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2009 Inductees

Harvey Scales

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Scales is an American R&B singer, songwriter and producer. Scales has been active in the music industry since the 1960s and has composed songs for groups with a long standing history in the industry such as The Dells, The Dramatics and the O’Jays. Once called Milwaukee’s “Godfather of Soul” by a local reporter, Scales credits James Brown and the sound of funk for influencing his music career.

Scales received national recognition for co-writing a Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single for Johnnie Taylor titled “Disco Lady.” It was the very first platinum single in the history of the Recording Industry Association of America, selling over two million copies. It was certified platinum on April 22, 1976. Scales is the first African American songwriter to receive this status. Scales also co-wrote the song “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” -- recorded by Jesse James -- with Johnny Mills of Milwaukee. He has written most of the songs on his albums -- from the 1978 release of Confidential Affairs to to the 1997 Somebody Else’s Somebody.

Harvey was well known in Milwaukee before his big break as a national songwriter. Known as “Twistin’ Harvey” in the early 1960s by local fans, Scales, an Arkansas native, grew up in Milwaukee and attended Roosevelt Middle and North Division High School. Together he and his long-time friend Al Vance (1943-2003), formed the group Harvey Scales and the Seven Sounds.

He performs at venues throughout the United States including New York, Atlanta and Chicago and in his hometown of Milwaukee at events including Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the African World Festival.

Butch Vig

Vig is both a record producer and the drummer for the rock band, Garbage. Vig became interested in music and production work when he was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Vig was studying film and subsequently became involved in the Madison music scene. While enrolled, Vig met Duke Erikson and Steve Marker. With Erikson, Vig began the band that became Spooner in 1979. Vig and Marker spent hours recording on Marker’s four-track tape recorder in his basement. That was the nascent beginning of Smart Studios. When no offers came to Spooner, the side project Fire Town was signed to Atlantic Records in 1988. They gained critical acclaim and small financial success with their releases “I’ll Carry the Torch for You,” “Rain on You” and “The Good Life.”

Vig’s first high-profile production work was in 1991 when he produced The Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish and Nirvana’s Nevermind. His production work on Nevermind is widely credited as the reason that Nirvana broke through to the mainstream, going #1 on the U.S. chart.

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