2022 Inductees

2022 Inductees
Alferd Packer Memorial String Band Crosswind Carol Spears
Moreland & Arbuckle Stan Plesser Switch
Slate Creek Band Janelle Monáe Steve Hanson

Bill Lee Award:
Janelle Monáe

Bob Hapgood Award:
Steve Hanson

Alferd Packer Memorial String Band
Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, Lawrence

In 1978, a sculptor and washboard player named Jim Brothers got a postcard with a drawing of Alferd Packer. The drawing of the infamous 1870’s “Colorado Cannibal” looked just like Jim. The Alferd Packer Memorial String Band has now been on the road in middle America for 40 plus years, playing in at least 130 Kansas towns, underwritten by The Kansas Arts Commission (from 1982 until their demise) and by The Mid-America Arts Alliance. The band performs a lively, engaging stage show with audience involvement that joyously evokes their own musical traditions. 1870’s costuming and raucous humor compliment their performance of an eclectic mix of traditional and original songs. The 5 piece multi-instrumentalist band is known for establishing one of the first “tax night” parties in America in 1987. The annual celebration, barn dance, and tax filing gauntlet at the Lawrence Post Office has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg.com, Readers Digest, and the CBS Sunday Morning Show. Their website is www.alferdpackerband.com “Dorothy could have stayed in Kansas! OZ was never as strange as this band” – Bill Geist, CBS Sunday Morning Show.


Crosswind, Manhattan

Crosswind was first organized in 1978 and last performed in 2008. Several musicians can claim membership in this band. The most popular line-up was Steve Hinrichs, Max Davidson, Jim Hedman, Ronnie Noe, and Tom Wiley. Other members included Doug Boatright, Dana Brown, Mike Goodwin, Joel Cunningham, Russ Rudy, Mike McAdams, Sonny Bass, and Rick Pontallion.

Carol Spears
Carol Spears , Lawrence

Coming from a family of talented musicians, Carol Spears began gracing the stage when she was 18. In 1974, Carol joined her father’s band, 2009 KMHoF inductee Billy Spears. Playing twin fiddles with her father and singing in her own unique style, Carol played festivals and nightclubs from New Mexico to Colorado to Michigan and all across the midwest. Carol has had the pleasure of opening for acts such as Asleep At The Wheel, Leon Russell, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to name a few. In her travels, she’s played many famous and legendary venues such as Cowtown Ballroom and The Uptown Theater in KC, Cains Ballroom in Tulsa, and of course, The Red Dog Inn and Hoch Auditorium in Lawrence. For the last 20 years, Carol has been singing and playing with The Beer Bellies, a band originally formed by her late father and his friends. Over that time span, her twice monthly gigs at Johnny’s Tavern with the group have become something of a Lawrence institution.

Moreland & Arbuckle
Moreland & Arbuckle , Wichita

Moreland & Arbuckle were a blues/roots rock trio from Wichita. The two met at an open mic session in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas in 2001 and they quickly bonded and formed an acoustic duo playing traditional and delta blues.The all acoustic duo saw their start after reaching the finals at the 2005 International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tennessee, and followed that success with their first self-produced album, Caney Valley Blues in 2005.
In 2006 the duo added a drummer and evolved into an electric powerhouse trio. Later that year they released a self-produced independent album, Floyd’s Market. They followed in 2008 with 1861. Moreland was further named one of the “10 Blues Legends in the Making” along with Otis Taylor and Davy Knowles. Moreland & Arbuckle released Flood in 2010. After the release of Flood, Moreland & Arbuckle hit the road supporting acts such as ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Los Lonely Boys and other blues and rock veterans. In August 2011, they released Just A Dream featuring a guest appearance by Steve Cropper. Upon its release, The New York Post named it Album of the Week, proclaiming it is “the band’s best record to date… there’s a raw, dirt-under-the fingernails garage-band attack in almost every song that flips between Stax-style soul, stinging Chicago Blues and Allman-style Jams.” The band logged thousands of road miles playing high energy shows for larger and larger crowds in the United States, Canada, and Europe. European fans embraced the band’s gritty American rock blues with enthusiasm. In 2013, they released 7 Cities . 2013 also includes tours through the United States, Europe, and the UK. Their 2016 album, Promised Land Or Bust, was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Rock Blues Album category.
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Stan Plesser
Stan Plesser, Kansas City

