By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Six area musicians specializing in music ranging from big bands to contemporary country have been inducted into the Southeastern Indiana Musicians Association Hall of Fame.
The 2013 inductees were formally welcomed to the hall during the Aurora Farmers Fair October 2.
The list of inductees includes John Race of Dillsboro, Denver Burdette of Sunman, Dave Taylor of Lawrenceburg, Judy Hall of Lawrenceburg, Stanley Hussung of Aurora, and Keith Swinney of Holton. Their induction brings the total number of musicians in the hall of fame to 108.
SEIMA Hall of Fame nominees must have at least 15 years of experience in the music industry and live in either Ripley, Dearborn, Ohio or Switzerland counties for 15 years.
Below are the nominations that were submitted for each of the 2013 inductees, as provided by the SEIMA:
Born in Cincinnati on October 29, 1944, Denny's family moved to Southeastern Indiana, in 1945. The family lived on small farms in Patriot and Rising Sun, and finally settled at Lake Dilldear, just off Route 50 outside Dillsboro, Indiana. The youngest of six children, Denny was raised in a Christian home, and the family's life centered on church activities and, particularly, Southern Gospel music.
Denny's father, O.L. Burdett, instilled a love of music in his children as well as virtually everyone he encountered. Mr. Burdett traveled throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, teaching church congregations in the art of shaped-note music, an Appalachian type of folk art. Throughout Denny's childhood, he was immersed in the beautiful sounds of four-part harmonies and introduced to the rudiments of music as a way of life.
As a young boy, Denny sang with his father and brother in a male quartet, The Freewill Boys, based out of the Negangard Corner Freewill Baptist Church. He sang tenor as well as baritone, and traveled to many churches in the Tri-State area. Before he graduated from High School, he had sung with several groups from both Southeast Indiana and the Greater Cincinnati area: The Gospel Messengers, the Queen City G-ospelaires, as well as the Freewill Boys.
In July 1963, Denny joined the group founded by his brother, Larry, in 1961 — The Gospel Singing Travelaires. He sung baritone with the Travelaires on and off throughout the 60s, while working with his brothers at the General Motors Plant in Norwood, Ohio. In 1970, the Travelaires recorded their first album, Gonna Move, featuring Denny as the bass singer, along with his two brothers, Larry and Gene, and their father, O.L.
In the early 1970's, Denny and his brother, Gene, began a new group, The Happenings, along with their wives and other friends. Larry would continue on with the Travelaires, and many times, the two groups would sing together at local churches. In the mid-70s, Denny took some time off the road from singing to spend a bit more time with his young, growing family. During these years, he continued to follow Gospel Music, and sang with his wife and friends and their local church. Over the years, he led the singing (as would now be the Minister of Music) for several churches in Southeast Indiana including Hope Church, Dillsboro, Indiana; Negangard Corner Freewill Baptist Church; New Life Baptist Church, Manchester; and the First Southern Baptist Church of Sunman, Indiana. During these years, he taught singing schools and the art of the shaped-note music to these congregations and others.
In the late 1980s, Denny returned to the Travelaires, to travel and sing with his brother, Larry, and his family, first as a bass singer, and then as the baritone. The Travelaires traveled throughout the Midwestern and Southern states, encouraging many people through their music ministry, and inspiring young people to begin singing and using their God-given musical talents. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Denny wrote several songs, some of which were recorded by the Travelaires. The group continued, with Denny, until the death of his brother, Larry, in late 2006.
Denny still continues to sing and teach young people and others in the fine art of Southern Gospel music. Although he moved to Cincinnati for a few years in the 70s, he returned to Indiana and has lived there for the past 30+ years, supporting Southern Gospel music and churches throughout Southeastern Indiana. He has taught adult Sunday School classes for many years and recently earned a teaching certificate from the Oklahoma Baptist University. He is currently working towards his Associate's Degree in Christian Studies from OBU. He has served in leadership roles at the Masonic Lodge, Dillsboro, Indiana, for several years, and his sons have also followed in his footsteps.
