Go to the NEW FORUM
Here we go.
This is the thread for the first Hall of Acclaim election.
Just to recap everything one more time: this is the 1960 election, theoretically taking place on January 1, 1960. Each voter will select what they consider the ten most deserving artists—based ONLY on their recorded output through the end of 1959.
For a rundown of 50 noteworthy candidates, including their most acclaimed pre-1960 work, see the second post in this thread.
For your ballot to be eligible, you must submit a ranked list of your ten most deserving artists. Also, for your top FIVE artists (at least), you must explain why they deserve to be in the HOA.
In addition, eligible voters may nominate up to three people for (what I have decided we will call) the Backstage Wing of the HOA. This is optional; your ballot will still be eligible even if you don’t vote for Backstage candidates (Details in a follow-up post).
Deadline for ballots is 12:00 noon GMT (6:00 am where I am), Tuesday, July 8.
Shortly after the election closes, I will post the first four inductees to the HOA. Also on that day, I’ll open the discussion thread for the 1961 election.
If anyone has any questions, or needs something clarified, don’t be shy. It’s been a long road to get here since I first started dropping hints about six months ago, and I think this is the kickoff of one of our coolest projects yet.
Voting starts now!
The Backstage Wing of the HOA is open to anybody who is not a “named performer,” but who has made important contributions to the production or promotion of music. This can include studio musicians, sidemen or backup singers (who are not "official" members of an eligible band), studio producers, DJs, managers, concert promoters, inventors, journalists, critics, and anyone else who substantially contributed to the acclaimed music we’re honoring with the HOA.
The same chronological rules apply: for the 1960 election, candidates will be eligible for their contributions made through 1959.
You may vote for one, two, or three candidates. (Or none, for that matter.) If you vote for one candidate, that candidate gets 3 points. If you vote for two candidates, your #1 gets 3 points and your #2 gets 2 points. And if you vote for three candidates, #1 gets 3, #2 gets 2, #3 gets 1.
OPTION: You can vote for multiple candidates but not rank them. In that case, each person you nominate gets 2 points.
Only one person will be inducted into the Backstage Wing per year.
For this first election (and the following ones) my picking of artists will be mainly based, not on my personal tastes but on the influence those artists had on rock music, because AM is a rock site. So, for the first election, the focus is on the creation of rock 'n' roll which has turned to a personal obsession.
1. Elvis Presley : As I said before, Elvis is the beginning of rock 'n' roll. Every performer in the ten following years was struck by his TV appearances or his records. He was an excellent singer and musician, he was very hot, he had an extraordinary, somehow instinctive knowledge of black and white Southern music that made rock 'n' roll. Of course he fell in the big trap set by the record industry. Of course he didn't write his own material, but not a lot of performers really did that in the fifties. He was the king, as Neil Young says in one of his songs. And he deserves this first and symbolic induction. I know the younger generations who still think history of rock started with Dylan's, the Beach Boys and Beatles' great albums of the mid-'60s don't get that, but he was the master of these forgotten times and the embodiment of that new music.
2. Chuck Berry : " If importance in popular music were measured in terms of imaginativeness, creativeness, wit, the ability to translate a variety of experiences and feelings into musical form, and long-term influence and reputation, Chuck Berry would be described as the major figure of rock 'n' roll". He is, Mr Gillett. Listen to early Beatles and Stones singles.
3. Hank Williams Sr : 1947's "Move It On Over" is rock 'n' roll 7 years before. The melody is very close to "Rock Around The Clock". More generally, he was the father and creator of honky tonk style which mixed together all the black-influenced pre-war country styles (old time, western swing and bluegrass), adding drums, bass and guitar for the first time, close to the rock combo.
4. Frank Sinatra : a representative of pre '50s pop music, and the first real star in the sense that his image was as important as his music. And he could sing, with his personal way. Sorry to quote Gillett again, but his English is better than mine : "(he) rejected the style of singing that encouraged the audience to sing along with him, and instead took risks with melodies, improvising his own timing of phrases by stretching some syllables and cutting others. The effect was a personal style that gave specific meaning even to songs written as conventional "general" love songs."
