2012 Inductees

The ROCHESTER MUSIC HALL of FAME

CLASS of 2012

Congratulations

Corinthian Hall / The Performances of Jenny Lind
Cab Calloway
Gene Cornish
Doriot Anthony Dwyer
Joe English
Chuck Mangione
Charles Strouse
Jeff Tyzik

corinthian-hall-captionCorinthian Hall

(1849 -1879)   Remodeled and renamed the Academy of Music – (1879 – 1898).  Rebuilt after a fire & renamed The Corinthian Theater – (1898 – 1928)
                                                     

                                         AND

Jenny_Lind_retouchedJenny Lind The “Swedish Nightingale”

(Performance Dates: July 22 and July 24, 1851)    Johanna Maria “Jenny” Lind – (b. Oct. 6, 1820 – d. Nov. 2, 1887)

Corinthian Hall was Rochester’s most prestigious site for concerts, lectures and balls.  The Hall hosted a Who’s Who list of historical speakers and held grand concerts and performances by some of the biggest names from home and abroad.  The hall was located at Exchange Place and Mill Street behind the Reynolds Arcade, where a parking garage currently stands, at the end of what is now called Corinthian St.

Corinthian Hall was built by the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics’ Association, now known as The Rochester Institute of Technology.  It was a merger of the Athenaeum, an organization formed by Nathaniel Rochester to sponsor lectures from America’s best known orators, and the Mechanic’s Literary Association, founded by William A Reynolds, as a club for young men to discuss worldly topics and literature.  Hard economic times and other pressures led to the merger of the two clubs. Together they realized the need for a hall.  Reynolds owned the land behind the Reynolds Arcade and saw the building of a hall there as a business opportunity.   Dues from members could provide funds to sponsor lecturers and others would pay to hear them speak.

Corinthian Hall was designed by architect Henry Searle.  Originally the hall was to be called the Athenaeum, but the day before the dedication, Reynolds looked at the large Corinthian columns Searle placed behind the stage and thought of the more fitting name.  Exchange Place was also renamed Corinthian St.  Though it was a simple design, the hall was praised far and wide as the most perfectly constructed for acoustics of any hall in the country.  Architects came from other cities to study its proportions, ease of access, heating and ventilation systems and its gas lighting.  It was truly a source of pride for the emerging city.

The building was remodeled in 1879 and thereafter often called, the Academy of Music.  After being ravaged by fire in 1898 the Hall was rebuilt and reopened in 1904 as the Corinthian Theater.  It never regained the splendor of its earlier time, and the building was razed in 1928.

During Corinthian Hall’s heyday there were continuous bookings of all the great orators of the day including Susan B. Anthony, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Dickens, William H. Seward, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.  In July of 1851, a parade of grand vocal and instrumental concerts took place.  On July 22 and 24, the famed Swedish soprano, Mademoiselle Jenny Lind, known around the world as “The Swedish Nightingale,” brought her tour group sponsored by P.T. Barnum to Rochester for the most unforgettable performances Rochester had ever seen.

Jenny Lind arrived at the train station (then on Goodman St.) and was met by the Mayor, and a throng of fans.  The Mayor scurried off with her by carriage through back roads to escape the adoring fans and get her safely to the Eagle Hotel in the heart of the city.  After arriving at the hotel, she greeted her fans from a balcony and acknowledged the applause from the crowd gathered in the streets below.

Assisting Jenny Lind in concert were Signor Billeti, her pianist, Otto Goldschmidt, her piano accompanist, and Joseph Burke, her violinist.  She performed a variety of songs including arias by Bellini and Donizetti, as well as one from Handel’s Messiah.

An article written afterwards read “Jenny Lind Sings at the Corinthian Hall.  Demand to see her was so great that tickets to her second performance were auctioned. The proceeds over the regular price, $2,500 were donated to local charities. She also gave a private performance for four Indian Chiefs at the Eagle Hotel.”  It’s hard to imagine who could cause such a stir today.

cab-calloway-captionCabell “Cab” Calloway III

(Dec. 25, 1907 – Nov.18, 1994)  Birthplace: Rochester, NY.Singer / Dancer / Band Leader / Song Writer

With his attire ranging from a fedora and zoot suit to a top hat and tails, Cab’s scat singing and dancing along with his energetic style and comedic personality made him a perennial favorite.  In 1931 Cab recorded his biggest hit, “Minnie the Moocher,” which became his signature song and gave him the nick name, the “Hi De Ho Man.” The song was the first jazz record to sell over one million copies, and his band broke all existing audience records for an all black band.  He had one hit recording after another with many of them being used in films and cartoons. He did voice-over work and appeared in a number of movies including Stormy Weather (1943).

