"The Godfather of New York Blues"
Born in Boston, Frankie Paris grew up singing gospel music in his church choir and listening to the records of blues and R&B greats like B.B. King, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson. By age 7, he was singing the blues; at 14, he started his own blues band, and when he turned 20, he headed to New York, where he started singing in clubs in the '60s. He became a regular on the New York City Club Scene, playing the renowned venues of the day: Birdland, Manny’s Car Wash, The Peppermint Lounge, The Bitter End and Arthur’s Tavern.

Paris formed and led the house band on ABC TV's Dana Carvey Show. He played with the greats; Bo Diddley, Kenny Neal, Jimmy Johnson and The Holmes Brothers; and performed at the top for celebrities such as James Earl Jones, Paul Newman and others. In 1997, Paris released Right Around the Corner, followed in 2002 by Ten Shades of Blue; both highly acclaimed CDs by fans and critics, alike. Paris was the epitome of New York entertainment, combining authentic blues with street-wise lyrics, and a repertoire ranging from Sinatra to Santana.

His son, Tony Spinale accepting on his behalf, Frankie Paris was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame as a Master Blues Artist on December 4, 2011.


– 2010
Wally “Gator” Watson, was the drummer for Whitney Houston, Ashford & Simpson, Wilson Pickett, the Lionel Hampton Big Band, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Count Basie Band, and the Cab Calloway Orchestra. He worked for more than 30 years in the music business as a performer, clinician, theater pit drummer, radio, TV and film personality. 

Among his recordings are a tribute album to Lionel Hampton recorded with the band, A Trio of Four, entitled Together In Spirit, and a CD entitled NuQ-Leus '07, with his group, NuQ-Leus. Watson was the CEO of the nonprofit organization, EEMCD Inc., through which he presented drum clinics and motivational seminars to students and teachers around the world. He was on staff at York College and was an artist in residence at Medgar Evers College in New York. His New York area TV show, Groove Masters, aired weekly on BCAT cable TV.

Watson passed away unexpectedly September 4, 2010 of congestive heart failure.

His wife accepting on his behalf, Wally Watson was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame as Master Blues Artist on December 4, 2011 .


1949 – 2008
Moe Holmes began singing in church at age 9. He moved to New York when he was 17 and became a lead singer for The Voices of East Harlem, touring worldwide.

Holmes performed and recorded with numerous renowned artists, including Wilson Pickett, Roberta Flack, Ike and Tina Turner, Milo Z, Santana, and was for a time the alto and tenor voice of the Holmes Brothers. He opened for Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore East and sang with Bob Dylan and Richie Havens at the Isle of Wight.

Universally regarded as legendary, Holmes played regularly at Terra Blues in New York City’s Greenwich Village with The Pioneers until his passing in 2008, singing blues and R&B classics, and charming audiences with his animated, entertaining mid-song storytelling.

Jerry Dugger accepting on his behalf, Moe Holmes was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame as Master Blues Artist on December 4, 2011.


1944 – 2002
Tyrone Green was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 30, 1944. He joined Wilson Pickett’s band, The Midnight Movers, in 1965 and remained with them for four decades until becoming ill. He was Pickett’s musical director, and played on many of his major hits, including Land Of A Thousand Dances, Mustang Sally and Funky Broadway.

In between working with Pickett, Green also played with many top blues and R&B artists, including The Shirelles, Maxine Brown, Lucky Peterson, The Uptown Horns, Albert Collins, Solomon Burke, Frankie Paris, Ron Levy, Roxy Perry, Danny Dreyer, Otis Rush and Johnny Ace.

Green passed away on January 8, 2002 in Long Island, New York.

Marsha Mayer accepting on his behalf, Tyrone “Crusher” Green was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame as a Master Blues Artist on December 4, 2011.