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Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation
Established1998; 26 years ago (1998) until 2008
LocationColumbia Theatre, 82 West State Street, Sharon, Pennsylvania, US
Type Vocal groups
Founder Tony Butala
President Bob Crosby
Website vocalgroup.org

The Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum Company Inc. was an American-based hall of fame that honored vocal groups throughout the United States. James E. Winner Jr. was the financial and managing partner of the For-profit corporation. Winner and Anthony F. Butala were the corporate officers/stockholders of The Museum Company. They set up an office located at Winner's business address on State Street in Sharon, Pennsylvania.

Control of the hall of fame has changed over the years. It went into hiatus and was closed in 2008.

History

Founding

The Vocal Group Hall of Fame was conceived by Butala. He came up with the idea of the museum/hall of fame. Winner, a successful local businessman and entrepreneur, agreed to fund and operate the project. Butala is also the founding member of the famous 50s & '60s singing group The Lettermen. He is the only living original member of The Lettermen and still performs with the group.

"The Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum Company Inc." opened in 1998 followed by The Vocal Group Hall of Fame 501 (c)3 Non-Profit Foundation. The foundation was formed and operated by attorneys and accountants employed by Winner.

The foundation was created to care for, protect and display the Inductees' memorabilia and to enjoy the benefits of a non-profit foundation. The foundation began collecting donations of memorabilia from the inductees and began seeking grants from the city of Sharon and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It also solicited donations from a hopeful supportive public.

Shortly after the foundation was created, Winner renovated the Museum building. He later opened the Museum and set up headquarters at the newly renovated museum building that he owned across the street from his offices in Sharon.

2001

Inductions were scheduled and promoted for September 11, 2001 ( 9/11). The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Inductions and were to be produced behind the museum building in a parking lot. The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Museum Company Inc. had begun the 2001 Inductions preparation, production, and promotion when the 9/11 terror attack crisis left artists/inductees unable to travel to Inductions. All airplanes had been grounded, causing the 2001 inductions to be postponed to October 4, 2001.

In the time between 9/11 and October 4, 2001, a few members of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame museum staff went to a concert at the nearby Cleveland Indians minor league baseball stadium in Ohio to see Cool & the Gang, Village People and Disco Explosion. They liked the production and show management. The group made an offer to the concert producer. Bob Crosby. Cosby got his start in the entertainment business at Dick Clark Productions in 1976. He was contracted to produce the 2001 Vocal Group Hall of Fame Production. Crosby accepted the offer and successfully staged the concert. He recorded video and audio of the 2001 Inductions and marketed and packaged the first DVD of inductions.

Prior quarters and annual projections showed low attendance to the museum and unsatisfying ticket sales to both the museum and Inductions. This caused tensions between Winner and Butala. Batula was not very helpful because he was on tour most of the time with The Lettermen. This issue led to the resolution of all matters by dissolving the interest and partnership in the For-profit Vocal Group Hall of Fame and Museum Company Inc.

Butala wanted his dream to continue. He suggested to Winner to have Crosby take over the Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation and rent the museum building from Winner. Butala and Winner closed the Vocal Group Museum Company Inc. and Crosby took over operations of The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation as President and CEO.

Soon after Crosby took over the operation and administration of the foundation, Winner's attorneys and accountants, the board of directors of the foundation, resigned.

Within a couple of months of Crosby's appointment as President and CEO of the foundation, he did not expect the rental price, $1 a year rent plus utilities and maintenance of the building, to change. However, the rent had increased to $12,000 per month. Other bills and debts not agreed to became the foundation's responsibility instead of The Museum Company's responsibility. Winner demanded that all museum renovation bills become foundation bill. This ended any chance for the foundation to survive with debt said to be over $1million. A final settlement was accepted after lawsuits were filed. There was no longer any financial obligation due to Winner by the foundation.

As differences grew, it became clear to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation that the Foundation could no longer afford to rent or occupy Winners museum building. The Foundation was not able to provide for the museum and the foundation's past bills. It was left with no alternative other than to not renew the offered lease and find a new location.

2002

On June 14, 2002, The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation purchased the 1750-seat 1922 Columbia Theatre, an early Warner Brothers theater in Sharon. They moved all the foundation's memorability to storage and ended the lease in Winners building. The Foundation office relocated to the Columbia Theatre. [1] The For-profit Vocal Group Hall of Fame Museum Company Inc. was closed.

Inductions

The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation typically inducts sixteen Vocal Groups annually and has been delayed lacking the funding. Artists are inducted within categories. Each category has an original group member, evolved group member or a family member as an inductee representative. These categories include 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and duos. The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation releases a public ballot that allowed anyone to vote for both the nominees and the inductees.

Categories

While only vocal groups having three-part harmony are eligible, other categories such as duos and Lead solo vocalists with a harmony group may be inducted if they have a legitimate backup harmony group with backing harmony singers. An example of this would be Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Closure

The Vocal Group Hall of Fame public operations, including the theater and museum, have been closed and on hiatus since 2008 due to the lack of financial support. It continue its mission to establish and operate a museum attraction where the inductees meet and perform in support of the foundation. [2]

Columbia Theatre

On June 14, 2001, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation purchased the 1750-seat Columbia Theatre in Sharon "with the promise of grant funding to follow"[ citation needed]. The Commonwealth did have a multi-million dollar grant if the foundation could meet the match. Over twenty years after it was first created, the Foundation has not opened the attraction or receive adequate funding. Much is still needed to renovate, open and operated the foundation's attraction and become capable of raising funds on its own through benefit concerts at The Columbia Theatre. Meanwhile, the restoration of the theatre has stalled due to the lack of funding. A part of a new roof was installed and the plastering of the dome was completed to make a watertight shell.

The Mercer County Correctional Facility and volunteers removed more than 100 tons of debris to help make the theater ready for renovation. [3]

In November 2004, the museum moved out of Winner's 3-story building and relocated to the Columbia Theatre. All of the Foundations memorabilia was moved to temperature-controlled storage waiting for its new home for display. The new location at Columbia Theatre was meant to serve both as The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation's central office and as the location for the annual induction ceremony. It was also intended to host benefit concerts to support the foundation and theatre. The museum was to move to a three-story restaurant building purchased by the foundation. The building was located adjacent to the theater. It would have the restaurant portion becoming a vocal group-themed museum, nightclub piano bar and bar and grill.

Truth in Music Bill

The Truth in Music bill was created to protect artists from identity theft. [4] Jon Bauman, chairmen of The Truth In Music Committee has worked with the VGHF. Along with Frank Maffei, bauman has had help from Joe Terry of Danny & The Juniors, Maxine Pinkney of Bill Pinkney, The Original Drifters, Veta & Carl Gardner of The Coasters, Herb Reed and Sonny Turner of The Platters and others. Bauman and Mary Wilson, with Bob Crosby at the foundation office, was able to assist other artists in an effort to protect the artist from fraudulent abuse. Wilson championed the Truth in Music bill for many years throughout the United States. With the help of The Recording Academy, she got Hawaii added to the list of states with the Truth In Music Bill as the 35th state to pass the bill also known as the Truth in Advertising Act. She was one of the best supporters of The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation as Chair of the Artist Advisory Board and continued her support up until her death. The Truth In Music Bill has since been adopted by most U.S. states. It also helps ensure that people who perform in a group using a group's name must actually perform on one of the group's albums or has legal rights to use the name. The main beneficiaries are the surviving members of the Platters, The Coasters, The Drifters and the Marvelettes. These iconic groups had been victimized by Larry Marshak and other promoters of impostor groups.[ citation needed]

Inductees

1998–2002

2003–2007

See also

References

  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  2. ^ "Inductees – The Vocal Group Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  3. ^ "The Columbia Theatre – The Vocal Group Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  4. ^ [1] Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [2] Archived 2017-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Musso, Anthony P. (1 January 2007). Setting the Record Straight: The Music and Careers of Recording Artists from the 1950s and Early 1960s in Their Own Words. AuthorHouse. ISBN  9781425959869. Retrieved 16 July 2018 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ [3] Archived 2017-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ [4] Archived 2017-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2001 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  10. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2002 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  11. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2003 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  12. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Merry Macs". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  13. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2004 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  14. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Alabama". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  15. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2005 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  16. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Brooklyn Bridge". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  17. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2006 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  18. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Byrds". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  19. ^ [5] Archived 2017-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ a b "Youngstown News, Vocal Group Hall of Fame plans Chevy Centre concerts". Vindy.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  21. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Journey". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  22. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Album Categories 2007 Inductee". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  23. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Capris". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  24. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Chords". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  25. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Dixie Cups". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  26. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Five Red Caps". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  27. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – The Jive Five". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  28. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Kool & The Gang". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  29. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Ruby & The Romantics". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  30. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Sam & Dave". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  31. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame – Sly & The Family Stone". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.