Musicians Hall Of Fame And Museum To Honor Legendary Group The Hit Men

Pictured (L-R): Jeff Ganz, Jimmy Ryan, Lee Shapiro, Russ Velazquez, Steve Murphy. Photo: Bobby Bank

The Hit Men, classic rock’s unique group of legendary side men, have been selected by the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville to receive a Road Warrior award.

Lee Shapiro (keyboards/vocals, and Frankie Valli’s former musical director), Jimmy Ryan (lead guitar/vocals, and Carly Simon’s former musical director), Russ Velazquez (keyboards/percussion/vocals), Jeff Ganz (bass/vocals), and Steve Murphy (drums/vocals) are being recognized by the Nashville museum that honors the talented musicians who played on some of the greatest recordings of all time.

Together, the group’s members have recorded or performed with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and members of The Who, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Toto, Journey, The Ramones, and dozens more.

“The Road Warriors, in addition to their work in the studio, also take the music to the people,” says Joe Chambers, founder and CEO of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. “Night after night, month after month, year after year, they are out there keeping the music alive and keeping it real, seldom getting the recognition that they all richly deserve. The Musicians Hall of Fame takes great pride in recognizing THE HIT MEN for their years of dedication to the music, and the countless miles ― which nobody sees ― that they have traveled in delivering so many hits throughout the world.”

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for the work we’ve each put into our careers supporting the greatest names in the music industry,” says founding member Lee Shapiro. “Hitmakers from every style of music have seen it desirable to book us on their sessions and tours – everybody from classic rock to pop to disco has used THE HIT MEN on their recordings and performances and we’re forever grateful that this prestigious institution would honor us in this way.”

The Hit Men will be celebrating their receipt of the  Road Warrior Award from the Nashville institution with an especially intimate New York homecoming show Saturday, April 27 at the Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St., NYC. Visit for more information.


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LB Cantrell is Project Manager at MusicRow magazine. She heads up specific, large-scale projects for the company and assists in day-to-day tasks. LB also manages the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart and contributes editorial for both the print and online platforms. She joined MusicRow full time in January of 2019, after interning and working part time for the company for a year. She is from Blairsville, Georgia and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Music Business degree in 2018.

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