Museum of the Gulf Coast welcoming 4 into Halls of Fame

Published 12:08 am Thursday, February 23, 2023

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The Museum of the Gulf Coast is honoring two people for induction into the Music Hall of Fame — Rockin Sidney Simien and Slim Harpo — and two people into the Sports Hall of Fame — Johnny Fuller and Charean Williams — with a special reception this weekend.

All are invited to the event, which is scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Call 409-982-7000 for more information.

Sidney Simien (April 9, 1938 – Feb. 25, 1998) was known professionally as Rockin’ Sidney. He was an R&B, zydeco, and soul musician who began recording in the late 1950s and continued performing until his death.

He is best known for the 1985 single “My Toot-Toot,” which reached top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and earned a Grammy Award.

Sidney was featured in People magazine, Rolling Stone, Billboard and Music City News and appeared on numerous national TV shows, including Nashville Now, Church Street Station, Hee Haw, Austin City Limits, John Fogerty’s Showtime Special, New Country and Charlie Daniels Jam. He was also a guest celebrity on You Can Be a Star.

“My Toot Toot” was played in the motion pictures Hard Luck, One Good Cop, and The Big Easy.

“My Toot Toot” has been covered by many artists, including Fats Domino, Rosie Ledet, Jean Knight, Terrance Simien, Doug Kershaw, Denise LaSalle, Jimmy C. Newman and John Fogerty.

Over 20 years after “My Toot Toot” debuted, it continued to draw royalties from commercial use in Europe, and cover versions in several languages by dozens of musicians.

Slim Harpo

Slim Harpo (born James Isaac Moore; Jan. 11, 1924 – Jan. 31, 1970) was an American blues musician, a leading exponent of the swamp blues style and “one of the most commercially successful blues artists of his day.”

He played guitar and was a master of the blues harmonica, known in blues circles as a “harp.”

His most successful and influential recordings included “I’m a King Bee” (1957), “Rainin’ in My Heart” (1961) and “Baby Scratch My Back” (1966), which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart and No. 16 on its broader Hot 100 singles chart.

Music critic Cub Koda noted his songs “also proved to be quite adaptable for white artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Kinks, Dave Edmunds with Love Sculpture, Van Morrison with Them, Sun rockabilly singer Warren Smith, Hank Williams Jr. and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.”

The Slim Harpo Music Awards, awarded annually in Baton Rouge, are named in his honor. Proceeds from the awards benefit the “Music in the Schools” outreach program.

A biography, titled Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge, by UK blues scholar Martin Hawkins was published in 2006.

David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine described the book as “a passionate, encyclopedic triumph, bringing the enigmatic Harpo to life and tracing his remarkable mainstream ascension – from the rich central-Louisiana blues scene to gigs at the Fillmore East – with deep local research and detailed portraits of the singer’s peers, sidemen and record-business associates.”

Charean Williams

Charean Williams, who is in her 25th year of NFL coverage in 2018, and her second at Pro Football Talk, has been selected as the 2018 Dick McCann Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Williams, the 50th McCann Award winner, is the first female to receive the honor from the PFWA. She is also the first member of Pro Football Talk to be honored with a McCann Award.

Johnny Fuller

John Charles Fuller (born March 3, 1946 in Beaumon) is a former professional American football player. He played eight seasons as a safety in the National Football League for the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.

READ MORE: NFL, Lamar University star Johnny Fuller joining Museum of the Gulf Coast Sports Hall of Fame.

As a collegian, Fuller made all-conference three years and as a senior was named a small college all-American. He also lettered in track four years and was a qualifier in the decathlon for the 1968 U. S. Olympic trials.