Danner selected for Wabash Valley Musician's Hall of Fame
A popular area guitarist/singer will be among the inductees at the 20th Annual Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Terre Haute V.F.W. Post 972.
John Danner, of Linton, is among 18 new inductees this year.
Danner, who still plays with the group, "The Roosters", is modest about the induction and told the Greene County Daily World, "It's just a wonderful honor. It's almost too embarrassing to talk about because I know my talents are limited. On a good night, I like to think I have my moments."
The induction ceremony will include food, live music, raffles, door prizes, drawings and items for sale. Food service will start at noon and the festivities will last until about 6 p.m.
Danner and the other inductees have been asked to bring their instruments and attendees will be treated to a jam session, according to Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame board member Larry Velez.
He said Danner was a unanimous pick to be honored.
"The Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization. They recognize and celebrate the work of an artist, and award their work. Many hours goes into what a musician does. Someone turned in John's name and asked the board to send him an application. Once we received his application, we carefully looked it over, and decided unanimously that he would be a wonderful candidate to be inducted into the Hall of fame. We received over 50 applications, with only 18 being accepted to be inducted," Velez explained.
The hall of fame territory covers 11 counties, including Greene, Vigo, Clay, Sullivan, Vermillion, Parke, Putnam and Owen in Indiana, and Clark, Edgar and Crawford in Illinois.
Danner says he is humbled by the induction.
"I don't know much about it. Larry Velez kind of pushed me to fill out the form out and I did and sent it back and apparently I'll be showing up on the (Feb.) 10th and pick a few notes."
The 61-year-old Danner, who residences in rural Linton with his wife Patti, said he was exposed to music at a very young age.
"I had a record player when I was five years old and the first record that I recall was a 45 rpm by Gene Autry - 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' and 'If it Doesn't Snow on Christmas' and that's what started it," he said. "The Beatles came along and I got a guitar and totally fell for it and I'm not particularly a good guitar player or a singer, but I just keep doing it."
Danner added, "My dad showed me 'C', 'F' and 'G' (chords) when I was probably 11, but I started seriously about the age of 16 or 17."
He's been a member of a large number of groups and garage bands over the years and still plays.
"I prefer to stay close to home now. I don't do many 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. gigs anymore because I get up at 6 in the morning."
Since 2008, Danner has worked as a technician for the Greene County Recycling Center.
He does still plays with the "Roosters", but says his main music activity occurs these days at Stable Studios -- playing every Thursday night there with friends.
"Occasionally, I will do a gig, but for me it's not about the money or the glory, it's just about those big round notes. I like to hear a good song. That's the goal to make a song sound good. That's about my only goal," Danner confided.
The talented musician plays guitar, bass guitar, and harmonica.
Danner likes all styles of music ranging from classical to Delta blues and traditional Americana music.
"I try to focus more on rock n roll and a lot of its co-extensions -- rock 'n' roll blues, rhythm and blues and improvisation, a little bit of funk and a little bit of blues. I'm not that articulate on the guitar," he modestly said.
Danner said he still gets plenty of requests for some of fan favorite songs when he performs, but likes to offer something different from the stage these days.
"If I'm playing a club or a bar, which I don't do very much anymore, they are always going to request the same old songs that I'm tired of like "Mustang Sally" or "Stairway to Heaven". I can play them. But nowadays, since I don't make money at when I do play, I prefer to play something that I like and that's stuff that people don't always know. If you are not getting paid, you can get by with that," he said with a chuckle.
For about 15 years, Danner operated a record shop, or what he called an 'everything shop', in Linton before closing it in 2008.
"I've always loved my record collection and I'm a lot better at listen to records than I am at playing guitar. I'm a good listener," Danner said.
When asked what excites him about music, Danner paused and said, "I was born with it. My parents had a nice music collection. They are still alive and they are wonderful folks and they are music enthusiasts. I played their records all of the time. My Dad plays piano and a little guitar and my mom likes to sing around the house."
He recalls the Beatles, The Byrds, and Loving Spoonfuls -- the so-called The British Invasion -- as his inspiration.
"That was the catalyst I suppose," Danner explained. "I've always been attracted to books and records and the natural world around me. The trees, branches, the bugs and the birds."
Danner, grew up in Indianapolis and the New Palestine area and came to Linton to help set up and open the former 3-D Department Store in Angell's Shopping Center.
His dad - John L. Danner, and two other brothers formed the famed 3-D Department Store chain in 1910 that eventually expanded to about 30 stores throughout the state
His dad and mother, Doris live on the east side of Indiana.
"I ended up here and I seemed to like it here," he said.
Tickets, priced at $10 a person, can be purchased at Markle's Music in Linton, from Hall of Fame Board members or at The Music Shoppe, Rick Waggoner's State Farm Insurance, The Conservatory of Music, or the Terre Haute V.F.W.