Rick Bellaire, one of the organizers of the new Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, says he sees it all the time: locals unaware that a prominent, national act has Rhody ties.

The Hall of Fame, which will induct its inaugural class with a ceremony and concert this Sunday, February 26 at 7 pm at the Met in Pawtucket, aims to remedy the situation.

The eight inductees exemplify the sweep of the state's influence on popular music. Jazz great Dave McKenna and opera star Eileen Farrell get the nod, as do R&B stars Roomful of Blues and classic rockers John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band.

Roomful and Beaver Brown will perform on Sunday; there will also be a tribute to McKenna and an all-star jam (tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door). And concertgoers will get a peek at mock-ups of what will become permanent displays for the inductees in the hallways of the Hope Artiste Village complex, which houses the Met and a slew of artists and entrepreneurs.

Plans for the Hall of Fame include exhibits on Rhode Island's music history, an archive of memorabilia, and an online hall (rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com) featuring the stories and songs of inductees and a broader range of the state's musicians.

But all that is for another day. This weekend, the focus will be on the first class. Here's a primer.

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  Topics: Music Features , Ken Lyon, Ken Lyon, Gary Gramolini,  More more >
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