Back in 2007 we published a list (based on YOUR votes and nominations) of The Top 40 Most Deserving And Denied Artists who YOU felt belonged in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Thankfully, a few of these artists HAVE been inducted in the three years since this list first went out ... but look at the caliber of artists who STILL aren't being considered by the Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee!!! (I can see Doug Thompson cringing at the very thought of reading through this list again ... but I updated it slightly as some of the status has changed ... other than that, however, this list represents YOUR choices, EXACTLY as they appeared, circa 2007, for the most Deserving And Denied Artists. (kk)
Deserving and Denied ... Your "Top 40" Choices:
In Rank Order (based on your votes and comments)
1. Connie Francis - 41 Top 40 Hits including 16 Top 10's and three #1's ... with Brenda Lee, one half of Rock And Roll's Female Dynamic Duo. How is it even REMOTELY possible that Connie is NOT in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?!?!?!
(At least Brenda Lee finally earned HER spot in 2002!)
2. Neil Diamond - 38 Top 40 Hits including 15 Top 10's and three #1's ... Neil scored Top Ten Hits in the '60's, the '70's AND the '80's and also wrote several hits for other artists (including the #1 Chart-Topper for The Monkees, "I'm A Believer", one of the BIGGEST songs of the '60's!)
3. Guess Who - 15 Top 40 Hits including six Top 10's and one #1 ... the biggest selling act to EVER come out of Canada, at one point selling more records than ALL of the other Canadian recording artists combined!
4. The Hollies - British Invasion favorites ... 12 Top 40 Hits including 7 Top 10's and one #1. Incredible harmonies and melodies, this band ALSO gave us Graham Nash, the ONLY member of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young NOT to be recognized for his earlier work. (NOTE: Finally nominated for The Class of 2010)
5. Chicago - 34 Top 40 Hits ... fused jazz and rock into a successful career that is now in its FIFTH decade! At one point, Jimi Hendrix said of Chicago Lead Guitarist Terry Kath, "I think your guitar player plays better than I do!" Jimi's in ... yet Chicago has never even been nominated!!!
6. Pat Boone - 39 Top 40 Hits ... second only to Elvis in record sales throughout the '50's ... made Rock And Roll Music acceptable to mainstream America who felt threatened by Elvis' much harder (and more sexual) image. Introduced much of White America to the sounds of Black R & B Artists through his recordings of songs first made popular by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Artists like Fats Domino and Little Richard. Did more to help bridge the gap between White America and Black America than ANY politician or Civil Rights Leader EVER did.
7. Chubby Checker - The ONLY artist in Rock And Roll History to reach #1 TWICE with the same record. Caused a national dance sensation when he taught us "The Twist". And, if that's STILL not enough, scored 22 OTHER Top 40 Hits!!!
8. The Moody Blues - Started as a blues band covering an old Bessie Smith song ... and evolved into one of the pioneers of orchestral rock. Breath Deep ... how can you possibly NOT induct THESE guys?!?!?
9. The Dave Clark Five - More British Invasion favorites ... at one point rivaled The Beatles as the most popular group from England both at home AND here in The States. 17 Top 40 Hits! (Finally inducted in 2008)
10. The Monkees - Eternally popular TV / Music stars. No, they DIDN'T play their own instruments on their first couple of albums ... but WHO did back then?!?! (Not The Beach Boys or The Mamas And The Papas, both Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Members!) Their TV Series has never really been off the air these past 40 years ... and they STILL play out to sell-out crowds whenever and wherever they perform.
11. ABBA - The world-wide best selling recording act of all time. If the best-selling act in history doesn't belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, then who does??? Leonard Cohen?!?!? (File this under "The People Have Spoken!!!")
NOTE: Finally nominated in 2009 for The Class of 2010.
12. Three Dog Night - Dominated the charts in the '70's, scoring 21 straight Top 40 Hits ... that's their ENTIRE chart history!!! One of the most ... if not THE most ... popular bands of the '70's. Pioneered the concept of a band with THREE lead singers!
13. Paul Anka - Canadian-born singer / songwriter ... dominated the teen pop scene in the '50's, became a more adult-oriented "standards" singer in the '60's and then came back with a whole new career in the '70's, scoring 35 Top 40 Hits over four decades. Plus, this guy wrote the theme to "The Tonight Show" and the Frank Sinatra classic, "My Way"!!! One of the very first artists smart enough to own his own masters!
