Marty Garcia, Keny Whitright, Roy Lamb to Receive Lifetime Honors
At the recent 20th Annual Parnelli Awards, Board of Advisors Chairman Marshall Bissett took to the podium to announce the 21st Annual Parnelli Award Honorees: Marty Garcia is the Audio Innovator Award honoree; Keny Whitright is the Visionary Award honoree; and Roy Lamb will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Here is a little about each of the honorees.
Marty Garcia, Parnelli Audio Innovator Award
While working as a live sound engineer, Garcia, who was operating Philadelphia-based Crystal Sound at the time, started experimenting with earpieces carrying a personal monitor mix. He quickly learned that consumer earbuds were problematic and turned to an audiologist to supply custom ear molds. In 1985, Todd Rundgren used his revolutionary in-ear monitors for a tour with his band Utopia. It was the first wedgeless stage. All four members were wearing Garcia’s in-ear monitors. Garcia founded Future Sonics in 1991, and soon major players such as Phil Collins, Steve Miller, and The Grateful Dead were relying on his technology. Since then, his many proprietary in-ear monitors are credited with reducing vocal/hearing fatigue while maintaining the audio dynamics necessary for a live performance.
Keny Whitright, Parnelli Visionary Award
The pioneer of the color scroller, Whitright innovated a product that while 40 years old is still in use today. The first scroller to use gel strings he built was the ColorMax, which was used by Tom Petty’s LD Jim Lenahan, and was the start of color scroll technology in the industry. Throughout the decades he would refine the design, through the company he co-founded, Wybron. The innovative technology developed by Wybron went on to be used in all segments of the live entertainment industry. Whitright’s vision went beyond color scrollers, however. Later, at Wybron, his idea of having an artist wear a transmitter that could be followed by moving lights, was the inspiration for his Autopilot tracking system, which went on to win product of the year in both the PLASA and LDI tradeshows. Once again, Whitright’s vision moved the live event technology industry forward.
Roy Lamb, Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award
As someone with a direct connection with many of the previous Parnelli Lifetime Achievement honorees, Roy Lamb’s career continually embodies the word achievement. In 1970, Lamb was an electrician on the Rolling Stones European tour working under Brian Croft, the first honoree of this award; and with Chip Monck, the third honoree of this award. He went on to work with Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young and the Moody Blues as a lighting crew chief. In 1980, Lamb co-founded Edwin Shirley Staging in partnership with Mike Brown, the second Parnelli Lifetime Achievement honoree. That same year, he also toured with Fleetwood Mac mentoring a young Chris Lamb (no relation), Parnelli Lifetime honoree number 15. In 1981, Lamb first worked with The Who as a stage manager. Today, he is once more working with The Who as production manager, a position he has held with the band since the mid-2000s. In between he’s been PM for Bryan Adams, R.E.M., Eric Clapton, Plant and Page, among many others.
All three honorees will be celebrated at The 21st Parnelli Awards on April 14, 2023 in conjunction with the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.