Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Non-Performers, Sidemen & The Rock Hall (Updated 2017 Eligibles)

Producers, songwriters, executives, DJ's (plus a couple of session players) and whoever else had something to do with Rock history.  Below are some names that the Rock Hall has forgot or will get to eventually.  I've decided again to rate their chances from 1-10.  I'm open for suggestions on names that are missing.  tmlane12@gmail.com

Lew Chudd - Imperial Records founder from  1946-1964, which eventually had Aladdin and Minit Records under its wing.  At Imperial Chudd, along with Dave Bartholomew, signed Fats Domino and Ricky Nelson and other R&B and Pop acts.  Bartholomew was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1991.   7

Rick Rubin - Co-founded Def Jam records, which made its impact with many influential hip-hop artists.  Later started American Recordings.  There he produced Johnny Cash's comeback records.  As a producer beyond hip-hop and Cash, Rubin had amazing success with a bunch of artists.   10

Russell Simmons - Along with Rick Rubin, he co-founded Def Jam Records.  Even more so than Rubin, and probably anyone else, Simmons brought hip-hop into homes beyond urban areas through his clothing line, films, TV shows, etc.  10

Robert John "Mutt" Lange - A songwriter and Producer hit machine, Lange was the one many artists turned too when they wanted hit records.  Def Leppard, AC/DC, Foreigner, Cars, Billy Ocean,  Bryan Adams, etc.  In the late 90's he conquered Country music with his then wife Shania Twain.  9

Phil Ramone - Co-founded A&R Recording studios where as an engineer he helped advance recording techniques.  It was as a Producer on records by Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand and others that he became famous.   8

Bernie Taupin - Wrote almost every Elton John hit in the 70's.  And then continued writing with him off and on from the 80's forward.  Elton was the biggest male solo act of the 70's and Taupin's lyrics had a lot to do with those songs becoming hits and classics.  9

Brian Eno -  His solo records in the 70's could qualify him as a performer, but it's as a Producer/writer on records by Talking Heads, David Bowie and U2 where Eno's reputation has endured.  10

Giorgio Moroder - One of the greatest Producer's during Disco's heyday.  His work with Donna Summer continues to influence to this day.  Had many movie soundtrack hits as well.   8

Arif Mardin - Quite possibly, the most underrated music Producer/Arranger ever.  Started his career in the Jazz field, but when he started Producing and arranging albums by Aretha Franklin, Bee Gees, Chaka Khan, Rascals and many others, he cemented his place in Pop music history.   7

Burt Bacharach & Hal David - Bacharach wrote the melodies, David the lyrics, and together, until 1970, they wrote and Produced some of the greatest Pop records of the era.  Their songs weren't just covered by other Pop singers, but Rock artists as well.  8

Thom Bell & Linda Creed - Producer, Songwriter, Arranger.  Bell was a Philly Soul triple threat.  At Philly International, his arrangements of Gamble & Huff's classics helped define the Philly Sound.  On his own, his production and songwriting credits (with Creed) on the Stylistics & Spinners classic 70's albums have proven timeless.  8

Ashford & Simpson -Could be contenders in the Performing category, but their credentials as songwriters is equally strong.  Legendary hits for Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Diana Ross, Ray Charles. Many oft-covered classics.   8

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis - One of the most successful R&B songwriters/Producers ever, it was there work with Janet Jackson that made them famous.  Yet, before working with her in 1986, they were already writing hits for other artists.  8

Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong- As Producer on many of the Temptations late 60's/early 70's hits, Whitfield and co-writer Strong pushed the Motown sound beyond its Pop roots and more towards the sound of the era.  Post-Motown, Whitfield scored Disco/Old School hits with Rose Royce.  7

Willie Mitchell - Took over Hi Records in 1970, and soon his Production and songwriting work with Al Green began crossing over to the Pop charts.  His productions on those Green sides proved to be influential with many other Soul records from that era.   9

Lee "Scratch" Perry - Maybe he didn't invent dub, but he took it farther than any other Reggae producer.  A prolific recording artist, it's his production work on tons of Reggae records that made sealed his reputation as an eccentric genius.  8

Sylvia Robinson - In the 50's she was part of the duo Mickey & Sylvia.  Had a solo hit in 1973.  But it was as co-founder of Sugar Hill Records that her legacy remains.  That label helped popularize Rap music on to the national charts.   7

Gloria Stavers - As editor-in-chief of 16 magazine, she was one of the first women rock journalists. Also photographed many of the musicians that appeared in the magazine.  8

