2013 Inductees

2013 Inductees


DevastatingDinks Exceptions Ray Hildebrand Kerry Livgren
Chuck Mead Mystic Number National Bank Playmate Blues Band Tempests
Steve Werner Wizards From Kansas
Junkyard Jazz Sherman Halsey Larry Emmett & The Sliders

Directors Award:
Clyde Bysom and The Junkyard Jazz

Directors Award:
Sherman Halsey

Bob Hapgood Award:
Larry Emmett & The Sliders

DevastatingDinks, Salina

This successor to the original Dinks was based out of the Lamplighter in Salina and initially included a member of the first Dinks, but the new band was soon very much its own band and took the name to new heights, playing all over the western half of the state and surrounding states between 1968 and 1970.


Exceptions, Topeka

The Exceptions are one of the longest standing, most successful pop/variety bands in the Midwest, performing all styles of music. Randy Wills, Craig Senne, and Tom Ingles founded the band 1966, but Tom was soon replaced by Steve Green. Marta Barron recalled that she was the first female vocalist for the group. She and her husband, Ric, were part of the Exceptions for two decades. Other personnel included Kim Murphree, Forrest Bethel, Lynn Blackwell Nehf, Lisa Thomas, Corey Wilson, Thom Thomas, Pete Larson, Jake Jacoby, Martin Hale, Lisa Sato, Tim O’Reagan, Tom “Chip” Cipolli, and Mark Wangerin.

Ray Hildebrand
Ray Hildebrand, Prairie Village

Ray Hildebrand smashed onto the music scene in 1963 with the number one hit “Hey Paula.” Ray wrote the song that he and Jill Crawford, dubbed Paul & Paula, recorded while in college in Fort Worth. Paul and Paula followed up with “Young Lovers” and five other songs in the Hot 100. Ray became one of the founders of contemporary Christian music. He traveled for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as speaker and performer and later became a youth director for a church in Prairie Village. Ray was a frequent guest as a singer for the Billy Graham Crusades. In 1983 he hooked up with CCM artist Paul Land. Land and Hildebrand have played together all over the United States and have recorded sixteen albums. Ray still does about twenty-five dates a year.

Kerry Livgren
Kerry Livgren, Topeka

Kerry Livgren was a founding member of the rock group Kansas, whose big hits were “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry on Wayward Son,” both of which Kerry wrote. In 1980 Kerry became a born-again Christian and left Kansas to form the contemporary Christian music band AD. He later became a solo artist. Kerry lives on a farm near Berryton and records in his home studio.

Chuck Mead
Chuck Mead, Lawrence

After leading the Blinkies and Homestead Grays in his hometown of Lawrence back in the early 1980s, Chuck Mead landed in Nashville, where he co-founded the country band BR549. The band’s name was derived from Hee Haw, country’s answer to Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. Each week, the bumbling Junior Samples advertised his used cars for sale and held a cardboard sign with the phone number BR549. The band’s seven albums, three Grammy nominations, and the CMA award for Best Overseas Touring Act build a strong reputation. In 2009 Chuck released an acclaimed solo album and continues to tour with his band the Grassy Knoll Boys. He’s also the music director of the Broadway smash show Million Dollar Quartet.

Mystic Number National Bank
Mystic Number National Bank, Kansas City

The Bank played so many free concerts and anti-war demonstrations back in the late 60s that they were thrown out of the Musician’s Union. Lead singer and drummer Glenn Walters later sang and played with California’s Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. He’s still playing for crowds in San Francisco in addition to a career singing on TV commercials and film soundtracks.

Playmate Blues Band
Playmate Blues Band, Hays/div>

This group was made up of some of the area’s best musicians. The band’s lineup originally was Mike Kelley (guitar), Gary Cooley (bass), Richard Bisterfeldt (drums), and Bill Seibel (horns). Two of the band members, Mike and Rich, went on to join the last lineup of the original Blue Things. These hard rockers toured extensively on the Midwest ballroom circuit of the 1960s.

Tempests, Hays

This nine member show band played the Midwest from 1965 to 1968. When the band was playing in the 1960s, the age of the members ranged from twelve to fifteen. They were so young they had to hire college students to haul their trailer and equipment to gigs. After a more than forty year hiatus, the band decided to reunite to play some shows during Hays High’s homecoming weekend. The Tempests practiced for a week and played shows at the VFW for family and friends Friday, and for the class of 1971 reunion.

Steve Werner
Steve Werner, Kansas City

A uniquely talented and singer, songwriter, guitarist, and bandleader, Steve Werner was unforgettable to all who knew him and experienced his music. During the 1960s and early 1970s his seminal country rock groups Next of Kin and Bartok’s Mountain introduced and defined the genre for many in the greater Kansas City area and beyond. Well into the 1970s he continued to show his versatility in the soul, funk, and rock idioms with the formation of the Rhythm Kings, Hotfoot, and the self named Steve Werner Band. Moving to Los Angeles in 1979, he formed the pop-rock band Snapshots, which has been called “the greatest unsigned L.A. band ever.” By the late 1980s and into the 1990s, his group Mighty Rusty and the Stumblers allowed him to express his talents in all the aforementioned styles, plus jazz. Leaving, he became the stage manager for the Hollywood Bowl for a time and then went to work for Disney, where he had an entire wing of the animation department named in his honor. He died at age fifty-one from a cerebral hemorrhage. His sudden and premature death is sad but does not deter from his memorable and lasting musical legacy.

Wizards From Kansas
Wizards From Kansas, Lawrence

Originally called Pig Newton & The Wizards, they changed the band’s name at the insistence of Mercury Records. Their sound was so similar to that of some of the bands coming out of San Francisco that many collectors and fans still think believe they were from California. Their one Mercury album regularly sells on eBay for more than $200 a copy. A reunion a few years ago resulted in a second album.

Junkyard Jazz
Junkyard Jazz, Lawrence

Junkyard Jazz has been playing traditional jazz of the 1930s and 1940s since 1981. The group plays every Thursday evening at the Lawrence American Legion, attracting musicians from northeast Kansas to join onstage. The dance floor is always full. The band has lost a few longtime members, but the tradition of Junkyard Jazz will never die.

Sherman Halsey
Sherman Halsey, Independence, KS

Sherman Halsey is an American music video and television director, producer, and artist manager. Sherman has produced and directed hundreds of television shows and music videos for artists such as Tim McGraw, Brooks and Dunn, Alan Jackson, BB King, Michael Bolton, Dwight Yoakam, and many more. Halsey began his career in the country music business at the age of thirteen, putting up posters and show bills for his father’s (Jim Halsey) management and concert promotion company in the family’s hometown of Independence. This would be the start of a father and son collaboration that continues in business today as an important part of the country music industry. While studying film at the University of Kansas, Halsey promoted concerts with artists from the Jim Halsey Company’s roster, such as the Oak Ridge Boys, Freddy Fender, Hank Thompson, Don Williams, and many others. During his time at the university, Halsey worked for Dick Clark Productions in Beverly Hills one on the NBC Special “The Wild, Sensational, and Shocking ‘70s.” As a result of this experience with Dick Clark he built relationships with several veteran network directors who taught him the art of directing and producing.

Larry Emmett & The Sliders
Larry Emmett & The Sliders, DeSoto

The KC area’s first homegrown rock band of note was Larry Emmett and the Sliders. Larry was a Native American, born on the Prairie Band Pottawatomie Reservation near Mayetta. His parents moved to DeSoto where Larry attended high school and began playing the guitar. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, the band played gigs from Kansas City to Omaha and many points in between.