Legend City

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has made a practice of doling out awards like Sting has sex: a little at a time, prolonging the act of honoring rock 'n' roll's legacy artists for (as of last March) an amazing 20 years -- and counting.

The Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame, on the other hand, which launches its first induction ceremony Sunday, April 17, at the Dodge Theatre, seems to be going at it Viagra-style: honoring everyone connected with the Arizona entertainment scene in one huge, ecstatic night, before all the enthusiasm -- which has been as hard to raise as . . . well, we'll ditch the metaphor here -- dies off.

"The reason we're honoring so many people this year," says organizer Hans Olson, a bona fide Valley music legend in his own right, "is because if it doesn't happen next year -- which it very well may not -- we'll have a big block of people we can start gathering exhibits on, so that we can eventually start a museum. But you can't have a museum until you have exhibits. And you can't have exhibits until you induct some people."

Thanks largely to the well-connected Olson's efforts over the past year and a half, the AMEHOF has assembled a giant roster of 22 Arizona-bred inductees for the inaugural ceremony, including pop and country legends like Glen Campbell, the late Marty Robbins, Jessi Colter and the late Waylon Jennings, and fringe contributors to the Valley music scene like Bill Thompson and Pat McMahon ("Wallace" and "Gerald," respectively, of Wallace & Ladmo), promoter Danny Zelisko, and even New Times executive editor Michael Lacey.

Despite the comprehensive list of inductees and performers on this Sunday's roster, Olson assures they're not shooting their whole wad of Arizona legends in one night.

"We've got about 300 names on the list we could give awards to," he says. "Everybody thinks of the Gin Blossoms when you say Arizona today. But there's so much more."

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Jimmy Magahern
Contact: Jimmy Magahern