The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 7, 2012

An election of a different kind

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens voting to the public; locals weigh in

OTTUMWA — Here’s an “election” you might enjoy. You can now vote on who you want inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Musicians in Wapello County thought the announcement, made via Rolling Stone Magazine, was great news.

To choose among 15 nominees, the Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, only allows 600 ballots, with most coming from top music industry representatives. This year, one of the ballots will be the one cast by everyday people.

Even though that amounts to less than one percent of the total vote, “it’s kind of nice they’re asking the public,” said Adam Kulmatycki, a musician known locally for his work in the bands Mr. Fugly and Fast Henry.

Scott Hittner has been a musician for 30 years. His band, Pat Lanips, will be playing at Bridge View Center during an upcoming weekend, but Tuesday, he was checking out the instruments at West Music in Ottumwa.

When he saw the list of 15 nominees, he closed in on one right away.

“Rush. They’ve been playing stadiums all over the world, non-stop, since 1973. They’ve all received top honors as musicians — best drummer, best guitarist, best bass player.”

“And,” added  Kulmatycki, “it’s been the same three guys the whole time. And they’re continuously putting out new music.”

Hittner said he also respected the fact that Rush isn’t beholden to any one large, wealthy record company.

Music teacher Dennis Vasconez, the Ottumwa High School choir director, has led Ottumwa’s young people to multiple state championships. He may not love Rush’s vocals — but he says they definitely belong in the Hall.

“When it comes to musicianship, they’re one of the best,” he said. “Some people may joke [about] Rush. But I think they’ve been overlooked.”

As popular as Rush turned out to be in the unofficial Courier poll, former Wapello County oldies disc jockey Tom Rodgers named The Paul Butterfield Blues Band as his number-one pick.

“He’s a well-known blues artist, especially because of the blues revival of the ’60s. He represents that new wave of Chicago blues, bringing those sounds to a new generation.”

Rodgers, a member of the band Highland Storm, agreed with some of the other picks area musicians made. He said Randy Newman was influential as a songwriter, something Vasconez had said earlier in the day Tuesday. Newman has become popular for his work on Pixar films, like Toy Story.

Hittner said he might vote for Rush, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Deep Purple and Heart.

Kulmatycki agreed on Heart and Joan Jett.

“They were women pioneers. In fact, if you count Joan Jett with the Runaways, that was the first real notable all-female rock band,” he said.

Out of respect, he might vote for Albert King, too.

“I may not be a fan of his. [But] I know he’s been a big influence on a lot of guys I do like,” Kulmatycki said. “I think you want someone [in the Hall] who made a lasting impression.”

Between these musicians, some other names came up, too.

But the local money is on Rush being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Even musicians who have ‘made it’ say they don’t understand why they’re not already in there,” Hittner said.

Recognize some of the band names? If you’re one of the readers who has an opinion on who should be inducted, head to the Ottumwa Courier Facebook page and share your thoughts. Want to vote? Click here to go to the ballot.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • A change at Evans OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Agriculture Day color photo 2 -T -L -M Cardinal students celebrate Ag Day ELDON — Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out of the classroom and come face-to-face with things that you might not see every day. Students at Cardinal Elementary School got that chance Thursday during Ag Day. Every year, the Cardinal FFA and

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta bw photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition