I’m a sucker for glitz, glamour and musical talent and I got it all at the 34th Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards that was televised live on October 14th. The night started off with the excitement of the Red Carpet which was full of flashing cameras, beautiful gowns and leather and lace. From Douglas, GA, Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) was glowing in her maternity dress (that didn’t even look like a maternity dress) looking fabulous as she posed with her Sugarland partner, Kristian Bush. American Idol, Diana DeGarmo was happy to show off her engagement ring with her fiancé, fellow American Idol, Ace Young (to be married June 1, 2013). Southern Rock Band, .38 Special, (Donnie Van Zandt, Larry Junstrom, Don Barnes, Bobby Capps, Danny Chauncey and Gary Moffatt) filed into Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center with energy and excitement – pretty cool since they have been doing this for over 30 years! Some of the others that flowed down the red carpet were Governor Nathan Deal, Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls), Bo Bice and music industry veteran, Alex Hodges along with several others.
I’ve been to these awards before and this year was different – in years past, it was a dinner event with the traditional awards “dinner tables” that were full of past and present inductees with a lot of hob-knobbing and socializing between the guests. This year it was in an auditorium that had, disappointingly, plenty of empty seats. I wasn’t sure if it had to do with the promotions or maybe the fact that the GA Music Hall of Fame in Macon had closed its doors this year (sad, but true). Though the crowd was down from past years, that didn’t hold the ones there from having a great night of entertainment. The night started out strong with Wet Willy banging out several of their old tunes. One song featured Otis Redding the 3rd with his inherited incredible talent. Wet Willy also backed Charlie Daniels performing ‘The Devil Went Down to GA’. It was nice to see long time Atlanta personality, Monica Pearson who, along with Justin Gray, did a wonderful job as emcee for the night. And yes, Monica is still sporting new hairstyles, as she had on a bright white (blonde) wig to match her gown. Diana DeGarmo (from Snellville) and Ace Young sang a sweet duet (confirming their love for one another ending it with a kiss) I had forgotten what a wonderfully strong voice Diana has. Charlie Daniels introduced Gary Rossington , as the 2012 Song Writer Inductee. Rossington is the only original band member that still plays with Lynyrd Skynyrd today and one of the few members that survived the catastrophic plane crash in 1977. He has written hits like ‘What’s your name’ and ‘Don’t ask me no questions’.