Feature of the Month
"The Iowa Rock -n- Roll Music Association (IRRMA) "

Written on 2.03.09

This is the second edition of the Feature of the Month for the South Dakota Rock & Roll Music Association. We are rock and roll fans, and looking to write a feature each month, that will not only bring back wonderful memories, but will also remind us all of the history that was made in our great state of South Dakota. We are hoping to write a feature each month selecting one of the many talented Bands, DJ's, Radio Stations, and Dance Halls throughout SD.

The Iowa RockNRoll Music Association (IRRMA) was formed in 1997 as a non-profit organization with the mission to: “Retain the legacy of rock and roll and preserve the history of music within the state of Iowa”. The first IRRMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on Labor Day weekend in 1997 and there has been one on the same holiday weekend since that time at the Roof Garden in Arnolds Park, IA.

IRRMA opened their Music Museum on Memorial weekend of 2003. Over 6,000 visitors browse through the wide range of music memorabilia each year. Check out the web site to see the days and hours it is open during the year. 

The Association has implemented several programs for the youth. They have the 4 R’s program (readin’, writin’, rithmetic, and rocknroll) that is available to schools, summer recreation programs, etc. at no cost to them. There is also an annual IRRMA Scholarship presented to a college student pursuing a career in a music-related field. Art Guitars in Schools is a partnership in cooperation with the Gretch Guitar Foundation, and the Foundation provides IRRMA with eight Gretsch guitars that they distribute throughout the state to high school art departments. The students are instructed to turn the guitars into works of art. All summer their entries hang in the museum and all visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite to win the People’s Choice Award. Artists come to judge them on technical merit for the Artists’ Choice Award. Each winner receives a gift certificate to purchase art supplies for that school’s art department. The guitars are then auctioned off on the Induction weekend with the money going toward the operation of the museum. One of the eight guitars each year goes to a school in a neighboring state. Two years ago, Sioux Falls Christian participated.

The Association’s Hall of Fame includes many groups and individuals you are probably familiar with. Some of the groups are…The Velaires, The Fendermen, The Fabulous Flippers, The Echo’s V, Tommy Tucker & the Esquires, The Trashmen, The Rumbles, Tim Horsman & the Fabulous Traidmarx, The Seven Sons, New Colony Six, Continental Co-ets, The Board of Directors, The Red Dogs, The Castaways, and South Dakota’s own Myron Lee & the Caddies. Some of the individuals include…Tommy Bolin, Buddy Holly, Brenda Lee, Ritchie Valens, and Bobby Vee. A complete Hall of Fame roster is found on their web site. 

IRRMA has members in all parts of the United States and Europe. To find out about membership or any other facet of the Association,
click here: www.iowarocknroll.com. IRRMA’s board of directors supports the efforts toward the formation of the SD organization. They wish us the best of luck and say, “Let’s us all keep on rockin!”

The board of directors of the SD Rock and Roll Music Association would like to thank the folks at IRRMA for their valuable input and assistance as we strive to get our association up and running. They have been a tremendous, tremendous resource for us. We encourage you to check out their web site; visit the museum (it is worth the trip!); and attend their Induction Spectacular over Labor Day weekend.

THANKS IRRMA, and as you said, “Let’s all keep on rockin!”