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HOA: 1969 voting thread

We're up to our tenth election, and the last to take place in the sixties: the 1969 Hall of Acclaim election.

Select the ten most deserving artists, based on records released through the end of 1968.

When considering your vote, you may want to check out the top 50 eligible candidates. For a reminder of who’s already been inducted, see the results 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. You may recycle your comments from past elections if you wish, but I want us to have a context for WHY we're selecting these artists. Ballots without comments for the top five will NOT be counted!

In addition, you may nominate up to three people for the Backstage Wing. This is optional; your ballot will still be eligible even if you don’t vote for Backstage candidates.

Deadline for ballots is Sunday, October 26.

Voting is now open.

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

This week is pretty much the country music edition. You have my apologies.

1. Bill Monroe – The only person eligible in the competition who invented an entire musical genre (bluegrass), discovered some of it’s leading innovators (both Flatt & Scruggs), and wrote some of its most enduring songs (Blue Moon of Kentucky, My Rose Of Old Kentucky, Molly & Tenbrooks, Uncle Pen).

2. George Jones – The greatest voice in country music history and the proto-typical country star. Hits so far: She Thinks I Still Care, Why Baby Why, White Lightning, The Race Is On, Just A Girl I Used To Know, The Window Up Above, I’ve Got $5 & It’s Saturday Night, Walk Through This World With Me, and new this year: Color of the Blues.

3. Howlin’ Wolf – One of the great bluesmen. Should not be so far behind Muddy Waters in enshrinement here.

4. Merle Haggard – I think he is second only to Hank Williams as a composer/singer of country hits. He has a number of amazing songs, many of which are eclipsed in the public’s imagination by Okie From Muskogee (which will be eligible for consideration next year). If you have any interest in pure country music of the highest quality, I encourage you to check out what Merle has to offer. (AMG bio). Hits so far: Swingin’ Doors, The Bottle Let Me Down, Branded Man, I Threw Away The Rose, I’m A Lonesome Fugitive, and (maybe best of all) Mama Tried.

5. Bob Wills – The face of Western Swing, an incredibly fun melding of country and jazz.

6. Jimmie Rodgers – The first country star.

7. Patsy Cline – One of the greatest female country stars until her tragic death.

8. Leadbelly

9. Woody Guthrie

10. Buck Owens – You’ve heard of country rock. Well Buck Owens invented rock country. And artists like The Beatles, The Byrds, and Gram Parsons took notice.

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

I you have time, please read the Merle Haggard bio linked above. It's very well-written and informative. I think Merle is one of the most underrated artists of the 20th Century and I am going to devote this year on my blog to highlighting his career.

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

1.Jacques Brel : He'll still be mu number 1 for a lot of time

2.Aretha Franklin : A great lady soul. Like Greg said, after Sam and Otis, she's next. She's so emblematic (mother at 14 !!). And above all what a musician !

3.Leadbelly : what a great songpasser he was.

4.Simon & Garfunkel : I think they are the ones, among the remaining pop artists of the sixties, that deserve the most their induction both for their commercial success and musicianship

5.Georges Brassens : same as Brel

6.The Doors
7.Howlin' Wolf
8.Van Morrison
9.Doc Watson
10.The Zombies

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread


1. Berry Gordy Jr
2. Alan Lomax
3. Art Rupe

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

1. Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul. She's responsible for some of the finest soul records ever. Induct Aretha Now!

2. Jacques Brel - The first time he makes my top three, but if he won't make it this year, he'll be at the number one spot for quite some time. Rarily heard a singer that could move me more than he.

3. Howlin' Wolf - Greatest blues singer not yet enshrined, recorded some of the best blues standards and was an incredibly impressive performer.

4. Van Morrison - The Bob Dylan of blue-eyed soul. One of the finest songwriters, exploring with the greatest discipline every genre he could reach. Astral Weeks is one of the most poetic records released to date.

5. Charlie Parker - One of the most important jazz artists of all time. Bird was the mastermind behind innovative techniques in harmony and melody, not only in bebop, but in blues as well.

6. Diana Ross & The Supremes
7. Marvin Gaye
8. John Lee Hooker
9. Count Basie
10. Leadbelly

Backstage Wing:
1. John Hammond
2. Willie Dixon
3. George Gershwin

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

1. Aretha Franklin – The obvious first choice this year. Not much more to say.
2. Simon and Garfunkel – The more I listen to their albums, the more I appreciate them. Simon is so adept at the twee singer-songwriter stuff that he could have easily made a whole career of it; thankfully, he’s always been much more ambitious than that, right from the start. And his partner really is one of the great voices of all time.
3. Cream – Coincidentally, I’ve just been revisiting their albums as well. Overindulgent? Sure – the world didn’t really need the initial 6 ½ minute studio version of “Spoonful”, let alone the 16 ½ minute live one. But when they harnessed their triple-threat prowess to a streamlined pop-psych sensibility (thanks, Felix Pappalardi) they were unbeatable.
4. The Supremes – The ultimate Sixties singles act, the ultimate Motown act. Pop at its finest, and shiniest.
5. Howlin’ Wolf – If Muddy’s in, the Wolf rightly should be too. We’re at the stage now where the older guys and gals who haven’t gotten in yet probably aren’t going to; we might want to think at some point about creating some kind of Cooperstown-like “Veterans’ Committee”.
6. Bill Evans
7. Ornette Coleman
8. Sonny Rollins
9. Frank Zappa
10. The Doors

1. Rudy Van Gelder
2. George Gershwin
3. Jerry Wexler

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

Nicolas, Berry Gordy's already been inducted.

