Thursday, December 31, 2015

Musicians Who Died In 2015

From BB King to Allen Toussaint to Lesley Gore to Little Jimmy Dickens to Lemmy, a lot of great musicians died in 2015.  Every year I post the link below which is taken from the Pause & Play website.  Click it on and take a few moments to remember some names you know and some you might not have thought you knew:

R.I.P. Musicians We Lost In 2015

Source:   Pause & Play

And if you feel they missed someone, email me and I'll add it to this page:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Nashville Scene Ballot

One of the music polls I vote in is from the Nashville Scene.   Results are published in late January, and I will update this page with the link to the final ballots and voters.
Below is the albums/singles ballot I sent in for 2015.

1. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
2. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
3. Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn
4. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
5. Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood
6. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Hold My Beer Vol. 1
7. John Moreland - High On Tulsa Heat
8. Dwight Yoakam - Second Hand Heart
9. Ashley Monroe - Blade
10. Mavericks - Mono

1. Girl Crush - Little Big Town
2. Tennessee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton
3.  Burning House - Cam
4.  Crash and Burn - Thomas Rhett
5.  24 Frames - Jason Isbell
6.  Take Your Time - Sam Hunt
7.  Standards - Randy Roges & Wade Bowen
8.  One Hell Of An Amen - Brantley Gilbert
9.  Strip It Down - Luke Bryan
10. Family Is Family -- Kacey Musgraves

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tom's Top 30 TV Shows of 2015

My Top 30 TV shows consist of shows that are required viewing.  Shows that get top placement on my DVR queue.  I watch other shows that didn't make this list, but these were the can't miss ones for 2015.  I put an asterick next to the shows that ended this year.

1.  Game of Thrones
2.  Mad Men*
3.  Rectify
4.  Orange Is The New Black
5.  Louie
6.  Justified*
7.  Outlander
8.  Daredevil
9.  Inside Amy Schumer
10.  Fargo
11.  Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
12. Voice
13. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
14. Longmire
15. Portlandia
16. Knick
17. Veep
18. Downton Abbey
19. Silicon Valley
20. Hell on Wheels
21. Saturday Night Live
22. True Detective
23. Moone Boy
24. Vikings
25. Mr. Robot
26. American Pickers
27. Real Sports with Bryan Gumbel
28. Little Couple
29. Strike Back*
30. Leftovers


Monday, December 28, 2015

Playlist for 12/28

Narvel Felts - Those Rockabilly Years
Erroll Garner - Complete Concert By The Sea
Bill Ryder-Jones - West Kirby County Primary
Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness
Peter Guralnick - Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll  (Book)
Danzig - Skeletons

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tom's Top Singles/Tracks/Reissues of 2015


1.  Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands
2.  Adele - Hello
3.  Little Big Town - Girl Crush
4.  Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk
5.  Weeknd - Can't Feel My Face
6.  Fetty Wap - Trap Queen
7.  Chris Stapleton - Tennessee Whiskey
8.  Drake - Hotline Bling
9.  Adam Lambert - Ghost Town
10. Tyrese - Shame
11. Cam - Burning House
12. Elle King - Ex's & Oh's
13.  Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Standards
14. Thomas Rhett - Crash and Burn
15. Jason Isbell - 24 Frames
16. Sufjan Stevens - Fourth Of July/Should Have Known Better
17. Alabama Shakes - Don't Wanna Fight
18. Richard Thompson - Guitar Heroes
19. Sam Hunt - Take Your Time
20. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
21. JD McPherson - Head Over Heels
22. Brandon Flowers - Can't Deny My Love
23. Shamir - On The Regular
24. Selena Gomez - Same Old Love
25, Nathaniel Rateliff - SOB
26. LunchMoney Lewis - Bills
27. Father John Misty - Chateau Lobby #4
28. Miguel - Coffee
29. Jeff Lynne's ELO - When I Was A Boy
30. Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin'
31. Miranda Lambert - Little Red Wagon
32. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard - It's All Going To Pot
33. Jason Derulo- Want To Want Me
34. Tuxedo - Number One
35. Steve Earle - Baby Baby Baby