For a life time of dedication and commitment to furthering Southern Gospel Music in Southeastern Indiana as well as throughout the Midwest and the South, Denver L. Burdefte is nominated for inclusion into the Southeastern Indiana Musicians Association, Inc., Hall of Fame.
Judy K. (Roof) Hall, began her musical training with piano lessons at the age of 8 years. She played the piano for the opening of the Sunday School services each Sunday, at age 12, when the church — EMANUEL LUTHERAN — was located on Fourth & Main Streets in Lawrenceburg (Newtown). She became the full-time organist at Emanuel in September, 1956, when just a sophomore in Lawrenceburg High School and the organist at that time went off to college. She took lessons for."2 years at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She is still serving the congregation of Emanuel and has completed 57 years. She has served under six different pastors. She has played for 224 weddings and probably about that many funerals. Her involvement in RTVERTOWN PLAYERS Theater Group had her playing the piano & keyboard in 10 different summer musicals. At the church, she also works in the church office as secretary. Her immediate family consists of son, David, daughter-in-law, Chris, grandson, Ethan; and brother, Barry Roof & sister-in-law, Mary. Her late husband, jack, has been deceased since 2000. She resides in Greendale.
He was born on December 2, 1903 in Dearborn County, Aurora. He died on November 30, 1958 at the age of 54 just two days before his 55th birthday. My father started playing music when he was young, around 1913-1915. He played in a band with his father and grandfather. He played in the Little German Band and Aurora Civic Band. They played at the Aurora Farmers Fair, the Dearborn County Fair and several other fairs. He even played places in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Some people he played with were Fremont Bradley the Mail Man, George Sutton and family at Sutton's Hatchery, Kebbler and his brothers. He also played with the band every May Day at sunrise in the front yard of what is now called Hillforest. My father played music as long as 1 can remember and before, which is most of his life until the day he died. 1 remember my Dad telling me that when he was young and wanted to learn to play my grandfather's fiddle, he would wait until his Dad went to work then sneak the fiddle until he learned to play it. 1 was raised around several musical instruments as the tuba, trombone, clarinet, cornet, fife, and drums. He could play most instruments but could not read music but he could play it. Every evening he would play his fiddle.
John was born May 4th, 1943 and was around music as soon as he can remember. He grew up with music as part of daily life. From the time he was five years old until his late teens, his family would go to Friendship to listen to his father play music at the firehouse or Muzzleloaders building. His father also played weddings and other functions around the area. This all made an impact on John. At nine years old he started taking piano lessons from Clara Eggleston and his own musical journey began at that time. John continued playing piano and when he went to the Navy he was stationed in San Diego and began jamming to jazz music with local musicians while he was there. He continues to play the piano from time to time to this day but what makes John a Hall of Fame member is the twenty years he spent playing bass for local Bluegrass group Rural Route 2. One of the founding members of the group, starting in 1988 and ending in 2008, John played bass with an emphasis on timing and tone and was always a steady rhythmic part of the group and kept the rest of the band in place. He recorded four music projects with the band during his time with them also. For all of the years of service to the local area playing with Rural Route 2, John is a perfect addition to the Music Hall of Fame.
Dave grew up on the family farm near Guilford. Several family members were musicians. Aunt Jane Seevers played piano. Dad (Bill Taylor) played tenor banjo. Granddad (also Bill Taylor) played mandolin and loved to sing, mostly church hymns, but also some old tunes from his childhood days.
At the age of thirteen, Dave got his first guitar and spent most of his spare time learning the basic chords and then how to sing and play at the same time.
His first band was called "The Renegades", a rock and roll group. Original members were Dave, John Blasdel on keyboard, Lonnie Steele on drums and brother John Taylor on bass guitar. The group became quite popular and performed at many events in the tri-state area from 1967 thru about 1975.
After a few years time out, Dave's musical interest turned to country music.