Calloway was born on Christmas day 1907, on Sycamore St. in Rochester NY where he lived with his family for 11 years before they moved to Baltimore.  His parents wanted him to follow in the family business and become a lawyer. He tried law school in Chicago, but found himself spending his evenings performing in local night clubs.

He got his first taste of show biz after high school when he joined his older sister, Blanch, in a touring production of a black musical revue, Plantation Days. She would establish herself as a jazz singer and an accomplished bandleader before Cab, but he always gave her credit for being his inspiration.

Cab began performing as a singer and drummer and emceed at several clubs around Chicago. At the Sunset Café he met Louie Armstrong who taught him the art of “scat” singing.  He first led a band called the Alabamians and next took over the Missourians. Cab and the Missourians performed at the Cotton Club in New York City where they were hired to replace the Duke Ellington Orchestra while on tour. Twice weekly their shows were broadcast on national radio.  Cab broke the broadcast network color barrier by appearing as the featured artist on Walter Winchell’s Lucky Strike radio program and Bing Crosby’s show at the Paramount Theater.  Cab Calloway and His Orchestra toured all over the country.  One night in 1941, while on stage, Cab felt a spit ball hit him, coming from the direction of his orchestra. He wrongly accused his trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie which resulted in a scuffle and Dizzy stabbing Cab in the leg with a small knife. Needless to say Dizzy was looking for a new gig the next day.

In 1944, The New Cab Calloway’s Hepsters Dictionary: Language of Jive was published.  Cab translated jive for the uninformed fan. “Kicking the gong around” was jive for smoking opium. He popularized the term, “Jitterbug.”

Cab won the Grammy Hall of Fame Award for 1999 and the Grammy Life Time Achievement Award of 2008. He’s in the Big Band Hall of Fame as well as the Jazz Hall of Fame, and you can see him in the movie the Blues Brothers. He continued to perform right up until his death in 1994 at the age of 88.

Gene Cornish 2Gene Cornish

(b. May 14, 1945)  Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada. Relocated to Rochester – Guitarist / Singer / Song Writer – Ben Franklin High School graduate.

Gene Cornish has always been revered and respected among fellow musicians.  Since the early 60’s he has inspired countless budding guitarists, all striving to reproduce his sound and feel, while making it all look so effortless.  Whether he’s laying down a cutting riff, a chord bending growl, a brilliant flourish or just a rocking rhythm, Gene’s technique and style are unforgettable.

Gene honed his guitar chops playing in garage bands around his neighborhood and learned to hold his own on bass, harmonica, drums and vocals.  His first gig was at the Avenue D playground where he and his band mates earned 50 cents each.  With the support of his parents, his stepdad would take him to recording studios in Philadelphia and New York to learn the craft, and his mother, who had been a singer with big bands including Ozzie Nelson, once said of Gene, “…he’s going to be on the Ed Sullivan show.”  It took years of playing in clubs and bars, but in 1966 Gene performed on the Ed Sullivan show.

Cornish had worked with a number of rock acts and even tried going solo for a time.  In 1964 he was the front man for a band called The Unbeatables. Their sound was reminiscent of an earlier pop/rock vocal band, but the influence of the Beatles was already being felt.  They released a single called “I want to be a Beatle” that unfortunately garnered only modest sales leading to middle of the road gigs.  It was around this time that Gene started playing with Joey Dee and the Starlighters who had had a big hit back in 1961 with the song “Peppermint Twist.”  Call it fate, but lightning was about to strike when he and fellow sidemen, keyboardist Felix Cavaliere and singer Eddie Brigati got together and realized that they should start their own band.  All they needed was a spark to set off the chain reaction and that spark was drummer par excellence Dino Danelli.  With a clap of thunder the Young Rascals were formed.

