2021 Hall of Fame
A self-described “child of radio,” Jim Barrett’s passion drives a colorful career. He interviewed Led Zeppelin on Robert Plant’s 19th birthday while at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has navigated his college radio show Kaleidoscope – where he promotes local music – through several radio stations since 1967 (it’s still on the air), and founded a favorite music lovers’ hang-out, the funky River Street Beat Shop in Troy.
Active late 1960s-present. Watch his inductee video.
The Eberle Brothers
The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra scored a string of 1940s Billboard hits featuring Mechanicville native Bob Eberle (stage name Eberly) and Helen O’Connell; several reportedly sold over two million copies. His original version of “I’m Glad There Is You” became a jazz and pop standard. He was a frequent guest on several TV variety shows, and with O’Connell headlined a summer replacement TV show for Perry Cuomo in 1953.
Active mid- 1930s-1981
Bob Eberle’s younger brother recorded several hits from 1938-43 with Glen Miller’s Orchestra. After a brief stint with Gene Krupa, he began a long solo career, recording on Warner, Capitol, Columbia and RCA labels. He was a Billboard’s “College Poll” finalist for male vocalist from 1940-43 and appeared in several 1940s movies and 1950s and 60s TV variety shows.
Active late 1930s-1979. Watch their inductee video.
Originally called Sonic Undertones, The Figgs were influenced by the early ‘60s and late ‘70s British rock invasions. Founded in Saratoga Springs in 1987, the original lineup was Mike Gent (guitar), Pete Donnelly (bass) and Guy Lyons (drums / guitar). Pete Hayes (drums) soon joined. Developing an international following through 13 studio albums and touring, they’ve often served as Graham Parker’s backing band since 1996.
Active 1987-present. Watch their inductee video.
Eddie Ade Knowles
Harlem native Eddie Ade Knowles brought his love of rhythm to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, where he joined as an administrator in 1977 and taught African and Afro-Cuban percussion. He performed and recorded with numerous other groups and co-founded the Griot Dance Company and The New African Music Collective. He also created Ensemble Congeros, composed of RPI alumni who played on stages throughout the region and beyond.
Active 1970s-2019. Watch his inductee video.
Albany native Skip Parsons and his Riverboat Jazz Band have been staples in Capital Region’s jazz scene since 1956; a notable gig was playing twice weekly from 1971-2019 at Albany’s The Fountain. Parsons has performed with a long list of jazz notables, organized the Great Northeastern Traditional Jazzfest in the late 1970s, and his group served as the official jazz band at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.
Active 1956-2019. Watch his inductee video.
Andy & Bill Spence
In 1977, Andy and Bill Spence and a few like-minded individuals created Old Songs, Inc. in Voorheesville, dedicated to keeping traditional music and dance alive through festivals, concerts, dances and educational programming. He was a prolific photographer, master hammered dulcimer artist and recording engineer, and proprietor of the Front Hall music label. She ran Andy’s Front Hall, a mail-order house for all things folk music, for almost 30 years.
Active 1970s to present. Watch their inductee video.
In the mid-1960s Marty Wendell ventured to Greenwich Village and, discovered by a producer, recorded “Hey, Hey Mama”, which sold over 10,000 copies. He earlier met a New York talent agent while in college who had introduced him to Johnny Cash. When Cash toured in 1968 promoting his “Live at Folsom Prison” album, he brought the Ticonderoga native along as an opening act. The rockabilly and country singer-songwriter has recorded and toured ever since.
Active mid-60s to present. Watch his inductee video.