Paul Guilford Betz - Born in Detroit, Betz moved to Columbus with his parents at the age of two, graduating from Bexley High School where he played drums in the band. After serving in the Army of Occupation in Japan, he returned home to attend Capital University. In 1947, he joined Local 103 of the AFM, becoming a "journeyman player of casual engagements" in hotels, nightclubs, variety shows, trade shows, and dances. He fronted his own Paul Guilford Orchestra while also performing in the Maennerchor Band, the Columbus Municipal Band, the Post #1 American Legion Band, the Ray Cincione's Gloria house band, and jobs for Howard "Howdie" Mauger. When his business relocated to Chicago, he joined AFM local #10/208 and was featured on a weekly TV show on WCLU. His final move was to Cincinnati where he operated how own Cincinnati Scale Company while playing in the Barney Rapp Band, the Oola Khan Band, and his own Mr. B's Music. Although officially retired, Betz maintains his membership in Local #1 in Cincinnati and sits in with a swing band in Florida. In 1997, he received his 50-year pin from the American Federation of Musicians.
Richard "Dick" Cone - Pianist, cornetist, and arranger Dick Cone in known primarily for the work he left behind. While living in Columbus, he played with the Ernie Wolfle Quartet and co-founded the Dick Cone-Sonny McBroom Orchestra which evolved into the OSU Jazz Forum. He also wrote a tune, "Chuz Duz," for Chuz Alfred while living in a closet in the latter's apartment. Cone became an arranger for the Riley Norris Band which was famous for its innovative sound. And then he left town. It is known that the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Festival Orchestra has its roots in New York, where Cone led a rehearsal orchestra before moving to Eastern Pennsylvania in the mid-'seventies. By the mid-'eighties he was leading a similar sort of band at the Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, which included Phil Woods. Originally called Grandma's Soup, it took on its current name following Cone's death. His arrangements continue to be featured by Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra.
Richard "Dick" Cumberland - Originally from Willard, Cumberland started on piano at 6 and while still in junior high studied with "Dwike" Mitchell. Later, he learned to play the vibes as well. After earning a BS from Ohio University and a master's from Xavier University, he moved to Columbus where he worked with the bands of Chuz Alfred, Anne Young, Howdy Gorman, Riley Norris, Vaughn Wiester, and Cozy Cole, among others. For his day job, he was principal of an elementary school and, later, superintendent of the school system in Gambier. Cumberland also started his own trio, performing in Columbus, Michigan, and Chicago. On one occasion, he added Grover Washington for a country club gig. On another, he played with Wes Montgomery. In 1985, he relocated to North Carolina, eventually forming another trio and appearing in two movies, The Radioland Murders and Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored. He continues to perform as a single and in a duo, trio, quartet, and quintet as needed. However, he admits it is hard to come by good musicians where he currently lives on an island off the North Carolina coast.
Tony Ellis - Born in North Carolina, Ellis traded his trumpet for a resonator banjo after hearing Earl Scruggs on the radio. It was apparently the right decision, judging by his Grammy nominations. Ellis comes by his talent honestly, having had a grandfather who played the fiddle and a grandmother who played banjo and originally taught him the two-finger style. Initially, he studied with Swanson Walker, but after his family moved to Lynchburg he became a student of Don Reno. In 1960, he successfully auditioned for bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and became a member of the Bluegrass Boys, touring with them for 2 ½ years and recording 22 songs. Following a Carnegie Hall appearance with Mac Wiseman, Ellis quit playing fulltime in order to concentrate on raising a family. In the late 'seventies, he moved to Central Ohio, where he operates Braeburn Farm Bed & Breakfast. He has performed with fiddler Lonnie Seymour and other local bluegrass groups. In 1996, he was picked to play at the Southern Crossroads Festival held in conjunction with the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. His 1987 album, Dixie Banner, was named one of the five best albums of the year by National Public Radio.
Mike Evans - Born in Detroit, Evans had been interested in making music since elementary school, but his family could not afford lessons. So his initial success came as a singer. However, in high school his girlfriend (now his wife) gave him a tenor ukulele. By the time he reached college (where he earned a BA and MA at Michigan and a PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz), he had switched to banjo and was performing in a folk trio and a Dixieland combo. After moving to Columbus to teach at OSU, Evans began playing banjo at Shakey's Pizza, working along side Rex O'Neal, Terry Waldo, Michael Feinstein, Doug Scherer, and David Steele. Eventually, he was asked to join the newly formed Sounds of Dixie. After several years, he decided to put together his own Dixieland band. In 1990, he launched the Toll House Jazz Band. Gradually, the band began to gain recognition both regionally and nationally through appearances at numerous jazz festivals. They also undertook three jazz tours of Germany and Italy, accompanied by many of their fans. Individually, Evans has been the featured banjo player on the American Queen Riverboat.