In 1980 he and neighbor, Clifford “Dutch” Hoffmeier, put together a new country band called Homebrew. Original band members included Dave Taylor on rhythm guitar and vocals, Pattie Taylor on vocals, Dutch Hoffmeier on guitar fiddle and vocals, John Taylor on bass guitar and vocals, and Lonnie Steele on drums. The band played a mixture of current country, old country and bluegrass.
Over the years other band members included Rodney Grubs (drums and vocals), Glen Hollowell (drums and vocals), Glenn Lochard (bass and vocals), Jim Wiseman (steel guitar), Ed Digmon (lead guitar and vocals), Karen Addie (fiddle), Jack Smith (bass), Marty Thewer (drums and vocals), Harold Baker (fiddle), Jim Hamm (pedal steel), Ron Hollowell (lead guitar and vocals), Wayne Bullock (bass and keyboard).
The Homebrew band proved quite popular and performed at many venues around the tri-state, including many cruises on the B&B Riverboats at Covington, Ky., many dances around the area, lots of private parties and weddings and receptions.
One of the most memorable performances was being the opening act at White Farmers Market for a George Jones concert in 1991. The Homebrew band was disbanded in 1997 and Dave is at present occasionally picking and singing with his grandson Dalton Johnson.
Keith Swinney was born in Lawrence IN. February 20t1 1982, the son of Anthony and Carole Swinney. He's the oldest of 4 kids. He has two brothers Brian and Kevin, also a little sister Bridget. From the start Keith had a song in his heart. Keith has lived all of his life in the small town of Holton, population of about 350. All the way through school at South Ripley Keith was involved in music. He had lead singing parts in a lot of the school programs. He was a member of the high school choir, and got to sing in New York at different locations, and Washington D.C. at the Capital building.
He started playing guitar when he was around 12 years old. His Great Grandma, Maxine Wilson was a big part of getting him started as a musician. As she taught him Maxine lent him one of her guitars to take home and practice on. Learning song of The Carter Family, The Browns, George Jones, Merle Haggard and a couple songs that Maxine had wrote herself. Keith's love for Country music grew strong. She planted his root deep in the soil of true traditional country music.
Two people who were the best teachers, best influences, and most supportive in Keith's life were his Grandparents Omer and Nancy Ritchie. After about a year of guitar lesson from Great Grandma Maxine, Omer and Nancy paid for Keith's lessons in Greensburg Indiana at The Melody Mart. Nancy picked him up after school once every week, and drove him to his lessons. They also bought him his first guitar.
Holidays we're always a great opportunity for Keith to get together and jam with his Great Aunt Marilynn Biddenger and his Great Uncle Jim Burress. One year they introduced him to two Artists that really made an impact on him. Marilynn had given him a tape she had dubbed of Vern Gosdin. Keith was hooked! Known as "The Voice" Vern tugged on Keith's heart sting, and set an example for him. Keith said "every song I write I try to picture ol' Vern singing it" It was Uncle Jim who first played a Keith Whitley record for Keith, and blew him away. "What a sound, what a singer„ you can feel every emotion in his voice" said Swinney. Keith went on to record some of Whitley's songs and perform them in front of thousands.
In 1997 Keith was 15 years old and he was already getting attention playing school talent shows. He put together a group, and signed up for the 4-H talent contest "share the fun." The Group called themselves "The Four Cylinders." They went on to win the local, the district, and got the chance to play at Perdue University in front of 1,000 people. They were invited to play the Ripley County Fair, and that's where Keith was first heard by his long time manager Jerry Gilpin, who owned M&N music productions. Gilpin liked what he heard the 15 year old and say a future. He asked Keith to set in with a band he had booked at the fair known as Misty Creek. Keith blended in perfectly with a full live band behind him. Jerry saw stars and thought this was the direction Swinney should head in so he started looking for a group for Keith.
