We’ve been running our list of THE TOP 40 MOST DESERVING AND DENIED ARTISTS worthy of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction since 2007, updating it periodically along the way.
To be fair, a good percentage of the artists who appeared on our original list way back then HAVE since been inducted to The Rock Hall.
These artists include:
Chicago, Neil Diamond and The Hollies, all of whom made our original Top Five …
(Connie Francis and The Guess Who, ranked at #1 and #3 respectively by your votes at the time, STILL haven’t gotten in … or even been nominated … and both still appear on our current Top 40 List, although Connie Francis has dropped from #1 down to #18. At this point, it is HIGHLY unlikely that she will EVER be voted in … most of her original fan base has already left us … and let’s face it, the music SHE created didn’t appeal to the masses worldwide or leave a lasting impression on the music scene the way other artists like recent nominees NWA [Niggaz Wit Attitudes] did, right???)
The Moody Blues, The Dave Clark Five, ABBA, Linda Ronstadt, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Genesis, Yes, The Zombies, The Doobie Brothers, John “Cougar” Mellencamp, The Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Jett and The Ventures have also since gained induction. (Several of our “Runners Up” choices have also since been inducted … but 16 out of 40 (40%), impressive as it may be, STILL doesn’t take into account the fact that SO many of these other great names on this list have never been so much as recognized.
That’s right, folks …
Somehow, someway, not only have THESE artists have not been inducted …
But in many (in fact, most!) cases, they have never even been nominated!!!
We’ve been saying for years now that The Rock Hall ought to have a “catch-up” year where they mass induct a group of artists who, for one reason or another, slipped thru the cracks over the years … and, in the process, made The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame look COMPLETELY stupid, out of touch and noncredible in the process.
So while we didn’t take an actual poll this year to come up with a new, revised Top 40 List, we HAVE been monitoring your comments over the past several years … and feel that this is a pretty fair representation as to what the majority of you out there are thinking. (New comments and suggestions are welcome.)
THE TOP 40 MOST DESERVING AND DENIED ARTISTS
1. The Guess Who (What’s the deal here? The Rock Hall has never been kind to Canadian artists … but THESE guys [rhymes with “These Eyes”]outsold ALL of the other Canadian artists COMBINED at their peak)
2. Chubby Checker (Seriously, already … #1 TWICE with “The Twist.” The SONG finally got inducted … time to FINALLY honor the man who set the country on its heels (literally) twistin’ the night away.)
3. Ed Sullivan (seriously, how can Ed NOT be in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame??? He brought Rock and Roll into our living rooms for 20+ years and made it acceptable. An appearance on Ed’s show GUARANTEED a HUGE increase in record sales … and chart position … the following week)
4. Carole King (nominated this year … one of the most prolific and best selling songwriters of our generation)
5. Three Dog Night (THREE lead vocalists … and the #1 Group in the World for YEARS … The Rock Hall is supposed to recognize artists who took rock in a new direction … what better example is there than THESE guys??? Not to mention the fact that their recording your song made hit songwriters out of countless “unknowns” at the time)
6. Glen Campbell (Forget his solo career, if you must … despite the fact that he RULED the charts for two decades as a solo performer. Now figure in the HUNDREDS of recording sessions he played on with The Wrecking Crew. And, for good measure, throw in the fact that he even toured as a member of The Beach Boys for a short while. Enough is enough already … this guy BELONGS in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame more than half the people that are already in there!)
7. Billy Preston (Ditto for Billy Preston … yes, he did a stint with The Beatles … and had a few hits of his own in the ‘70’s … but Billy’s career dates back to the mid-‘50’s when he was touring as part of Little Richard’s band!)
8. Pat Benatar (Joan Jett is in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Pat Benatar ISN’T?!?! Could there BE a greater insult? And you guys say that YOU know music!!!)
9. Tommy James and the Shondells (Again, LONG overdue for induction … songs he wrote in the ‘60’s are STILL being covered … and becoming hits … decades later. Plus his story is one of a TRUE Rock And Roll Survivor. Give this man his due, already!)
10. Paul Anka (The Canadian Curse strikes again. One of rock’s early pop stars, besides his own incredible catalog of music, Anka has written hits for everybody from Tom Jones to Frank Sinatra to Buddy Holly!!!)
11. Todd Rundgren (nominated this year – as an artist, a producer, an innovator, Todd is another one that should have been inducted YEARS ago)
12. Neil Sedaka (Ditto Neil Sedaka … another early rock pioneer with a songwriting gift that lit up all our hearts)
13. The Turtles (I guess “Good Time Rock And Roll” doesn’t count, eh? Then how about, in addition to their OWN classic, their work with Bruce Springsteen and Frank Zappa, BOTH Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees.)
14. Jethro Tull (Another innovator wrongly ignored … who else was adding FLUTE to rock and roll songs at the time … and ELECTRIC flute no less!)
15. Heart (The Sisterhood MUST be recognized … they rocked like no other female led bands)
16. Styx (Theater Rock, Hard Rock, Melodic Rock, Beautiful Love Songs … these guys can … and DID … it all. It took FOREVER to get Chicago inducted … maybe it’s time to look at other Illinois acts like Styx and Cheap Trick … and Jim Peterik for his work with The Ides Of March, Survivor, .38 Special and several other key names on rock’s Who’s Who list ... so let's give a nod to Jimbo, too!)
