It reigned all night in Atlanta, Saturday September 19, as music royalty packed the Georgia World Congress for the 31st Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards. The limousines lined up as some of the biggest stars in rock, hip hop and country music graced the red carpet. The excitement reverberated from the gleaming smiles of the inductees to the large number of die hard fans gathered along the red carpet to snap a picture and shake a hand and if lucky enough, score a hug. The awards banquet was co-hosted by two of my favorite ladies, Atlanta news and radio icons, Leslie Fram and Monica Pearson, whom may I add, were beautiful in their glamorous gowns. I asked Leslie, who has emceed this event many times before, how she felt about it: "This is one of my favorite events of the year! I will also support the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame organization. They do an amazing job of keeping Georgia's vast musical heritage alive by recognizing the people who have made the biggest and best contributions in all genres."
I was thrilled to speak with Hall of Fame inductees,
They were genuinely honored, equally excited and very gracious.
ED CARPET INTERVIEWS:
: Its fair to say that you've really earned this honor tonight when you consider Music Midtown, Live Nation and that you've brought Paul McCartney in concert, twice.
: Although, the category is "non-performer" which is interesting because it sounds like I didn't do anything! (
he says jokingly
I've been doing shows since the '70's, '80's and currently. Oh, this is great! It's great because in the Hall of Fame, a lot of my heroes are in this thing and its great to be put into a level with them.
: You guys look so happy right now! From the second you walked on the red carpet, your smiles are ear to ear. Will you describe how you feel?
: It's such an encouragement for us to be here. We've listen to so many great Georgia artists through the years who were around making great music when we started and are even around now. Bands like REM, Black Crowes, and Collective Soul, of course, that we feel in a way that we belong. Just to be invited to be a part of this, is huge.
: How does this award differ from other major awards?
: When we do award shows and we're doing the red carpet, normally, there's this real nervousness about whether we are going to win or not.
I think we've already won
. The invitation came, we're going to get inducted, so for us, we feel like we can really enjoy the evening. And its so cool for us to be inducted with Collective Soul! I remember we were still in high school and here's this band just breaking onto the scene, from Stockbridge, Georgia, it was so encouraging, we felt like we could do anything. So its a huge honor for us.
: You guys are Atlanta's own rock royalty. How do you feel right now, tonight's a pretty big deal.
: It is a very big deal. We are very honored. This is our home and we've always been proud of the Atlanta music scene, it has such a rich history.
:Hey guys, you know Atlanta
: (Dean and Ed give a big, but modest smile) To be a part of it -the Atlanta music scene- and to be acknowledged is fantastic.
We love Atlanta.
Michele Rhea Caplinger
, Senior Executive Director of the Recording Academy-Atlanta, inducted Collective Soul and had these lovely words to share:
I was both shocked and overjoyed when Ed (Roland) asked me to induct the band into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame at the Awards show. My first thought was – ‘What, isn’t Elton available?’ LOL (knowing that they are friends, et al) Ed said it was unanimous -the band wanted ‘ME’ to present to them – imagine? I was EXTREMELY flattered. He said I had been there from the very beginning and with them every step of way. Besides being a wonderfully gifted talent, Ed Roland is a very, very special human being.
What’s the connection? Ed and I have been friends for a very long time, we were actually in a band for ‘years’ leading up to Collective Soul, I worked with the band when they were first signed to Atlantic Records, and have just ‘always’ been a big supporter personally and professionally. We have a 25 year history with so many incredible memories that I will cherish for life.
The other inductees Saturday night were:
John L (Johnny) Carson, Roy Hamilton, Shakir Stewart