He’s been called “Kansas City’s first rock & roll impresario”. “our very own Bill Graham”. “a lover of the arts”, and “a businessman”. All of these and more are true. But they only begin to describe a man who arguably, from the ’60s on, did more to foster the Pop music scene in Kansas City than any other single person.
Stan Plesser was born in New York, but moved with his family to Kansas City in 1949. He graduated from Westport High School, and went to what is now called UMKC on a scholarship, graduating with honors. After a short stint in the Navy, he pursued various other career paths before opening The Vanguard Coffee House in 1963. Notable and soon-to-be notable acts that performed there during its 8-year run include Glenn Frey (not yet of the Eagles), John Denver, Ritchie Havens, J.D. Souther, and The Ewing Street Times, plus comedians Gabe Kaplan, Pat Paulsen, and a very young Steve Martin, just starting his comedy career. And of course, Brewer & Shipley and Danny Cox, who were drawn from out of town to the burgeoning youth culture and music scene they saw happening in KC, and which they became a major part of.
Plesser always had his eyes on being a concert promoter and producer. His first try was a joint effort with radio station KUDL in late June of 1969. Dubbed “The Fun Fair”, it was a four-day-long extravaganza that engulfed the whole lower level of Municipal Auditorium. There were several stage areas and a main stage set up throughout the hall, surrounded by flea market-style booths, where everything from head shops and clothing stores to music stores, astrologers and palm readers were ready and open for business. National acts such as Strawberry Alarm Clock, Iron Butterfly, The Cowsills, and The Steve Miller Band performed alongside local groups like Stone Wall and Chesmann Square, who received valuable promotion and visibility from the event.
Around that time, Stan Plesser and partners started Good Karma Productions, a concert production company that also offered booking and artist management. Brewer & Shipley, Danny Cox, Chet Nichols, Ted Anderson, Tracie Spencer, and eventually The Ozark Mountain Daredevils became part of Good Karma’s stable of artists. Virtually all of them ended up with record deals, and two of them, Brewer & Shipley and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, had recording careers that spawned top ten hits, along with national and international recognition.
By 1971, the venerable Vanguard Coffee House was closing its doors, but a new, even more iconic venue was about to open theirs. Plesser and his partners opened the Cowtown Ballroom, a former swing-era dance hall near 31st and Gillham. It served no alcohol and had no seating – just a huge floor where people could sit on pillows. The venue came to be regarded as the Midwest version of Fillmore West in San Francisco. Among those that performed there were Frank Zappa, Linda Rondstadt, Ravi Shankar, the Byrds, Leo Kottke, B.B. King, Van Morrison and a group that became a local favorite – the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. But Plesser also tried unusual bookings, including the Kansas City Philharmonic, which enjoyed repeat bookings. Eventually, Stan arranged for live radio broadcasts from Cowtown that were syndicated internationally.
The venue was the subject of a highly regarded 2009 documentary, “Cowtown Ballroom: Sweet Jesus,” in which Plesser and others were featured prominently. Cowtown Ballroom held its last show in September of 1974, but lives on in the hearts and memories of all who witnessed its glory days.
In 1973, Plesser became the first to do a stadium rock concert in Kansas City, producing Elton John’s appearance at the newly finished Arrowhead Stadium that August. After a successful run of 15 years, Good Karma Productions closed down shop in 1984, but Plesser continued with artist management, producing the occasional live show, and even producing records.
On Saturday September 3rd, 2011, the Cowtown Ballroom was inducted into the Missouri Music Hall of Fame in St. Joseph.
But Cowtown’s principal founder was unable to attend the ceremony. Stan Plesser passed away the previous Thursday at age 79. As the song lyrics go, “If there’s a rock and roll heaven/You know they’ve got a helluva band”. And you can be sure that Stan Plesser is producing the shows.

Switch, Dodge City

Formed in Dodge City KS, Switch was a mid-80’s melodic Metal band that recorded a handful of singles and a six-song EP for Big Dog Records in Wichita, KS. Several videos of the band, including “Never Go Away” are currently available on youtube. The band’s 1987 EP, “Contact Point” has recently been re-issued, with a worldwide release by Retrospect Records out of Las Vegas.

Slate Creek Band
Slate Creek Band, Wichita

The Slate Creek Band (also known as Slate Creek or SCB) formed in or around 1987. Group members include Phil Ray, Terry Henry, Donnie Raymer, Donnie Ramsey, Ronnie Mills, and Ken Potter, plus Curt Poole and Steve (Tank) Tankersley, who are deceased. During the late 1980’s and into the late 1990’s, SCB was considered one of the best Country/Rock bands in the area. The band worked full time in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Nashville.They were known for their high energy, crowd participating Country/Rock sound, with a focus on vocals and harmonies. As a full-time working band, they spent time as a house band at Wichita’s Neon Cactus, plus playing various clubs, private parties (one for Kirsty Alley), weddings, and rodeos in Kansas. They worked closely with KFDI radio for their Listener Appreciation Shows, various charities, Wichita’s Riverfest, and opening acts sponsored by KFDI. They also worked with KZSN radio as an opening act for their station-sponsored concerts.
One of the band’s biggest accomplishments was in 1990, when they entered the TRUE VALUE/GMC Country Showdown, a nationwide Country music talent contest. The estimated entries nationwide were said to be over 250 thousand. They won the local competition sponsored by WIBW radio, competed, and won the State of Kansas, and won the Midwest Finals (KS, NE, CO, OK, MO). Winning these contests sent them on to Nashville,TN for the regional finals. The 6 regional winners then competed in a nationwide television show at the Grand Ol Opry, hosted by Roger Miller.
In 1991, Slate Creek again entered the True Value/GMC Country Showdown, this time hosted by KFDI Radio in Wichita, again winning the local, State and Midwest competitions. They again competed on the stage of the Grand Ol Opry which was televised, this time hosted by Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. There were two chartered buses of fans from the Wichita area to Nashville that came for support.
During that same time frame, SBC also entered The Marlboro Music Competition, held in 13 cities across the USA, i.e., Austin, LA, Philadelphia and more, with SCB representing Kansas City. There were 36 bands. Preliminaries were held in KC at Guitars and Cadillac’s, with the 12 finalists competing at the Generals Inn. This was judged by reps from BMI, record companies, Nashville talent agents, and artists. The finals for Marlboro were also held in Nashville’s historic Stockyard’s venue. Their highest finish in these contests was in ’91, where they finished 2nd place. Though they did not win the finals of the 3 contests, they were covered by KWCH-TV in Wichita along with KFDI, garnering great promotion for the band, which lead to bigger and better gigs and a host of new fans. Their original material was also featured on KFDI radio out of Wichita and other stations. During this time, Slate Creek was hired over 40 times as the opening act for national recording stars such as Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and many others.

Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe, Kansas City

Janelle Monáe Robinson born December 1, 1985, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, science-fiction author and actress.
She is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as to her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society. Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations.
Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010. Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015
and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018. In 2012, Monáe became a CoverGirl spokesperson. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 “Janelle Monáe Day”
in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of her artistry and activism.

Monáe’s musical career began in 2003 upon releasing a demo album titled The Audition.
In 2007, Monáe publicly debuted with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). It peaked at number two on the US Top Heatseekers chart,
and in 2010, through Bad Boy Records, Monáe released a first full-length studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album and sequel to her first EP.
In 2011, Monáe was featured as a guest vocalist on fun’s single “We Are Young”, which achieved major commercial success, topping the charts of more than ten countries
and garnering Monáe a wider audience. Monáe’s second studio album, The Electric Lady, was released in 2013 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200,
serving as the fourth and fifth installments of the seven-part Metropolis concept series.

In 2016, Monáe made her theatrical film debut in two high-profile productions; Monáe starred in Hidden Figures as NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson,
and also starred in Moonlight. Hidden Figures was a box office success, while Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th annual ceremony.

Monáe’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, also described as a concept album, was released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim;
it was chosen as the best album of the year by several publications, its short film earned a Hugo Award nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form,
and it earned Monáe two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and was further promoted by Monáe’s Dirty Computer Tour, which lasted from June to August 2018.
In April 2022, Harper Voyager published Monáe’s first cyberpunk story collection, The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, based on the album.

Steve Hanson
Steve Hanson, Salina

In 1967, Steve Hanson was working for a local appliance sales and service center, playing guitar in a band, and teaching guitar for a local music store. The music store focused on school music (band instruments). Steve’s passion was guitar, and he saw first hand the second thought approach taken by the school music dealer towards guitars and amplifiers. It was in 1969 when he took the leap, teaching guitar full-time in his home and playing live music during the evenings. Steve knew many musicians who were unhappy with the products offered locally and the lack of service for those products. Steve began to source instruments, amplifiers and accessories to support the local working musicians and students. By 1971, Steve was teaching guitar in a class situation, writing and publishing a method book for beginning guitarists. In 1972, Steve Hanson opened his first music store, Hanson Hays Music.
Several years later, the company was incorporated and became SM Hanson Music. Located in Salina, KS, (the “Heart of America” at the crossroads of Interstate 70 and Interstate 135), SM Hanson Music became a destination for musicians from all parts of the Midwest and beyond. Traveling bands, both regional and national alike, would stop by the store to pick up a new instrument, or have some repair work done. Many late nights were spent supporting bands and musicians who would make that trip to Salina.
During his life in music, Steve has both created and supported many different types of musical events, such as in-store clinics with name artists, Bluegrass festivals, public school music outreach events, and the Smoky Hill River Festival, where he worked with his son Rick to create the SM Hanson Festival Jam in 1985. Over the years, “Festival Jam” has become the Smoky Hill River Festival’s largest entertainment showcase, featuring up to sixteen bands performing over 4 hours for crowds as large as 13,000 people.
Steve has also offered his time and support to many praise and worship bands involved with local churches. As of late, Steve has stepped back from the retail operation, and now focuses on his primary passions: teaching guitar, and working on guitars. Over 50 students a week look forward to their time in his studio, improving their technique, or just having fun playing guitar. The instrument repairs he does for the music store are usually the most difficult (broken necks, bridge reglue, etc.). His personal guitar collection is amazing, and he now has time to refurbish, repair, and play on them all. After 50 years in retail, Steve Hanson (SM Hanson Music) has sold instruments and other products to customers in nearly all 50 states. He has helped thousands of people of all ages enjoy music through his lesson program. His legacy, impact and influence on the world of music will continue to be felt for years to come.