When the powers-that-be sit in the malt shop -- wearing their poodle skirts and sporting Brylcreem -- throwing out the names of potential candidates to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, do they base their choices on anything specific or do they just toss names in a hat and pick out five to 10 each year?
Hat names are not always the best choices and should only be used at raffles. Sometimes their choices are on the money, but is it fair to the artists whose names get left out of the hat selection process?
My point? There's got to be a better system if some of our pioneers of rock 'n' roll aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which is for some reason located in Cleveland, Ohio where "it's illegal to catch mice without a hunting license"). I did a little research (because I heard Steve Van Zandt mention a couple of names he thought should be in there on Cousin Brucie's SiriusXM radio show the other night) and was shocked at some of the names that are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so let's roll them off:
- Connie Francis
- Frankie Avalon
- Bobby Rydell
- Chubby Checker
- Leslie Gore
- Paul Anka
- Johnny Mathis
- Bobby Vinton
- Bobby Vee
- Pat Boone
- Neil Sedaka
- Sonny & Cher (Seriously, unbelievable!)
- Peter, Paul and Mary (I know, but still ...)
- Johnny Burnette
- Jimmy Clanton
- Herman's Hermits (Steve's choice and a solid one)
- Cousin Brucie (in non-performer category, aka: Ahmet Ertegun Award )
This is my starter list, there are many more (I would love to hear your choices.) Also, for the record, in my opinion, two of the choices that are in the R & R Hall of Fame must have been selected while someone was sniffing glue... out of a hat.
Is there a dead end street here? Are these artists I just mentioned going to be overlooked forever because of some sort of expiration date? They're not melons. If they intend to keep the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until the end of time, then most of these artists should be inducted before Justin Bieber grows a mustache. And let's face it, some of those who are out there now (who may be picked down the road) aren't really rock 'n' roll artists/bands, are they? No, of course not -- unless we're expanding the definition of true rock and roll music, but I ramble. (We could debate this but just work with me here.)
Warning: Justin Bieber is talented and adorable, but if he gets into the Hall before Frankie, Fabian and Bobby Rydell (the FIRST teen idols), I'll find all the voting committee members and super-glue starched bobby socks to their feet.
The 27th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions will be held in Cleveland for more than a week of events, April 5-14, 2012. (Do I need to show up with Fonzie to get your attention regarding my little "list"?)
Is there a Doo-Wop Hall of Fame? Yes! Didn't know that until I looked it up. So glad! Doo-Wop songs are some of the best feel-good music of any genre in any generation. They are the sisters, brothers, and first cousins of rock 'n' roll. They were indelibly ingrained within the genre. Who does not LOVE Doo-Wop music? If you have a pulse and listen to it, then you know how great it is. The 12th Annual National Inductions & Gala Concert will be held March 11, 2012 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST, at Boston Symphony Hall. (There's actually a Doo-Wop Theme Cruise, Boston to Bermuda, May 18-25, 2012 aboard the Norwegian Dawn.)
Also, great news for all rock 'n' roll fans, there's a Malt Shop Memories Cruise originating in Fort Lauderdale from Oct. 27 through Nov. 3, 2012 featuring 19 artists including Dion, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, The Original Drifters, and The Marvelettes.
Moving on... how about one-hit wonders? Shouldn't there be a One-Hit Wonders Hall of Fame? We love their music, we danced to it, grabbed a few smooches in the back seat of a Chevy (not an Impala unless you had a rich daddy) -- or in some cases, on the floor board -- while listening to them on the radio and they deserve some sort of recognition. Babies were conceived to some of these songs for crying out loud!
Here are just a few great rock 'n' roll one-hit wonders (please comment on your own personal favorites because I can't remember them all due to these ugly little memory lapses): "Johnny Angel," Shelley Fabares; "Goodnight My Love," Jesse Belvin (one of the best slow-dance songs ever!); "A Million to One," Jimmy Charles; "Teen Angel," Mark Dinning; "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" Barry Mann; "We'll Sing in the Sunshine," Gale Garnett; "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," The Casinos; "Harper Valley PTA," Jeannie C. Riley; "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," The Tune Weavers; "To Know Him is to Love Him," Teddy Bears; "Tan Shoes with Pink Shoe Laces," Dodie Stevens, "Born Too Late," The Poni-Tails.
So, let's drop back and punt... the ball is in your court, committee of pickers of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "Git 'er Done!" Larry the Cable Guy would probably second that... unless he's just a country music aficionado, in which case they have their own Country Music Hall of Fame. Don't get me started.