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home : see & do : see & do March 26, 2015


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6/5/2014 5:35:00 AM
Encore Museum showcases history of rock 'n' roll
Tony Chalmers with Bonnie Raitt
Tony Chalmers with Bonnie Raitt

Cleveland may have the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but Sedona has its own Rock 'N Roll Museum - boasting one of the largest collection of rock and roll memorabilia in all of Arizona.

Located in the lobby of the Encore Theater Sedona, the Museum displays the thrilling artwork, huge billboards, rare posters, gold records and signed photographs of many of the biggest names in rock and roll history.

Almost every inch of wall space is covered with exciting artifacts from the private collection of Sedona resident Tony Chalmers, a longtime rock and roll radio promoter who has helped to make superstars out of some of the most talented musicians of our era.

Chalmers began his career in the music industry as an order clerk at London Records in Boston. But when he heard that a position in radio promotions at Boston's satellite office for Motown Records had opened up, he jumped at the chance.

With Motown, he began promoting the exciting music of industry "newcomers" like Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and David Ruffin. Within a year, he had gotten two songs extensive airplay on major radio stations - a rare accomplishment in those days - helping the artists sell millions of records.

Atlantic Records then wooed Chalmers over to their territory. At Atlantic, he spent a lot of time with up-and-coming bands like Foreigner, ACDC, Genesis and Crosby Stills & Nash. He continued to be one of the most successful promoters in the country, getting new songs listed in Billboard's Top 40.

In 1977, Capitol Records in Los Angeles called Tony wanting him on their team. Excited about the talented musicians at Capitol, Tony agreed. Soon he was helping to make the likes of Tina Turner, The Beach Boys, Bob Seger, The Little River Band, and Duran Duran into superstars.

"The music was so great!" says Chalmers. "It was unbelievably fun to help bring these guys to the stardom that they deserved!"

Chalmers saw thousands of concerts, hung out back stage and became friends with many of the most successful musicians of the time. Thankfully, he had enough presence of mind to visit the Capitol Records warehouse and collect for posterity some of their used billboards before his work was done.

That's where Encore Theater Sedona comes in. "We've covered the walls at Encore Theater as much as we can, but I have even more stuff to share with people. We'll rotate the inventory from time to time," says Tony. "I want people to come and see these incredible images and make the connection to their own lives. It never fails to bring a smile to people's faces!"

Chalmers is putting the finishing touches on his book, Rock and Roll 'Buy' the Book to be published by the end of this year.

If you're a music fan, you'll enjoy The Rock 'N Roll Museum, which is located year round in the lobby of the Encore Theater Sedona in the Village of Oak Creek Outlet Mall, 6615 Hwy. 179, Sedona, Arizona.

For more information, visit www.encoretheatersedona.com or call the box office at (928) 284-0552.


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