Little-known northern Ky. music legends honored

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Associated Press

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 10 at 9:03 AM

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A museum exhibit in Covington is honoring musicians from northern Kentucky who have contributed to the local or national music scene.

The Northern Kentucky Music Legends exhibit opened Sunday at Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington and runs through Sept. 1. It details the lives of famous and not so well-known musicians.

For instance, many people may not know the name Haven Gillespie, but the Covington native wrote more than 1,000 songs before he died in 1975, including hits such as "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Frank Sinatra's single "You Go to My Head" and George Straight's "Right or Wrong."

"So many people don't know the stories," said Jerry Gifford of Dayton, frontman for local classic rock band Strange Brew. "When you go in, people are going to stop and take the time to say, 'Oh my God, I didn't know that.'"

The exhibit highlights Gillespie and 12 others including Rosemary Clooney and Strange Brew, The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/1196ycE) reported.

Each person featured will also be inducted into the newly formed Northern Kentucky Music Legend Hall of Fame.

Although some are well-known in the region, most aren't known outside the industry.

Latonia native Mike Connor is the pianist for country-rock band Pure Prairie League and Covington native Adrian Belew is the frontman for the progressive rock group King Crimson.

"A lot of people don't know the talent that has come out of this area," said former music promoter John Mendell of Fort Thomas.

Those who organized the exhibit said they received more than 300 nominations for inclusion. All were natives of northern Kentucky who have spent at least 20 years making music.

"We know that we really just hit the tip of the iceberg with this," said Tiffany Hoppenjans, curator of exhibits and collections at the museum.

"We've had a wonderful response from the community: people have been contacting the museum and the committee to share their stories or those of somebody they know who has been involved with the music industry in this area. So it's really been a great experience."

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

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