5. Fats Domino : hugely influential in R&B, he was the one who made the New Orleans sound popular, with this rhythm (Buddy Holly from nearby Texas took a lot from him). He was a r&b star before rock 'n' roll ever existed, then shifted to rock’n roll without changing his music. And then he was one of the biggest sellers of the era.
6. Bill Haley & the Comets : see my posts in the old thread
7. Duke Ellington : He's my jazz pick. The best of the big band leaders, and composer of countless standards
8. Leadbelly : I don’t want to be too pushy towards my favourite artists, but Lead had a lot of influence, even in in 1960 on the folk movement (The Weavers had a tremendous hits with "Irene") , and in England on Lonnie Donnegan (who delivers a stunning imitation of Lead on "Rock Island Line"). So he influenced both skiffle anf the folk movement of the ‘60s, and then , much later, Kurt Cobain. His the archertypal blues-folk singer in the sense that his story is as important and relevant as his works.
9. Louis Jordan : As I said before, there is no major r&b figure (except maybe Chicago bluesmen but their time will come later). Charlie Gillett favors Roy Brown which is not a bad idea, but I prefer Louis Jordan. He was both popular and full of talent, and his hits sound like rock n roll records. The influence on Bill Haley is obvious, but Haley put more emphasize on the beat. And it was recorded in January 1946, so one year before Good rocking Tonight by Roy Brown and 5 years before Rocket 88. I’ve been listening to a lot of music of this era, and to my ears it’s the first hit that really sounds like rock’n roll. And it had a big success on the black and white audiences as well, like Fats, Chuck and Little Richard would have 10 years later.
10. Jimmie Rodgers : the major pre-war country artist, a little more bluesy and rock in his style and way of life than the Carter Family.
1. Alan Freed : the importance of radio in the 1950s was crucial, as schleuse wrote. Some DJs took the risk to play rock 'n' roll records (who were all made by independant companies at the time), and Alan Freed was the most important. He named his show "moondog rock 'n' roll party" as early as 1951!
2. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller : they were fantastic songwriters, from "Hound Dog" to the great Drifters and Coasters songs, and they introduced the role of the independant producer, paving the way for Phil Spector
3. Ahmet Ertegun : Founder of Atlantic Records, the main R&B New York-based label, he was the one who discovered Ray Charles, and produced a huge number of R&B classics in the '50s with Herb Abramson then Jerry Wexler, including tunes by Professor Longhair, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Clyde Mc Phatter, etc...
01. Billie Holiday
_the voice of everything. whether late night
leisure or early morning rain, wether flame-eyed
melancholy or stone cold devotion, you just might
end up with that 3.99 compilation from some
supermarket's rummage pile and suddenly feel
redeemed. as if that woman had sacrificed every
remaining part of her sanguinity to make moon
born melancholy a place worth living amid the
depths of pure abysmal grief..
02. Charlie Christian
_the birth of the birth. electricity.. guitar
tribes... McLuhanism... ..despite of the public
eye of its time (say 1956/57), Rock'n'Roll
was more than a sketchy infant LamaRamaDingDong-
novelty or a virgin amplifier of another restless
baby boomer bawling. it had already grown up. and
it had enough teeth to bite everyone and
everything else's arse. due to daddy Christian,
3. Charlie Parker
_role model for Shane McGowan, Sly Stone, Amy
Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, Pete Doherty, Peter
Parker, Amy Winehouse... that's why he's here...
oh, and he did some music, too. beatlebop or so -
04. Robert Johnson
_unscripted author of American Dionysus (d: James
Whale) and a modern myth of pure minded avidity.
there's a last heart-shaped crack in the gravel
05. Mamie Smith
_milestone engraving: a frisky Ohio outcome turned
vaudeville into deeper shades of blue while saving
laugh lines for her tears and making pop
06. Professor Longhair
07. Bessie Smith
08. Duke Ellington
09. Dinah Washington
10. Richard Berry/The Pharaohs
backstage shades to follow...
