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Ardent Founder John Fry Will Receive U of M?s Creative Achievement Award
For release: Nov. 8, 2006
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The University of Memphis’ College of Communication and Fine Arts will present its Distinguished Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts Award to John Fry, founder of Ardent Studios, at a dinner November 16 at the Holiday Inn, 3700 Central.  A reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner at 6:45.

The award recognizes an artist from Memphis or the Mid-South whose career achievement and contributions are clearly outstanding. Fry is a former adjunct professor at the U of M. He served on the Music Industry faculty for six years, helping to create the curriculum and design the engineering studios. He continues as a member of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music advisory council, having been head of the Music Industry advisory board for several years. Today there are 147 declared Music Industry majors, with concentrations in music business or engineering and production.

Ardent, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in October, has produced a steady stream of hits from such artists as Isaac Hayes, B.B King, ZZ Top, Booker T. and the MG’s, R.E.M., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin, and the Staple Singers. Recently it has produced recordings by the White Stripes, 3 Doors Down, Cat Power, the North Mississippi All Stars, Yo Gotti, and the Hustle & Flow soundtrack.

“John Fry and Ardent Studios have been the backbone of the recording industry in Memphis,” said Richard Ranta, dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. “He has given generously of his time and talent to such organizations as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Music Industry program at the University of Memphis. Without John’s very direct assistance and leadership, it is likely that neither would currently exist in Memphis.”

Past recipients of the award include Sam Phillips, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marguerite Piazza, Dixie Carter, Carol Cloar, Cybill Shepherd, and John Dye.

The event will feature music by Todd AGNEW and Susan Marshall with Rick Steff and David Cousar.

Reservations are $50 per person or $500 for a table of ten.  For more information, call 901-678-4372 or 678-5085.

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