Music greats celebrate 2018 inductees to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame

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It was a night of celebration and reflection. The Long Island Music Hall of Fame celebrated its class of inductees for 2018 with music and performances from those in attendance. The night included some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Billy Joel, Chuck D and Seymour Stein.

The Hall of Fame recognizes artists originating from Long Island for excellence in the music industry. Notable past inductees include Lou Reed, Steve Vai, Mariah Carey and Louis Armstrong, among many others.

“It feels like all the hard work pays off,” Parrish Smith of rap duo EPMD said when arriving for the group’s induction. The list of inductees included a wide variety of people involved with the music industry, ranging from songwriters to rappers, radio talk show hosts to managers.

Singer-songwriter Melanie, who famously performed at Woodstock in 1969, and Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang were among the inductees. Additionally, Tommy Byrnes, lead guitarist for Joel’s band, and Stein — who famously signed Madonna on Sire Records, along with legendary rock bands such as The Ramones, Talking Heads and The Smiths — were also inducted. On being inducted, Melanie said, “I’m back where I started, and I have not gotten many honors, so I really appreciate this.”

To many of the artists, it was quite special being recognized in their hometown. “I feel like I’m being given an honor in my own neighborhood by my neighbors, so this induction is different,” radio personality Bruce Morrow said.

When looking back at his career as a music scout, Stein said, “I didn’t change the direction of rock, my artist did.” The night was young, and that held true for the inductees as soon as they came in the press room. It could only be described as rock ‘n’ roll. Shortly after Byrnes received his award from Joel, he entered the press room and said, “If you guys don’t have any questions for me, I’m out. I’m playing Madison Square Garden tomorrow.” When talking to the press after receiving their awards, all the inductees reflected on their careers.

All of those being celebrated were inducted by longtime friends and colleagues, honoring one another during the giving of awards. EPMD was inducted by longtime friend Chuck D of Public Enemy.

“That’s what counts. Being humble, doing the work, then the people recognize you and they salute you,” Smith said.

A performance by Jimmy Webb demonstrated his masterful songwriting for artists like Glen Campbell and showcased why he was inducted, as did Melanie’s lovely performance of “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” with a local school choir, the song being about her performance at Woodstock.

The Long Island Music Hall of Fame recognizes and preserves the legacy of those that make an impact on the lives of people through music. The ceremony stripped the motives of those inducted to the core and recognized their contributions to music, adding to the significance of the ceremony by doing it in the inductees’ hometown.

The night served as a reflection for those who have come so far from their days in Long Island. Regardless of how well certain awardees were known, induction into the Hall of Fame cemented their legacy of where they came from.