On Saturday, October 14, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) held its 11th annual induction ceremony at the Aladdin Theater. The ceremony honored artists including King Black Acid, Sean Croghan (Crackerbash, The Pynnacles) and Quasi; industry influencers including Chris Monlux (the "Mon" of Monqui Presents) and the late Lisa Lepine; and featured performances by the Freak Mountain Ramblers, inductee Louis "King Louie" Pain (with frequent collaborator LaRhonda Steele), two-time OMHOF inductee and teacher Danny Schauffler (with accompaniment by three of his students), and Floater.
There were lighter moments, including the stage antics of emcee Rob Sample. Dressed in a festive red jacket, Sample kicked off the ceremony with a parody of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," complete with choreography and mentions of this year's inductees embedded in the lyrics. Later in the evening, Sam Coomes of Quasi quipped that OMHOF is "a hall of fame for people who aren't even really famous" to laughs and cheers. It's true: Many of the figures inducted might not have achieved the level of commercial success one might expect for a hall of fame, but they have all contributed to the rich musical heritage of the state.
There were also somber moments throughout the night, including the induction of the late Jim Boyer, whose fellow Freak Mountain Ramblers played a five-song set in his honor, with guest appearances by artists including Pete Krebs and Taylor Kingman. Referencing two of his songs, Boyer's mother made sure to note that "Jimmy" was never "Whistling in the Dark"—he was "Cookin' with Gas."
When it came time to induct Lisa Lepine (the ProMotion Queen), her longtime partner Tom shared a poem in her honor and highlighted her commitment to young people. The family of inductee Mickey Newbury struck a similar tone, noting how much he would have loved OMHOF's dedication to music in public schools throughout the state—since 2007, the nonprofit has raised $203,000 for Oregon public schools, and they're funding five $2,500 scholarships for high school seniors in the state this year. The first inductee of the evening, jazz pianist Peter Boe, stressed the importance of music education, noting that the opportunities available to him in the ‘70s no longer exist: "You can't learn it on the bandstand anymore," he said.
From honoring those who have made our musical heritage what it is to investing in its future, OMHOF's spirit of community was evident throughout the entirety of the four-hour event, which closed with what has become a tradition: a dance party to first-year inductee The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie." —Katey Trnka