Many years ago at Bottletree, an iconic Birmingham hangout that used to be where Rodney Scott’s on 3rd Avenue South is now, an idea for a “Real Alabama Music Hall of Fame” was born. This week, three new faces were added and chances are, if you’ve been hanging around Birmingham for a while, you may know them. We talked to artist Paul Cordes Wilm for the inside scoop. Here’s what he told us.
What’s the story behind the Real Alabama Music Hall of Fame?
Back in the day when Bottletree was the place to be for music and the best vegan beer chili ever, Brian Teasley had the idea to start a wall of Alabama musicians people needed to know about.
Local folk-pop artist Paul Cordes Wilm got in on the project early on. If you’ve ever seen the giant “Love is blind” mural at the Birmingham Museum of Art, you know his work.
When Teasley opened Saturn in 2017, the idea —and the wall—grew.
They started with a list, and it keeps growing, with recommendations from the community. Teasley, who’s lived in Alabama his whole life and knows the scene intimately (he’s a literal rock star himself, currently with the band Man or Astro-Man?) gets the final say on who goes on the wall.
Meet the 3 new inductees to the Real Alabama Music Hall of Fame
The latest additions to the wall are Carole Griffin, Tim Boykin + LaDonna Smith.
Most of you know Carole Griffin from Continental Bakery and Chez Lulu. But did you know she used to be in a band called the Sugar La-Las (plus some others)? The band already had its own entry on the wall, and now Carole‘s got her own spot.
Tim Boykin, according to Bham Wiki, is a rock and blues guitarist and vocalist. He’s played with loads of local bands, including the Lolas.
LaDonna Smith, according to Bham Wiki, is a “classically-trained violist, violinist and pianist known for her contributions to improvisational composition and performance.” She’s current behind some exciting things happening at East Village Arts.
Educating all of us about Alabama music
“Overall, the umbrella idea is that we want it to be educational. We want to make people aware of all these musicians that they may or may not know about. Hank Williams has Alabama written all over him, but I didn’t know Lionel Ritchie and Nat King Cole were from Alabama.”Paul Cordes Wilm
Go check out The Real Alabama Music Hall of Fame IRL at Saturn. You’ll find them at 200 41st Street South between 2nd and 3rd Avenue South, across the street from the Avondale Brewery and 41st Street Pub.