The Austin Music Memorial posthumously recognizes Austinites who have contributed to the city's musical and cultural community. After accepting nominations throughout the summer, the City of Austin Music Division has decided on its new inductees.
The Music Division describes what’s remarkable about each of the six new inductees below:
Donald Ray Walser (1934-2006)
Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Don Walser performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 1999 and 2001, received a lifetime "Heritage" award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2000, and played with his “Pure Texas Band” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Heserved for 39 years as a member of the Texas National Guard, retiring in 1994. Walser was affectionately known as “The Pavarotti of the Plains” for his unique voice and memorable yodeling ability.
Robin Ratliff Shivers (1956-2009)
Philanthropist Robin Ratliff Shivers was beloved by the Austin music community. Shivers merged her passion for music and community activism by co-founding the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, an organization providing affordable health care for uninsured musicians. Among the numerous boards and projects she served, was the Gibson GuitarTown project, Clifford Antone’s American YouthWorks fundraisers and KLRU benefit concerts.
Nathaniel Greene Williams Sr. (1921-1997)
During his 29 years at Huston-Tillotson University, Nathaniel G. “Nat” Williams Sr. served as the head of the Music Department and positively impacted the lives of countless students. Williams entertained President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Marian Anderson, among many others. He was the Music Director at KTBC television and performed regularly on the original “Cactus Pryor Show.”
Manuel S. Limon Sr. (1905-1995)
With 60 years of continuous performances to his name, Manuel S. Limon Sr. made contributions to the music community promoting the preservation of Mexican American music in Austin and beyond. Limon, a violinist, was an original member of Austin’s oldest Mariachi, Mariachi Estrella, and also performed with Perez Prado and the Nash Hernandez orchestra.
Connie "Pee Wee" Crayton (1914 –1985)
Singer, songwriter and guitarist “Pee Wee” Crayton was one of the most influential pioneers of R&B music. His hit songs include "Blues After Hours," "Texas Hop" and "I Love You So." Crayton recorded on a variety of record labels including Vee-Jay, Aladdin, and Imperial. He was showcased at the Monterey Jazz Festival and continued to record and tour throughout his life. Crayton performed at the legendary Antone's blues club, just weeks before his death.
Turner Stephen Bruton (1948-2009)
Stephen Bruton grew up playing bluegrass, country, and rhythm and blues in Ft. Worth. Bruton a talented songwriter, singer, musician and actor, was sought after for his distinctive guitar work and songwriting insights. He performed with notables such as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jimmy Buffett, Kris Kristofferson and many other legendary artists. Stephen released five solo albums and wrote songs for the soundtrack of the film “Crazy Heart.”
Their names will be memorialized along the perimeter of the Long Center’s city terrace. A public induction ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 30 at Austin City Hall.