On October 14, 2012 Travis Edmonson was inducted into the Arizona Musical & Entertainment Hall of Fame.
The ceremony, held in Tucson's Berger Performing Arts Center, celebrated Travis' enormous contribution to Arizona's 20th century musical heritage, as one of the most inspirational and talented artists the state has ever produced.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild proclaiming October 14, 2012 "Travis Edmonson Day" along with emcee Jim West
In addition to this honor, previously granted to Dick Van Dyke, Bob Shane and The Kingston Trio, Glen Campbell, Steven Spielberg, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Marty Robbins and Buck Owens, the Mayor of Tucson, Jonathan Rothschild, also declared October 14, 2012 officially to be Travis Edmonson Day in honor of the city's long-time Singing Ambassador.
Joining daughters Ellen Edmonson Murphy and Linda Edmonson Schneider at the salute, was nephew Earl Edmonson as well as a host of good friends and fellow entertainers.
Ellen, Earl & Linda with plaque from Arizona Musical & Entertainment Hall of Fame
These included Bill Zorn, Bobby Benton, Dolan Ellis, Don & Victoria Armstrong, Joe Bethancourt, Sue Harris, Ted Newman, Ted Ramirez and Tim Weed, in addition to Gaylan Taylor, David Earl, Hans Olson, Peter McLaughlin, Stefan George and The Mariachi Ariztlan from Tucson High School. The latter group clearly demonstrated how enthusiasm for Travis and his music continues to delight new generations.
Unfortunately missing from the event was Travis' beloved Rose Marie, whose regrets were conveyed by Bill Zorn. She was missed by all in attendance, but Travis' presence at the ceremony was definitely felt by everyone, and as dear friends Art and Claudia Yow declared, “what a great feeling that was!”
Honoring Travis in song: Jim West, Bobby Benton, Ted Ramirez, Hans Olson, David Earl (partially hidden in red ), Bill Zorn, Joe Bethancourt and Ellen Edmonson Murphy
Reporting on the festivities for travisedmonson.com, Art Yow commented that, “even to those who were already familiar with Travis' tremendous influence on the music scene, it was still a revelation to learn more of its depth and breadth!”
This was revealed by the many performers who appeared on stage to share their personal remembrances of the man and his music.
Lively finale: Bill Zorn, Joe Bethancourt, Ellen Edmonson Murphy, Victoria Armstrong, Don Armstrong, Slim (their bass player ), Earl Edmonson and Gaylan Taylor
Songs and shared recollections were given by an array of talent who performed many Latin selections from the various Bud & Travis recordings (Malaguena Salerosa, Alma Llanera, La Vaquilla Colorado) and two of Travis' most beautiful originals, “The Song of the River” and “If I were Free.”
Other songs performed showed a heavy B&T influence, and there was even a full Mariachi band. “The youngsters were magnifico,” Art added.
Mike Bartlet presenting the Hall of Fame plaque to the family
Besides the family performances, Art found the most memorable recollection was from Ted Ramirez; a native Tucsonian who was greatly influenced by Travis in his youth.
”Travis and Ted were performing on a local TV station shortly after the B&T break-up, and noticed that the man behind the camera was dancing very animatedly as they sang La Bamba.
Decades later, Ted visited Travis in the hospital after he had had his stroke. As they were walking down the hall of the hospital, they immediately recognized that same cameraman, slowly walking towards them in the affected manner of a person having suffered a stroke. The cameraman was also at the hospital recuperating from a stroke, and they all burst out in smiles at the recognition and tearfully hugged one another!”
Art, who has attended many an event featuring Travis' talented friends, nevertheless declared the Hall of Fame Induction show to be “by far, the greatest array of talent I have ever been in the presence of that afternoon; a very memorable concert!”
Our reporter on the scene, Art Yow, pictured below in a happy moment with Travis Edmonson
Arizona Musical & Entertainment Hall of Fame
Tel. 480 945 8244
"Inspiring the future by remembering the past"
The Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame has been created to recognize and honor the contributions of musicians, entertainers and individuals who have had a significant impact on the evolution and development of the musical and entertainment culture in the state of Arizona and to educate the public about these accomplishments.
“In recognition of outstanding achievement and major contribution to the entertainment culture in the State of Arizona Travis Edmonson is inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame October 14, 2012”
Text of official induction plaque
And proclamation of Travis Edmonson Day in Tucson
Travis Edmonson Day
proclaimed in Tucson