2009 Inductees

2009 Inductees
Danny Cox The Dinks Larry Lingle Lee McBee
The Sensational Showmen The Serfs Shooting Star Billy Spears
The Young Raiders Jim Halsey Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats

Directors Award:
Jim Halsey

Bob Hapgood Award:
Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats

Lawrence Journal-World story & photos

Danny Cox, Kansas City

A singer and actor from Cincinnati who has made Kansas City his home for most of the past four decades, Danny was a big part of the Vanguard/Cowtown folk music scene in KC and has recorded for national labels. He’s acted onstage and appeared in feature films.

The Dinks, Beloit

Their two novelty songs on the Sully label are favorites with record collectors, it’s their song ?Penny A Tear Drop? that was a hit with Kansas fans. Beginning as the Raging Regattas, they became the Dinks at their first recording session in 1966. They were not a horn band, as many Kansas bands were back then.

Larry Lingle, McPherson

In a long career that took him from bands in his hometown to singing and playing with two bands already inducted into the Hall of Fame, Topeka’s Jerms and Lawrence’s Fabulous Flippers, Larry ended up in Los Angeles disco bands before spending 1981 to 1993 as one of Frankie Valli’s Four Seasons.

Lee McBee, Lawrence
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One of the best harmonica players around, this gravelly voiced blues singer has a regular gig every Sunday at BB’s Lawnside BBQ in Kansas City . He’s recorded under his own name and fronting the Dallas band Mike Morgan & The Crawl.

The Sensational Showmen, Concordia
The Sensational Showmen, Chanute/Ft. Scott
The Sensational Showmen, Parsons/Pittsburg

A succession of bands using this name played in Kansas from the mid-’60s into the mid-’70s. The three lineups who were together the longest and are best remembered by the music fans of Kansas are the ones chosen for induction. The original group from Concordia were at the ceremony along with the two later versions who have had reunion performances in recent years. The final lineup of the Showmen, from Parsons & Pittsburg, performed at the induction ceremony.

The Serfs, Lawrence/Wichita

Formed in 1965 at his KU fraternity house, this was Mike Finnigan’s first band in Kansas , but it wouldn’t be his last. Mike was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, but the entire band deserves consideration for its blues-based music, much of it written by Topeka native Lane Tietgen. While recording their album for Capitol in New York City , three of the guys were invited to jam with Jimi Hendrix, and they became a part of history when two tracks from the jam appeared on Jimi’s Electric Ladyland .

Shooting Star, Kansas City

This Overland Park band was on the verge of superstardom more than once during the 80s. Their fresh, original material got them record deals with Virgin and Geffen. Recently they introduced a new lead singer (Ronnie Platt) and new violinist (Janet Jameson) for a series of live dates. A new album is in the works.

Billy Spears, Lawrence

Fiddler Billy Spears began playing professionally back in the early-50s and traveled with top country acts including Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepard and T. Texas Tyler before settling in Lawrence , where he continues to live and perform. His bands have included many of the area’s top players, and many have gone on to successful careers in county music. The best know of those is guit-steel player Junior Brown.

The Young Raiders, Lawrence

This band took up where the original Rising Suns left off. After losing their equipment in a wreck and giving up the band name, the guys decided to go back out on the road as the Young Raiders. Eventually about a hundred of the best musicians in Kansas would serve time in the band. Many of them are still playing music for a living.

Jim Halsey, 2009 Directors Award

Jim Halsey’s career spans over 50 active years as artist manager, agent and impresario, discovering and/or guiding the careers of such illustrious personalities as Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, Waylon Jennings, The Judds, Reba McEntire, Minnie Pearl, Clint Black, Tammy Wynette, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakum, The Judds, Lee Greenwood, Hank Thompson and many others.

He has organized and presented country music performances all over the world, in many places, for the first time. His efforts have expanded the horizons of country music into Europe and Asia, while maintaining one of the most highly skilled and motivated booking and management companies in the world.

Jim Halsey has received many honors and awards, is prominent in business, arts and entertainment, and lectures and teaches extensively at colleges and universities around the world.

Bobby Poe & The Poe Kats, 2009 Bob Hapgood Award

Bobby Poe and The Poe Kats — Rockabilly Hall of Famers from the 1950’s — were a groundbreaking act that featured legendary piano player Big Al Downing and renowned guitarist Vernon Sandusky.

Big Al Downing went on to become a #1 Country star, Vernon Sandusky was in Roy Clark’s band for over 20 years and Bobby Poe became a sucessful producer, manager and “tip sheet” publisher.

The Poe Kats were also Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson’s touring and/or backing band and various members can sometimes be found on her early singles, including the Rockabilly classic “Let’s Have A Party”.