1. Daniel Auber
The plinth of chimerism inoculable, obcordate yet cultrate, like fictile rinderpest in dalles chez didappers, shaggy vis-a-vis mutated vespine affenpinschers - & inabjureable an temblor pending a heteromorphic skellum's sort of ambuscade that fancies gorgonization of yeself til you relent, either to introjection or in memoriam of lues - non obstante whether but a prelibation, that! - before you see em pirouette rooooooound and join a strange kind of forby miscegenation - janissaric - pursuant to sounds you'd hear from bathysperes astraddle ultradian skies, congruent modulo silabub - now azure now pink now a haboob, and peduncles' jabots even flooding the whole, afoul of it! malgre your drown in chandelles, hegira or efflux no one knows. Cambric alongside limicolous; minus the winze of the Getting There, you know. Not even seppuku crossed with sanpaku will save you if you're frae the over with the done - done done done that, and no, OVER'N ABOVE, ya cannae palliate such wonders try as you might've would've, but you shan't. Rhytidectomy of the soul. A cheeky catastrophe. Wear your grigri if you must.
2. Henryk Wieniawski
Your melody's beauty dangles from the lianas of my thoughts
Well above the overgrowth of weeds your other charms have left below.
3. Mieczysław Karłowicz
Diaphanous, bedizzzzzzen. What could be better?
4. Washboard Sam
Unexplainable. Incalculably sublime.
5. Mississippi Fred McDowell
Also. Sad he's known for The Rolling Stones' cover nowdays.
6. Paranthropus Boisei
7. Richard Wagner
Little to be said here.
8. Anne Louise Boyvin d'Hardancourt Brillon de Jouy
More important than anyone will admit.
9. Johann Nepomuk Hummel
The true bridge between muziks.
Guilty pleasure. Sue me.
1. Little Richard- Nobody even compares to him pre-1964. The energy is amazing and his original catalog is deeper than any pop artist at that time.
2. Buddy Holly and the Crickets- Not that deep of a catalog but you can't beat the quality at this time.
3. Frank Sinatra- A collection of great standards that nobody has ever done better. A lot of great music came out after 1959 but he has more than enough at this time to get him in.
4. Elvis- I have to vote for him now because this is the great Elvis. There are definitely songs that would make his resume stronger in 60-62 but he deserves a first ballot entry.
5. Art Blakely- One classic album with other work that is pretty good should get you into the hall and Moanin' is one classic album.
6. Nat King Cole- Seems to be relegated to Christmas time but this guy was almost as good as Frank when it comes to crooning.
7. Coasters- The next three are artists who have 3-4 essential songs pre-1960. I wanted to go with a complete catalog first but I think each of these three artists deserve to be in on the merits of a few classic songs. There were a couple more artists who fit the same criteria but I narrowed it down to these three.
8. Jackie Wilson
9. Lloyd Price
10. Chuck Berry- In respect to his importance. I don't listen to the music much but there's no doubt he should be in first ballot.
1. Bo Diddley: One of the founding fathers of rock & roll. The only musician in history to have a rhythm named after him (the Bo Diddley beat). His debut single "Bo Diddley"/"I'm A Man", recorded in March 1955, is now widely acclaimed as one of the most influential debut singles of all-time and his November 1955 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, as the first rock & roll performance on TV.
2. Chuck Berry: One of the founding fathers of rock & roll. "The Poet Laureate of Rock".
3. Little Richard: One of the founding fathers of rock & roll and still one of the most explosive performers around.
4. Muddy Waters: Played a huge role in forging the link between the Mississippi Delta and the electric Chicago blues that spawned rock & roll.
5. Howlin' Wolf: The biggest voice in Chicago blues and a major influence on the British rhythm & blues scene in the 1960s.
6. Fats Domino
7. Big Joe Turner
8. The Coasters
9. The Drifters
10. The Platters
1. Willie Dixon: Chess Records songwriter, musician, session player, arranger, producer and manager.
I think Chicago bluesmen like Muddy or the Wolf (and Delta bluesmen like RJ) shouldn't be nominated as early as 1960 because at that time, they were unknown to most rockers.
Personnally I will vote for them circa 1964-65 when the British boom (and notably the Rolling Stones) and Us white blues groups like Butterfield reintroduced these great artists.
