By September 28, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

MAMA Turns 20

MAMA Turns 20
By Chris Murphy

It was twenty years ago today.. that Chris Ricci and I were enjoying lunch at Harvest Moon and wondered what we could do to celebrate the amazing musical talent in the greater Modesto area. Flying Blind was delighting thousands in the Plaza, Grandaddy was playing to huge festival crowds around the world, Megan Slankard and Matt Nathanson were honing their craft and the place was buzzing. We decided that a major celebration was in order and created the 2000 Modesto Area Music Awards, that would be a black tie event, like the Golden Globes or the Grammys. We teamed up with the DoubleTree’s John Lodi who booked us Club Max and we overstuffed the place with musicians, civic officials fans and handed out 7 MAMA Awards, all handmade out of Mrs. Butterworth bottles by Rebecca Murphy. After the show, we knew we had outgrown that space and then moved to the fabulous historic State Theatre in 2001.

Over the years, we have had many special Hall of Fame moments as we celebrated an increasingly diverse group of musicians and bands, the talents of musicians and local music champions like Ernie Bucio, Marie Gallo, Grace Lieberman, Chester Smith, Kent Whitt and the Downbeats, Roddy Jackson, Steve Ashman, Michael Allsup and many more. One of the most special nights ever was the celebration of Don Maddox, of the legendary Modesto based Maddox Brothers and Rose, that originated the bass slappin’ beat of Rockabilly music in 1938. This music, thanks to the nationwide reach of radio, lead to the birth of Rock and Roll. The 92 year old Maddox, lead a group of our own local Rockabilly musicians like it was 1945. These are special moments celebrating special people that make the Modesto area music so interesting and vibrant.

Over the years, MAMA has become a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, Middagh Goodwin has taken the lead role, and we have added musical categories, had temporary homes at the Fat Cat, and the Gallo Center during the inaugural opening week in 2007 and all the while, found an amazing pool of new talent, great bands, new sounds and unique experiences. There is really no other event like the MAMAs that celebrate across so many different genres and musician of all categories hanging out for the evening and celebrating together. This year’s event will be very special as we will be awarding musical scholarships, and thanks to our amazing media partner Central Valley TV, will again be streaming this show around the word for thousands to watch. I hope you will take time and check out and check out the nominees and please vote. Most importantly, make a point to go see live music at it is one of the things that makes Modesto vibrant. Please join Modesto celebrating Modesto Area music.



About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.