Swinney went on doing shows on his own for a couple more months, and got his first chance to play The Little Nashville Opry, in Nashville In. It was a talent show where he got great reviews even though he didn't win. The Steel Guitar player Gary Puce, even offered him a job. As much as Keith wanted to join up with Gary's band his new manager Jerry Gilpin had found Keith a closer job. A man by the name of Brian Scott Collins had a group known as "The Side Step Band." Brian had gone to school with Keith's Mom and Dad knew some of Keith's family and had herd of Keith's talent. Brian was also a cousin of Gilpins, and had spoken with Jerry about Keith. In January of 1998 Keith joined up with the group and began playing honky tonks and bars all over southeast Indiana. Even though he was only 15 bar owners didn't buck at the youngster playing their clubs. All the member of Side Step we're old enough to be Keith's dad, and they watched over him. Keith had no intentions of doing anything illegal, he was just so great full to able to play and make money. He took lessons from his Hero Keith Whitley, who started drinking at a young age, and stayed away from the bottle. A short time after Joining Brian's group, Brian himself decide to change the name of his group to "Hoosier Daddy." The name change was a hit, and it inspired Keith to write the band a theme song fittingly titled "Hoosier Daddy." The band, and the song went on to get great results from audiences everywhere.
Gilpin landed Swinney his first warm up spot for a national act in 1998. The sixteen year old got to play Elkheart In in front of 2,000 people as the opening act for Neal McCoy. What an opportunity is was. Neal himself even hung out back stage with Keith and his family, and gave him some advice that rang true over the years. McCoy said, "Remember in the music business it's 1% talent and 99% luck." He told how he felt he was so lucky to be where he was, and grateful that he could make music for a living. Swinney got the chance to work with Neal 5 different time over the years.
To help Swinney's career take off, and in hopes to help the young man make a living with his music, Gilpin fronted over $6,000 for a CD. The project was called "Keith Swinney Sweet 16." It contained 7 original songs and 3 song that were originally recorded by Swinney's hero, Keith Whitley. While opening sold out shows for acts like Tracy Byrd, and Merle Haggard, Keith paid Gilpin back his money in less than Three months. Keith sold thousands of copies of the album, and really started to build a fan base.
After a year and a half of working with Brian Collins and Hoosier Daddy Gilpin decided it was time for Keith to put together his own group. So he left Hoosier Daddy and in 1999 he formed "Keith Swinney & The HWY 50 Band." One of the first big shows the new group had was an opening spot for Country/Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs. The band toured and worked with many act like Ty Herndon, Chris Leduex, Mark Chesnutt, and others. Keith still did a lot of shows acoustically, and opened a lot of shows at the little Opry by himself.
Over the years Keith Swinney had the chance to open for many different country acts at The Little Nashville Opry, in Nashville In. Rick Michael was the booking agent for the Opry and used Keith as an opener for shows at different venues all over Indiana and Ohio. He got to rub elbows with the big boys like Toby Keith and Brad Paisley. Swinney still wonders if Toby Keith may have got his idea for the 2001 hit "Who's Your Daddy," from his 1998 original "Hoosier Daddy." Swinney opened two shows for Toby at The Little Nashville Opry. At the Opry he worked with several acts including country legend Ronnie Milsap.
At age 18 Keith signed a two year contract with Side Road Music Group. A publishing company owned by Tony A. Gast. He had in contract three songs that were pitched to artist like Tim McGraw, and Mark Wills. Keith did songwriters in TN along with friend Terry Haun from Aurora, who was also signed with Side Road. Together they performed their originals and opened shows for stars like Wade Hayes, John Michael Montgomery, and others.
Keith eventually parted ways with Jerry Gilpin and M&N music productions. On his own the group was simply called "Keith Swinney Band". In the last 10 years they have went on to open for big named acts through different promotion companies, at venues all over the tri-state. They have played big events such as Colts games, performances at Verizon Wireless Center, auditions for record labels in Nashville TN. KSB has earned spots on local TV, and local News for support the troops. Over the years Keith has won several contests locally and as far as Nashville TN. He placed top ten in Cincinnati for the Nashville Star contest, and advanced one year to the last round in Indy at the same contest. Keith Swinney Band recorded their breakthrough album Borderline Perfect in 2010. They continue to thrill fans everywhere with their fun and energetic shows.