Steamtown Music Awards Honor Former Friends and Main St. Jukebox Owner Tom LeFevre With Lifetime Achievement Awards
Today, the organizers of the Electric City Music Conference announced that two Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented at the 2022 Steamtown Music Awards ceremony.
The ninth annual Local Music Awards will honor legendary Scranton roots rock band Old Friends and Tom LeFevre, owner and operator of Stroudsburg’s Main Street Jukebox record store.
The award was suspended during the pandemic ceremonies so as not to take away the honour. Previous recipients include George Wesley, Bret Alexander, Alan K. Stout, Strength for a Reason and Glass Prism, to name a few.
Over the past 47 years, Old Friends has proven to be one of Northeast Pennsylvania’s most popular and enduring bands. Their name came naturally, as the original members grew up together in West Scranton. Musicians from Scranton bands Jack and the Rippers, Thy Sheep and Bards of Yarrow would eventually unite to form the band known as Old Friends today.
“Old friends are a big part of why I’m involved in music. They used to rehearse in my parents’ basement and I would sneak in and play drums. I learned to making sound with my dad at their gigs. I owe the band a lot,” said Matt Kester, Nowhere Slow drummer and owner of Matt Kester Productions. He will also induct the band.
Old Friends were originally formed as an acoustic duo in 1975 consisting of the late Dave Wight and Jack Bordo. They were playing in a disco band but wanted to move more towards the country rock genre. Eventually, Paul Moran and his future wife Mary Moran would join the band.
Billy Saar, who was playing with a jazz band at the time, soon joined the band. After a stint with Steamtown Lifetime Achievement Award winner George Wesley, Chris Dellecave joined the band.
The late 1970s and early 80s saw Old Friends’ fan base grow exponentially and the group became a regional powerhouse. They were even among the finalists in an international battle of the bands that took place in Nashville. Unlike other Scranton bands of the time, the group featured a distinctive sound that utilized harmonica, banjo, washboard, and even a tub bass.
The band briefly called it quits in 1983, only to return for a “reunion” show in 1985. The “Old Friends Reunion” grew to draw thousands and became a staple of the summer season at NEPA. People travel far and wide to attend.
Over the years many members have come and gone. Some even died. The Steamtown Music Awards are honored to recognize all members, past and present, with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since 1994, Tom LeFevre has run Main Street Jukebox, a conveniently located record store on Main Street in downtown Stroudsburg. Under his leadership, the Jukebox has always been a place not only to buy music, but also a community center where local musicians performed and artists exhibited their work.
Boasting one of the largest vinyl collections on the East Coast, the store suffered a devastating fire in 2006. Despite the loss of irreplaceable stock and the economic uncertainty of “the Great Recession”, the store is reborn from its ashes and reopens on the other side. from Main Street in Stroudsburg.
“Tom had a profound impact on my life. Not only was he always supportive of everything I did musically, but he even tolerated me when I was a boring student who couldn’t even afford to buy anything in his store. On a deeper note, the first gig I ever hosted was a day-long festival to benefit the Jukebox after the 2006 fire at their store,” explained Joe Caviston, organizer of the ADM.
“If I’m in the Poconos, I always stop by the Jukebox for a hearty chat with Tom and, of course, the best selection of new vinyl releases. But honestly, like most clients, I’m here to see Tom.
LeFevre’s shop is located near the Sherman Theater, making it an attractive stop for many touring musicians who like to rummage through its vinyl archives. A young 50 Cent, then living in Delaware Water Gap, even frequented the store. Some of 50 Cent’s early mixtapes flew off the shelves of the Jukebox.
The ninth annual Steamtown Music Awards will take place on Thursday, September 15 at V-Spot (906 Providence Rd., Scranton). More information and tickets can be found at electriccitymusicconference.com.
Nominations are still open in 35 categories, and music fans can choose their favorite local bands and music industry professionals at electriccitymusicconference.com/awards. For more information, email Joseph.Caviston@gmail.com.
Electric City Music 2022 Conference Timeline
Friday April 22: Open enforcement requests
Tuesday April 26: Nominations for the Steamtown Music Awards are open
Friday August 26: Nearby applications
Wednesday August 31: End of nominations for the Steamtown Music Awards
Thursday, September 1: Online voting for the Steamtown Music Awards opens
Monday, September 12: End of online voting for the Steamtown Music Awards
Thursday, September 15: Steamtown Music Awards Ceremony
Friday September 16-Sunday September 18: City Electric Music Conference