Pete France - France was a trumpeter and son of bandleader John Peter France, who organized the Columbus Citizen's or 2nd Regiment Band in 1900. He was also a member of Thomas Howard's Whispering Orchestra of Gold, Capt. Warmack's Algerians (out of Buffalo, New York), and leader of the Beatty Recreation Center music department during the 'thirties and 'forties. Alumni of his celebrated program include Rusty Bryant, Jimmy Carter, and Walter Wallace, among others. In 1943, France took over as conductor of the 2nd Regiment Band from his father. He passed away in 1980, leaving behind a number of musicians for whom he was a mentor and an inspiration.
Roses Franck Carter - Carter, perhaps better known as Roses Franck, grew up in the Chicago area and studied string bass with the principal bass of the Chicago Symphony. While in high school, she won a scholarship to Interlochen National Music Camp during the summer. A four-year scholarship took her to the famed Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. During her senior year, she auditioned for the Columbus Philharmonic under the direction of Izler Solomon. It was a fulltime, salaried position and she remained with that group until it folded in 1952. She went on to land a job with the Evan Whallon's Columbus Symphony and remained a member of that organization for 30 years. After leaving the Columbus Symphony, Carter went on to play 7 years with the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. To this day, she continues to perform with various regional orchestras, including Welsh Hills at Dennison, the Mansfield symphony, the Springfield Symphony, the Capital-Bexley Orchestra under Nick Perrini, and both the Southeastern and Southwestern Orchestras.
Ruth Fullen - Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Fullen started playing the string bass in 7th grade and performed in the Louisville Symphony Orchestra while in high school. During the summer months she attended the Stephen Foster and the Limberlost Music Camps where she played bass under the direction of Fabian Sevitzky, conduction of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She subsequently earned a full scholarship to the Jordan College of Music at Butler University. She met her future husband, Columbus broadcast legend Gene Fullen. In 1952, the newlyweds relocated to Columbus. At first, she played bass for several seasons with the Columbus Symphony, but then turned her attention to teaching school and raising her family. For 27 of the next 35 years, she was a vocal music teacher in the Hilliard schools. She was also member of Women in Music Columbus Orchestra for 23 years. Encouraged by friends to audition for the newly created Grandparents Living Theare, Fullen was immediately cast in their premiere show, "I Was Young, Now I'm Wonderful." Now, renamed the Senior Repertory of Ohio Theatre Company, she continues to be an active participant. She has also played bass and sung with a number of big bands, directed various children's choirs, sung in her church choir for 25 years, and serves on the boards of several music-related organizations.
Cleve Good - Alto sax player Cleve Good was one of the nominee's for the 1946 Ohio State News All Star Band. In addition to playing in Earl Hood's Orchestra for many years, he had spent some time performing on ships steaming back and forth across the Atlantic. To his family, "Uncle Cleve" was something of a mystery man. Often he was working out of town somewhere and they would not see him for long periods of time. However, he eventually settled in Columbus for good, becoming president of American Federation of Musicians Local 589 located at 52 North Garfield. At that time, all of the musicians union local chapters were segregated and the African-American musicians belonged to 589 while the white musicians belonged to Local 103. Good presided over 589 until it disbanded in 1960. He was also active in the legendary jam sessions that took place upstairs in the Downbeat Club. Locally, Good played with many bands well remembered and combos, including those of Percy Lowery, Toni Kaye, and Emile Leon.
The Lamplighters - Founded in 1944 by arranger and director J. Melvin Reid, The Lamplighters featured 13 a capella singers in six-part harmony. Reid built the group around the voice of Viola Young, who was still in her teens. Their repertoire included spirituals, popular standards, and even arrangements of Duke Ellington tunes. The group performed throughout Central Ohio in churches and at special events which brought them into contact with various celebrities and Hollywood stars. They continued to perform until their leader passed away in 1990. Sometime during the 1960s, they voted to exclude popular songs and concentrate on their religious mission. During their 46-year history, The Lamplighters had numerous members. Those who were living at the time of their induction into the Hall of Fame include: John Marr, Rayford and Linda Harper, Reginald Malone, Lloyd and Dorothy Ross, Bob and Lorraine Butler, Ruthine Pearons, Viola Young, and Roxanne Reid. As pastor of Good Shepard Baptist Church, Rayford Harper continues to use the group's arrangements with his own group of family singers.
