Celebrate the legendary careers of Capital Region
artists and contributors to the local music scene
Join us as the Capital Region music community comes together to induct the third class of the Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at Universal Preservation Hall. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show.
The class includes Big Band vocalists and brothers Bob Eberly and Ray Eberle; country musician Marty Wendell; the rock band The Figgs; radio disc jockey Jim Barrett; jazz band leader Skip Parsons; Cuban and African percussionist and educator Eddie Ade Knowles; and Old Songs founders Kay (Andy) and Bill Spence.
The ceremony will feature live musical performances and tributes to the inductees, and an unveiling of the Class of 2021 plaques on the Hall of Fame wall. Scheduled to perform are artists playing the inductees’ music: Dylan Perillo; Sean Wendell; BROWN LIQUOR SOCIAL CLUB featuring Chris Dollard and J Yager; and Peter Pashoukos and Greg Greene of the band Perennial.
Your 2021 Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Hall of Fame inductees:
Bob Eberly – who changed the spelling of his last name Eberle when he began singing professionally – was hired by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra after winning an amateur hour contest and shortly before Tommy Dorsey left the band to form his own group. He stayed with Jimmy Dorsey and in the early 1940s the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra scored a string of Billboard hits featuring Eberly and Helen O’Connell. He also recorded the original version of “I’m Glad There Is You” in 1942 for Dorsey’s orchestra that has become a jazz and pop standard.
Bob’s younger brother, Ray Eberle, joined the Glen Miller orchestra in 1938, and recorded several hits and songs for that group until 1943. After a brief stint with Gene Krupa’s band, he began a long solo career. From 1940-43 he was a finalist on Billboard’s “College Poll” for male vocalist; he also appeared in several movies in the early 1940s and on several television variety shows in the 1950s and 1960s. The brothers are Mechanicville natives.
Jim Barrett’s local music show Kaleidoscope as it enters his 55th year on the air this fall. The show was founded in 1967 on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s college station, WRPI, and later moved to Albany Broadcasting, and then to WVCR-FM and later WAIX-FM 106.1.
Originally known as The Sonic Undertones, The Figgs have recorded 13 studio albums and multiple EPs, live albums, compilations and singles. The Saratoga-based band served as the backing band for Graham Parker on and off since 1996 and also toured with Tommy Stinson of The Replacements. Founded in Saratoga Springs in 1987, the original lineup of Mike Gent (guitar), Pete Donnelly (bass), and Guy Lyons (drums / guitar) all went to high school together. Pete Hays (drums) later joined the band.
Eddie Ade Knowles was a pillar of African and Caribbean music in the Capital Region from when he joined RPI in 1977 until his death in 2020. An accomplished musician with 50 years of performance, residency, workshop, and recording credits as a percussionist, his artistic focus was on African, Afro-Cuban, and New World music and dance.
Albany native Skip Parsons and his Skip Parsons Riverboat Jazz Band have been staples on the Capital Region jazz scene since 1956 and played with a long list of notables. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan issued an Official Proclamation declaring Sept. 7, 2019 as “Skip Parsons Riverboat Jazz Band Day.”
In 1977, Kay (Andy) Spence and the late Bill Spence and a few like-minded individuals organized and created Old Songs. Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to keeping traditional music and dance alive through the presentation of festivals, concerts, dances, and educational programs. The festival takes place annually at the Altamont fairgrounds in June. Bill, who passed away in 2019, was a prolific photographer and musician, recording engineer and proprietor of the Front Hall music label. He formed a skiffle band while in high school in Iowa City, Iowa, and played for community organizations and dances. He later discovered the hammered dulcimer which soon led him to form a string band with other Albany area musicians.
Ticonderoga native Marty Wendell, while in college, met a New York talent agent, Jerry Teifer, who introduced him to Johnny Cash. In the mid-sixties he ventured into New York’s Greenwich Village with his guitar and was discovered by a producer; a subsequent recording session resulted in his first record “Hey, Hey Mama” which sold over 10,000 copies. Marty has been touring and recording ever since.