Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Of Your Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Comments

Every time we mention The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, we get HUNDREDS of comments from our readers regarding the whole nominating / selection process ... so naturally last week was no exception.

Here are just a few of the more thought-provoking things you guys had to say:

Hi Kent:
I'm amazed that any Oldies Fans can have a conversation about who should be in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ... and not mention Jack Scott.
The Problem with the choices made for induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ... and most other Hall of Fames ... comes down to one simple thing ... Criteria.
They don't have one.
Let's see if we can come up with Criteria For PERFORMERS:
1) Career Dates: The earlier you began your success, the more points you achieve. Making Rock and Roll Records in The '50s when many churches were burning them and many radio stations were breaking them ... did not appear to be a long term career option.
5 points for Pre-1955 (true pioneer)
4 points for 1956-1959 (Elvis takes it Mainstream)
3 points for 1960-1963 (post payola.)
2 points for 1964-1975 (contributing to The Beatle Wave or succeeding in spite of it)
1 point - 1975-Present (being inspired by Everyone)
2) Number of Top 40 Chart Records (Billboard) One point for each record.
3) You ALSO wrote / co-wrote (one point for each Top 40 record)
4) You ALSO Produced (one point for each Top 40 record )
5) You ALSO played a Musical Instrument (one point for each Top 40 record)
The Next Step is to decide how many "points" are required to be inducted. I'd suggest it might be between 10 and 15. We would have to establish a different Criteria for nominees who were exclusively writers, producers etc.
What do you think Kent?
Warren Cosford
Co-producer The Story of The Beatles (12 hours 1970)
Production Manager The Elvis Presley Story (12 hours 1975)
Production Manager The Evolution of Rock (64 hours 1977)
Manager: CHUM / CHUM-FM Toronto, WDRE New York, CJBK / BX-93 London, CKLW / 89X / CKWW / 93.9 THE RIVER, Windsor / Detroit
P.S. I almost forgot ... my purpose was to make an argument for Jack Scott. With 19 Billboard Charted Records in the 41 months between June 1958 and November 1961, I think he'd make it under the "Chart Criteria" alone.
That he wrote all his Chart Records with the exception of 1 ... I think he'd make it as a writer.
That he produced all his Chart Records on the Carlton Label ... I think he'd make it as a producer.
Scroll down to see Dick Clark introduce Jack Scott on American Bandstand singing The Way I Walk. Jack felt he hadn't finished the song but label owner Joe Carlton convinced him to record what he had done so far ... and then, to Jack's surprise ... released it as a single.
Robert Gordon's version was ... somewhat notoriously ... featured in Natural Born Killers (at the 2:20 mark of this clip from the movie)
And then ... of course ... there was The Cramps
And for The Last Word on the earliest days of U.S. Rock and Roll check the attached

As you know, my BIGGEST beef with The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame all along has been their failure to determine a criteria for consideration regarding induction to their hallowed halls. Your point system seems to make perfect sense ... but The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame seems to go out of their way to tell us that popularity and chart success carry absolutely NO weight with their choices ... and, to their credit (or would that be DIScredit) they successfully continue prove this point year after year after year.
Actually, I am of the belief that they really DO have a point system ... they just don't publicize it.
For example, if Jann Wenner likes you and wants you in, you earn forty points ... and an immediate spot on the ballot, forcing all voting members to consider you, whether they actually believe that you're worthy or not.
If you were at one time an Atlantic Records recording artist (this was particularly true when Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame co-founder Ahmet Ertegun was still alive), that earns you twenty points. (And the ghost of Ahmet still holds some clout ... witness this year's nominees Joe Tex, Chic, Chuck Willis, Dr. John and The J. Geils Band!)
And, if you're willing to shell out $10,000 a piece for a table or two at the induction ceremony, you can probably get one of YOUR label artists on the ballot, too.
Of course NONE of this has anything whatsoever to do with talent, artistic achievement or inspiration ... or furthering the genre known as "rock and roll" .. all of which was supposedly the very foundation the museum was reportedly built on in the first place ... but trust me ... there IS a criteria point system in place ... they just don't like to talk about it! (kk)
P.S. While Jack Scott put together an impressive run of hits in the late '50's and early '60's ... and he has been mentioned by a few of our readers in the past as being worthy of consideration ... he is hardly what we'd consider a "front runner" in the over-looked, Deserving And Denied category ... not based on the opinion of the "masses" out there anyway. Besides, how many Canadian Artists does The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame really need?!?!? They continue to ignore the likes of The Guess Who, Paul Anka, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot and Bachman-Turner Overdrive on a regular basis ... why on earth would they consider Jack Scott??? (In fact, is there ANY Canadian Artist in The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame other than Neil Young???) kk