It's a question of historical accurancy.
I went over the smae dilemma in my mind nicolas, when to vote for the bluesmen. Ultimately I decided that this is a game not based on reality and as such I needn't go back as a rock 1960 critic or rocker but rather as an omniscient being of musical knowledge upto that point of time. I will take into account recorded output and impact/influence they had on their audiences and direct musical followers. I find it just as important that Robert Johnson influenced Muddy Waters (who already had several charted Billboard hits by this time)than his influence on later white rockers. I look at this as an oppurtunity to revise history due to social injustices rather than duplicate it. I think historical accuracy (from a "thinking at the time" standpoint) in this game would be boring.
So we should come to an agreement about that : has it got to be realistic or idealistic (hope that latter word is English) ?
This would lead to very different lists on my part.
Muddy and Robert Johnson would be there from the start
I think "realism" vs. "idealism" captures the distinction nicely. And I think either one could work.
nicolas, the choice between the two is entirely up to you. Each voter will have their own ideas about what is good and proper.
Me, I incline more toward the "idealist" side of things--what is the HOA, if not idealistic?--although I'm still emphasizing rock on the first ballot. Robert Johnson, my highest-ranked bluesman, just misses my ballot this time at #11...but that's still higher than he "really" would have been ranked in 1960.
1. HANK WILLIAMS. Of the major divisions of post-1950 pop music, no genre owes as much to any one artist as country owes to Hank. As nicolas notes in his ballot, above, Hank was not just country, but proto-rock (imagine “Move It On Over” or “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” played with electric guitar…as, in fact, they have been, thousands of times). The marriage of country and rock hasn’t always been a happy one, but rock has been better and more flexible because of it. And, of course, Hank was no small influence on the next person down on the list....
2. ELVIS PRESLEY. Would rock & roll have existed without Elvis? Probably. White people had already been playing in other African-American musical idioms, and it’s almost inevitable that others would have taken up R&B if Elvis had gone the way of his twin Aron. But…I think of him as being like Christopher Columbus. Just as America would have been “discovered” eventually anyway, somebody had to make that first encounter between a white singer and black music, and become immortal in the history books. I give you Columbus Presley (keeping in mind all the troubling overtones of oppression). He may not have been the best (or even the first), but he carried the flag, and set the pattern for everything that followed.
Also like Columbus, Elvis didn’t really know where he was going. He knew he wanted to sing, and he knew he wanted to be a star. He (and Scotty and Bill) chanced to stumble on a bizarre but heady mix of delta blues and bluegrass for his first single. And we were off and running.
3. CHUCK BERRY. To re-use one of my favorite metaphors yet again, the DNA of rock is the way Berry performed and adapted the 12-bar blues structure on guitar. His gift, and his tragic flaw, was that he made explicit the sexual overtones of rock guitar. One other thing about Chuck: he doesn’t seem to get his props for his playful, witty lyrics, which were an invaluable contribution to rock.
4. LITTLE RICHARD. Made explicit the sexual overtones of rock vocals. (Overtones? Way, WAY over.) He sounded, and perhaps was, quite demented. But for the sheer energy of his performing, no fifties artist this side of Jerry Lee can compare.
5. DUKE ELLINGTON. Mixing rock and jazz artists is these rankings is inevitably going to be kind of arbitrary, and I made an executive decision to reserve my first four spots on the first ballot for rockers. But once we start talking about jazz, I think Duke is clearly the foremost practitioner of the form, ever. With apologies to Satch, Duke showed more range than any other individual artist, producing great work in everything from Dixieland to blues to pop standards to swing to bebop. He was the finest bandleader of all time. And, although he can hardly be called rock & roll, nobody made more of an impression on so many of the forms that would eventually evolve into rock.
I’ll limit myself to shorter comments for the next five:
6. BO DIDDLEY. My nominee for most underrated early R&B/rock guy.
7. BUDDY HOLLY. The first proof that you could write songs carefully and still rock.
8. RAY CHARLES. Of the artists in my top ten, Ray is the only one who still had major contributions left to make after 1960. He’ll surely move up.
