Iowa Rock and Roll Association’s Hall of Fame Weekend Celebrates 25Years
The festival kicks off with a Rock the Roof Concert on Thursday evening, September 1, with The Expressions.
On Friday, September 2, The Seven Sons and The Fabulous Flippers will be taking the stage at the Roof Garden, in conjunction with Arnolds Park Amusement Park. The Seven Sons were inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 . They were reunited for a show in 2019, when the new Roof Garden was revealed. “We thought that was our last show, but then we were called this year to open Labor Day Weekend with The Fabulous Flippers,”shared Larry Dixon, drummer for the Seven Sons. “They are a band I’ve admired since my mid-teens - a fine-tuned show group with talented musicians. Looking back, we’ve been at many of the same venues together or been on the same poster, but we’ve never been on the same stage together the same night. I’m really looking forward to meeting them.”
Six of the seven members are still active members of the band. Doug Dingle grew up near Terril and continues to farm the family farm, while the band has added Steve Samuelson from Spirit Lake as an additional member. The rest of the members live in places like Atlanta, Florida, California, and Sioux Falls.
The weekend festivities also include the Opening Ceremony and Guitar Marching Band, Autograph Party, Iowa Rocks Talent Contest and Inductee Meet & Greet. A new event for the weekend, the 25th Anniversary Inductee celebration honoring all the Inductee classes from 1997 to 2021, will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 3 at the Roof Garden. The weekend culminates with the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Induction Ceremony and Concert on Sunday, September 4.
It is fitting that Naomi Senn is being honored with the first John Senn Lifetime Achievement award during the 2022 Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at the Sami Center Sunday afternoon. Her husband John was one of the founding members of the Iowa Rock and Roll Association with Tom Tourville and on
e of the owners of the Iowa Great Lakes Recording Company. Founded in 1965, Senn, Roger Blunt, and Cliff Plagman opened the second known recording facility in Iowa and the first to use multi-track tape machines. Until its closing in 1980, the studio hosted hundreds of groups and individuals, including The Seven Sons, releasing over 200 records.
“For our 25th induction anniversary, it’s an honor to recognize Naomi and so many other talented artists and individuals. Our inductee entity count is now over 540, with over 1,500 individuals,” said Iowa Rock and Roll Association’s Executive Director Clay Norris. “There are so many cool people in this class, and one of the things I love about the weekend is seeing the emotion on people’s faces as they receive their awards. It means so much to them.”
Another special award being given is the Matousek Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be awarded to Tom Pick’s family. Passing away in 2020, his family will receive the award for his incredible contribution to the music industry.
Originally from Remson, IA and whose family owns Pick’s Lakeshore Resort in Arnolds Park, Tom became a master recording engineer and producer for RCA Records in Nashville, until the studio closed in 1975. From there, he worked for Fireside and then Merit. In 1982, he owned his own company, Goldust Productions, Inc.
Often called “legendary” by many in the industry, Tom won countless Platinum and Gold records and eight Grammy Awards for his recording engineer work. Gold Records for singles are especially hard to win, and Tom was awarded three. He recorded over 50 number-one albums or records during his prestigious 52-year career.
“I really love how music unifies and brings people together and it’s so neat to see how these groups, bands, and families come together to celebrate music,” Norris shared.
From Sept. 1-4, the 25th Anniversary of the Induction Ceremony will feature an all-star show of music – much similar to the first show in 1996.
“The first concert took place on a slap of concrete, as we were in-between Roof Garden’s. People enjoyed the weekend so much, the Hall of Fame event became a regular event Labor Day Weekend,” he said.
Another popular event during the weekend is the Iowa Rock and Roll Talent Championship. Contests take place statewide throughout the summer, and the top groups and individuals compete against each other on Saturday in the finals. The winners then open for the concert in the Induction Concert Spectacular on Sunday night at 6 p.m.
During the 25th concert, there is also an auction with items like Rolling Stones records and Paul McCartney signed guitars. Money raised through the auction and the Rock the Patio on Monday morning will go towards the current Iowa Rock and Roll Association’s patio renovation.
“We have several phases, with a goal to raise $255,000 to expand the patio, including the addition of a retractable roof, stage, sound system and lights. It will be an exciting addition to the rest of the Arnolds Park Amusement Park renovations being completed,” Norris shared. “The plaza will also be another nice venue for the public to use.”
For more information on the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Weekend or their upcoming Patio project, visit www.iowarocknroll.com.