Here are a few of my Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame comments:
Bon Jovi -- I am not a fan. I consider them to be lower class Springsteen. However they have legions of fans, sell out arenas and are definitely RRHOF worthy.
Neil Diamond -- wrote and sang many classics -- a definite YES.
Donna Summer -- don't tell me disco is not rock and roll. I definitely consider her to be more rocking than let's say James Taylor. I see disco as a late 70s extension of Motown and Philly soul. Donna, along with KC and the Bee Gees, was one of the three dominant disco artists. She rocked out on Hot Stuff -- definite YES.
The rest are either cult artists [Dr. John, Tom Waits], writers [Laura Nyro], minor Atlantic artists [Chuck Willis, Joe Tex] or second tier rockers [J. Geils, Alice Cooper] or others.
I'm a huge fan of Darlene Love. Her solo hits should have hit #1 but they didn't come close. She did great backup work with the Blossoms, especially on the Johnny Rivers records. I'd consider her.
Chic had a four hit career [two #1s] and the nucleus was involved in many big disco / dance hits of the 70s and 80s including We Are Family, I'm Coming Out, Upside Down, the entire Bowie Let's Dance album, and the Honeydrippers album.
I hate rap but it is included and LL Cool J was a big 80s artist. I guess I'd include him.
Mark the Shark
While I do believe Darlene Love belongs in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I really have to question how HER name made the ballot before Johnny Rivers' did, especially in light of the fact that you cite her as worthy for her background vocal work on Rivers' hit records!
Overall, I think it's a pretty good list this year ... as I mentioned the other day, we've seen more and more of our Deserving And Denied Artists making the ballot since we started publicly bitching and complaining a few years ago. (Not that I believe for a millisecond that Jann Wenner has ever read a single word I've written ... but The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland certainly knows who we are ... we got all kinds of correspondence from them when our big Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Series ran a few years ago! Museum President Terry Stewart even cancelled his scheduled Forgotten Hits Interview after we published the Fox News Report regarding The Dave Clark Five being snubbed in favor of a Rap Act ... and when we started appearing on a variety of oldies radio shows around the country, letting fans know who ISN'T in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I don't think we won over any RRHF staff or supporters! (kk)

Hi Kent:

Do they really pay some fool $400,000 to make up the finalist list for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? That seems completely insane, being that almost anybody could do it in a half hour with a six pack! Sounds like a Government job!
Hey, on numerous occassions I've offered to take on the job for HALF the money ... but still no takers! (kk)

Hey Kent ...
Have you seen this article?
Hall of fame should consider Spaniels, Vee Jay matriarch :: Entertainment :: Post-Tribune
I say YES to the Spaniels ... what do you say ?
If they ever recorded an album with Joe Cocker, they'd be known as The Cockerspaniels. Lol!
Sorry about that one.
Frank B.

Now THAT's a show I would pay to go and see! (kk)

IMHO, the most overlooked group that doesn't even make the overlooked list is Jan & Dean. They had solid (and #1) hits in several eras and styles. Baby Talk. Surf City. Their comedic approach (T.A.M.I. and the Batman comedy album) . . .
Actually, there have been quite a few votes cast for Jan and Dean amongst our readers ... and personally, for all that's been written over the years regarding Jan Berry's "musical genius", I'm a little surprised that they HAVEN'T been inducted yet. (Maybe it's the novelty songs that have made their rightful place there seem a little bit doubtful??? I believe this factor has also drastically hurt The Monkees in this regard.)
I, for one, absolutely agree that there should be a spot for these guys in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (kk)

