul Whiteman

legacy is often considered both incredibly noteworthy and also controversial. He was the leader of one of the most successful orchestras in the US and around the world in the 1920s and early 1930s. He was dubbed the “King of Jazz” during that time. Historians and critiques have noted that he played almost no actual “Jazz” in the time of Armstrong, Ellington, Henderson, Goodman, and others. Consequently, the “Whiteman – King of Jazz” label is seen as problematic in retrospect. Despite that reevaluation of our country’s music and history, nothing can take away from the incomparable success of his entertainment career. And Ellington himself declared, “Paul Whiteman was known as the King of Jazz, and no one, as yet, has come near carrying that title with more certainty and dignity.”

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Born in Denver on March 28, 1890, his father was the Director of Music for Denver Public Schools. Whiteman began studying the viola while in high school. In his early years after high school, he joined the Denver Symphony as first chair, did a stint with the San Francisco Symphony, and led a large Navy band during WWI.

By 1918, Paul formed the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Whiteman worked with both black and white musicians, though the era of segregated bands would not end until Benny Goodman began working with Lionel Hampton and Charlie Christian. Whiteman found some of the best players in the country and took his Colorado and San Francisco bandmates to New York City. For the next four years, his group became one of the most popular dance bands of the era. Declared by critiques and fans of that era as one of the first West Coast dance-bands to make a name for itself on the East Coast, Whiteman made the first iconic recording of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

By 1924, his band included 35 members and was the first to include both full brass and full reed sections. Paul’s ensemble was also the first of its kind to tour Europe. It was during this time that the Paul Whiteman Orchestra broke new ground and played Aeolian Hall. This venue was noted for its classical music, yet fans and critiques of the day were over-the-moon by Paul’s combination of symphonic orchestrations and jazz influences. And it was there that Gershwin introduced his famous “Rhapsody in Blue,” which became Paul’s theme song.

In 1926, Paul began working with a trio they called the “Rhythm Boys.” One of the members of the trio, Bing Crosby, would later reach international super-star status. During the 1920’s, Paul Whiteman recorded 28 number one records. In 2006, his version of Ol’ Man River was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The “Great Depression” proved catastrophic for many of the 1920’s dance-bands, and Paul’s band lost several key members due to lack of venues and promoters who could pay Whiteman enough to keep the group together. By the early 1940’s, Paul’s days as million-selling orchestra leader had virtually ended.

But Paul’s career did not end with the coming of WWII. He spent time as a disc jockey and later worked in the early days of television. In addition to his many guest appearances on various shows, Paul Whiteman spent the summer of 1955 filling in for Jackie Gleason. In the 1960’s, Paul discovered his love of sports car racing and spent time promoting the sport in both Florida and California.

Paul Whiteman died

in Pennsylvania in 1967 at the age of 77. His music, recordings, and legacy live on, and to this day he is considered one of the first of the mega-star bandleaders like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Duke Ellington.

To learn more about the greats that shaped not only Colorado but the world of music in general, visit the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Inductee Page

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Lannie Garrett

For four decades singer and entertainer Lannie Garrett has brought happiness to the Denver music scene.

At age 22, Garrett arrived in Colorado, her first stop on a purposely undefined emigration to the West. While waiting to establish residency for tuition purposes, she met Denver club singer Ron Henry and told him to call her if he ever needed a singer. He did, and she eventually proved herself to the eager young musicians in town, many of whom backed her over the years.

Garrett performed at a cabaret in Larimer Square and was named Favorite Female Vocalist several years in a row by readers of the Denver Post. She garnered the same recognition with readers of 5280 magazine and the gay community’s Out Front. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra accompanied her for a concert, and she appeared in nightclubs nationally and recorded a half-dozen albums.

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Garrett operated Ruby, a club on East 17th Avenue, and spent a decade as the house entertainer at the Denver Buffalo Company. In 2006, she realized the dream of owning her own venue, opening Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret beneath the D&F Tower downtown, hosting top local and national talent. Garrett took to the stage herself with a succession of themed shows, from fronting her “AnySwing Goes” big band as a sequined chanteuse to bringing her comedy chops to The Patsy DeCline Show, her campy country-music spoof.

Garrett’s creations also include the George Gershwin tribute “’S Wonderful”; “Screen Gems: Songs from the Movies”; “Great Women of Song”; “The Chick Sings Frank: A Tribute to Sinatra”; “A Slick Chick on the Mellow Side,” her 1940s jazz and jump show; “Beatles to Bacharach: Songs and Stories”; “The Platforms and Polyester Disco Revue”; and “Under Paris Skies,” influenced by gypsy jazz.

Inductee Page

Do you love and appreciate the history of music? Head over to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, where you get to learn and enjoy the rich history of music in Colorado.

Plan Your Visit

Keep music history alive!
Donate to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.