Dionne Warwick

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1988 (The 1989 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?


Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Walk On By (1964)
I Say A Little Prayer (1967)
Do You Know the Way to San Jose (1968)

Dionne Warwick @ Wikipedia

Dionne Warwick Videos

Will Dionne Warwick be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."
   

Comments

77 comments so far (post your own)

Why she hasn't already been inducted is beyond me. She's had over 60 chart entries, won five Grammy awards and sold over 110 million albums, so if that doesn't qualify her, what will? She's is the most successful female singer to ever grace the charts (next to Aretha) and a huge influence, so, come on, honor her.

Posted by Reno on Thursday, 03.20.08 @ 20:01pm


Dionne Warwick is a psyhic and can look into her crystal ball and tell us what will happen.

Posted by a person on Wednesday, 10.15.08 @ 11:51am


I even saw Dionne in person a little while ago. Even her sister Dee Dee has some underrated material released. However, at a Barnes & Noble store, Dionne's music was found in the "Pop Standards" section, which implies that her music isn't considered Rock, although some of her '80s music, like many pop acts, merges with the pop/rock sound of that time. But her cousin Whitney Houston, especially if she makes a comeback, will be more likely to be voted in in the next five years. I still support Dionne in away as she helped to make black music accessible to white audiences at a very turbluent time in this country, years before Aretha broke into the Top 10 Pop Charts.

Posted by Michael on Tuesday, 11.4.08 @ 08:02am


OVER 30TOP FORTY HITS

Posted by JACOB on Monday, 11.24.08 @ 14:30pm


Dusty Springfield and the Shirelles in the HOF but no Dionne Warwick? That's just plain TACKY of the HOF voters !

Posted by Dennis on Wednesday, 01.14.09 @ 21:57pm


Dionne along with Burt Bacharach and Hal David should be inducted collectively for shear fact that they also help created what I call the soundtrack of the 1960's. As much as Goffin and King, and Lieber and Stoller, The Brill Building also turned out the work of the Bacharach and David. And because the skill and talent of Dionne Warwick many of those songs became hits and grew to become "standards" in American music.

As for catergorizing her as just a pop singer is a slight that could easily said of her many contemporaries who find themsselves in the hall of fame. The fact of matter is that Dionne's 60's hits coined the phrase "sophisticated soul". I challanged anyone to listen to her Specter Records catalog and not recognize the influence on modern music Dionne has been.

Even her work in the 70's at Warners diplays another facet of soulful, modern and funky R&B that is unfortunetly overlooked. Produced by Holland Dozier and Holland, Thom Bell, Issac Hayes, Jerry Ragovoy, Dionne expanded beyond the work she did with B&D. Then her tenure at Arista ressurected her career in a more broad pop base vein, just like it also did for current inductdee Aretha Franklin.

I am sure if you asked the current inductees of the hall of fame "who they think is missing among their ranks", I am sure Dionne's name would quickly be mentioned.

Posted by rob on Monday, 05.4.09 @ 12:48pm


Have any of you ever noticed the similarities between Dionne Warwick's 1964 hit, "Walk On By" and Chicago's 1988 hit, "Look Away"? Walk On By was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Look Away was written by Diane Warren.


Walk On By

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by
Make believe that you don't see the tears
Just let me grieve in private
Cause each time I see you
I break down and cry
Walk on by, walk on by


Look Away

If you see me walking by
And the tears are in my eyes
Look away, baby look away
If we meet on the street someday
and I don't know what to say
Look away, baby look away
Don't look at me
I don't want you to see me this way

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 05.2.10 @ 14:10pm


Dionne Warwick is the only member of Dionne and Friends (That's What Friends Are For) who has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

1989 Stevie Wonder
1994 Elton John
1996 Gladys Knight & the Pips

Gladys Knight won't be inducted for her solo career.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 07.27.10 @ 06:28am


Whitney Houston is Dionne Warwick's cousin.

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 10.10.10 @ 19:10pm


I thought Dionne was already in until the Dusty Springfield induction. I can't think of a single valid reason that Dionne's not in...and I'm a pretty critical thinker. Critical acclaim, popularity/record sales, longevity...all have a check mark by them. What's really the deal here? I can't begin to rally for my favorites, who others think are borderline, until Dionne Warwick gets in!

Posted by Gil on Friday, 10.29.10 @ 14:05pm


Dionne should be inducted. Period.

Posted by Bill G. on Sunday, 11.14.10 @ 12:25pm


Respectfully Bill G., I must disagree. Her music is blase white pop that is considered R&B just because she's Black. If she were White, there would be no discussion for her. To the truly colorblind, Dionne Warwick is as worthy as Barbra Streisand.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 11.14.10 @ 14:57pm


BOTTOM LINE: IF DUSTY SPRINGFIELD WAS INDUCTED FOR 3 MEASLY SONGS AND 1 CLASSIC ALBUM, DIONNE SHOULD BE THERE. PERIOD. She's got about 60 songs that are almost "must-haves". It's disgusting. I agree also w/Philip's post above.