They began performing their brand of blue-eyed soul in 1965 and quickly signed with Atlantic Records.  They were offered more money elsewhere but Atlantic gave them full creative control over their recordings.  In March of 1966 Atlantic launched their debut album.  It was a mix of R&B cover tunes including a little song called “Good Lovin’” that went to number one.  Over the next four years they wrote and produced hit after hit.  They recorded 8 albums with 13 songs reaching Billboard’s top 40 chart including “How can I be sure”, “Groovin”, “It’s a Beautiful Morning” and “People Got to be Free.”

Just as music trends were changing, the band members began to stretch out in different directions.  Gene moved on to form the bands Bulldog, Fotomaker, G.C. Damgerous, and currently, Gene Cornish’s Guitar Club for Men.  In 1997 the Rascals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where all four members were reunited and performed on stage together for the first time in 27 years.  Gene summed up his time with the Rascals saying, “We had our moment in the sun, we had a great run.”

Doriot Anthony DwyerDoriot Anthony Dwyer

(b. March 6, 1922) Birthplace: Streator IL. – Pioneering Flutist – 1943 Eastman School of Music Graduate

In 1952 Miss Doriot Anthony began her successful and critically acclaimed 38 year relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the very first woman to win a principal chair in a major U.S. orchestra.  Newspaper headlines of the day read: “Woman Crashes Boston Symphony: Eyebrows Lifted as Miss Anthony sat at Famous Flutist’s Desk” Boston Globe, 10/12/52 and “Flutist, 30 and Pretty, Here with Boston Symphony” Springfield Morning Union, 10/10/52.  Comparisons are unavoidable between Doriot and her second cousin, famed suffragette Susan B. Anthony considering their kindred accomplishments.

Doriot’s musical education began at home listening to radio broadcasts of various orchestras from New York to Chicago.  At the age of 8 she received her first lesson on flute from her mother Edith whom Doriot later described as being a “…prodigiously talented flutist.”  Her mother encouraged her to be an “interesting” musician and “Never, never put yourself down because you are a female.”  The likelihood of a female musician other than a harpist ever winning a principle chair on a major Orchestra in those days was nil, but with continued positive feedback, she pursued further study.

She progressed through a number of teachers, including Ernest Liegl, then Principle Flute in the Chicago Symphony.  Twice a month for five years she would make the 5 hour trip, by train, to and from Liegl’s house for each lesson.  When her application to attend the Curtis Institute of Music was rejected by their flute teacher, William Kincaid, she chalked it up to overconfidence and began private lessons with Kincaid instead.  In 1939 the Eastman School of Music director, Howard Hanson, offered Doriot a scholarship to study under the esteemed Professor of Flute, Joseph Mariano.

Upon graduation from Eastman, Doriot immediately found work with the National Symphony as second flute followed by a series of other jobs including freelance work in New York City, performing on a radio program, and playing with a jazz band accompanying Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater.  Next, when a ballet troupe she was touring with folded, she found her skill at sight reading and her experience playing “modern music,” gained while at Eastman, led to lucrative work with recording studios in Los Angeles as well as performing on radio programs produced there.

Over her long career she would work with conductors such as Bruno Walter, Arthur Fiedler, Charles Munch and Leonard Bernstein just to name a few. She performed with the popular Hancock Ensemble, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic before making history by winning the position of First Flute with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

JOE_ENGLISH_BW.jpg_0001Joe English

(b. Feb. 7, 1949)  Birthplace: Rochester, NY. – Drummer / Singer / Band leader

Back in the 70’s, when British rock royalty Sir Paul McCartney needed a drummer to finish recording a Wings album, it was Joe English who came to the rescue.  By the time his tenure with the famed ex Beatle was through, Joe had played on five gold and platinum Wings albums and toured the world.

According to Joe, he first picked up a pair of drum sticks when he was 13 years old.  Like so many other kids across America, he had seen the four lads from Liverpool on TV, and was instantly bitten by the music bug.  “I want to be like that one day,” he said to himself.  His parents bought him a drum set and it wasn’t long before he was performing in nightclubs and in concerts.