14. Linda Ronstadt - There wasn't a style Linda couldn't sing ... and she successfully sang them ALL during her chart career. Along the way, she racked up 22 Top 40 Hits. (Sorry, Doug, but it's hard NOT to use Linda Ronstadt and SOME variable of the world "rack" in the same sentence!) Bonnie Raitt's in ... this year Laura Nyro is nominated ... yet Linda has never even been considered!!! How is this even possible?!?!?
15. Tommy James and the Shondells - '60's Pop Chart favorites ... and STILL going strong. In addition to his OWN chart success, Tommy's tunes were covered and then later hits for a number of artists in the '80's, proving this music to be timeless. Combined pop, rock, gospel, bubblegum and psychedelia into a sound distinctly and uniquely his own.
16. The Turtles - Pop favorites, The Turtles helped define a generation with feel good tunes like "Happy Together", "Elenore", "She'd Rather Be With Me", "You Showed Me", "You Baby", "It Ain't Me, Babe", "You Know What I Mean" and "She's My Girl" ... all '60's Pop Standards.
17. Paul Revere and the Raiders - Pop Stars, TV Stars, Concert headliners ... Mark Lindsay and Company scored 17 Top 40 Hits, most of which you STILL hear on the radio every day! A good percentage of Rock And Roll Music can ALSO be called "Feel Good" Music ... artists like Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Turtles and Tommy James and the Shondells EXCELLED at "Feel Good Music!"
18. Hall and Oates - The most successful duo of all time ... how is it possible that THESE guys are NOT in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Simon and Garfunkel are in ... The Everly Brothers are in ... Hall and Oates have had 30 Top 40 Hits and then, when they reunited a few years ago, were immediately back on the charts again! I don't know if there EVER was a better example of Rock 'n' Soul.
19. Genesis - Between their Art Rock Days of the Peter Gabriel period and their pop chart domination when led by Phil Collins, these guys ABSOLUTELY deserve a spot in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! (NOTE: Finally nominated in 2009.)
20. Yes - More Art-Rock at its finest and most innovative ... in fact, they helped to set the standard.
21. Neil Sedaka - Another one of the most popular songwriters of the rock era, Neil also scored a fair amount of his OWN pop hits, too ... 22 of which made The National Top 40.
22. The Zombies - Another British Invasion favorite ... they only had THREE Top 40 Hits but, boy, what hits those were ... timeless classics like "She's Not There", "Tell Her No" and "Time Of The Season".
23. Dionne Warwick - All Dionne Warwick did was provide the Soundtrack To Our Lives during the '60's ... speaking of which, where the heck are Burt Bacharach and Hal David ... certainly THEY belong in the Non-Performer category!!!
24. Heart - Talk about Women Who Rock ... The Sisters Wilson brought a WHOLE new meaning to the phrase!
25. Pat Benatar - Another female rocker who ABSOLUTELY deserves a spot in The Rock Hall! Heart and Pat Benatar DEFINE Rock And Roll ... they ARE Rock And Roll ... they LIVE it!!! Madonna, who was a shoe-in to get in on her first ballot ... and did, gave us DANCE music. Certainly there's a difference. Clearly, all THREE artists belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... why aren't Heart and Pat Benatar already there???
26. The Doobie Brothers - Starting out as a Biker Band doing California Rock they launched a whole NEW career with the addition of keyboardist / vocalist Michael McDonald ... between the Tom Johnston years and the Michael McDonald years, The Doobies scored 18 Top 40 Hits, including a couple that went all the way to #1.
27. Bobby Rydell - A Pop Teen Idol who could actually sing ... and eventually even parlayed his success on to the silver screen. Bobby scored 19 Top 40 Hits.
28. Johnny Rivers - Whether he was interpreting another artist's songs ... or writing his own hits, Johnny Rivers never failed to please, scoring 21 Top 40 Hits in the process.
29. John "Cougar" Mellencamp - One of the '80's Generation's best rockers, Mellencamp took his love of old time rock and roll and made it his own ... along with Bob Seger, one of the best examples of Midwestern Rock we've ever known. (NOTE: Mellencamp was finally inducted in 2008.)
30. Glen Campbell - If you're not going to induct him on the basis of his OWN recording career (sure, he was a Country Artist first, but Campbell also scored 21 Top 40 Pop Hits), then you've GOT to induct him for the THOUSANDS of recording sessions he did back in the '60's. I mean, this guy played on EVERYTHING ... and was even a Beach Boy for a while!!!
31. Electric Light Orchestra - These guys gave new meaning to the term "Classic Rock", molding the best of classical music and rock into a whole new genre.
