Thursday, December 17, 2015

First Time Nominated & Inducted (Updated 2017 Inductees)

Updated  January 2017

They waited forever, but when they got on the ballot, they went in first time.  For some acts, like Neil Diamond who waited 22 years, people wondered why he wasn't nominated earlier.
And there are others that the Hall passed over and got in right away:  The Hollies 20 years, Chicago 21 years, Steve Miller 22 years, Isaac Hayes 9 years,  Little Anthony & The Imperials 23 years, Dr. John 17 years,  Bill Withers 18. Even James Taylor had to wait 6 years.  And Hall & Oates 16 years.  Remember these are all people who waited just to get nominated.

Now I know a case can be made that the reason some of these didn't get nominated right away is because there were more important names eligible the same year as them.  But, still, the facts remain, that once they got on the ballot, voters went for them.  Case in point, Isaac Hayes.  The year he was eligible the names inducted included Van Morrison, Cream, CCR, Doors, Sly & The Family Stone, Etta James.  Names passed over that year:  Rod Stewart, Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, Animals and others.   

There's also the thinking that time can be good to an act's chances at being inducted.  This was certainly the case with Hall & Oates in 2014, whose stock only rose as time went by from their chart peaks. 

This had me thinking.  What artists out there now, will get a first nomination and be inducted on the first ballot.   Surprisingly, this list isn't as large as I thought it would be.    I have no scientific survey for the below names or even the names I just mentioned.  Just going on gut feeling.   And remember that the voting bloc changes yearly, which could have a bearing on how some of these are elected and in what year they get nominated.  Here's what I came up with. 

In no particular order:  Updated post-2017 Inductions

Neville Brothers/Aaron Neville - As much a New Orleans institution as Dr. John.  

Neil Sedaka - His catalog of hits should carry him with older voters.  Too Pop?  That's the question mark.

Joe Cocker - I can't believe he's never been nominated.  As much a musical icon as there is that's still not in the Hall.  

Warren Zevon - Beloved by many current Hall of Famers.  
Harry Nilsson - Very similar to Warren Zevon.  

Todd Rundgren - After Something/Anything, his solo career became too esoteric.  Maybe that's hurt him.  But add his Production work to his solo hits and he'd be shoo-in.  

Monkees - Davy Jones' death in 2012 has now elevated them from an almost-first time lock, to a most certain one.  It's now just a question of when the NomCom will get permission from Jann Wenner to slot them in on the ballot.  (that last sentence is not sarcasm)

Roxy Music - Maybe I'm being too optimistic.  They only had 1 Top 40 record in the U.S., but Bryan Ferry's band was a critical favorite.   But the "are they too British?" line is still there.  

Willie Nelson - Just too big a giant of music for voters to pass up.  A Country Outlaw whose base reached beyond Country into Rock.  

Emmylou Harris - If Gram Parsons can't get in, then how can Emmylou?  Longevity for one, and the respect of a many Hall inductees.  She might be too Country  (she's in the Country Hall).

Whitney Houston - Women R&B singers don't fare well with the Hall or its voters.  Donna Summer was labeled a Disco act, Chaka Khan was passed over her one time, and others like Nina Simone, Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle  have never been nominated.  But Houston was more of an Icon than the rest.  This is no slam dunk.  The "she ain't Rock" crowd will be against her.  

Glen Campbell -  His recent health problems would make him a strong, sentimental favorite.  I can't believe no one hasn't thought of nominating him.  He had great Pop/Country hits.  He's in the Country Hall, but this is another case of the NomCom asleep on the job (see Bill Withers). 

Billy Preston - Preston was a well-respected session musician who had many solo hits.  And he was also known as the "fifth Beatle" because he played on some of their last records. 

Johnny Winter - His death in 2014 has reminded people that he is a surprising omission.   Although he has been previously considered by the NomCom, it's possible that they wanted Albert and Freddie King in first before getting to him (or Stevie Ray Vaughan).  With his death, it's impossible to see how he won't sail right in.

Bad Company - Classic Rock acts aren't always an easy one to figure (Yes, Deep Purple, KISS-nominated twice, Procol Harum), but Paul Rodgers tenure with Free should help.  Not to mention Bad Co.'s has quite a few songs that are Classic Rock staples. 

Moody Blues - The Yes snub had me thinking quite a bit about this one.  The Moody Blues haven't been nominated because the Rolling Stone block of critics never liked them.  Among Prog artists, Yes and Genesis have garnered some decent reviews.  But I think the MB's  could break through because they had a bunch of Pop hits

Eurythmics - Or maybe it's Annie Lennox.  Another MTV staple, they also crafted many of that decade's most memorable hits.   And let's face it, by now Annie Lennox is as loved as any female singer from that era.   

Cyndi Lauper - Another MTV mainstay.  The image may have taken over how some perceived her records, but the decades have proven that her greatest songs have endured.  And in 2015 she was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  

Carly Simon - For the annual singer-songwriter slot, Simon would be a good choice.  She has definite appeal to the ever-growing list of older voters.  

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