English was on a path to fame and fortune long before he met McCartney.  From 1969 to 1973 his powerful drumming propelled the horn infused rhythm and blues band Jam Factory based in Syracuse NY. They took to the road in 1970 to promote their debut album, Sittin’ in the Trap, and for the next few years, regularly opened for major acts such as Jimmy Hendrix, Steve Miller, Janice Joplin, and the Grateful Dead.  Noting the success of the Allman Brothers, the band moved to Macon, Georgia, changed their name to Tall Dogs Orchestra, and began playing southern rock.  Then one day Joe got a call from his friend Tony Dorcy.  Dorcy was a horn arranger working on McCartney’s Venus and Mars album in Nashville.   He had gotten wind that McCartney was going to fire his drummer, so he called Joe to say, “There’s a chance you might have the job.”  Joe was summoned to New Orleans on a Tuesday and by Wednesday he was recording with Paul McCartney and Wings.

Just like that, 26 year old Joe English was in one of the most popular bands of all time, being idolized by millions of fans world wide and possessing all the fame and fortune he could ask for.  Joe was living a dream come true, but life in the fast lane left him feeling homesick.  He chose to descend from the stratospheric heights of Wings to find some equilibrium at “Sea level,” a Georgia based band made up of ex members of the Allman Brothers Band. Next, he formed the Joe English Band and began making Christian rock albums for very eager fans.  Joe is no longer involved in the music industry, but he continues to sing in the World of Faith Fellowship choir in Spindalem, North Carolina.

chuck_mangione_b&w_hi-resCharles Frank “Chuck” Mangione

(b. Nov. 29, 1940)  Birthplace: Rochester, NY – Flugelhorn / Composer / Band leader -1963 Eastman School of Music graduate.

Chuck Mangione has been chasing the clouds away with his music for more than five decades. He’s reached fans around the world with over 30 albums, striking gold and platinum in the process and earning him 13 Grammy nominations, winning two. His “Feels So Good” album became one of the most successful jazz records ever produced and millions of people heard Chuck perform “Give It All You Got” at the closing ceremonies of the1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid.

From his early days playing trumpet with the Jazz Brothers and on through Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Art Blakey it was clear that with his creative talent the sky was the limit.  As it turned out the sky wasn’t the limit when he blasted off on a Mercury mission called “Friends in Love.”  It was his first time on a major record label (Mercury) and it earned him his first Grammy nomination.  Just a few years later he would release one of his most popular albums, “Land of Make Believe,” making believers out of everyone with a second Grammy nomination.

Growing up in a home steeped in jazz, Chuck and his brother Gap would listen to their father’s jazz albums while other kids their age were listening to Elvis or Jerry Lee Louis.  Their father encouraged the boys’ appreciation for jazz and would take them to Sunday afternoon matinees at jazz clubs around the city.  It would not be uncommon for them to hear sets by Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins and Cannonball Adderly.   Their father would invite these amazing artists to come home with them for a good home-cooked Italian meal.  Of course, they were more than happy to eat home cooking after being on the road.  Chuck grew up thinking everyone had Carmen McRae and Art Blakey over for dinner.

Mangione studied at the Eastman School of Music, graduating in 1963 with a Bachelors degree in music education.  He returned to Eastman in 1968 to direct the fledgling Eastman Jazz Ensemble and expand the school’s jazz programs until 1972.

In 2009 this humble flugelhorn player became a national treasure, figuratively and in fact.  Chuck signed away a cache of his music memorabilia to The Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  Among the items donated are his signature brown felt hat, scores to his most important works, photos and albums, and even an animation cell from the  King Of The Hill TV cartoon series in which he plays himself promoting the discount home center Mega-Lo Mart.

To all his success Chuck has said, “If you’re honest and play with love, people will sit down and listen… my music is the sum of all I have experienced.”

Charles StrouseCharles Strouse

(b. June 7, 1928)  Birthplace: New York, New York – Composer / Lyricist -1947 Eastman School of Music graduate.