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

1. ARETHA FRANKLIN. After last year’s inductees, the talent pool seems to have dried up a bit. Aretha hasn’t done all that much to improve her standing, but she’s still should sail in this year.

2. BILL MONROE. I feel like ol’ Bill might be making a late push, like a 46-year-old pitcher being trotted out to the mound for one last game…

3. HOWLIN’ WOLF. Another one who really ought to get in eventually, and there’s now a shortage of candidates to put in line ahead of him. I hope he makes it before his death (7 HOA years from now).

4. VAN MORRISON. The two sixties artists in my top four are probably people I couldn’t stand in person. So it goes. Astral Weeks is a little overrated, but not grossly so.

5. MERLE HAGGARD. Yes, I’m jumping on board—and bumping Merle up to Jimmie’s old spot. Going to summer camp in the Texas Hill Country in the 70s, you heard a hell of a lot of outlaw country. Merle’s politics might not be my cuppa, but he, Willie and Dolly are probably going to be the last country artists to show up on my ballot.

10. FRANK ZAPPA/THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION. This last position was a push between Zappa/Mothers and Simon & Garfunkel…I went with Frank because he’s a million times cooler.


I continue to carry the flag for people not directly involved in musical production at all—my candidates tend to be people who were more cultural influences than musical ones. Might seem perverse to some, but hey, it’s an area I know better and I feel like somebody’s gotta do it…


Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

I thought Brian Epstein made it...

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

1. The Monkees- How are the Monkees not on that top 50 list? More of the Monkees and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones came out in '67 (Headquarters as well, but that's not as great as those two). The only thing essential that's missing is Valleri. EDIT: And now Head is out too. It would be a shame if they don't make it in.

2. The Zombies- One of the greatest albums ever and a few other singles should put them in right now... I'm sure they'll get in later if not now.

3. Pink Floyd- The only album needed to get them in has been released. There's some good stuff on Saucerful of Secrets too and add in those early singles. This is the band that deserves to be enshrined.

4. Simon and Garfunkel- This is one of the few groups that grew better and better as time passed.

5. Herman's Hermits- One of my favorite singles bands from the 60's. Pick up a greatest hits and you'll realize how good of a pop band they really were especially if you're an early-mid years Beatles fan.

6. Neil Diamond- All of the essentials have been released and now he'll slowly slip into cheesiness minus Cracklin' Rosie.

7. Donovan
8. The Hollies
9. The Supremes
10. Lovin Spoonful

Close: Harry Nilsson, Art Blakey, Nico (I'm not counting VU + Nico because I wouldn't do that for any other artist's solo career), Cream, The Doors (Too much crap makes me want to keep them off my list...), Phil Ochs, The Turtles, Sly and the Family Stone


1. Brian Epstein
2. Bill Graham
3. D.A. Pennebaker

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

I choose to believe that the Experience was voted in with Hendrix. I'm not a huge fan, but where have the Nina Simone lovers been?

1. Django Reinhardt - That mini groundswell for Django seems to have waned. :(

2. The Impressions -- Deserve entry just for the cover of "This Is My Country." (Sorry don't know how to imbed pictures.)

3. Simon and Garfunkel -- Bookends is a really nice album.

4. Charlie Parker - I dropped him early on. But he's super-worthy.

5. The Supremes -- A monster singles collection.

6. The Temptations

7. Sly and the Family Stone -- Just wait til next year... but they put out a fun album with "Life" this year. Great fun.

8. Buffalo Springfield

9. Patsy Cline

10. Aretha Franklin -- Just released her greatest song, "Chain of Fools." Be careful, though, Aretha, Stevie Wonder (who is releasing a steady stream of treasures through the late 60's) is gonna pass you next year. The Band also...

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

Schleuse - I'm curious about Merle. Are you talking about the politics reflected by his lyrics or by his other political statements/activities?

I realize he has some conservative songs (i.e., Fightin' Side Of Me), but he also has some fairly liberal songs ("My Own Kind of Hat" "They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down").

I am by no means an expert on his political views, but my impression was that his conservative songs were in part tongue in cheek and in part efforts to cash in (always a factor in country music).

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

Paul, I'm no expert on his political views, either, but... I was thinking of Merle deliberately positioning himself as a real American rather than one of them damn hippies in the late 60s/early 70s (not that I particularly care to defend hippies).

