The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame (LMHOF) is an IRS certified 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization (as La Musique de Louisianne Inc.) based in the state capital of Baton Rouge, La. that seeks to preserve Louisiana's rich music culture and heritage and to further educate its citizens and people worldwide about the state’s unique role contributing to American indigenous and popular music in the 20th Century. Its primary outreach currently consists of a growing online “virtual museum.” The organization is also actively developing partnerships and programs for collections, exhibitions, education aids and programs and performances. The LMHOF also seeks to stimulate economic growth by promoting the rejuvenation of the state’s music industry. In one specific example, in 2009 LMHOF facilitated pro bono an advertising endorsement agreement between Al "Carnival Time" Johnson and the Louisiana Lottery Corp. which resulted in unprecedented media exposure and royalties to Johnson for use of his image,voice and signature song in a scratch ticket promotion during Mardi Gras season.
Among the artists who have been inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame to date are Fats Domino: Jerry Lee Lewis; Little Richard;Cosimo Matassa; Louis Armstrong; Mahalia Jackson: Pete Fountain; Buddy Guy; Gov.Jimmie Davis; Ellis Marsalis; Lead Belly; Webb Pierce; Dale Hawkins; Louis Prima; Percy Sledge; Irma Thomas;"Dr. John"Mac Rebennack; Jelly Roll Morton; Allen Toussaint;Al "Carnival Time" Johnson;Bill Conti;and Clarence "Frogman" Henry. The list of inductees is expected to eventually top 150 international luminaries, and the program will expand to include recognition of significant songwriters, support musicians, business icons and regionally famous artists in niche recognition categories. The range of inductees reflects the true diversity of Louisiana's music and its' impact on 20th century music around the world. Of course, New Orleans is the undisputed cradle of jazz. In the 20's Lead Belly and Jelly Roll Morton covered the spectrum arching over blues forms from Shreveport to New Orleans. As eras passed, Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima dominated, Webb Pierce and Gov. Jimmie Davis and country music rolled as Cosimo Matassa recorded "Good Rockin' Tonight" which spread immediately from New Orleans to Shreveport through The Louisiana Hayride, effectively merging the "Hayride" and New Orleans genres into a whole new genre. Mahalia Jackson became the dominant gospel artist and Pete Fountain and Al Hirt jazzed the world. In the 50's and 60's, the likes of Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dale Hawkins, Johnny Rivers, Frogman Henry, Robert Parker, Phil Phillips, John Fred & His Playboys, Jimmy Clanton, The Dixie Cups, and Jean Knight dominated the charts and record sales. Even Louisiana's writers like Bobby Charles, Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew and Dick Holler drove the industry with their songs. And throughout this global process, Louisiana continued to grow its own unique and original Cajun, Zydeco and "Swamp Pop" musical genres. Few people appreciate that in the early 19th Century New Orleans was the site of the first opera house in America and produced one of the country’s first major composers, Louis Moreau Gottschalk. From Classical to Rock & Roll, Jazz to Rhythm & Blues, Gospel to Country & Western, Louisiana has been integral to American music history and was at the forefront of the music revolutions of the 20th century.
The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame has launched an innovative LMHOF "Virtual Museum" online concept. While physical exhibits are in the development plans, the Internet now provides people anywhere in the world to visit and immerse themselves in the rich culture of Louisiana music. The GALLERIES MUSIQUE allow visitors to spend as much or as little time as they choose, and visit at any time that they choose. Extensive static images, music files and videos albums are provided on each Inductee. Digital based movable exhibitions are available whenever and wherever scheduled. The ongoing one-on-one interaction with inductees and future inductees gleans the history and details of the music and artists directly from the artists. Combining and correlating this information with the constant research and discovery of facts and artifacts, and adding the immediate publishing time of the virtual museum, the LMHOF is able to provide the most accurate and current information available anywhere.
Education is the heart of The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame’s mission. The organization has plans to launch a test program at targeted East Baton Rouge Parish public schools of its Louisiana Ticket video series in the near future as the forerunner for inclusion of Louisiana music history in curricula in the state. These programs include oral histories, narrated biographies, music and recorded live performances. Louisiana Ticket programming will also be available to the world via the LMHOF web site and, beginning third quarter 2009, through HD air and cable channel television broadcasts throughout most of Louisiana. LMHOF's virtual museum is rapidly becoming a valuable resource for research on and about Louisiana artists and music. The LMHOF also stores redundant digital files of its entire archives in The Louisiana State Archives, located in Baton Rouge, LA, assuring survival of the content. The LMHOF records HD oral history interviews with Inductees and other valued assets wherever possible and records all performances in HD and multi-track digital audio, as they archive exclusive and unique performances for historical reference. These oral history pieces can be found in the virtual museum under the apppropriate inductee, as can numerous live performance recordings, the ever known to exist by many of the inductees. LMHOF has also partnered with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library to be included as a primary link for education and information about Louisiana Music.
The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame is producing a '"Louisiana Ticket'" video series as both the official museum broadcast series with in-depth looks at Louisiana's artists and music. The state’s legends, landmarks and unsung heroes are explored through insightful features, historical articles, news and reviews. Louisiana Ticket will also distribute this programming across the world through the LMHOF Web site and through HD broadcasts throughout Louisiana via cable television networks.
The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame’s institutional history began in 1979 when Del Moon, a Baton Rouge, La. print and television entertainment journalist first put forward his intent to create the LMHOF. In 1980, a nonprofit entity was formed and the initial project drive began. After seven years, Moon shelved the project, having fought a severe economic recession and having received only cursory cooperation from State and local government and funding entities. In 2005, a music industry veteran, Mike Shepherd of Baton Rouge, La, took up the gauntlet, establishing an IRS certified 501c3 foundation (La Musique de Louisianne Inc.),re-acquired the LMHOF name from Louisiana’s Secretary Of State (who had personally taken it in-house to protect the name) and immediately contacted Moon for support. He got it. The new Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame blueprint envisions future public exhibits but immediately took advantage of the Internet by launching a unique "virtual museum" from a Web site and began honoring Louisiana musicians who have made significant contributions to the music industry. With so much to work on, the decision was made to reach out to the "living legends" and surviving family first in an induction plan rather than engage in a time-consuming thematic/historical approach. As Hurricane Katrina ripped New Orleans, it quickly became apparent that digital was the only way to go. An incredible amount of Louisiana's music history washed away overnight. With the cooperation of Louisiana Secretary of State Jat Dardenne, and Governors Kathleen Blanco and Bobby Jindal, the project is quickly becoming a prototype for the digital age of museums. Plans continue for brick and mortar facilities throughout the State, along with numerous projects designed to aid in heightened global awareness of Louisiana's artists and music, as well as developmental tools and facilities to assist in the resurgence in Louisiana's classic music genres. Four fundraising induction concerts have been staged to date, including "Louisiana's Greatest Hits-Live" held in Baton Rouge on Oct.27, 2007.
|Name||Inductee||Songwriters' Annex||Performers' Stage|
|D. L. Menard||✓||✓|
|Dale & Grace||✓|
|Huey P. Long & Castro Carazo||✓||✓|
|Jelly Roll Morton||✓||✓|
|Jerry Lee Lewis||✓||✓|
|Jimmy C. Newman||✓||✓|
|LSU Tiger Band||✓|