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We’ve nominated the bands, published the ballot, released an all-local compilation, threw a ginormous music festival spanning eight venues with 40 combined bands, and now we’ve counted the votes. The Music Awards season is down to its final leg. The 20th Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards will commence at 6pm on Sunday, at the Historic Ridglea Theater (6025 Camp Bowie Blvd, 817-738-9500). Before we hand out the Panthy Awards, we have one more major announcement. 

As we celebrate the best of this past year’s sonics in the 817, we’re also using this occasion to honor the careers of a few important contributors to our local music canon. Every year, we induct luminaries to the Fort Worth Music Hall of Fame. This year, our panel has selected three (well, four) worthy entries: Gabrielle and Burette Douglas of The Cush and Buck Jones, jazz and Western swing impresario Jim Milan, and groundbreaking hip-hop artist and promoter Lorenzo Zenteno, a.k.a. Smooth Vega. 

Burette and Gabby Douglas met through a mutual friend, a drummer, who played in a band with Gabby. Burette joined the band as a guitarist, and the two quickly became a couple and later married in October 1993. The duo co-fronted influential shoegazers Buck Jones from 1993 to 2000 and dropped three recordings, including 1999’s Bliss, which was released by One Ton Records, home to Caulk, Doosu, and Slow Roosevelt. The band toured the country with Fastball, Sugar Ray, and the Goo Goo dolls that same year. After Buck Jones dissolved soon after that, the Douglases formed psychedelic Brit-colored power-popsters The Cush, whose output includes four albums and one EP. Gabby’s solo project, The Dwellers, released a record in 2009. Burette’s country band, The Lonestar Chain, dropped an album in 2008. The two have played shows in seven countries and held together a marriage for 25 years. 

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Jim Milan might be the best-kept musical secret in this city. At 97 years old, the decorated trumpet player still regularly gigs with his namesake big-band outfit, Jim Milan’s Bucket List Jazz Band. Milan was born and raised in Clinton, Iowa, and honed his chops playing in the U.S. Army band. After serving in our military, he moved to Oklahoma to attend college at Tulsa University, where he landed a spot in the solo project of Western Swing icon and Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leon McAuliffe of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Work brought Milan to Fort Worth, where he has become a sought-after horn player and has continually gigged at rodeos and countless venues. 

Referred to as the Godfather of Fort Worth hip-hop, Zenteno began rapping at age 15. As an artist, he’s been prolific, with seven albums to his credit, dating back to 2002. As accomplished as his music career has been, his true legacy might be his work as a promoter and mentor. In 2016, he founded Premier Live Experience, which has hosted more than 100 live concerts throughout the region and worked with the likes of Bun B, Joe Budden, Chamillionaire, The Game, Ginuwine, Nipsey Hussle, Royce 5’9”, and countless others. Premier Live has also given dozens of local rappers their first gigs. As a community leader, Zenteno also founded Total Pandemonium, a music outreach program for inner-city kids; hosted annual symposiums and seminars in which he teaches young artists the business side of music; does regular speaking engagements at area high schools; and manages an annual toy drive that has raised thousands of toys for local foster homes throughout Fort Worth, often partnering with rap and sports celebrities. 

Congratulations to all the inductees. All three will perform at the Music Awards Ceremony. The event will be open to the public at 5pm. Tickets are $5 and include a download card of our annual compilation, Frequencies, Vol. 10, featuring 16 local acts, including Dagger Club, Polydogs, Mind Spiders, Devi, Grady Spencer & The Work, 88 Killa, and more. All of the proceeds benefit United Way of Tarrant County. 

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