Posted by iowahawkeye on Wednesday, 02.9.11 @ 10:52am


Actually, i should disagree w/Philip, upon a 2nd reading. Babs isn't in b/c she's not R&R, but what is Dusty doing there? She was white soul music. Dionne's music is NOT "blase white pop", that label's absurd. It's practically ART in some respects.

Posted by iowahawkeye on Wednesday, 02.9.11 @ 10:56am


iowahawkeye....those "3 measly songs" you mention are probably among the greatest blue-eyed soul songs of all time by the greatest and (arguably) most important female blue-eyed soul singer of all time.


And I like Dionne Warwick and agree she should be in the Hall of Fame but saying she has "60 almost must haves" as essential songs is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? I mean I know you're speaking from a fan's perspective but I happen to be a fan of hundreds of artists (if not more) and I can only name one band who I would say has as much as 60 essential songs....

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 02.9.11 @ 12:36pm


Don't Make Me Over * Make the Music Play * This Empty Place * A House Is Not a Home * Anyone Who Had a Heart * Reach out for Me * Walk on By * You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) * Here I Am * Looking With My Eyes * Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) * You Can Have Him * Are You There (With Another Girl) * I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself * Message to Michael * Trains and Boats and Planes * Alfie * Another Night * I Say a Little Prayer * The Windows of the World * (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me * Do You Know the Way to San Jose? * Let Me Be Lonely * Promises, Promises * Theme from Valley of the Dolls * Who Is Gonna Love Me? * Odds and Ends * The April Fools * This Girl's in Love with You * You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' * I'll Never Fall in Love Again * Let Me Go to Him * Make It Easy on Yourself * Paper Maché * The Green Grass Starts to Grow * Who Gets the Guy * If We Only Have Love * Just Being Myself * Sure Thing * Then Came You * I Didn't Mean to Love You * I Say a Little Prayer * Deja Vu * I'll Never Love This Way Again * After You * Easy Love * No Night So Long * We Never Said Goodbye * Some Changes Are for Good * For You * Friends in Love * Heartbreaker * All the Love in the World * How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye * Take the Short Way Home * Finder of Lost Loves * Run to Me * That's What Friends Are For * Whisper in the Dark * Love Power * Reservations for Two * Another Chance to Love * Take Good Care of You and Me * What the World Needs Now Is Love

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 02.10.11 @ 06:56am


I appreciate the post Roy, but realistically nobody would be able to name all those songs by Dionne Warwick unless they were either a hard core fan or looked it up. Don't mean to knock on Dionne, just saying.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Saturday, 02.12.11 @ 04:22am


I was under the impression that Dionne Warwick was inducted YEARS ago. This woman has had 3 decades of hits in the 60's 70's 80's, charted nearly 60 hit singles, bridged the racial gap, bridged the generation gap, and is world renown as the 'VOICE' of Burt Bacharach. I find it a DISGRACE that she has NOT been inducted, and it makes me question the legitimacy of The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame!

Posted by Jon on Sunday, 09.11.11 @ 13:20pm


http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/bacharach-david-warwick-three-strikes-against-rock-hall

Goldmine

Bacharach, David and Warwick – three strikes against the Rock Hall

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 09.25.11 @ 06:51am


I was under the impression that Dionne Warwick was inducted YEARS ago........

How in the world Can Dusty Springfield with 4 "HITS" be inducted, and NOT Warwick??

How in the world can Darlene Love be inducted, when it was Warwick who employed her as one of her background singers in concert??

Dionne Warwick has had 3 decades of hits in the 60's 70's 80's, charted nearly 60 (SIXTY) hit singles on BillBoards HOT 100, bridged the racial gap, bridged the generation gap, and is world renown as the 'VOICE' of Burt Bacharach. I find it a DISGRACE that she has NOT been inducted, and it makes me question the legitimacy of The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame - something STINKS to high heaven, and needs to be looked into!




Posted by Jon on Wednesday, 04.18.12 @ 09:27am


Dionne Warwick should be on the list. She is the best. And until now, she is still rocking. GOD BLESS!!! In Jesus Name!

Posted by Batasha Lily on Wednesday, 08.8.12 @ 14:39pm


I believe she should be inducted. This is a long overdue.

Posted by josephine on Friday, 08.31.12 @ 13:15pm


RIP, Hal David

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Saturday, 09.1.12 @ 19:11pm


Bacharach and David sued each other and Warwick sued them both. The cases were settled out of court in 1979 and the three went their separate ways. They reconciled in 1992 for Warwick's recording of Sunny Weather Lover.

Posted by Roy on Saturday, 09.1.12 @ 21:08pm


http://rockhall.com/event/legends-series-with-dionne-warwick/

The Rock Hall just announced a "Legends" series today featuring and celebrating the music of Dionne Warwick.

Does this mean that Dionne is on tap for a possible 2014 Nomination?

It would make sense not to induct her cousin Whitney until Dionne is inducted FIRST...since he has a far more legendary career.

With 73% of all those who voted here at FRL favoring her induction, Dionne just might be next. If nominated....you KNOW she has a chance of making it in...

