Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame inductees include legendary Tonight Show band leader



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MINOT, North Dakota — Legendary Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen is among three people being inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame this year.

The Grammy Award-winning Severinsen was leader of The Tonight Show Band for 30 years, during the heyday of Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon. Severinsen made his last appearance on the show in 1992 and has since taken his band around the world. He also has recorded more than 30 albums.

The other two inductees in the class of 2014 are singer Bobby Vee, who recorded 38 Top 100 hits from 1959 to 1970, and Sig Hansen, star and technical adviser of the documentary TV series "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel.

Vee, born Robert Velline in Fargo in 1943, launched his singing career following the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP "Big Bopper" Richardson while they were en route to an appearance in Moorhead, Minnesota. Vee and several classmates filled in for the trio in Moorhead, which led to his first hit record on a Minneapolis label.

Hansen is captain of the fishing vessel Northwestern, which is featured on the hit TV show about the dangers of fishing at sea.

The Hall of Fame in Minot honors people of Scandinavian descent in North America who have achieved greatness in their field or who have made significant contributions to the betterment of mankind. This year's induction ceremony is Oct. 1 at the Holiday Inn Riverside in Minot, during the annual Norsk Hostfest Scandinavian heritage festival. The cultural event annually draws 60,000 people from around the world.

More than 125 people have been inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame since 1984. They include Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel, former White House political adviser Karl Rove, puppeteer Jim Henson, aviator Charles Lindbergh and astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

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