The Paramount in Huntington put its trademark red carpet to good use last night when the stars came out for the fourth annual Long Island Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Excitement bubbled onto New York Avenue where onlookers behind velvet ropes held up their cellphones snapping shots of hometown celebrities as they entered.
“This is a dream that is coming true and a community that is coming together,” said Hall of Fame co-founder Richard L’Hommedieu as he moved up the red carpet. “The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is exceeding my expectations, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
“To me, Long Island is the music capital of this world,” said inductee Ron Alexenburg, former president of Epic Records. “It’s a state all by itself.”
Salt-N-Pepa brought some swagger to the party as the trio of hip-hop queens made a grand entrance for their induction. “We feel so good about being appreciated anywhere,” said Cheryl “Salt” James-Wray, who lives in Melville.
Taylor Dayne of Baldwin, who recently just re-recorded her greatest hits, was in awe of her induction. “It’s incredible to look back at the journey that started for me here 25 years ago,” she said humbly. “This is my home.”
The Alessi Brothers of Barnaby Bye found out about their induction via special delivery. “We were playing the Boulton Center in Bay Shore when they came onstage and surprised us with the news,” said Bobby Alessi, who lives in Lattingtown. “A few years ago, they gave us the L.I. Sound award, and we thought that was great enough. But this is unreal.”
Inductees Zebra came in 1977 to Long Island, where they wrote and performed their most classic material. “We wouldn’t have gotten our record deal if we hadn’t come to Long Island,” recalled lead singer-guitarist Randy Jackson. “The fans, WBAB and Bob Buchmann really helped us out along the way.”
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Inductee Connie Stevens came in style as she arrived in a white stretch limo. “I’m just so excited,” she said. “This is an industry that I left a long time go. It’s nice to be back in it.”
Looking toward the future, Hall of Fame co-founder Jim Faith said: “This night is the next step to building our museum in Port Jefferson. We are putting a lot of focus on the talent from Long Island. People are really rooting for this.”
PHOTO: Taylor Dayne is inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Thursday night at the Paramount in Huntington