LI Music Hall of Fame inducts Salt-N-Pepa, Taylor Dayne and more

Music icons talk about their induction into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame during a gala at the Paramount in Huntington. Videojournalist: Jessica Rotkiewicz (Oct. 18, 2012)

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Salt-N-Pepa shooped their way into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame last night, turning the floor of The Paramount in Huntington into a dance party and getting the big-money donors to wave their hands and "Push It."

"This is awesome," Melville's Cheryl "Salt" James-Wray said. "All my neighbors have been calling me. Salt-N-Pepa has stood the test of time. This says we have made timeless music."

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Baldwin native Taylor Dayne praised the area Thursday night. "It is definitely in the water here in Long Island," she said, after performing her hits "Love Will Lead You Back" and "Tell It to My Heart." "You have created a plethora of talent."

"I am definitely a product of Long Island," she said. "I've got big teeth, big ----, a big---- and a big mouth."

Last night's gala was a fundraiser for the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Museum in Port Jefferson, the kickoff to the museum's capital campaign. The artists inducted: rappers Whodini, rockers Barnaby Bye, Suffocation, Zebra and members of The Lovin' Spoonful, as well as Long Island institutions WALK-FM, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and CSS Security Inc. Also, music executive Ron Alexenburg, who signed Michael Jackson to Epic Records when he led that label; jazz pianist Randy Weston, classical composer Leo Kraft, songwriter Ellie Greenwich and musicians from the Shinnecock Nation.

Connie Stevens, who arrived in the grandest style -- a white stretch limo that seemed to take up half a block of New York Avenue in Huntington -- was thrilled by her induction, saying, "This is from a world I left a long, long time ago."

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