Pat Lucas, a tireless advocate for people in poverty, and one-time country music sensation Bobby Helms have been voted into the Monroe County Hall of Fame.
The two were picked from 10 nominees on ballots in The Herald-Times and on HeraldTimesOnline.com. Helms was the highest vote-getter, with Lucas finishing second.
Helms had 268 votes and Lucas had 237. Following the two inductees were former Herald-Times sports editor Bob Hammel with 222; big band leader and former Monroe County Council member Al Cobine with 201; retired juvenile judge Vi Taliaferro with 194; and former city council member, county commissioner and all-around community leader Charlotte Zietlow with 141.
The two new members of the Monroe County Hall of Fame will be honored later this spring at an event at Fountain Square Mall, where the Hall of Fame is located.
Bloomington native singer/songwriter Helms had three huge hits in the late 1950s, but never again attained quite the same level of popularity in a career that spanned more than four more decades.
His debut single was “Fraulein,” which became a hit in early 1957. In October 1957, “My Special Angel” topped the country charts, and two days before Christmas, “Jingle Bell Rock” was released. It rose to No. 6 and remains a holiday favorite each Christmas season.
Helms began his singing career in a country duo with his older brother. “The Helms Brothers” became a regional attraction and appeared on Uncle Bob Hardy’s “Hayloft Frolic” television show on WTTV-4.
His success in 1957 earned him the country “Best New Artist” award, which he shared with Patsy Cline.
In the 1950s and 1960s, he shared the stage with the likes of Cline, Marty Robbins, Porter Waggoner, Johnny Cash and a variety of other singers and musicians who are household names.
He’s listed as a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame along with Bo Diddley, Roy Orbison, Rick Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and many other performers.