Ladies First is the performing arm of HAIL! Fredonia Records based in western New York. It is a revolving musician collective that has engaged the concept brought forth in the 1960s by The New Christy Minstrels. The members of the group vary based on the projects taken on by HAIL! Fredonia Records. Our mission is to utilize the power of community and music to raise funds for local and global non-profit organizations. All proceeds from Ladies First’s music go to nonprofit organizations partnering with the label.
The first organization to partner with the record label was Melina’s White Light, a foundation dedicated to raising funds to further the research of Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer that on average gives children under the age of six a 30-40% chance of survival. The first ladies, Savannah King, Grace Stumberg, and Tina Marie Williams, formed the group in 2013 with the release of their single, “Believe in Angels.”
As the label grew, the revolving musician concept began when Ladies First partnered with Joey Molland to create a new rendition of Badfinger’s classic “Sweet Tuesday Morning.” Savannah King continued as a member of Ladies First and was joined by the vocalist of 10,000 Maniacs, Mary Ramsey. “Sweet Tuesday Morning” was released in the spring of 2015 with all proceeds benefitting WhyHunger, a global not-for-profit organization fighting to end hunger and ensure access to nutritious food for all.
Continuing to partner with WhyHunger in the fall of 2015, HAIL! Fredonia Records created a new version of the classic Civil War tune, Vacant Chair. Mary Ramsey went on as a member of Ladies First with the addition of her two sisters, Susan and Joanne Ramsey. The Ramsey sisters were joined by John Lombardo, Jerry Augustyniak, Ken Hardley, and Ed Croft in their effort to fight world hunger and poverty.
In Ladies First’s latest project, Mary Ramsey is joined by Cassandra Kubinski to benefit the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College. Partnering with John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, the ladies have created a new rendition of Cassandra’s single, “Not So Different.” The single will be available for download on April 15 followed by a CD release on Record Store Day at Record Theatre in Buffalo, NY. Ensuing Record Store Day on April 16, there will be a performance by the Goo Goo Dolls and Ladies First in Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State University. All proceeds will benefit the Institute for Autism Research.
Ladies First is an unusual, riveting musician collective that has resulted in countless donations for HAIL! Fredonia Records’ nonprofit partners and the group will likely see new change in the foreseeable future. Always check back for exclusive news on Ladies First and their partners to come!