I thought I'd send along a little Neil Diamond stuff after reading how he was on the "sick list" of possible Hall of Fame inductees.
I am certainly happy with Donovan and Alice Cooper, while Bon Jovi and J. Geils would deserve consideration if there were about 100 more deserving in there already.
The rest?
Some are good writers or R&B or rappers or whatever, but not really rock 'n roll. Donovan deserves it mainly because he was a huge influence on the 60's rock scene, even if most of his songs were more folky.
That brings us to Neil Diamond.
Personally, I am sick of this guy's departure from his 60's roots. In the 70's, he went all mellow on us. "Forever in Blue Jeans" was his most upbeat song? He did good songs in the 70's and 80's, but what happened to "Brother Love" and "Cherry, Cherry"?? Oh yeah, the great "Crunchy Granola Suite" was 70's, so he did one, right?
And Please, NO MORE "Sweet Caroline" at sports events!
Neil had great music in the late 60's and great music in the 70's, too, but it was just too much mellow stuff.
Bang actually helped us believe in the early 70's by re-releasing old rock songs to battle the new Uni "Walk On Water". It's no wonder "Do It" almost over took the new track, "He Ain't Heavy" when they were released simultaniously.
Bang should have warned us of the upcoming schmaltz by reissuing "I Got the Feelin' (Oh No No)".
Neil deserves Hall of Fame votes, but for his 60's days only.
The 80's? He was "Headed for the Future and the future was BAD!"
Don't get me started on his screaming live concerts today.
Maybe you'll "laugh when it (is) all done, for (him) being done to soon"??
Clark Besch
When we put together our list of Top 20 Greatest Neil Diamond songs for The True Oldies Channel (airing tomorrow, by the way, all over the world thanks to their online streaming ... and on about a hundred terrestrial radio stations around the country, too ... check the website for complete "Listen Live" details or a radio station near you) ... I was AMAZED by how Neil's Top 20 Biggest Hits actually fell when put in "hit order" ... I ultimately had to RE-DO the list to better reflect the music that made him Hall Of Fame-worthy in the first place. (That's why we're calling it Neil Diamond's 20 GREATEST Hits instead of his 20 BIGGEST Hits ... an actual list of Neil Diamond's Top 20 Biggest Hits puts his duet with Barbra Streisand, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" at #1 ... and also includes schmaltz like "Love On The Rocks", "Hello Again" and "America" from "The Jazz Singer" Soundtrack, his tribute to E.T. "Heartlight", "Longfellow Serenade", "September Morn", the aforementioned "Walk On Water", "Play Me", "Desiree" and "If You Know What I Mean".
Factor in dreck like his "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" hits "Be" and "Skybird", along with often over-the-top ballads like "Play Me", "Soolaimon", "Until It's Time For Me To Go" and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and pretty soon all you've done is built an iron-clad case as to why he should NOT be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!!!
And that's the LAST thing we want to do ... we've campaigned for Neil's rightful inclusion for YEARS now ... and we heartily congratulate him on FINALLY making the ballot!
Our purpose tomorrow is to salute the songs that got him there in the first place. (As far as I'm concerned, most of Neil's post-1975 recordings seem to fall into the "Spoken Word" category rather than the "Rock And Roll" category!)
But we have to remember that along the way Neil ALSO gave us GREAT rock and roll tracks like "Solitary Man", "Cherry Cherry", "I Got The Feelin'", "You Got To Me", "I Thank The Lord For The Night Time", "Kentucky Woman", "Red Red Wine", "Two Bit Manchild", "Sunday Sun", "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show", "Shilo", "Cracklin' Rosie", "Do It", "Crunchy Granola Suite", "Done Too Soon", "Song Sung Blue", "I'm A Believer", "Sweet Caroline" and "Forever In Blue Jeans". His early ballads "Holly Holy", "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" "I Am, I Said" and "Stones" spoke to us in a very special way. Then he went all theatrical on us, leaving all of his '60's rock fans behind and building instead an audience of screaming, panties-throwing blue-haired ladies!!!
Tomorrow's Top 20 Countdown encompasses the best of BOTH worlds ... yes, you'll still find tracks like "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and "Love On The Rocks" on the list ... because there's simply no denying that these were HUGE hits in their own right ... but you'll also find some of the "rockers" that you just don't hear on the radio all that much anymore, too ... and, depending on how many "extras" Scott Shannon is able to slip in along the way, maybe even a few surprises.
So please tune in tomorrow to The True Oldies Channel and listen to our very special Tribute To Neil Diamond ... Click here: True Oldies Channel

Even better ... now we'll get an even BIGGER variety of Neil Diamond hit music (including a few of my obscure favorites like "Brooklyn Roads", "You Got To Me" and "Kentucky Woman"!) kk