9. JIMMIE RODGERS. Invented country music.
10. LOUIS ARMSTRONG. As Paul pointed out, closer to the gut-bucket world of rock than the Duke.
I still have a formidable list of about a dozen musicians bubbling under this list, but with four artists going in each election, spots for them should become available pretty quickly.
1. ALAN FREED. He named the genre, and did most of the heavy barrier-smashing early. Largely a creation of the airwaves, rock & roll is as much a radio format as a genre. Freed’s responsible for that.
2. SAM PHILLIPS. His Sun Records launched Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash (also Roy Orbison, although he's still a minor player in 1960). Nuff said.
Those two are way, way out in front of anyone else at this point, so I’ll leave it at that. Leiber & Stoller would probably be third…
Sam Philips.. of course
I remember thinking about him, then i got so excited listening to that Atlantic box set that I forgot Mr Philips.
1. Hank Williams - Invented country music as we know it today.
2. Billie Holiday - The greatest jazz vocalist.
3. Miles Davis - A jazz genius.
4. Frank Sinatra - Highly influential singer and entertainer
5. Louis Armstrong - Arguably the most important jazz musician.
6. Elvis Presley
7. Johnny Cash
8. Duke Ellington
9. Bob Wills - Still King in Texas
10. Bill Monroe - Invented bluegrass.
1. ROBERT JOHNSON: The essence of music -- a man and his instrument, and that's it. Before his death at age 27, Robert Leroy made a total of 42 recordings (29 songs) for a total of 100 minutes of music. That's it. Allow yourself some time to wrap your brain around that. In those 100 magical minutes, he wrote the Delta blues rulebook and managed to create a legacy and influence that is so ubiquitous that at this point it's probably easier to make a list of the artists he didn't influence than a list of the ones that he did. But if anyone needs one, here's a short laundry-list of the musical genius he directly inspired: the Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Clapton, Jack White. Shit, you could reduce that list by two-thirds and together with his legend, he'd still deserve this spot. For me, blues doesn't get any better.
My favorite: The Complete Recordings (Sony)
2. MILES DAVIS: By 1960, Miles already had a few classic albums in the bank, either three, four or five, depending on how look at it. I'll be generous and say three: Birth of the Cool, Miles Ahead, and Kind of Blue (but you could make a damn good case for Milestones and/or Porgy & Bess). And in that time had already played around with four different jazz styles: cool, bop, orchestral and modal. That's impressive enough by itself, but for me the greatest thing about Miles (and the reason he gets a spot here) was his artistic vision -- the natural inclination to always strive to create new ideas and turn them into new sounds. Few artists in history have possessed the same level of ambition combined with the same level of achievement. People always say that Miles never looked back, but that's not true -- Miles frequently looked back so that he knew where on the jazz landscape he had already been and therefore could point himself in the direction where he needed to go.
My favorite: Kind of Blue (1959, Sony). Jazz's finest hour.
3. HANK WILLIAMS: I don't often listen to country music, but when I get a "hank"ering I always go back to the original gangster -- Hank Williams. A gangster because his life had more ups and downs than a fiddler's elbow, and in the end the booze and drugs that were his refuge from the pain was what led to his downfall. But the Drifter had something else flowing through his veins: country music. He died young but his legacy his huge, and it's too bad that country music has become the disgrace that it is, because at one time there was legitimate talent, emotion and genius found in it. Hank embodied it.
My favorite: Original Singles Collection (1992)
4. CHUCK BERRY: Invented guitar wankery, and rock music was never the same. The trite lyrics can be a bit upsetting, but when you can rock an ES-335 like this, who cares what you're singing about.
5. ELVIS PRESLEY: I despise him and only own one Elvis record - the Sun Sessions. But as a wise man* once said, one must "recognize a distinction between personal taste and critical awareness." That's what this vote is.