1.  Charley Pride - Country/Country Way/Pride of/Make Mine Country  (2CD Reissue of first 4 albums)
2.  Staple Singers - Freedom Highway Complete (Legacy reissue)
3.  Complete History of the Blues 1920-62 - Various  (Proper)
4.  Sam Phillips:  Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll - Various (Yep Roc)
5.  Errol Garner - Complete Concert By The Sea  (Legacy reissue)
6.  Jill Scott - Golden Moments (Hidden Beach)
7.  Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels Vol. 1-7  (Bear Family)
8.  Ork Records: New York, New York - Various  (Numero)
9.  Robin Gibb - Collected Works 68-70  (Rhino)
10.  Apollo Saturday Night/Saturday Night At The Uptown  - Various (Real Gone reissue)
11. Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats - Various  (Legacy)
12. J.B. Hutto & His Hawks - Hawk Squat  (Delmark reissue)
13. Narvel Felts - Those Rockabilly Days  (Stomper Time)
14. Tracy Chapman - Greatest Hits  (Elektra)
15. Bob Dylan - Bootleg Series Vol. 12  (Legacy 2CD version)
16. Miles Davis - At Newport 55-75  (Legacy)
17. Weather Report - Legendary Live Tapes 78-81  (Legacy)

I've also made a Spotify Playlist for all these:  Top Singles/Reissues Spotify Playlist

Tom's Top Albums of 2015

1.  Chris Stapleton - Traveller
2.  JD McPherson -  Let The Good Times Roll
3.  Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
4.  Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn
5.  Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
6.  Brandon Flowers - Desired Effect
7.  Nathaniel Rateliff  & The Night Sweats -  s/t
8.  Adele - 25
9.  Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands
10, Ashley Monroe - Blade
11. Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood
12. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
13. Courney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit
14. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
15. Tom Jones - Long Lost Suitcase
16. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
17. Thunderbitch - s/t
18. John Moreland - High On Tulsa Heat
19. Brandi Carlile - Firewatcher's Daughter
20. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Hold My Beer Vol. 1
21. Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone In The Universe
22. Tuxedo - s/t
23. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion
24. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
25. Pops Staples - Don't Lose This
26. Wilco - Star Wars
27. Van Hunt - Fun Rises, Fun Sets
28. Mavericks - Mono
29. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard - Django and Jimmie
30. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
31. Boz Scaggs- Fool To Care

also:  Tom's Top Singles/Tracks/Reissues of 2015

I also made a Spotify playlist of track from these albums:  Top Albums Spotify Playlist


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Christmas Songs

I compiled this years ago.  Christmas songs I've liked over the years.  

