*The Rodger Clayton Memorial Foundation will present its first annual tribute to the late music pioneer Rodger Clayton on Sunday, October 9th, 7 pm, at the National Grove, 2200 East Katella Avenue in Anaheim, California featuring co-headliners Evelyn “Champagne” King and Kool Mo Dee, along with special guest Keli Raven.
This event will honor Clayton’s legacy of more than 30 years in the music industry. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a Red Carpet Affair.
Rodger Clayton, founder of the Uncle Jamm’s Army music production and live event promotion company, was one of the most influential people in the west coast hip-hop movement. He brought a unique sound and style to the game of rap music and became famous for his legendary dance parties where he routinely packed 10,000 people into the LA Sports Arena.
Uncle Jamm’s Army introduced Los Angeles to the emerging rap scene from New York in the early 80’s and was responsible for merging west coast rap and east coast rap together. Clayton brought hip-hop superstars Run DMC, Kurtis Blow and LL Cool J to Los Angeles for concert tours and promotions. While gang violence plagued California, Clayton united opposing factions and kept the peace at his events.
In addition to their massive disco-rap blowouts, Clayton and his crew recorded some of the era’s most famed local hits, including “The Roach Is on the Wall,” “What’s Your Sign” and the classic Egyptian Lover collaboration, “Dial-A-Freak.” Under Clayton’s aegis, Uncle Jamm’s Army incubated the careers of numerous legendary DJs and performers, including Ice-T, Egyptian Lover, DJ Pooh, Rodney O, Battle Cat, Bob Cat, Joe Cooley, and many others.
Clayton worked at KGFJ, KDAY, KJLH and several other LA radio stations doing mix shows and live events. He owned multiple record stores specializing in oldies and promoted shows for Nederlander Concerts, booking hundreds of shows at the Greek Theater, The Grove and the Wiltern Theater in association with Live Nation.
Clayton passed away last year due to a heart attack and is being honored by the Rodger Clayton Memorial Foundation which was set up in his name to continue his legacy.
Co-headliner Evelyn “Champagne” King made her dramatic debut with 1978’s Top 10 crossover classic “Shame” off her Gold-plus debut album Smooth Talk. Other noted hits include “Love Come Down,” I’m In Love,” the Top 10 “Hold On To What You’ve Got,” and “Kisses Don’t Lie” from her latest album Flirt. King is one of the few disco stars who successfully weathered the decline of disco and continued to release several hits through the 1980’s. Now over 30 years later, she is still recording and touring frequently.
Co-headliner Kool Mo Dee became the first rapper to ever perform on the Grammy Awards and also participated in The Stop the Violence Movement single “Self Destruction.” He was featured on Quincy Jones’ classic CD Back On The Block and has appeared in several movies including his most noted role as Chuck Berry in “Cadillac Records.” Mo Dee kick started his solo career while he was still signed to Sugar Hill with T3, releasing the single “Turn It Up” and lending his writing talents to the Sugar Hill Gang’s single “The Down Beat.” In 1987, with the release of his single and album How Ya Like Me Now, he moved into one of the most highlighted portions of his career. He took on LL Cool in one of the most notable battles in hip-hop history with such raps as “Let’s Go” and “Death Blow.”
Special guest, L.A’s own multi-instrumentalist Keli Raven, is known for his collaborations with rock stars Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead. He is a talented producer and composer whose music spans the genre spectrum from country to James Brown. Raven’s guitar navigation is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, and with television, film and CD’s under his belt, he will add lots of flavor to the evening.
Tickets for the first annual Rodger Clayton Tribute are available for $35 and $45 and can be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, and at the National City Groove box office, phone
714-712-2700. For more information, National Grove website: http://www.citynationalgroveofanaheim.com.
Cool Eyes Entertainment