Stars to enter music hall of fame

Actor and gospel recording artist Andy Griffith, bluegrass great Doc Watson and country singer George Hamilton IV will be among 13 artists inducted into the N.C. Music Hall of Fame Oct 7.

The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. in the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building on the North Carolina Research Campus.

Most of the inductees and/or their families are scheduled to attend, and several artists will perform, hall chairman Bill Kopald said.

Other inductees are recording artist Maurice Williams, country artists Donna Fargo and Arthur Smith, bluegrass musician Curly Seckler, jazz pianist and composer Billy Taylor, gospel recording artist Shirley Caesar and composer, guitarist and soloist Don Schlitz.

The late country recording artist and composer Don Gibson, the late big band leader Les Brown and the late recording artist Oliver (William Oliver Swofford) will also be inducted that night.

The nonprofit hall honors legends from all genres, such as John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Roberta Flack, Earl Scruggs, Kate Smith, Randy Travis and James Taylor.

The hall started in the 1990s in Thomasville but became inactive over the years. It moved to Kannapolis thanks largely to Mike Curb, founder and owner of Nashville-based Curb Records, one of the most successful independent labels in the history of the music business.

Curb's N.C. ties started with his involvement in NASCAR in 1980, when he owned the No. 2 car driven by the late Dale Earnhardt, whose statue stands just outside the music hall of fame.

Admission to the hall, 109 West A St., Kannapolis, is free. It is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and weekends by appointment or reservation.