Hall of Fame ceremony tonight
by Elsie Hodnett
PELL CITY – Tickets are still available for the Hall of Fame ceremony tonight, hosted by the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce and the city.

“I think the committees chose a great group of honorees,” said Erica Grieve, executive director for the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce. “It’s exciting to think that the inspiration for some of their great achievements came from right here in Pell City, Ala.”

Grieve said 12 people are to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and publicly recognized at tonight’s ceremony, held at 7 p.m. at the Pell City Civic Center.

“You can buy tickets today, but no tickets are available at the door,” she said.

Event tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Chamber office, Metro Bank, Union State Bank, Aliant Bank, Regions Bank and BB&T Bank until closing time for each business.

“The inductees not only have strong roots in our town, because they have lived in Pell City or currently reside here, but have also reached national recognition for their achievements,” she said.

The inductees include:

• Nell Riser – Backup singer for Elvis in his early ‘70s Nashville sessions and sang with the Holladay Sisters in a group produced by Ray Stevens.

• Susan Coleman Pilkington – Backup singer for Elvis.

• Holladay Sisters – Ginger Holladay and Mary Holladay Pederson – Backup singers for Elvis and other musicians including B.B. King, Jimmy Buffet, Ronnie Millsap, Willie Nelson, Sonny & Cher, Percy Sledge and others.

• Jeanne Pruett – Best known for her 1973 chart topping country hit “Satin Sheets.”

• Robert Wayne Skelton – Southeastern Conference official and Alabama quarterback under the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

• Wayne Spradley – Internationally acclaimed landscape artist since 1968.

• Todd Jones – Drafted by the Houston Astros in 1989 and made his major league debut during the 1993 season.

• John Lonergan – Prizewinning oil painter and 25-years teaching art at Pell City High School.

• David Gulledge – Professional football player for the Washington Redskins as a defensive back in 1992.

• Wally Burnham – Played for Coach Bear Bryant at Alabama and coached for different university football programs.

• Dennis Brooks – Military leader that directed the Navy Space Program and was the first commander of the Joint Task Force, Middle East commanding all U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf. At retirement, he was Deputy Director, Operations, National Systems Support, Joint Chiefs of Staff & Deputy Director, Military Support, National Reconnaissance Office and Pentagon.

Grieve said heavy appetizers will be served by Polly Warren with KFC at 7 p.m. and the ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Following the ceremony at 9 p.m. is entertainment by The Holladay Sisters, Neil Riser and Susan Coleman Pilkington, with backup played by the Straight Shift Band.

“It humbles me, when I see the accomplishments of these fine Pell Citians,” Mayor Joe Funderburg said. “All of Pell City is proud to call you our own.”

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.

© 2013