Sunday, May 27, 2012

Will Donna Summer Ever Get Inducted?

Jann Wenner told Paul Schaffer the week of the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony that he thinks Donna Summer should be in.  Jon Landau told the NY Times in its Summer obit, that Summer should be in.  And Dave Marsh said so too, but that's she's out because she's black. Elton John said it was a disgrace she's not inducted.  And it went on and on the days after she died.

Oh, BTW, read Dave Marsh's Donna Summer paragraph again to understand what he means by how the color of her skin has kept her off voters' ballots.  Like I said, read it carefully and you'll get what he's saying about the way she sang and how her records sounded.  I got what he said, but others didn't.
                                                                                                                                                                   Summer has been nominated 4 times.  2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  True, the NomCom waited 10 years from her first year of eligibilty to finally nominate her.  But then again, they did the same thing with Alice Cooper, Donovan, Bob Seger, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Tom Waits and the Ronettes and a host of others.  And all of those got in right away, save for Donovan and Bob Seger, who waited an extra year.

So, who's more to blame?  The NomCom or the voting bloc.  Ultimately, it comes down to the voters.  And as I've been saying for years, they are a highly anti-Disco bunch.  Chic, 6 times nominated, can't get in.  But I thought Summer had a great chance last year.  The Great Satan that is Disco!   But mark this down.  If she doesn't get in this year, the howls of protest will be huge.  

So, her death will get her in now?  It's very possible.she'll pick up just enough votes to put her over.

 To those that say the Hall has inducted Disco artists.  I don't count Earth, Wind & Fire or the Bee Gees as wholly Disco.  Nor Madonna, either.   Dabbling in a genre doesn't make you a King or Queen of it.

I keep thinking about this Twitter exchange I had:  In 2008, Robert Hilburn, who is still on the  NomCom, yet doesn't attend any more of the yearly meetings, told me that Summer's discography wasn't Hall worthy, and that Summer herself wasn't Hall material.

But the Hall knows how the voting is going, even if we don't, and they want a Disco artist inducted.
Is there anything they can do about it, except keep nominating Summer?  Can they make up another "special" category to usher in her and Chic?

On my yearly ballot, I always placed her near the top.
In fact, in her 4 times nominated on my own ballot, I only had her below #1 twice.  Behind Madonna and my beloved Spinners.  Yes, she was that important.

Of course, now her death is only reinforcing that, as the various tribute articles show.

Now it's up to the Rock Hall voters to get their head out of their you-know-what and get this woman rightly inducted.
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