6. BILLIE HOLIDAY
7. JOHNNY CASH
8. LITTLE RICHARD
9. LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Hot fives and sevens. Delicious.
1. Louis Armstrong - So I took my older daughters to their first movie in the theaters this week - WALL*E. And in the middle of the courtship section, they played "A Kiss to Build a Dream On." And it was the perfect accompaniment. Tender, fun, romantic, mischievious. Never since Satchmo has any musician delivered those underrated virtues to their audience on a consistent basis. I happen to love his singing tremendously. But, of course, hthat's just the tip of the gigantic iceberg that is his legacy.
2. Ella Fitzgerald -- I listented to Billie Holiday again over the weekend. She is a giant to be sure, but I still can't see how she is more deserving of acclaim than Ella. The main negative for Ella is her failure to fully sell sadness or pain. That is a serious demerit... but completely made up for by all of her abundant and unmatched virtues. Her control, her phrasing, her timbre, her verve.
3. Django Reinhardt -- Let's not even get into the fact that he accomplished what he did with only three fingers on one hand. Nimble and light... his recordings never sound dated.
4. Duke Ellington -- The apotheosis of what the first half of the 20th century had brought in popular music. The finest non-classical arranger of all time. Such a sweet sound from his big band.
5. Ray Charles -- That voice was so versatile while being so unique. He could do pain, pure pleasure, lust, anger, and pride in equal measure.
6. Chuck Berry -- The greatest rock 'n roller.
7. Dinah Washington -- A personal favorite.
8. Jerry Lee Lewis
9. Buddy Holly
10. Charlie Parker
1. Cole Porter
2. George Gershwin
3. Norman Granz -- (Responsible for Jazz at the Philharmonic and Verve Records)
schleuse, what will you do if there are ties in the final results of the backstage wing section ?
I figured we'd use the same tiebreaking procedures that are in place for the main ballot (number of ballots, then number of first-place votes). But your point is well taken, nicolas--with relatively few votes, ties seem more likely (although so far, only one person has appeared on more than one ballot).
If there's a two-way tie, I have no problem with letting both people in.
Backstage vote: Sam Phillips
Just pulling this thread back up top, with a reminder: if you'd like to vote for our inaugural slate of HOAers, you have just over 48 hours (from the time of this post).
1. Elvis Presley - mismaiome made me think whether I was 'overrating' Woody because of Dylan. Maybe he's right, so I'm moving Elvis and Chuck up one spot to #1 and #2. I honestly don't care whether he wrote his own songs or not. He's simply great. Columbus.. I like that schleuse.
2. Chuck Berry - Perhaps even more so than Elvis the king of rock 'n roll, but I slightly prefer Elvis' songs over Chuck's.
3. Woody Guthrie - Besides being hugely influential, I also really like his music. He's funny, a good songwriter and a pure joy to listen to.
4. Hank Williams - Father, creator, master, whatever. I find that even when I completely ignore influence (which I tried for the first 5 on my list), the artists I enjoy listening to most have been hugely influential too.
5. Muddy Waters - I'm going for the "idealism-approach", cause Muddy Waters really belongs in the HoA.
6. Johnny Cash
7. Frank Sinatra
8. Louis Armstrong
9. Miles Davis
10. Billie Holiday
I had to look up some stuff on these people, as I really had no idea. So forgive me for only choosing things that were already chosen (this is why I waited with voting for a while).
1. Sam Phillips - The list of artists he launched speaks for itself.
2. Alan Freed - Freed freed rock 'n roll, and not many others can claim that. Payola payschmola, Freed rules.
1. Hank Williams - Country music biggest star, even to this day. He was the alpha and omega, and his songs are immortal.
2. Elvis Presley - Better hair than voice, but such an icon. And with millions of hits already, there's no denying his place in the Hall of Acclaim.
3. Bill Monroe - Invented a genre on his own, and made mountain music a part of country music. A big man with a fragile voice, and too many good songs to count.
4. The Carter Family - The first superstar country music group, with an impressive line-up.
5. Buddy Holly - Perfect pop music. When listening to him, you can hear the age of the music, but at the same time it never grows old. There must be some sort of magic in there.
6. Billie Holiday
7. Chuck Berry
8. Kitty Wells
9. Jerry Lee Lewis
10. Bessie Smith
1. Antonio Stradivari - For building the most acclaimed instruments in the world.
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - A most gifted tunesmith. Gets songwriter credit here, even though he probably was some performer himself. Still, recordings of his music are always by other people than himself, for obvious reasons.