I think the public position most country artists might be best classified as conservative populists--conservative on social issues, with a strong disdain for elites, including, especially, the wealthy. And you're absolutely right that there's an element of spin to that.

Ordinarily, I probably wouldn't even bring it up; I was mostly thinking of it since politics is kind of a big issue now (I voted this week), and I'm keenly aware of conservative populism, since it's the dominant political position in my home state.

Oh, and John, Brian's still outside the gates. The list of Backstage Wing winners to date is:

Sam Phillips
Alan Freed
Cole Porter
Leiber & Stoller
Harry Smith
Phil Spector
George Martin
Berry Gordy
Ahmet Ertegun

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

I've been thinking about politics a lot myself. I am definitely NOT in the conservative/populist camp. Sarah Palin will not be getting my vote. But I really love country music, especially Texas country music. So that's kind of funny.

Maybe it's my own projections, but I hear a lot more libertarian (i.e., live and let live) ideas in country music than socially conservative ideas. And if you look around, there are some darn right liberal country songs.

A few years ago, National Review magazine posted a list of the 50 most conservative rock songs, which was (I think) unintentionally funny. Google it. I remember seeing a comment that somebody should make a similar list of the 50 most liberal country songs. Maybe I'll do that...

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

01. SIMON & GARFUNKEL: folk-rock times. Simon & Garfunkel are one of the favourites in every college of today, they have a rock background Everly Brothers’ style (they began as the rock ‘n’ roll duo Tom & Jerry) and also a folk background Greenwich Village’s style. Paul Simon as the composer of sensitive songs (and excellent guitar player!) and Art Garfunkel as the singer of the sweetest voice are getting better and better with every album, with their last album as their peak so far, “Bookends”.
My favourite album: Bookends (1968).
My Top 5 Songs: America (196 , Mrs. Robinson (196 , The Sounds of Silence (1964), I Am a Rock (1966), Hazy Shade of Winter (1966).

02. ARETHA FRANKLIN: maybe she’s not the first one bringing the gospel to the soul, taking the church sounds to the clubs, but surely she is the one with the fiercest voice. Ladies and gentlemen, Lady Soul.
My favourite album: Lady Soul (196 .
My Top 3 Songs: I Say a Little Prayer (196 , Chain of Fools (196 , Respect (1967).

03. THE ZOMBIES: bad luck. They began as high as “She’s Not There” but, despite their continuous improvement in song-writing and performing, success has been elusive since then. And with a final injustice: the psychedelic pop masterpiece “Oddesey and Oracle” has been released to general indifference forcing the split-up of the band.
My favourite album: Odessey and Oracle (196 .
My Top 3 Songs: Time of the Season (196 , She’s Not There (1964), Hung Up on a Dream (196 .

04. JACQUES BREL: quand on n’a que l’amour (d’un petit mais fidèle groupe d’inconditionnels).

05. LOVE: am I the only one who loves Love?


And at the backstage:
01. ANDY WARHOL: well, it’s well-known that he’s not a musician and his involvement as a producer was walking into the studio to say hello to the boys, but his influence shows throughout the Velvet material, not to mention the groundbreaking Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows, including lights, dancers, films and, of course, rock and art. Favourite song: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO All Tomorrow’s Parties (1966).

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

here we go!

1) Bill Monroe
2) Howlin' Wolf
3) Merle Haggard - add to his resume of songs two of his best: "Mama Tried" and "I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am"
4) Leonard Cohen - Cohen's musical debut at age 34 (he'd already written Beautiful Losers) is my 2nd favorite album of all time. Spare, minor-key folk with Biblical, darkly erotic lyrics and eerie production. There was nothing else like this at the time.
5) The Band - More Canadians (and Levon Helm). I like their second album even more, but at the height of psychedelia, this one too seemed to come out of nowhere. Much like CCR will do next year, they were singing about the American South with the clarity that sometimes only outsiders can attain. Plus they were the ultimate "band," sharing vocal and songwriting duties.

6) George Jones
7) Van Morrison
8) Aretha Franklin
9) Woody Guthrie
10) Antonio Carlos Jobim


1) Bacharach & David
2) Alan Lomax
3) Hoagy Carmichael

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

I forgot my backstagers this year:

1. George Gershwin
2. Alan Lomax
3. Nelson Riddle - I can't say that I'm entirely confident about this pick. He may drop off soon enough. But he did some wonderful arrangement work with Sinatra and Fitzgerald.

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

Honorio, The Zombies actually broke up before O+O was released. Even when Time of the Season became a hit, the band refused to tour around it and in fact, the first time they played the songs live was in 1997! The recent touring they've done on the state fair circuit is the first time they've ever played the O+O songs in the US.

Re: HOA: 1969 voting thread

Thanks a lot for the information, John. But this fact makes the injustice with The Zombies even bigger.