1. Bing Crosby - White Christmas
2. Nat "King" Cole - The Christmas Song
3. Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas
4. Gene Autry - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
5. Judy Garland - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
6. Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock
7. Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
8. Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
9. Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
10. Charles Brown - Please Come Home For Christmas
11. Harry Simeone Chorale - Little Drummer Boy
12. Jimmy Durante - Frosty The Snowman
13. Vince Guaraldi Trio- Linus and Lucy
14. Burl Ives - Holly Jolly Christmas
15. Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad
16. Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
17. Drifters - White Christmas
18. Donny Hathaway - This Christmas
19. Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
20. Elton John - Step Into Christmas
21. Dean Martin - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
22. Thurl Ravenscroft - You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
23. Chuck Berry - Run Run Rudolph
24. Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
25. Carpenters - Merry Christmas Baby
26. Aretha Franklin - Winter Wonderland
27. Elvis Presley -- Merry Christmas Baby
28. David Bowie/Bing Crosby - Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy
29. Gene Autrey - Here Comes Santa Claus
30. Run DMC - Christmas In Hollis
31. Roy Orbison- Pretty Paper
32. Elvis Presley - Santa Claus Is Back In Town
33. Buck Owens - Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
34. Johnny Mathis - Sleigh Ride
35. John Denver & The Muppets - 12 Days of Christmas
36. Jackson 5 - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
37. Elvis Presley - Silver Bells
38. Whitney Houston - Do You Hear What I Hear?
39. Jimmy Boyd - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
40. James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
41. Johnny Mathis - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
42. Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
43. Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick
44. Andy Williams - Happy Holidays
45. Luther Vandross - O Come All Ye Faithful
46. Nat "King" Cole - O Tannenbaum
47. Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
47. Perry Como - Home For The Holidays
48. Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rapping
49. Elvis Presley - If I Get Home On Christmas Day
50. Robert Earl Keen - Merry Christmas From The Family
51. Bing Crosby - Silent Night
52. Joni Mitchell - River
53. John Lennon - Happy Xmas
54. Barry Gordon - Nuttin' For Christmas
55. Spike Jones - All I Want For Christmas
56. Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas
57. Crystals - Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
58. Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December
59. Stevie Wonder - Someday At Christmas
60. Nat "King" Cole - O Little Town of Bethlehem
61. Bobby Lloyd and the Skeletons - Do You Hear What I Hear/You Really Got Me
62. Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa
63. Jackie Wilson - O Holy Night
64. Oak Ridge Boys - Thank God For Kids
65. Dolly Parton - Hard Candy Christmas
66. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton - Christmas Without You
67. Jackie Wilson- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
68. Frank Sinatra - The First Noel
69. Barbra Streisand - Ave Maria
70. Nat "King" Cole - Hark The Herald Angels Sing
71. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here
72. Angela Lansbury and Cast - We Need A Little Christmas
73. Ray Parker Jr. - Christmas Time Is Here
74. Elvis Presley - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)
75. Mariah Carey - All I Want From Christmas Is You
76. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Deck The Halls
77. Dan Fogelberg - Same Old Lang Syne
78. Madonna - Santa Baby
79. Harry Belafonte - Mary's Boy Child
80. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas?
81. Bryan Adams - Christmas Time
82. Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime
83. Billy Squier - Christmas Is The Time To Say "I Love You"
84. Aretha Franklin - Joy To The World
85. Windham Hill Artists - Carol of the Bells
86. Vanessa Williaams - What Child Is This?
87. George Strait - Away in A Manger
88. Alabama - Christmas In Dixie
89. Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
90. Pretenders - 2000 Miles
91. Louis Armstrong - 'Zat You Santa Claus?
92. Johnny Mathis - My Favorite Things
93. Chipmunks - Chipmunk Song
94. Nat "King" Cole - I Saw Three Ships
95. Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Jordan - Baby It's Cold Outside
96. James Taylor - Go Tell It On The Mountain
97. Wham - Last Christmas
98. Johnny Mathis - Caroling Caroling/Happy Holidays
99. Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
100. Pogues - Fairytale In New York
101. Randy Travis - Old Time Christmas
102. Kinks - Father Christmas
103. Kenny Loggins - Celebrate Me Home
104. Elmo & Patsy - Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeeer
105. Detroit Junior - Christmas Day
106. Robert Earl Keen - Merry Christmas From The Family
107. Hall & Oates - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
108. Fred Waring - Twas The Night Before Christmas
109. Prince - Another Lonely Christmas
110. Michael Buble - Grown Up Christmas List
111. Mills Brothers - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
 Temptations - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
113. Jimmy Buffett - Christmas Islan
114. Mabel Scott - Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
115. Weird Al Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero
116. Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
117. Dolly Parton - Hard Candy Christmas

118. Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans - Bells of St. Mary
119. Elvis Presley - Here Comes Santa Claus
120. Vaughn Monroe - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
121. Leroy Anderson - Sleigh Ride
122. Bing Crosby & Andrew Sisters - Mele Kalikimaka
123. Mavis Staples - Christmas Vacation
124. Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
125. Kenny Rogers - Kids
126. Bob Rivers - 12 Pains of Christmas

Suggestions, etc.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Rock Hall Wish List (Updated Post-2016 Inductee Announcement)

Now that the 2016 inductees have been announced, it's a good time to update my own Wish List. Which continues to grow more each year.

For those of you on Spotify, here's a link  Rock Hall Wishlist
to my Rock Hall Playlist, which has a song or two by every act listed below.