Strouse is best known for his work on Broadway theater musicals.  His first musical was Bye, Bye Birdie, (1960) written with his long time collaborator, Lee Adams, and starred Dick VanDyke, Chita Rivera, and Paul Lynde.  It earned him his first of three Tony Awards and produced the hit songs “Put on a Happy Face” and “A Lot of Livin’ To Do.”  In 1970, Applause, staring Lauren Bacall, won him his second Tony.  Strouse earned a third Tony in 1977 when he teamed up with lyricist, Martin Charnin, and librettist, Thomas Meehan, to write the score for Annie, that included the songs, “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”

In 1958 Strouse wrote the pop song, “Born too late,” performed by the Poni-Tails. It went to number seven on the Billboard Charts.  Other songs of his have been recorded by generations of top recording artists such as Louis Armstrong,  Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Harry Connik Jr., and even rapper Jay-Z, who won a Grammy Award in 1998 with his version of “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”

Strouse’s reach also extends into film and television.  His movie score for Bonnie and Clyde (1967) was nominated for a Grammy, and he’s added Emmys and a Peabody award to his collection for various musicals produced for television.

From the time Strouse was a young boy, music had been a source of happiness for him.  Every week he and his mother would go to Woolworth’s to buy the latest sheet music.  It would be demonstrated by a sales person on piano, but they couldn’t wait to get home with it where the whole family would stand around the piano and sing while his mother played.  It was this memory that would resurface years later to become the inspiration for the opening scene and theme song for the TV show All in the Family.

His formal musical education began at the age of 10 with piano lessons from a teacher at Camp Wigwam in Maine.   He didn’t have much interest in “serious” music, but when his mother hired Abraham Sokoloff to continue his lessons at home, his feelings changed.  Sokoloff would teach him the chords to popular songs that he could then play by ear.  Grade school came easily to Charles, and he raced through high school skipping grades along the way.  He was just 15 when he enrolled at the Eastman School of Music where he received a Bachelors degree in composition.  He went on to win two scholarships to Tanglewood where he studied under Aaron Copeland and David Diamond.  He also spent time in Paris with the renowned composer, conductor and teacher Nadia Boulanger.

Strouse was inducted into the Song Writers Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Theater Hall of Fame in 2002.  In 2011 he received the Johnny Mercer Artist of Distinction Award.

Jeff-Tyzik-captionJeff Tyzik

(b. 1952)  Birthplace: Hyde Park NY. – Conductor / Arranger / Composer / Trumpeter – Eastman School of Music graduate

There are few hats in the field of music that Jeff Tyzik has not worn.  This tremendously versatile Grammy Award winning record producer has held the position of Principal Pops Conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 1994.  Recognized for his brilliant arrangements, innovative programs and engaging rapport with audiences of all ages, he has been in great demand across America and Canada as a guest conductor. Currently he also serves as Principle Pops Conductor of the Oregon Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Tyzik’s life in music began at the age of nine when he first picked up a coronet.  Throughout high school he studied both classical and jazz music.  He went on to earn his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied composition/arranging with Radio City Music Hall’s Ray Wright and jazz with the world renowned band leader Chuck Mangione.  He continued to work and perform with Mangione for the next few years as the consummate musician intent on learning every aspect of the music business.

His experience composing and arranging music for the Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman orchestras led to an opportunity to co-compose a trumpet concerto with virtuoso trumpeter Allen Vizzutti to be recorded by pops legend Doc Severenson.  Through this association he went on to produce the 1986 Grammy Award winning album The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severenson.  Tyzik has composed and produced theme music for many of the major television networks and released six albums of his own.  In 2007 a recording of Gershwin, works with pianist Jon Nakamatsu and conducted by Tyzik was released by Harmonia Mundi.  It reached # 10 on the Billboard Classical Chart.  Tyzik made his UK conducting debut in June of 2010 in Edinburgh and Glasgow with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in a three-week series of four popular programs.

His boundless energy and passion for music extends to his activity with community service and educational work.  Recalling one experience he had after performing the Shostakovich Festival Overture at an inner city school, he said “The kids had never heard music like this before.  They were so moved by the power of that piece that we heard a spontaneous roar and got a standing ovation twenty seconds before the piece ended.  We all learned the effect of great music on the human spirit.”  Tyzik currently serves on the Board of Managers of the Eastman School of Music and as a board member of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.


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