Friday, December 18, 2015

Top 20 Rock Hall Snubs & Other Thoughts (Updated 2016 Inductee Announcement)

Below is a list of my Top 20 Rock Hall snubs as of the 2016 Inductee Announcement. Ask me in a month from now, and the rankings could change.   If you don't see your favorite artists listed, then they are probably included on my never-ending  Rock Hall Wish List .

1.  Chic
2.  Spinners
3.  Electric Light Orchestra
4.  Gram Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers
5.  Neville Brothers/Meters
6.  Yes
7.  Whitney Houston
8.  Joe Cocker
9.  Roxy Music
10. Smiths
11  Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes/Teddy Pendergrass
12. Moody Blues
13. Kool & The Gang
14. Rufus with Chaka Khan
15. War
17. Janet Jackson
18. Warren Zevon
19.  Commodores
20.  Monkees

Here are some names that just missed the Top 20:   Barry White,  Dionne Warwick, Neil Sedaka,  Cars, Bad Company/Free, Harry Nilsson, Marvelettes.

Okay, time to talk about the headache that is the Early Influence Category.

Ever since the Rock Hall inducted Wanda Jackson (first record in 1954) and Freddie King (1956) as Early Influences, I've begun to believe that all artists who first recorded in the 1950's should be included in a new category.  Scrap the Early Influence name and put those artists before a Veterans Committee. Similar to what sports Halls of Fame do with acts that were overlooked by the main voting bloc.  Call it what you want, but I think good old Veterans Committee sounds about right.

But wait a minute. That brings up another debate.  Is it fair to put a Sister Rosetta Tharpe (first record 1938) against the Chantels (first record 1957)?  Maybe you divide the 50's Rock era candidates with the pre-50's ones?  I wouldn't let anyone leave the NomCom meeting until we figure this out.  Which is a better alternative than what they are doing now.

In the end, I just think it's foolish to put the Chantels on the same ballot with the Stooges, KISS and LL Cool J.  Which is what happened in 2010.  And 6 time nominee Chuck Willis' last nod in 2011 had him listed with Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, and yes, LL Cool J.   Although, Patsy Cline might do well because her legend has grown over the decades.   I just don't think voters know much about Willis or the Chantels.  As good old Jann Wenner said, voters tend to stick with what they know.  Hey, why learn about names they know nothing about?

And maybe you start a new category for early 60's acts.  The timeline could be from 60-65, just as the British Invasion was at its peak.  But I think we long-time Hall watchers give this more thought than the committee members that show up every Fall.

If you want more on this, read Philip from Rock Hall Monitors. He goes deeper into this than me.  But it's good to see many different ideas being brought up.

Below are some names that should be on my Top 20, but were bumped because they fit into other categories.  You could say I cheated by adding these names. But thinking outside the box helps get more worthy acts inducted.

An easy one for me is the Musical Excellence Award:  Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Todd Rundgren, Billy Preston. None have been nominated on the performer ballot.

And even though Nile Rodgers said he wouldn't except this award without the rest of Chic, they could end his yearly misery and stick it to the anti-disco voters and induct Chic under this moniker.

Veterans Committee.  In keeping with my ideas listed above, these are just some names that could fit under the change from Early to Veterans picks.

Rock era 50's:
Patsy Cline - First record in 1955.
Neil Sedaka - First record in 1957.
Chantels - First record in 1957.
Dick Dale - First record in 1959.
Link Wray - First record in 1956.
Joe Tex - First record in 1955.
Clovers - First record in 1950.
Big Mama Thornton - First record in 1951.
Billy Ward & The Dominoes - First record 1951.
Sonny Boy Williamson II  (Rice Miller) - First record 1951.

Pre-50's era:
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Wynonie Harris
Charley Patton
Carter Family
Ella Fitzgerald

But let's be real here.  Now that the Rock Hall has shown its love for Populist names, no doubt trying to please HBO, will we see anymore non-household names inducted.  Bert Berns may have been a coup for Steven Van Zandt, but how many more of those can NomCom members push in to the Hall?

And if you need more post on Rock Hall snubs, click on this post by Alex Voltaire which has more info on Rock Hall snubs.


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