32. Styx - Another band that fused any number of styles into a sound that became distinctly their own.
33. Lesley Gore - One of the most popular female voices of the '60's, Lesley scored hit after hit.
34. Joan Jett - Another female rocker worthy of some Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
attention. If there's such a thing as Madonna rock and roll, then there just HAS to be Joan Jett rock and roll! (Worthy enough for a rock and roll bio-pic in production right now ... but NOT worthy of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame??? I don't think so!)
35. Herman's Hermits - Another '60's British Invasion favorite. Their feel-good music sounds JUST as fresh today. And, Herman's Hermits scored 18 straight Top 40 Hits between 1964 and 1968 ... how many OTHER Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers can make THAT claim???
36. Peter, Paul and Mary - One of the first artists to bring the folk movement to the masses ... Peter, Paul and Mary were at the forefront of this genre, consistently placing hits near the top of the pop charts. They also first introduced the world to the music of Bob Dylan at a time when radio wouldn't play the real thing. (Maybe now, with Mary Travers' recent passing, Peter, Paul and Mary will finally be considered. Doesn't that ALWAYS seem to be the way? Wait until the artist is GONE before you recognize them for all that they gave us???)
37. Jim Croce - Giving whole new meaning to the term singer / songwriter ... as well as taking the role of "storyteller" to a whole new level, Croce's career was cut WAY to short. There is NO telling what else this man had in store for us. If you can't induct him for the greatness he showed us in his all too brief career, then induct him as yet another one of Rock And Roll's tragic heroes. And you may as well go right ahead and induct Croce's guitarist Maury Muehleisen into the Sidemen Category, too, because there was NO finer compliment to an artist than Maury's EXQUISET guitar-playing. He, too, sadly perished in the same plane crash as Big Jim.
38. The Ventures - One of the most popular and successful instrumental groups of all time ... how many kids did THESE guys inspire to pick up a guitar for the very first time??? (NOTE: Finally inducted in 2008, 48 years after their first chart record ... yet The Red Hot Chili Peppers stand a good chance of being inducted on their very first ballot. Go figure!)
39. Grand Funk Railroad - You CAN'T induct Black Sabbath and NOT induct Grand Funk Railroad. These two artists were pretty much ALWAYS lumped together back in the day and sold GAZILLIONS of albums, making "Heavy Metal" fashionable in the process. The BIG difference between the two is that Grand Funk Railroad ALSO placed songs regularly on the SINGLES chart, too. Black Sabbath NEVER did that!!! Although their album sales were comparable, Grand Funk Railroad placed EIGHT of their LPs in The Top Ten ... Black Sabbath accomplished this feat only once ... yet it's Black Sabbath who's been enshrined in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, NOT Grand Funk Railroad!!! (Memo to Mark Farner: Have you ever considered biting the head off of a bat to up your "street-cred"???)
40. Petula Clark - Another one of the most popular female voices of the '60's, Clark scored hit after hit after hit.
These were your original choices, circa 2007. Feel free to send your "Deserving And Denied" nominations again, and we'll update this list again before induction time. (kk)
THIS JUST IN: Scott Shannon will soon be airing a "Rock And Roll Hall Of Shame" Weekend on The True Oldies Channel, too ... featuring artists nominated by the True Oldies Listeners that they believe have been COMPLETELY overlooked by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee.
You can tune in and Listen Live here:
Click here: True Oldies Channel
OUR BIG PUSH RIGHT NOW IS THE TRUE OLDIES CHANNEL / ROCK & ROLL HALL OF "SHAME" WEEKEND! SPOTLIGHTING THE GREAT ARTISTS WHO ARE GETTING THE THE SHAFT FROM JANN WENNER & THE HALL OF FAME CREW. HERES THE LIST SO FAR THAT WE'VE COMPILED WITH FEEDBACK FROM THE TRUE OLDIES LISTENERS:
THE HOLLIES (NOMINATED BUT NOT IN YET)
HALL & OATES
THREE DOG NIGHT
JUST GO THRU THE LIST OF ARTISTS WHO HAVE BEEN PLACED IN THE HALL SO FAR, AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW SOME OF THE NAMES MADE IT IN BEFORE THESE PEOPLE; IT'S ABSOLUTELY MIND BOGGLING.
EXAMPLES: LEONARD COHEN, PERCY SLEDGE, PATTI SMITH, GRAND MASTER FLASH, ETC.
I KNOW THEY ARE ALL FINE ARTISTS, BUT DID THEY IMPACT POP MUSIC LIKE ANY OF THE NAMES LISTED ABOVE?
Check out The Top 40 Deserving And Denied Artists nominated by OUR readers and you'll see that ALL of these artists made our list as well. Happy to pass this along ... and encourage our readers to send in THEIR nominees to: firstname.lastname@example.org.