Kay Hardesty Logan - Born in Lancaster, Ohio, Logan studied flute with Donald McGinnis at Lancaster High School and later at The Ohio State University. While still in college, she was second flute in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, holding the position of principal flautist for 15 years following the retirement of Dr. McGinnis. As a special music educator, she serves on the Eastman School of Music Board of Managers, the Education Committee of the Orchestra of St. Luke's (NYC), the Education Committee of Chamber Music of America, the MENC National Advisory Committee, Women's Forum of Washington, Board of Directors for the Very Special Arts, and numerous others. Furthermore, Logan has been a flute instructor at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Cautauqua Institution, and received honorary awards from Penn State and The Ohio State Universities. She is the author of programs for and articles about expressive arts for disabled adult populations.
Bob Marvin - A native of Cleveland, Marvin (aka Marvin Fishman) began playing the tenor saxophone professionally at the age of 17 at the Stage Door Canteen, then quickly found work in a polka band at the Cossack Cafe. He also plays the clarinet, trombone, and drums. While stationed at Kimpo Air Base in Korea, Marvin led an Army band. In 1949, he came to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University, enrolling in the school of music. He, subsequently, became a founding member of the Ohio State University Jazz Forum with Alan Abel, and played with the Chuck Selby, Ziggy Coyle, Gene D'Angelo, and Riviera Nite Club Orchestras. For over 35 years, he led the Bob Marvin Band and for over thirty years was Flippo, King of the Clowns, host of his own show on local television. In or out of his clown make-up, Marvin is one of the most recognized personalities in Columbus.
William H. Newkirk - Born in Columbus, Newkirk graduated from North High School and earned a bachelor's degree from OSU in 1960. An accomplished pianist, clarinetist, bass clarinetist, and tenor sax player, he joined the local union at the age of 16 and was immediately hired to play in Tommy Dale's band. Following graduation from Ohio State, he joined Al Belleto's Jazz Sextet for a tour of the eastern United States and Canada. After Belleto broke up the band, Newkirk joined the Kirby Stone Four as pianist-conductor. Eventually returning home, he formed a trio with Jack Gorham and Dave Butler, playing local restaurants and lounges. He was then offered a job with the house band at the New Orleans Playboy Club. In time, this led to a job as Al Hirt's band piano conductor. After taking advantage of other opportunities that led him to England and Holland, Newkirk settled in Las Vegas where he found work in various hotels, eventually becoming composer, conductor, and pianist of "The Lido de Paris" show at the Stardust Hotel for twenty years.
Riley Norris - Norris was the leader of a very popular regional band (once voted Midwest Band of the Year) that was based in Columbus, but drew its membership from many of the small towns in Central Ohio especially Marion, Mansfield, and Mt. Vernon. What elevated the group above many similar aggregations was the 4-sax, 6-brass arrangements of Dick Cone. The Norris band played all of the popular venues in North Central Ohio from the Meyers Lake Ballroom to the Marion Coliseum. Many local musicians were fortunate to get their start with the Norris band, which may account for the fact that he decided rather late in life to become a public school music teacher, attending The Ohio State University during the middle 'sixties. His students included Don Rader (who was with Count Basie), Vaughn Wiester (Woody Herman), and Michal Olsheski (Al Hirt). As a trumpeter, Norris was a member of the Claude Thornhill, Bob Chester, Boyd Raeburn, Tony Pastor, Smythe Devoe, and Jimmy Dorsey bands, which led him to such venues as Radio City Music Hall, the Statler Hotel, Casino Ballroom on Catalina Island, and the ParamountTheatre. While with Dorsey, he appeared in several movies and newsreel shorts. Unfortunately, Norris passed away on New Year's Day, 1972, after playing a gig that ran two hours over the night before. He was only 56.
