Delta Music Hall of Fame ceremony today

Published 1:46 pm Saturday, April 7, 2007

After leaving it up to other people to stop and think it over, Dale and Grace are going to be inducted into the Delta Music Hall of Fame.

Dale Houston, along with his former singing partner Grace Broussard, will be inducted into the hall of fame today at a ceremony presided over by Secretary of State Jay Dardenne. The induction ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. as a part of the Delta Music Festival.

The festival will take place on Louisiana Avenue in Ferriday.

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A Mississippi native who completed the ninth and 10th grade in Ferriday, Houston had only three months of formal musical training. After that, he trained himself by playing piano and singing in church.

In 1960, he met record producer Sam Montel while playing in a bar in Baton Rouge. Montel later signed Houston to write songs for his label, Montel Records.

“I was driving back and forth between Ferriday and Baton Rouge to record for a couple of years,” Houston said.

Houston was working for a honkey tonk in Ferriday when one night in 1963 Montel drove into town with the idea of teaming Houston up with a female vocalist. Houston went back to Baton Rouge with Montel that night, and he was introduced to Broussard the next day.

After teaming up with Brousard to form Dale and Grace, Houston recorded the No. 1 hit “I’m Leaving it Up to You.”

The duo also had a No. 8 hit, “Stop and Think it Over.”

Dale and Grace will perform together at today’s ceremony.

John Fred Gourrier — of John Fred and his Playboy Band — will also be inducted into the hall of fame for his No. 1 hit song “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses),” a parody of the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” His family will accept the induction on behalf of Gourrier, who died in 2005.

To be considered for the hall of fame, one must have national or international recognition, said museum director Judith Bingham.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the festival will last until 4:30 p.m.

Taking the musical stage at the 10 a.m. opening, the Combined Choir, the Pentecostals of Miss-Lou and Madonna Massey will each perform in the “Gospel Time” portion of the festival.

Following that, at noon Lljuana Weir — a Natchez band — will take the stage to perform in the “Grooveline” portion of the festival.

After the induction ceremony, headline act Vince Vance and the Valiants will take the stage at 2 p.m. and will play until the end of the festival.

The main musical stage will be located in front of Delta Bank.

Admission will be $3. For more information, contact the Delta Music Museum by phone at (318) 757-9999.