New Jersey (November 12, 2019) - THE HIT MEN as well as founder Lee Shapiro have been nominated for induction into the East Coast Music Hall of Fame in two separate categories. Shapiro is nominated in the Legend Musician category while THE HIT MEN are nominated for Best Music Maker Musician.
“20 Feet from Stardom” for most of their careers, THE HIT MEN are a new “Wrecking Crew” for the Next Generation. These five brilliant musicians recorded and/or toured with the artists whose hits they play – including the biggest names in rock history from Paul McCartney and Elton John, to Frankie Valli, Foreigner, The Who, Toto, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, The Rascals and more. They’re the Real Deal, appearing on some 85 albums, many of them gold and platinum! They are the actual artists you heard in concert and on the original versions of classic rock’s most important songs.
“It’s an honor to be nominated for such a prestigious award,” mentions Lee Shapiro. “To be named in a category along with my talented friends and colleagues is quite humbling.”
The supergroup of legendary side men, are the 2019 recipients of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ first-ever Road Warriors Award, given to them to honor “their years of dedication to the music, and the countless miles … that they have traveled in delivering so many hits throughout the world.”
In their spectacular multi-media show, THE HIT MEN not only play the classic rock hits they helped rocket to the top of the Billboard charts, they also share fascinating insider back stories about their days on the road and in recording studios with rock royalty. From transistor radios, vinyl, 8-track tapes and cassettes to the Sony Walkman, CD’s, digital downloads and the Apple iPod, THE HIT MEN have seen and heard it all. And they have the stories to go with it! They play Rock’s greatest hits the way you first heard them; they’re the guys who made and played the soundtrack of your life.
THE HIT MEN are: keyboardist and group founder Lee Shapiro, lead guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Ryan, bassist/vocalist Jeff Ganz, keyboardist, percussionist & vocalist Russ Velazquez and drummer and vocalist, Steve Murphy. You may not know their names, but you went to their concerts, heard them on the radio, watched them on TV, and bought their records. They have appeared on over 85 albums, won multiple Gold and Platinum Recording Awards, Emmy nominations, Telly Awards, Clio Awards and more, including the first-ever Road Warriors Award from the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.
In 1973, at the age of 19, Lee Shapiro joined Frankie Valli as one of the legendary Four Seasons. As keyboardist/ musical director, Lee toured the world performing classic hits like "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", "Sherry", and "Big Girls Don’t Cry". Lee was the and arranger on the multi-million sellers "Oh, What A Night" and "Who Loves You". In the 1980's Lee collaborated with hit songwriters L. Russell Brown, Sandy Linzer and Irwin Levine, writing music for the hot recording artists of the day. In 1990, Lee formed Lee Shapiro Music, a creative company providing music for advertising and the media. Countless TV themes and commercials were created for NBC, CBS, ABC, Coca Cola, Budweiser, and on and on. In 1991, Lee collaborated with Barry Manilow in the production of his show "Copacabana, The Musical". In 1999, Lee diversified his talents and created the "must have" toys of 2000 and 2001, "Rock N Roll Elmo" and "Rock N' Roll Ernie" for Mattel/ Fisher-Price.
Playing to sell-out audiences in venues such as the London Palladium, The Sydney Opera House, The Grand Ole Opry and Madison Square Garden gave Lee the vehicle to meet and ultimately collaborate with stars ranging from Barry Manilow and Tommy James to the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, amid the success of the Broadway show Jersey Boys, Lee had a discussion with his friend of 40 years, Frankie Valli. Soon after, he called a group of friends and music industry colleagues, and The Hit Men was formed. “This band consists of five guys who toured and recorded with the legends of the music industry, created hit songs and have been friends for between 30 and 50 years.
About the East Coast Music Hall of Fame:
The goal of the East Coast Music Hall of Fame Museum is to provide a home to all who have made considerable contributions to the music and categories of its Art Forms during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, Rock & Roll era. All ECMHOF nominees will have a place in the recorded history of the Museum. The museum considers the selection process to be by their Voting Ambassador Members and the “Voice of the People” some 500 to date...allowing for a reasonable more manageable way to place all the information related to the music in the Museum. https://eastcoastmusichalloffame.org/