Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame

The 2016 Nominees for the Hall of Fame have been announced and include some of my all time favorites! The J.B.s, Yes, Nine Inch Nails and N.W.A.

Say what?

Well they did stoop to include Chicago and The Spinners. How in the world did two great groups like that make the list? 

Chicago has sold over 40 million albums with 23 gold albums and 21 Top Ten singles. “If You Leave Me Now” and Make Me Smile” are two of my all time favorite songs.

The Spinners first hit “I’ll Be Around” sold over a million copies alone.

On the other hand, one of the 2015 inductees, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band had what has been described as a “brief existence and produced little in the way of commercial success.”

Say what?

So now you know who may get in in 2016. Let’s take a look at artists and groups who are NOT in and probably never will be:

Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Sonny and Cher, Barry White, ELO, the Doobie Brothers, Steppenwolf, Harry Nilsson and the Turtles.

Outraged yet?

How about Johnny Rivers, the Moody Blues, Jan & Dean, Grand Funk Railroad, Joan Baez, Bon Jovi, Joe Cocker, Jim Croce, the Bee Gees, Leslie Gore, Mary Wells and the Ventures.

There are many more deserving artists out in the cold, but my head is about to explode, so I will stop there.

Perhaps one of the most infuriating omissions, in my opinion, is Neil Sedaka.

I have been fortunate enough to interview Neil twice. Once when I was Star Reporter for my junior high school newspaper. Then again a couple of years ago. Neil has always been most gracious with his time, which is another reason why he is so beloved in the business.

Neil's career started in 1957 and took off in 1959 when Connie Francis recorded hiss tune, “Stupid Cupid.” He and Howard Greenfield’s composition of “Where the Boys Are” was Connie’s biggest hit.

Naturally, I don’t have to remind you about all the great songs he wrote and recorded himself. “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” will be in our brains when we’re in our 70’s. By the way, he’d sold over 25 million records by 1963.

The British Invasion put an end to many male singer’s careers, but Neil continued working as a songsmith and produced hit records for Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and the Fifth Dimension.

Of course, everyone knows Sedaka was Back in the 70’s. “Love Will Keep Us Together”  was a number one hit for the Captain and Tennille as well as a Grammy winner as Record of the Year.

I asked Neil which song he thought was his finest.  He replied he hasn’t written it yet.

I also wondered if he truly missed “The Hungry Years.” He told me he didn’t write that song about himself, he wrote it for Sonny & Cher.

So there you have it, the fabulously talented Sedaka, and  60’s superstars Sonny & Cher, all snubbed by the Hall.

Who do you think should be in?

Maybe Neil will write another smash at age 76 and someone on the nominating committee will sit up and take notice.