Listed in alphabetical order:

Afrika Bambaataa
Ashford & Simpson
Bad Brains
Bad Company/Free
Barry White
Ben E. King
Big Star
Billy Preston
Billy Ward & The Dominoes
Bon Jovi
Brook Benton
Captain Beefheart
Chaka Khan
Charley Patton
Chubby Checker
Chuck Willis
Conway Twitty
Cyndi Lauper
De La Soul
Def Leppard
Depeche Mode
Dionne Warwick
Dire Straits
Doobie Brothers
Doug Sahm/Sir Douglas Quintet
Duran Duran
Ella Fitzgerald
Emmylou Harris
Eric B. & Rakim
Gap Band
Gary "U.S." Bonds
Glen Campbell
Gram Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers
Harry Nilsson
J. Geils Band
J.J. Cale
Janet Jackson
Jerry Butler
Jim Croce
Jimmy Buffett
Joan Baez
Joe Cocker
Joe Tex
Johnny Burnette & The Rock & Roll Trio
Johnny Winter
Judas Priest
Junior Wells
Kate Bush
Kool & The Gang
Kris Kristofferson
LL Cool J
Link Wray
Little Feat
Los Lobos
Lou Rawls
Luther Vandross
Mary Wells
Mitch Ryder
Moody Blues
Mott The Hoople
Neil Sedaka
Neville Brothers/Meters
New Order/Joy Division
New York Dolls
Ohio Players
Pat Benatar
Patsy Cline
Patti LaBelle
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Pet Shop Boys
Procol Harum
Richard Thompson/Fairport Convention
Rick James
Roxy Music
Sinead O'Connor
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Sonic Youth
Sonny & Cher
Sonny Boy Williamson II
Steve Earle
Teddy Pendergrass/Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes
Thin Lizzy
Three Dog Night
Todd Rundgren
Tommy James & The Shondells
Tribe Called Quest
Warren Zevon
Whitney Houston
Willie Nelson
Wynonie Harris


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.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

2016 Rock Hall Inductees Reaction

A populist ballot gave way to populist inductees.  Rock fans are no longer burning up social media with their yearly complaints about the absence of classic rock era acts.  My own predictions weren't bad.  I thought they would go with 6 inductees, but for the first time since 2011 went with only five.  So, in addition to picking Deep Purple, Chicago, Cheap Trick and N.W.A., I chose Janet Jackson and the Spinners.  Janet's absence remains the stunner of the night.  And if you want to know how I really feel about the 2016 class, my initial reaction on twitter was no women, no R&B acts and a big disappointment that there were only 5 inductees  (even though that's what Greg Harris said would happen).

Next month the Hall is going to name a non-performer or Musical Excellence pick, so there's still hope for a woman or R&B name to get in there.  What harm would it be to give the Musical Excellence award to Nile Rodgers & Chic?  The Hall will have a month to gauge reaction to their class, and anything is possible.  

But back to the class.  Rockists were thrilled.  Longtime Hall watchers not so much.  We expect diversity among the inductee class and got none.  Sure, it's great that another Rap act got in.  But without the hit movie, N.W.A. might still be on the sidelines.  Hey, I've got no problem with these 5 names.  I'm not the biggest N.W.A. fan, but I can see their historical importance on rap music. 

And the induction of Chicago is another poke in the eye to the NomCom who did everything they could over the years to keep them out.  My own First Time Nominated and Inducted page (which I've now updated),  back in June, had Chicago, Cheap Trick and Steve Miller going in if they got nominated.  But I was wrong about Janet Jackson and the Cars (hey, how was I to know they would nominated so many of my picks in one year). Also, what's great about Chicago is that they were never a critical favorite.  Fan faves yes, but critical darlings?  Far from it.  So, I love that they are in. Steve Miller feasted on Baby Boomer voters.  Cheap Trick are a long-running favorite.  And Deep Purple are often cited as the biggest Classic Rock snub.  

