Hampton Roads Music
Hampton Roads Music History
The region has produced a number of very notable musicians and actors that have gone onto significant national and international fame. To honor some of these acts and musicians, in 2002 Norfolk created the "Legends of Music Walk of Fame", which "recognizes Hampton Roads natives who have made significant contributions of national or international significance to the world of music" by placing bronze plaques set in granite with the inductees' name on them. The initial induction ceremony took place on September 25th, 2002 and recognized Ruth Brown, Tommy Newsom, Bruce Hornsby, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Dorothy Maynor, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey and Charlie Byrd. Since the initial induction in 2002, Bill Deal & the Rhondels, the Golden Gate Quartet, Frank Guida, Keely Smith and Gene Vincent have all been honored with bronze plaques. In 2014 a columnist writing for The Virginia Pilot criticized the Walk of Fame for not recognizing any of the regions' notable hip-hop/rap acts.
Indeed, each of the seven cities can claim exceptional music talents. Norfolk has had a substantial purchase in rock, soul, classical, hip hop and gospel music.
The Norfolk Sound
In the late 1950s and 1960s a set of musicians and producers from the Hampton Roads area were associated with a loose movement of records that contained what many listeners considered to be a specific style of recordings that sound as if they had been recorded in a "live party atmosphere". The artists, acts and business people most famously associated with these are Frank Guida, Gary U.S. Bonds, Tommy Facenda, The Church Street Five, Jimmy Soul and The Sheiks.
Hampton Roads has hosted a number important and historic music venues Including The Norva, which is considered one of the best small music venues in the United States. Venues are listed and mapped at another page.
Notable Musical Acts, Musicians and Music Businesspeople (active and inactive)
Please note: All acts and people listed will are, when possible, organized alphabetically according to their surname. Those acts and people with already-existing Wikipedia entries and are indicated with an asterisk and will appear as Jane Joe and the Musicmakers*. These acts and people will have links that direct the reader to their Wikipedia entries.
- Pearl Bailey* (inactive)
- Gene Barge *, aka. "Daddy G" (active)
- Noah Biggs (inactive)
- Bill Deal and the Rhondels* (inactive)
- Gary U.S. Bonds* (active)
- Ruth Brown* (inactive)
- Charlie Byrd* (inactive)
- The Church Street Five (inactive)
- Bruce Hornsby* (active)
- Kenneth Deal
- Dorothy Maynor* (inactive)
- Tommy Newsom* (inactive)
- Joseph "Joe" Royster (inactive)
- Gene Vincent* (inactive)
Hampton Roads Music Scenes and Genres
Hampton Roads is and has been home to a wide range of important musicians and musical acts that have and continue to make contributions to music throughout the world. Like all acts and musicians, many of them have performed in specific scenes, genres and sub genres. Sometimes a musician will be associated with more than one genre or scene. The index below is a formal attempt to list these scenes and genres.