The Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame, Inc.
The concept for a Steel Guitar Hall of Fame originated in the early 1970s when Nashville steel guitarist Jim Vest suggested the award as recognition for persons advancing the instrument. Jim intended to implement the award program, but his session work and touring schedule prevented his follow-through. By mutual agreement between Jim and DeWitt Scott, "Scotty" inaugurated the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame and located its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. The first Hall of Fame induction occurred in 1978. One or more persons have been inducted each year since then.
In 1984 the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame was incorporated as a nonprofit organization under Section 501 (3C) of the Missouri statutes, and annual financial and other reports are made to the appropriate state agency. The official title became "The Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, Inc.," requiring the use of this title on all official correspondence. The purpose of the organization, as stated in the Articles of Incorporation, is "to establish a Hall of Fame and museum through which to support the art, popularity, and prestige of the steel guitar, to honor those musicians and composers who have made significant contributions to the steel guitar world, and to educate the public regarding the steel guitar." The incorporation established a tax-exempt status, permitting tax-deductible contributions to be received from supporters, as well as to permit tax-exempt efforts for the raising of funds to offset the costs connected with the legal, educational, promotional and award-granting activities of the corporation.
When the Hall of Fame award was initiated in 1978, the awarding body's title was established as the "Steel Guitar Convention Board." For the first 9 years of the awarding activity, Board members themselves donated the funds to cover the awards. It was not until 1987 that sufficient funds were first raised to cover the annual awards costs. This was derived from individual contributors, from sanctioned Hall of Fame benefit shows, and for the most part, from funds raised at the annual International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Currently, the Hall of Fame annual expenses average $4,500. The major costs are the design and foundry expenses for the Hall of Fame plaques (currently costing approximately $1,500 for each plaque produced). One and sometimes two persons are inducted annually. One plaque is forged for each inductee and is prominently displayed in the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis Missouri. An 8x10 replica is given to each inductee to take home with them. The plaque depicts a likeness of the inductee in a raised relief projection, followed by a very brief résumé of the inductees' accomplishments. Other related costs include paying the expenses for inductees to attend the convention to receive their award. Since fundraising efforts began, the annual funding for the Hall of Fame award process has remained just ahead of expenses.
A goal has been the creation of an International Steel Guitar museum and a building to house the plaques and other memorabilia. This ambitious goal awaits one or more major benefactors who are willing to underwrite the costs of a commercial building and to fund an endowment for its annual expenses and upkeep. No salaries have ever been paid to Board members, which is prohibited by the nonprofit charter, but expenses are reimbursed to them when they are engaged in promoting sanctioned Hall of Fame benefit shows or in the realization of the stated purposes and goals of the corporate charter. Members of the Convention Board pay their own expenses for travel and lodging while attending their annual meeting at the convention in St. Louis, Missouri.
All Board members are involved with processing nominations and making decisions concerning the Hall of Fame induction process. Board members attain their membership by first being nominated for Board membership by the Board Chairman, DeWitt Scott, who submits all potential Board members to existing Board members for approval. The Board has always been comprised of persons who have had lengthy involvement in a wide range of activities related to the steel guitar. This includes knowledge of the instrument's history and its major players. Some have first hand experience in writing, editing and publishing of periodicals, catalogs, and feature stories about the instrument, its players, and the instrument's attributes and development. Others have extensive involvement in the preparation, distribution, and sale of instructional materials. Several have experience in the producing and recording of steel guitar albums, experience in the organization of concerts and shows, and skills in research regarding a host of subjects related to the instrument. All have extensive experience in the cultural development and heritage of the instrument.
The Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame
The Steel Guitar Convention Board meets annually at the
scene of the International Steel Guitar Convention. Some weeks prior
to that meeting, the nominations accumulated during the preceding year are
circulated to Board members for their information. This allows each
Board member the opportunity to research the background of all nominees
under consideration. The Board then convenes, reviews the
nominations, evaluates the comparative data presented, and assesses the
breadth and depth of each nominee's contributions to the artistic
performance, advancement and historical development of the instrument as
the nominee's contributions apply. The Board ultimately comes to a
decision regarding the appropriateness of the nominee(s) to be inducted at
the following year's convention. Also considered are any acts or
omissions by a nominee that would negatively reflect on the prestige of
past and future inductees, or be contrary to the goals of the corporate
The Steel Guitar Hall of Fame
1. Name and list the notable artists and bands with whom the nominee
has performed and recorded, as well as the duration.
The Steel Guitar Convention Board
|Floral Park, NY.
|St. Louis, MO.
|Dr. Wayne Yakes
The Steel Guitar
Hall Of Fame, Inc.
9535 Midland Blvd. * St. Louis, MO. 63114-3314
314-427-7794 Phone * 314-427-0516 Fax
© 2012 The Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame, Inc. All Rights Reserved.