Rock Hall Revisited: Addendum
Oh, one quick update on that Rock Hall Revisited thing.
It does indeed say "Influences" on the site, but the initial goal was to induct pre-Rock era musicians. That's how I and others saw it.
This all changed when Patsy Cline got inducted in 1997, and became more prominent when Bobby "Blue " Bland made it in 2002. After that, people saw fit to nominate any name they deemed influential, regardless of the unwritten rule of only inducting pre-Rock era acts.
So, that's how John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Kingston Trio, Little Willie John, Ravi Shankar and Willie Nelson snuck in. All of these should have been Performer inductees.
Also Bobby "Blue" Bland and Buddy Guy had to get in as an Influences because not enough people were voting for them as Performers. Thus, an easier way to get inducted was found.
Another problem with this category, as well as the sideman one, was pure boredom. Coming up with 2 worthy names a year is tough. Even the Rock Hall doesn't do that. So, to alleviate the boredom of digging in the crates for 2 real Influences every year., people decided to jump the pre-Rock era and take their chances. And it worked. How else to explain votes for the Silver Apples, who didn't make a record until 1968, that someone tried to push as an Influence, before giving up and trying to get them in as Performers. And lack of support for Sonny Boy Williamson II (first record 1951) and Jelly Roll Morton. Real pre-Rock Pioneers.
The Rock Hall itself did this in 2009 by somehow making us believe that Wanda Jackson was an Early Influence, when they really just wanted to get her inducted, so they changed their own rules. Oddly enough, I expect the Rock Hall might pull more of these stunts in the future.
I once suggested that Frankie Lymon should be voted on as an Influence at Revisited and someone got upset at the prospect of doing this. Guess who was right.**
To justify some of these post-Rock era names that pop up , the voting bloc wants me to believe that they really meant all along that it's anybody who influenced anybody that should get an Influence nod. But I'm not buying it. How generic is that term anyway? Most of us knew what it meant. Others had no idea.
By that account, I would add these names of acts that I wanted to see inducted at Revisited, that started out in the 60's, and therefore should have been given an Influence nod:
Mott the Hoople (first record 1969)
Righteous Brothers (1963)
Brenda Lee (1956)
Del Shannon (1961)
**Postscript: Lymon was inducted in the 2012 Rock Hall Projected class as a Performer. An embarrassing long wait for such a Pioneer.
Sonny Boy Williamson was inducted in 2013 as an Early Influence. Oh, I mean Influence.