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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bound for the Hall

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two Brazil men began playing music together as boys and are now being honored together for their lifelong musical achievements.

Robert Pell and Rick Jeffries both recently received confirmation letters announcing they were chosen to be inducted into the Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame.

"I think it is neat (Pell and I) are going in together after all this time," Jeffries said.

The mission of the Hall of Fame is to promote fellowship and friendship among all musicians of the Wabash Valley, recognize and award outstanding area musicians and foster and maintain a meaningful relationship with the community.

The induction process begins when the Hall of Fame receives a questionnaire requesting consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame. Anyone, including the person wishing to be considered, can submit a questionnaire.

The board of directors will verify the information provided on the questionnaire. As a starting point, the nominee should have spent a portion of their career performing in the area covered by the Hall of Fame (Indiana counties of Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, Vermillion, Parke, Greene, Putnam and Owen, and Illinois counties of Clark, Edgar and Crawford), be at least 50-years-old and have performed for at least 25 years. Qualified nominees are placed into the "candidate pool." Each year, the board of directors review the candidate pool and select the nominees who will be inducted at the next induction ceremony.

"My understanding is (the Hall of Fame) is for people who have played music in the Wabash Valley for a long time," Pell said, and he has done just that. In the 80s and early 90s, Pell played with a band called Eddie and the Motivators for almost 10 years.

Pell began his musical career when he was in the fifth-grade, playing guitar and saxophone. He was in a band called The Piranhas, which included Henry Swartz (Henry Lee Summer).

"We were so bad when we played, the class just sat there silently," Pell said.

In high school, Pell played guitar and alto sax, winning the John Philip Sousa Award when he was a senior.

In college and during law school, Pell played bass and sax in Summer, which included Swartz and Jeffries, The R.L. Jeffries Band, and The Scott Miller Orchestra big band, The Country Rocks and the IUPUI Jazz Band.

Currently, Pell plays saxophone with the Jackson Township Community Band and the Brazil Concert Band. He has also played guitar and saxophone during productions with the Community Theatre of Clay County.

Jeffries also began his musical career at a young age -- when he was only 6-years-old.

"I was forced to take piano lessons," he said. "But I wanted to play football and baseball."

In high school, he played with Pell and Swartz in a band called The Main Thing.

"We found out that we played football and baseball and we got the letter jacket, but we really got more dates and more money playing music," he said.

During college, he began playing with a band called Good Feelings, a band he still plays in today. He also began a duo with his wife Linda called Lady Luck.

Jeffries primarily plays keyboard, but he also plays bass and drums.

Currently, he is playing music with Good Feelings and Lady Luck. He is also working on a CD of original music.

The induction ceremony is Sunday, Feb. 12, at noon, at VFW Post 972, located at 1111 Veterans Square, Terre Haute. Tickets are on sale to the public for $10.

"I'm very pleased and proud of (being inducted)," said Pell. "I was surprised to get (the letter), but it's very, very nice."

Jeffries said it is "quite an honor" to be included among so many "tremendous musicians in the area."

"It means a lot (to be inducted)," Jeffries said. "It means there are people who think you are a good musician, and you've done a good job entertaining the public. I've been very lucky to play music, have my business and do a couple things I really wanted to do."

Others to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year include Scott Arney, Monty Atterson, Doug Davis, Ted Dye, Faron Glenn, Bud Jeffers, Teddy Laughrey, Gerald Long, Larry Long, Tom Montgomery, James Newburn, Patrick Nuttall, Jim Rasley, George Richardson, Susan Smith and Jack Templeton.

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Congratulations to you both, that's quite an honor!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 10:54 AM

Congratulations to both! My favorite of Eddie and the motivators was "I fought the law and the law won". Rock on!!

-- Posted by Weems on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 11:16 AM

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