The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is pulling in reinforcements to bring the area’s music legacy to local students.
Earlier this month, the group announced its partnership with the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, the group created by Steven Van Zandt to promote music education. The foundation’s executive director, Warren Zanes, and the chairman of LIMHoF’s education advisory board, Tom Needham, spoke to Long Island teachers in St. James about localized music history lessons the groups can provide.
“There are great characters from Long Island in music history,” says Zanes, who also released his latest book, “Petty: The Biography,” last week, about Tom Petty. “And it is really important for kids to know that something big happened in your backyard. The more they feel like ‘I don’t have to go anywhere to be part of this success story,’ the better off everyone will be.”
Needham says the curriculum that Zanes and the RRFF have developed already includes plenty of Long Island artists, including Billy Joel, Public Enemy and Twisted Sister. “Spreading knowledge about all the people who came from here can be very inspiring to kids,” he says. “That’s our mission and we’re very honored that [the foundation] trusted us to help us with it.”
This story by Glenn Gamboa originally appeared in Newsday on November 12, 2015.