Still, if we want future induction classes to be more varied, then this year's picks are a cause for alarm.  NomCom member Questlove himself tweeted after the inductee announcement: "we need more a well rounded body of general voters".  And that really is it.  The Hall went all populist on us this time, and got the Classic Rock class that the Eddie Trunk's of the world have been whining about for years (these types are known as the "It's called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not Rap Or Soul Hall of Fame" crowd).  But will that happen again next year?  

What does this mean for 2017?  Outside of sure-shot Pearl Jam, the ballot will be another puzzler.  Will we see fan faves like Bon Jovi or a long-suffering snub like the Moody Blues?  I applaud the NomCom for getting 5 R&B names on the 2016 ballot and hope they keep up that pace.  More women like Janet Jackson,Chaka Khan, Annie Lennox should happen.  But 5 inductees?  No, let's keep it at 6 along with non-performers and Musical Excellence picks.  

Here's something that's funny.  I was certain I'd be able to delete some names from my R&B Artists & The Rock Hall  & Women & The Rock Hall pages right after the inductees announcement.  Nope.  No changes.  Not one.  That was certainly depressing.  And unless the Hall surprises us next month with some more names then those pages will have to sit until the 2017 announcement.  


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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Playlist for 12/17

We Love Disney  - Various
Seal - 7
CeeLo Green - Heart Blanche
Tim McGraw - Damn Country Music
Kendalls - Heaven's Just A Sin Away
Sleaford Mods - Key Markets

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Last Time In The Top 40 Playlist

One thing I found is that the last Top 40 hit was usually a minor entry in a major artists catalog.  Spotify didn't have Elvis Presley's final entry, 1980's "Guitar Man" (#28), which put new instruments around his vocals from that 1968 song.  But I had to have an Elvis song here, so I'm putting the posthumous 1977 live "My Way" on here.  Hey, at least its genuine, not an imagined version.  And as of this blog post, they didn't have Paul McCartney's last Top 40, 1989's "My Brave Face"  (#25). Nor Ray Charles'.  In other words, if someone is missing, it's because they aren't on Spotify.

Getting back to my original point.  Many heritage acts' last Top 40 songs aren't fondly remembered, even by their die-hard fans.  The good news is once those acts realized that Hits radio would no longer play their singles, they went on to make good, solid music.  Most end up at other formats:  Americana, Adult Contemporary, Adult R&B.  Formats that skewer older.

So, take a look at the final Top 40 hits by major hitmakers.  I looked for artists that were consistently on the charts, and had many chart entries.  Also, I'm avoiding any gimmicky type of songs "Unforgettable" from Natalie/Nat King Cole is a great example.  And re-releases.  Unless the song was a flop the first time out.   Let me know if I missed anyone.

Last Time In Top 40 Playlist


also:  major thanks to Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2012, and indispensable compilation of every Billboard Hot 100 song. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Playlist for 12/10

Allen Toussaint - Songbook/Toussaint/Life Love & Faith
Cox Family - Gone Like The Cotton
Eric Church - Mr. Misnderstood
Bob Dylan - Bootleg Series Vol. 12 (2 CD)
Coldplay - Head Full of Dreams

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Playlist for 12/5

Chicago - III, V, VI, VII, VIII
Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
Carrie Underwood - Storyteller
Adele - 25
Steve Martin & Edie Brickell - So Familiar
Chris Isaak - First Comes The Night

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


The great thing about Podcasts is they are free.  Below is a list of ones I subscribe to. I'm always on the lookout for more.

Music Podcasts 

Come To The Sunshine
NY Times Music Popcast
Sound Opinions
Joe Bussard's Country Classics
All Songs Considered
Old Time Rock n Roll
Rockabilly & Blues Radio Hour
ABC Oldies: Rewind Chart
Stairway To Heaven (Soul classics)
Smooth Soul
Best Radio You Have Never Heard
Blues Unlimited
Freight Train Boogie
Joe Boyd's A-Z
My Favorite Album
Desert Island Discs
Here's The Thing
Eddie Trunk Podcast

Other Genres

Men In Blazers
StarTalk Radio
Bill Simmons Podcast
Le Show
Professional Left
Planet Futbol
SI Media Podcast
Official Graceland
WTF with Marc Maron
Garbage Time


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