FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Fox Valley guitarist Gary Shaw to be enshrined on Wall of Honor at WAMI Awards

Community

APPLETON, Wisc. (WFRV) – If you’re a musician in the Fox Valley, chances are you crossed paths with Gary Shaw. He didn’t just play guitar, he made it sing.

He also didn’t just manage Henri’s Music for decades, he made the shop a haven for other musicians. He’s one of those rare breeds that could really play but really didn’t go after the limelight.

On Sunday, he will be part of the inaugural class in the Wisconsin Area Music Industry or WAMI Awards Wall of Honor.

“I think it’s about time,” Shaw’s son Keif told Local 5 News. “He’s a local legend. He deserves all the accolades he gets. That’s for sure.”

Keif was at his father’s bedside last year until he lost his battle with cancer at 65.

The pandemic denied Gary Shaw a funeral or memorial.

So the Wall of Honor ceremony is the first opportunity for family and friends to mourn him publicly and pay tribute to his many contributions.

“It’s going to be very emotional,” admitted Keif. “I’m excited to see this. He deserves it.”

In his early days, Shaw played and toured with the best of them.

He started playing when he was a teenager and ended up going on tour for Dobey Gray’s Volunteer Jam in the ’70s. He played with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels.

“My dad is first and foremost a guitar player and an extremely talented one at that!”

Ultimately, he decided to return to the Fox Valley, raise his son, and nurture musicians.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’m approached by local musicians, telling me their first instrument was bought from my father,” recalled Keif. “Or the advice my father gave them. Simple advice that they remember. And that’s great. That’s what he did. That’s what he did for the community.”

For more information on the WAMI awards click here

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