Northern Kentucky may not have the same musical notoriety as Nashville, Detroit or Seattle, but plenty of national acts got their start in the upper regions of the Commonwealth.

“It’s amazing to think about all the names that have originated here,” says Jerry Gifford, a Northern Kentucky Music Legends committee member. “People can’t forget about the contributions our area has made to the American music scene.”

Gifford’s committee has partnered with the Behringer-Crawford Museum and opened the Northern Kentucky Music Legends Hall of Fame exhibit to recognize the area’s rich music history. The temporary showcase, which opened June 2 and runs until Sept. 1, highlights 13 musical legends and bands that hail from the area.

The exhibit is filled with vintage records, photos, guitars and other memorabilia from artists who got their start here. Each inductee has a dedicated plaque that spotlights their accomplishments in their respective genres and their contributions to the music industry.

“We have a diverse set of musical talent on display here,” says Tiffany Hoppenjans, curator of exhibits and collections at Behringer-Crawford Museum.

“We have jazz, country, rock artists and even a composer,” says Hoppenjans.

Some of the more recognizable inductees include Bob Braun, Skeeter Davis and Rosemary Clooney. The Hall of Fame even features a navy-blue dress that Clooney wore during a performance for President John F. Kennedy. Clooney entertained the President alongside Sammy Davis Jr. and Marilyn Monroe that same evening.

“If you’re talking about music in Northern Kentucky, Rosemary Clooney is definitely going to get mentioned,” says Hoppenjans.

But Clooney’s star doesn’t outshine the other inductees, which include Steve Mendell, Charles Tharp, Adrian Belew, Skeeter Davis, Gary Winters, Kenny Price, Mike Connor, Mike Reilly, Bobby Mackey, the band Strange Brew and Haven Gillespie, who co-wrote “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

“It’s just amazing to hear that a guy from Covington wrote a song that is sung by millions of people every year,” says Gifford.

By recognizing accomplished local musicians, the committee and museum hope up-and-coming Northern Kentucky musicians can carve out futures for themselves.

“We are always getting lumped in with Cincinnati, but we have to highlight the achievements made here,” says Hoppenjans. “This is something younger artists can see and draw inspiration from.”

The initiative started when Gifford teamed up with Charlie Coleman, a former high school football coach and self-proclaimed music lover. Coleman was influential in creating exhibits for Northern Kentucky athletes, but never for musicians.

“We’ve had a lot of great athletes come from the area who we’ve recognized, but we had nothing in regards to musicians, and it was a shame,” says Coleman. “A lot of locals have forgotten about the rich musical history that came from this area.”

After formulating the idea, Gifford and Coleman formed a 10-member committee to determine which musicians would be included in the hall of fame. The committee received 325 submissions before narrowing it down to the current 13. But the committee didn’t exclude the other submissions from the hall. They allocated a wall with the names and pictures of all the musicians who helped make Northern Kentucky a musically diverse community.

“They may not have been national acts, but they are the little guys that entertained our mothers and fathers and they never got any recognition,” says Gifford. “This is for everyone that helped shape the Northern Kentucky music scene.”