Art Ryerson - Ryerson was a 13-year old kid in Columbus when his parents purchased banjo lessons for him from a door-to-door salesman. He progressed quickly from banjo to guitar and began playing and teaching professionally in Columbus. However, in the early 'thirties he relocated to Cincinnati where as a member of the Rhythm Jesters he was regularly featured on WLW radio, the most powerful station in the world at that time. By 1935, he had organized a quartet in New York to play at Nick's in Greenwich Village and other Manhattan clubs. A few years later, he was a featured instrumentalist with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, touring, recording, and performing on the radio. In the 'fifties and 'sixties, Ryerson became one of the most sought after session players in New York, working with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Bessie Smith, Red Norvo, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Errol Garner, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Mildred Bailey, Mel Torme, Anita O'Day all of the top artists including Elvis Presley! He was the first electric guitarist to perform and tour with the Metropolitan Opera Company. In 1975, he was invited by the State Department to visit Russia as part of the Louis Armstrong Commemorative Tour. He is regarded as one of the masters of the acoustic jazz guitar.
James "Jim" Staten - Born in Byesville, Ohio, Staten came to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University, earning a BS degree in music education. While serving in the air force, he was a member of the Airmen of Note. After his discharge, he began a career as a music educator in the Medina and the Southwestern City School districts by day and as a working musician by night. Equally accomplished on the sax, clarinet, and flute, Staten has worked with Jerry Kaye, Vaughn Wiester, the Jazz Arts Group, Al Waslohn, the Columbus Symphony, Kenley Players, the Paul Molleur Band, Jimmy Franck, the New Remnants Band, the Scott's Inn Band, and many others. He has also performed with numerous "ghost" bands (Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Les Elgart, Warren Covington), and has backed such stars as Bob Hope, Red Skelton, and Mel Torme. Staten continues to perform with local groups around Central Ohio.
The Supremes - One of many vocal groups that flourished in Columbus during the 'fifties and early 'sixties, The Supremes started singing together when they were students at East High School. Modeling themselves after The Drifters, they imitated many of their songs, as well as those of The Dominos, The Five Keys, and The Midnighters. They had been together about three years when they were discovered performing at the Southland Club in Pensacola, Florida, and were promptly signed to John Vincent's Ace Records. It was 1957. At Cosimo Matassa's famous studio in New Orleans, they recorded three tunes backed by Huey "Piano" Smith and Lee Allen. One 45 was released, "Just For You And I" b/w "Don't Leave Me Here To Cry." Ace touted it as the follow-up hit to Smith's "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu." However, when a promised promotional tour fell through, The Supremes broke-up. Ironically, their single is now the most sought after record ever released on the Ace label. The members of The Supremes were Bobby Isbell, Eddie Dumas, Jay Robinson, Eddie Jackson, and Forest Porter.
Tom Swisher - Born in Columbus, Swisher attended Pleasantview High School and the Columbus College of Art & Design. However, influenced by his father, he decided to pursue his a career behind the drum kit. Among the many local musicians he has worked with are Jim Luellen, Howard Mauger, Al Myers, Earl Marsh, Dick Stein, Joe Weisberg, Charlie Pickens, John Ulrich, Andy Launer, Hank Harding, Bob Allen, Ray Cincione, Joe Susi, Al Waslohn, Al Sillman, and Rusty Bryant. For three years, Swisher was a member of the North American Aviation Concert Band, and for two years led his own jazz duo at the Coventry Inn. He played drums for the Dick Baars Dixieland Band at the old Desert Inn, as well as the bands of Jack Maheu, Gene Mayl, Bob Havens, and Wild Bill Davison. Swisher continues to perform regularly as a member of the Schnickel-Fritz Band at Schmidt's Sausage House and with those perennial favorites, the Buckeye Tailgaters. Because of his late father's impact on his musical development, Swisher would like to share his induction into The Columbus Senior Musicians Hall of Fame with him.
Chuck White - As the first African-American television broadcaster in Ohio and one of the first in the United State, White has long been recognized as a media pioneer. For 14 years, he was the co-producer, co-writer, and puppeteer for the "Luci's Toy Shop" children's program before becoming Executive Producer and Public Affairs Director of WBNS-TV. However, White is also highly regarded as a folk, jazz, and pop vocalist who has headlined San Francisco's Hungry I, Detroit's Café Collage, and New York's Village Gate, and was leader of the folk group The Caps'ns. He won three Emmy's for "Chuck White Presents," a weekly music variety show, and was also the host of "Gather Round," a weekly folk music show, and "Nightbeat," yet another weekly music variety show. For eight years, White was the host of the Columbus Symphony's Young Peoples and Lollipop Concerts. His composition for children, "Hot Jazz Down South," was performed by Tom Battenberg's High Street Stompers. He also co-wrote and published three others works ("The Harmonerican Revolution," "Sally The Synthesizer," and "Aleeakanokihaulay") with John Tatgenhorst.