17. Blood, Sweat And Tears (or, at the very least, Al Kooper) Horn rock pioneers
18. Jan and Dean (They’ve been eligible … and ignored for decades. It’s time to put these guys in The Hall)
19. Connie Francis (Brenda Lee is in … and has been for DECADES … yet Connie Francis, her chart equal and an international star, is not. We need to fix this while Connie is still with us)
20. Johnny Rivers (A constant favorite … he pioneered the live rock album and still performs countless shows each year)
21. Freddy Cannon (Freddy put the “Boom Boom” in Rock And Roll. Yes, he was a Bandstand favorite … and that trademark has probably hurt more artists than it has helped … but THIS guy could rock!)
22. Poco (forerunners to country rock … there is absolutely NO excuse for these guys not being in!)
23. Dick Dale (The King of Surf Guitar … nominated … but never making the cut)
24. Paul Revere and the Raiders (More “Feel Good” Rock, these guys rocked out with the best of them)
25. Grand Funk Railroad (At one point, when Album Rock took over the charts, they were outselling The Beatles … and built their initial audience without the help of hit singles. Then, in 1973, they hooked up with Todd Rundgren … ALSO nominated above … and had a string of hits on the charts)
26. The Monkees (Say what you will … but these guys inspired nearly as many kids to go out and buy drums and guitars as anybody … partly because they made it all look so fun … and partly because they were just that damn good! Never off the air, EVERY generation since the ‘60’s has discovered and fallen in love with The Monkees … as such, they are frozen in time … and their records continue to sell … and, much like Rick Nelson did in the ‘50’s, they proved the power of television when it came to rock music)
27. Emerson, Lake and Palmer (There are a handful of bands that took rock in a new direction “progressively” … and ELP was one of the best)
28. Procol Harum (Procol Harum did, too, a few years earlier, even performing with a full orchestra to make their point. Their music was damn near classical … but most DEFINITELY Classic Rock. Then again, look how long it took to finally get The Moody Blues inducted!)
29. The Go-Go’s (Another rare girl group that played their own instruments and carved out a piece of the rock audience in the 1980’s. This era couldn’t be better represented than by allowing The Go-Go’s their spot in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame … and they ARE nominated again this year … so cast your votes now!)
30. The Marvelettes (one of the few Motown acts never inducted … and another Girl Group, albeit one that didn’t play their own instruments. It is a real slight to have The Marvelettes be the only big name Motown Act NOT in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. They have been nominated before … time to finally give them their due)
31. Joe Cocker (He virtually stole Woodstock. For many of us, that was the first time we had ever heard … or seen … Joe Cocker … and SEEING him was half the treat. A GREAT interpreter of other people’s music, with a unique voice and stage presence … this guy absolutely belongs in The Rock Hall)
32. Peter, Paul And Mary (The Folk Movement isn’t very well represented in The Rock Hall … but if definitely WAS a thing!)
33. Harry Nilsson (An incredible talent … The Beatles once said that Nilsson was their favorite American band! And then he went on to work with John and Ringo during their solo careers. Quirky … insane (?) … but brilliant … and just overflowing with creativity and ideas.
34. Jim Croce (Another one of rock’s tragedies … there is no telling what else Jim Croce might have achieved had he not died in a plane crash at the peak of his career. One of the best storytellers of our time, Jim could invent ridiculous characters and make them seem real. Leonard Cohen is in, primarily for his “narrative” … but most people don’t even know his work. Jim Croce, on the other hand, captured the hearts of the entire world when he burst on the scene in 1972. And now that I’ve said that, Harry Chapin should be inducted, too … so I guess #34 is really a tie!)
35. Toto (There are a lot of Toto haters out there … and I don’t understand why. Being musical geniuses in the studio has earned many another artist their spot in The Hall as a session musician … and we’ve made a case today for a few more … but these guys also wrote and performed their OWN music … and quite brilliantly at that)
36. America (Covering all styles of music, America has been packing them in for SIX decades now … do not deny them their rightful spot in The Hall)
37. Pat Boone (Pat just keeps sliding further and further down the list with each passing year. The people voting today don’t even know who he is … but at the time, he was second only to Elvis in sales and popularity … and brought R&B into the homes of White America from coast to coast, eventually wearing down our defenses to make this music not only acceptable … but credible as to the TRUE contribution it made on Rock And Roll Music overall)
38. The Association (harmony deluxe, this group crossed over to both the teenage and adult fans)
39. The Searchers (EVERY American group wanted to be The Searchers … or at least be able to pull off those incredible harmonies)
40. Dickie Goodman (C’mon … this guy invented sampling … we just didn’t know it until forty years later!)
Unfortunately, THIS year you can only vote for the sixteen names on the Class of 2021 Ballot … but start campaigning now for YOUR favorites and let’s make a little noise. Sooner or later SOMEBODY of importance and influence has got to listen!!!
You can vote once a day until the polls close … and vote for as many as five of the artists that you feel are most deserving. The final nominees will be announced in May, with the induction ceremony taking place this fall.