Charlotte’s Fetchin Bones and Durham native Betty Davis among 2023 North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductees

By Daniel Coston

May 30, 2023 (updated)

The North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame recently announced its 2023 inductees and the group includes a diverse bunch. Funk singer-songwriter and model Betty Davis, folk musician Loudon Wainwright III, country artist Scotty McCreery, gospel singer George Beverly Shea, funk/disco pioneer Bill “Fatback” Curtis, and Charlotte’s own Fetchin Bones made the list. 

Formed in the early ‘80s, Fetchin Bones sprang from Hope Nicholls and Aaron Pitkins mutual love of diverse musical styles such as punk, blues, rock, country, disco, and soul music. The two found guitarist Gary White, bassist Danna Pentes and drummer Marc Mueller, releasing their first album, Cabin Flounder, in 1985. 

Although the band would go on to record four albums, Fetchin Bones was truly at its best as a live band. Whether you saw them at the Milestone or Park Elevator, reviewers often heralded the band’s energy on stage. Over the band’s six years, Fetchin Bones supported acts such as X, the B-52s, and the Violent Femmes, and toured with R.E.M., The Replacements, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

On their third album, Galaxy 500, released in 1987, Errol Stewart and Clay Richardson replaced Mueller and White, marking a stylistic shift, as Fetchin Bones veered more toward straight-forward rock with a funky edge. The band reached a crossroads in 1990 when Capitol Records pushed for more changes to their style. Refusing to give in, Fetchin Bones broke up, mere months before the alternative sound they helped to propel blossomed into the mainstream. 

Over the years, Nicholls, Pitkin and their bandmates have stayed active in the Charlotte music scene, mainly through their current rock project, It’s Snakes. While Fetchin Bones may not have garnered the commercial success of some of the bands they have toured with, the groups induction into the Hall of Fame wouldn’t have been possible without the respect and admiration they earned from fellow musicians and fans throughout their career. 

Alongside Fetchin Bones, this year’s honorees have pushed the boundaries of funk, gospel, country, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll. 

Durham’s late visionary singer-songwriter and R&B/funk icon Betty Davis wrote her first songs while living on her family’s farm in Reidsville, North Carolina. A trailblazing “funk diva” she defied genre and influenced a generation of R&B, funk, and neo-soul artists. She released four studio albums throughout her career and famously introduced her former husband Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. She passed away in her home in Homestead, Pennsylvania last year after a bout with cancer at the age of 77.

Originally from the Fayetteville area, Bill Curtis and his Fatback Band recorded the song King Tim III (Personality Jock)” in 1979, a song now acknowledged as one of the first ever commercial rap singles. Garner’s Scotty McCreery won the tenth season of American Idol in 2011, and has gone on to have several chart-topping albums. George Beverly Shea first worked with Billy Graham in 1944, and became an influential figure in gospel music over the next seven decades. Born in Chapel Hill, Loudon Wainwright III is one of the most original singer-songwriters of the last 50 years, and has been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to the Avett Brothers.

Fetchin Bones will reunite for a short set at this years induction ceremony at the Mooresville Performing Arts Center on October 19. The evening will also feature performances by Scotty McCreery, Loudon Wainwright III, and more. 

Learn more about the induction ceremony and the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame.

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