William S. “Bleu” Evans
Louisiana Music Hall of Fame Induction Speech
I want it known that Studio in the Country was not a one man show. It was a team effort by a group of incredible people who made up the TEAM. They all share part of this induction. This is a speech I wrote but I got emotional when delivering it and did not do too good of a job. Here is what I wrote and wish I could have delivered in a better way. I wanted you to know exactly what I was trying to say.
Here it is.
I do have a few important words to say. I ask you to please bear with me and try not to get board for the next few minutes. I’ve been a little under the weather lately, so I may have to read more of my words than I would normally. It took a while to get here, over 45 years, but it was worth the long trip, well worth it. Thank you all so much for being here. I certainly appreciate it.
I would like to congratulate my great friend of many decades and one of the best songwriters and singers ever; for his well-deserved induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Just one of his hundreds of songs written by him was chosen the “Song of the Century” by members of this state, “New Orleans Ladies”, what an accomplishment, Mr. Hoyt Garrick.
As for as my induction, I am humbled by this unbelievable honor. I would like to thank Mike Shepperd, the President of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Del Moon, and the entire board of directors, for voting to award me such an honor.
I thank so very much Malinda Brumfield-White and everyone involved in the Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival and especially all the volunteers, for allowing me to receive this honor at the BBHF. Thank you so much for the creation of the BBHF which in itself, is a miracle and a great opportunity for everyone to have the chance to experience all this festival provides to artists, musicians, and audiences. Please don’t forget the great chefs and artisans who have worked so hard to provide the great food and crafts that are available here.
I would like to thank all the artists, producers, musicians, record and entertainment companies, who had faith in our team and Studio in the Country to help them create their many masterpieces.
I would especially like to thank Jeff Glixman and Kansas, Willie Nelson, Pete Fountain, Allen Toussaint, Frankie Beverly, Doc Watson, John D. Loudermilk, Bobby Charles, Zachary Richard, Wayne Newton, The Jades, Thunderhead, “Gatemounth” Brown, Clifton Chenier, Willie T, The Meters, The Neville Brothers, Theodore Emile "Bo" Dollis, the longtime Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians, Phillippe Rault, Ronnie Kole, Johnny Winter, Stevie Wonder and his producer Gary O. Adante and engineer John Fischbach, for their belief in our team, the studio, and the magic that exists here in the country near Bogalusa. There are so many more that I should mention and that I appreciate so much. To all of you, I thank you so much and I think you know who you are.
I would like to thank all the artists and labels that I have worked with all over the world for having faith in me and my abilities to honor me with their partnerships, especially Jack Nitzsche, a great man, The Rolling Stones and Neil Young’s producer and keyboard player, a man that I loved as a father and we did many albums with many great artists and many award-winning movie scores together. Also, Perry Como, George Martin, the owner of Sir Studios London where I worked and recorded and George was the producer of the Beatles. George Martin had a profound effect on my vision of this industry, Rick Nelson, Al Pacino, and Sammy Davis, Jr. All of you contributed to my personal engineering and production awards. I thank you very much. I am very grateful.
With heartfelt sincerity, I want to thank Gene Foster, Debbie and Pete Farmer, and my third son, Benjamin Mumphrey, for without their love, hard work, and devotion, Studio in the Country would NOT continue to exist as a home for great opportunity and creativity for artists from all over the planet. God Bless you and your families and may you realize my love, respect, and appreciation for you and all you have done to preserve this great recording studio, Studio in the Country.
I know my Brother Gene is organizing all the new technology for Our Lord in Heaven, and when he is finished, many new songs from Heaven will be heard.
WHAT is so very IMPORTANT to note, is the fact that the studio and its success is in no way the result of one person. This success was and is the accomplishment of an incredible team of brilliant engineers, producers, technicians, and staff. Each member of this team shares this induction honor with me. This is a group induction. Not many people realize that they not only were the team, but the majority of this Team, were a major part of the construction crew that built the studio. I would like to introduce you all to the “Studio in the Country Team”, without who, the concept would have never taken hold.
They are Jim Bateman, Raymond Black, Lee Peterzell, Lynn Peterzell, David Craig, Hoyt Garrick, David Farrell, Alan Black, Paul Black, Charley Gressett, Jimmy Stroud, Edwin Hobgood, Gary Levon Bardwell, Steve Hodge, Bruce Irving, Tom Knight, Ken Wilson, my wonderful mother, Mary Kathryn Evans, and, most of all, my father, R.S. "Smokey" Evans.
I would also like to thank my sisters: Jane Knight, Ann Williams, and Mary Jo Lundy, who are here today. Thank you for taking the time to travel many, many miles, to be here with me on this wonderful occasion. I want to thank all my children: Dawn, Kimberly, Christopher, Kate, Lizzie, Patrick, my grandchildren Jonathan and Kathryn, and all the rest of my wonderful family. Your love and support keep me alive. Thank you and God Bless You. I Love You All More Than Life Itself. I thank you all for listening to this ole man. I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for everything and May God Bless you all, and your families; and God Bless the United States of America.
Thank you, Bleu