3. Thomas Edison - For inventing the phonograph.
1. Elvis Presley – Sure, a lot of his music may sound dated today. But it’s incontrovertible that he changed the face of pop music, and pop culture, forever. He had some of his best work still to come after 1960 (although his resurgence wouldn’t come until the very end of that decade), but for me he earns this inaugural position hands down.
2. Chuck Berry – To paraphrase Bob Seger, all of Chuck’s children are –still– out there playing his licks. Elvis may have had the most immediate impact of the early rock and rollers, but Berry is by far the most significant; he essentially created the template for what the music was supposed to sound like.
3. Little Richard – Defined the wildest edge of this strange new form of music, and his best stuff – all of it done before 1960 – still does a pretty good job of doing so.
4. Buddy Holly – Obviously belongs here, considering that by 1960 he was, you know … With the Crickets, he set the tone for all rock and roll bands that followed, particularly this one group of blokes from Liverpool.
5. Frank Sinatra – The greatest interpretive male singer of all time also, for all intents and purposes, created (along with his brilliant arrangers) the entire concept of “the album” as we know it out of whole cloth with a staggering series of mid- to late-50s recordings.
6. Duke Ellington
7. Hank Williams
8. Robert Johnson
9. Louis Armstrong
10. Fats Domino
1. Sam Phillips
2. Alan Freed
3. Jerry Lieber / Mike Stoller
this is just copied from the other "discussion" thread...a few minor changes in order...plus my backstage picks
1. Elvis - i think we're coming dangerously close to a revisionist view of Elvis where he is just some random white guy who happened to make black music palatable to white people. this man had TALENT. he lived and breathed music, sang and performed truly soulfully, and brought james dean's sex appeal to music. others shamelessly and mindlessly stole black music, but elvis was a unique artist.
2. Chuck - the first great rock guitarist - i get goosebumps every time i hear him sing "hail hail rock and roll"
3. Hank - THE fount of country music, always an influence on rock
4. Frank - basically what paul said. incredible range.
5. Buddy - a whole new kind of cool. good songwriter, too
6. Richard - a maniac. a conduit for pure rnr electricity
7. Robert - i realize he wasn't really "discovered" until a few years later, but he's going to have to be inaugurated at some point
8. Woody - HILARIOUS. don't know what sinder's talking about. he has some line like "if the soup were any thinner, maybe some of these here politicians could have seen through it". very humane too. i love that picture of him where his guitar has a sticker on it that says "this machine kills fascists". that was a new kind of righteous humor in music
9. Jerry Lee - a maniac. his debut was great, but it was live at the star club, recorded in '64 and released in '80, that really sold me on him...
10. Duke - for the record, i AM thinking of this as a rock and roll HOF, and am really only considering artists who had a clear and definite influence on the main currents of rock music. i'm with schleuse here - i think it would be silly to consider it a 20th century music HOF. let's face it, the final list will probably have 5-10 jazz artists in it, no more. to claim that that's a fair representation would be even MORE of an insult to jazz than the outright exclusion of it would be. however, in east st. louis toodle-oo, i can hear the whole dark voodoo sound of rnr foretold.
behind the scenes
1. Sam Phillips
2. Alan Freed
3. Hoagy Carmichael - I think a handful of the tin pan alley songwriters will need to be inaugurated eventually, simply because they supplied a century of pop/r&b/country singers with material, even if it was always sort of tangential to rock n roll. it is sort of the official beginning of the songwriting business, though, for better or worse (this is why/when ascap originated). hoagy goes first for me because he was the closest in sound and image to jazz and eventually what would become rock. also the most "american" of the bunch, i'd say, the approximate musical equivalent of edward hopper, frank capra or ring lardner.
1. ELVIS PRESLEY: our first inductee MUST be the man that had changed the music world so profoundly in the recent years that any other performer before (and who knows about the future?). He has fused white country & western and black rhythm & blues to create black & white rock & roll, the sound of today. Some call him the King, some call him Christopher Columbus and I will call him the Ice Breaker of Rock & Roll, the one who has opened the door for that exciting new style. Now we’ve got Elvis in Germany in his military service but in March he will return and we are all expecting great new material.