Rick Hall - A songwriter, Producer but most famous as the owner of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  It was there that Hall helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and where artists from Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge recorded some of their biggest hits.  In the early 70's he had Pop hits with the Osmonds and Tom Jones.   8

Phil Walden - Co-founded the Southern music label Capricorn Records.  Started his career as manager for many Soul acts.   7

Bob Johnston - An in-house Producer at Columbia Records.  Produced 5 Bob Dylan LP's from 65-70. Also Produced classics by Simon & Garfunkel, Byrds, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash.   9

Neil Bogart -As head of Casablanca Records, he helped push Disco (with his signings of Donna Summer and the Village People) into the mainstream.  Also signed Parliament and KISS.  Before that he was an executive at Buddha Records.   8

Jimmy Iovine - Interscope Records founder, but it's his Production work in the late 70's/80's that made him. Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, U2, Dire Straits and Bob Seger are just some of the names he worked with.  And he co-founded Beats by Dre, whose ubiquitous headphones could be seen over many a music fans ears.  8

Bob Pittman - Founded MTV.   8

Don Cornelius - Soul Train founder, who helped put the sound of R&B into every home within a TV set.  10

Wolfman Jack - Along with Alan Freed and Casey Kasem, the Wolfman was one of the most famous DJ's in Rock history.  His syndicated shows were all about energy and his big personality.  8

Casey Kasem - Co-founded American Top 40 countdown show in 1970.  The show brought different genres of the Billboard Top 40 together.  Syndicated throughout the world, Kasem, outside of Wolfman Jack, was the most popular DJ in the 70's.  8

John Peel - One of England's greatest DJ's, who championed many different genres.  9

George Goldner - Founded numerous record labels in the 50's and 60's. As a Producer and Promoter,  those labels and his knack for finding talent resulted in hits for Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Chantels, Dixie Cups, Shangri-Las, Little Anthony & The Imperials.    8

Owen Bradley -  Perhaps Country music's greatest Producer.  Behind the boards on those hits by Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Conway Twitty among others.  An architect of the "Nashville Sound" which helped Country music cross over to the Pop charts.   7

Ralph Peer - Peer's field recordings in the 1920's of Blues & Country acts opened up those genres to wider audiences, which had a future impact on Rock & Roll.  He discovered Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.  And later published numerous classics through his publishing company.  8

Tom Wilson - Produced mid-60's Bob Dylan albums.  Early Simon & Garfunkel, Velvet Underground, Mothers of Invention and others.  Before those he Produced Jazz LP's for Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor and others.   7

Joe Meek - He was more than just "Telstar".  Often said to be the British Phil Spector, Meek was constantly pushing the boundaries of early 60's Production techniques.  6

Bob Crewe - Although most famous for co-writing a bunch of Four Seasons hits in the 60's, he also produced hits for Mitch Ryder, the Toys ("Lover's Concerto"). Add to that co-writing "Lady Marmalade", "Silhouettes" and the Tremeloes' "Silence Is Golden", and Crewe remains an unsung figure in Rock history.

Ralph Gleason - There are no Rock critics in the Hall, unless you count Jann Wenner. Although Lester Bangs is the most famous,  Gleason is often considered the first and most important.  His main love was Jazz, and that's where he wrote most of his pieces. He even co-founded the Monterey Jazz Festival.  In 1967, he and Wenner started Rolling Stone and he started writing more about Rock music.   6

James C. Bracken, Vivian Carter & Calvin Carter- James and Vivian founded Vee-Jay records which housed Jerry Butler & the Impressions, Dells, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Four Seasons and many more (even distributed, for a time, the first Beatles album).  One of the first successful Black-owned labels.  Calvin was Vee-Jay's A&R man and Producer.  8

Hubert Sumlin -
One of Rolling Stone magazine Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, Sumlin's legacy rests with his legendary work as Howlin' Wolf's guitarist.  9

Carol Kaye - A session musician who has slipped through the Hall cracks.  Bassist/Guitarist who played on many Phil Spector and Beach Boys sessions.  As well as records by the Monkees, Joe Cocker, Ritchie Valens.  A member of the L.A. based "Wrecking Crew".   10

Memphis Horns - Played on tons of Stax sessions.  Also played on non-Stax sessions for Elvis Presley, Al Green, Robert Cray and others.  9

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section - Played on many early Atlantic sides for Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett.  Once they founded the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio they began to cut classic sides with the Rolling Stones, Staple Singers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc.  8

Irwin Steinberg - Mercury Records co-founder who later was CEO of Polygram for 30 years.   8

Herb Hardesty - Played saxophone on just about every Fats Domino song in the 50's/60's, and also did session work for many other New Orleans musicians.   7


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