Gamble Rogers, a Florida storyteller and musician who died heroically trying to save a drowning man in 1991 at age 54, leads a stellar group of musical performers named to the first induction class for the newly formed Saint Augustine Music Hall of Fame (SAMHOF). Jimmy Buffett, in 1994, dedicated his album, Fruitcakes, to Rogers.
An induction ceremony and concert will take place at the Saint Augustine Amphitheatre’s Backyard Stage on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 2 to 6pm, which will include performances by, and tributes to, inductees, with an all-star backing band. FREE and parking.
Joining Rogers in the first class of inductees are solo artists Don “Oja” Dunaway, Bob Patterson, Elizabeth Roth, John Westbrook, and bands The Driftwoods, The Folksters, Red River Band, Rotagilla, and Those Guys.
A special “In The Biz” award, recognition to a non-musician entity, will be given to Trade Winds (St. Augustine’ s oldest music bar) and the Leonard Family (who include past and current owners).
“This is over 450 years in the making,” says committee member Dave Kosciolek, publisher of local music magazine Narrow. “Our rich music history needed to be recognized.”
Jim Stafford, also a committee member and owner of Eclipse Studios, added, “ We knew this was going to be a difficult task. We could have inducted hundreds of deserving artists, but we tried to be as inclusive as possible. We encourage everyone interested to participate next year by going to staugustinemusichalloffame.com.”
Local musician Walt Kulwicki, also a committee member, added, “The more we keep losing pieces of our music history, the more urgency we had to finally get this started.”
To help with the process of deciding the first induction class, ballots were sent to all participants of the Sing Out Loud Festival, along with suggestions collected on various social media platforms, and the SAMHOF’ s website. The committee received suggestions of over 200 names and nearly 500 votes. These were used in committee discussions to formalize the first induction class.
The event is sponsored by the Friends of Saint Augustine Amphitheatre (FOSAA), The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre, Eclipse Studios, Narrow Magazine, and the SAMHOF committee.
Special emcees for the event are Jessica Clark and Jeff Valin of First Coast News.
The SAMHOF was created to recognize the rich musical history of America’ s oldest city. Committee members are Jim Stafford, Walt Kulwicki, Dave Kosciolek, and Tommy Bledsoe, with additional input from Chico Dennis, Don Dunaway, Amy Hendrickson, Lisa Mack, Ryan Murphy, and Bob Patterson. Nominees were not eligible to consider themselves. The committee looks forward to additional contributors, sponsors, and members joining the process of recognizing and preserving the city’ s music history. Go to samhof.com for more details.