My favourite album: Elvis Presley (1956)
My Top 5 Songs: Mystery Train (1955), Trouble (1958), All Shook Up (1957), Love Me (1956), Baby Let’s Play House (1955)
2. BILLIE HOLIDAY: last year we sadly saw Billie Holiday passing away when she was only 44 years-old, as a final punishment for her chaotic life. She was one of the better (and the bitter) jazz singers of all time, she tinged every word and every phrasing with BLUES, with a deep sadness, rage and despair. Nobody will sing the blues again like Lady Day.
My favourite album: Lady in Satin (1958)
My Top 3 Songs: Strange Fruit (1939), You’ve Changed (1958), Body and Soul (1940).
03. BUDDY HOLLY: another genius that passed away last year was Buddy Holly, whose death (along with Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper in a plane crash) was lived by any rock & roll aficionado as a complete tragedy. Now God only knows where Buddy could have reached, but anyway we still got these few but wonderful songs.
My favourite album: The Chirpin’ Crickets (1957)
My Top 3 Songs: Peggy Sue (1957), It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (1959), That’ll Be the Day (1957)
04. HANK WILLIAMS: this one got out of this world too (and not alive) some years ago, in 1953, letting us a short but excellent body of work that opened a new path not only for country performers but for any performer of every style due to his emotional deliverance.
My Top 3 Songs: Long Gone Lonesome Blues (1950), Move It on Over (1947), I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1949)
05. CARLOS GARDEL: the absolute master of Argentina tango died also in 1935 (I promise that next year I will vote for someone living). He adopted a mainly instrumental style from the humblest clubs of Buenos Aires and added street-wise and desperately romantic lyrics, bringing the genre to its higher heights.
My Top 3 Songs: Mano a mano (1923), Volver (1935), Tomo y obligo (1931)
06. LOUIS ARMSTRONG
07. FRANK SINATRA
08. DUKE ELLINGTON
09. CHUCK BERRY
10. LOUIS JORDAN
And writing wonderful songs at the backstage we got:
01. KURT WEILL: the genial composer that made the (forced) transition from the decadent opera theatres of Berlin to the flashing musical theatres of Broadway without losing his trademark bizarre harmonies, his peculiar mixture of high and low culture. Favourite song: LOTTE LENYA “Die Seeraüber Jenny” (1930).
02. COLE PORTER: very few composers got a songbook with that quantity and quality, with that sophistication and playfulness. Probably the best American composer ever. Favourite song: FRED ASTAIRE “Night and Day” (1932).
03. QUINTERO, LEÓN y QUIROGA: the dream team of Spanish “copla”, poets and musicians with a special ability to turn stories of desperate love into massive hits in the sad and grey Spain of the post-civil war period. Favourite song: CONCHA PIQUER “Tatuaje” (1941).
Oh, sorry, I forgot Daniel Auber, the plinth of chimerism inoculable…
1. Hank Williams - one of America's first cult heroes, I think his songs are both personal and universal and influenced a more diverse group of artist than any on this list.
2. Leadbelly - His great catalog was already being covered by the early folk scene which gives him the nod over Johnson. I listen to him more than any of the early blues/folk musicians.
3. Robert Johnson - It would be another few years before the world at large would hear Johnson for the first time but his creative blend of country blues guitar which influenced subsequent generations of blues musicians earn him this spot. If this contest started in 1964, he would probably be my no. 1.
4. Chuck Berry - Of the early rock and rollers Chuck was the complete package: one of the greatest performers, songwriters, guitarists and an underrated lyricist. For me an easy choice over Elvis.
5. Elvis Presley - Like Anthony I am not the greatest Elvis fan but you can't deny the legacy.
6. Louis Armstrong
7. Billie Holiday
8. Jimmie Rodgers
9. Leroy Carr
10. Buddy Holly
1. Alan Freed
2. Sam Phillips
3. Alan Lomax