Here are the site details:




To celebrate Black Music Month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to host a Legends Series interview with one of America's greatest singers, Dionne Warwick, on Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater.

Dionne Warwick will be interviewed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Vice President of Education and Public Programs, Dr. Lauren Onkey. Questions will be taken from the audience at the end of the Legends Series interview. This event is free with a reservation, however seating is limited. RSVPs will be accepted for Rock Hall Members starting at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, June 17. The general public can make reservations beginning on Tuesday, June 18 at 10 a.m. ET. Limit is two RSVPs per person. Visit http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office to sign-up to attend this event. This event will be LIVE STREAMED on rockhall.com.

About Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick’s career has spanned more than 48 years, establishing her as an international music legend. She has earned more than sixty charted hits and sold over 100 million records. She began singing professionally in 1961 after being discovered by a young songwriting team, Burt Bacharach and Hal David. She had her first hit in 1962 with “Don’t Make Me Over.” By 1970, she had racked up more than 18 consecutive Top 100 singles, including her classic Bacharach/David recordings, “Walk on By,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Message to Michael,” “Promises, Promises,” “A House is Not a Home,” “Alfie,” and the theme from “The Valley of the Dolls.”

Ms. Warwick received her first Grammy Award in 1968 for her classic “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and a second Grammy Award in 1970 for the best-selling album, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” In 1974, she hit the top of the charts with “Then Came You,” a million-selling duet with The Spinners. In 1976, Arista Records label-mate Barry Manilow produced her first Platinum-selling album, “Dionne,” which included the back-to-back hits “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” and “Déjà vu.” Both recordings earned Grammy Awards, making Ms. Warwick the first female artist to win the Best Female Pop and Best Female R&B Performance awards.

Ms. Warwick’s 1982 album, “Heartbreaker,” co-produced by Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees, became an international chart-topper. In 1985, she reunited with producer Burt Bacharach and longtime friends Gladys Knight, Steve Wonder and Elton John to record the landmark song “That’s What Friends Are For,” which became a number one hit record around the world and the first recording dedicated to raising awareness and major funds for the AIDS cause, which Ms. Warwick continually supports.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Ms. Warwick collaborated with many of her musical peers, including Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Luther Vandross, Jeffrey Osborne, Kashif and Stevie Wonder. Most recently, she recorded an album of duets, “My Friends and Me,” (Concord Records) and a much anticipated Gospel album, “Why We Sing,” (Rhino Records). She is currently finishing a new album of the music of legendary composer Sammy Cahn. Most recently, Ms. Warwick added “author” to her list of credits with a best-selling children’s book, “Say A Little Prayer.”

Always one to give back, Ms. Warwick has supported and campaigned for a number of causes and charities near to her heart, including AIDS, The Starlight Foundation, children’s hospitals, world hunger, disaster relief and music education, for which she has raised millions of dollars. A New Jersey school was named in her honor, The Dionne Warwick Institute in recognition of her support and accomplishments.






Posted by Bill G. on Wednesday, 06.12.13 @ 16:27pm


"It would make sense not to induct her cousin Whitney until Dionne is inducted FIRST...since "SHE" has a far more legendary career.

Sorry for the typo. That's what happens when you don't proofread !!

Posted by Bill G. on Wednesday, 06.12.13 @ 16:32pm


This could mean that all three, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach and Hal David will all be inducted next year. Whitney Houston just died, but they have to induct Dionne Warwick first. Hal David died recently too.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 06.12.13 @ 17:20pm


Dionne was SUPPOSED to be interviewed at the Rock Hall by Dr. Lauren Onkey as part of the "Legends" series...but she suddenly and abruptly cancelled the interview. No one knows why.

When Smokey met with Dr. Lauren in 2011 to discuss the omission of The Miracles from the Hall of Fame, They were inducted the next year.

Has Dionne sabotaged her chances for RRHOF Induction by her cancellation ? Will she re- schedule ?
who knows .

Posted by Bill G. on Tuesday, 07.9.13 @ 15:43pm


To be fair, Dusty Springfield's influential songs go beyond her 4 top ten hits, let alone her 11 top 40 hits. Artists dig deep into Springfield's catalog. Even then, one's opinion on Dusty Springfield has nothing to do with how worthy Dionne Warwick is of being inducted.

Warwick by far was the chief muse of Bacharach/David, her songs continue to permeate the culture and her soulful takes on what we would nowadays call pop are strikingly beautiful. There is no question that she should have been inducted way before now.

By the way, Warwick has 31 top 40 hits, 12 of which went top 10.

Posted by Charles Crossley, Jr. on Sunday, 06.1.14 @ 19:12pm


Dee Dee Warwick isn't here yet. The original "You're No Good" covered by Linda Ronstadt.

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 06.26.14 @ 23:19pm


Forget about commercial success, as it's not a major factor.

Dionne was the voice behind some classic, timeless tunes. So she should be considered, and eventually, inducted. She just may be one of those acts who had to have waited a long time- she's not alone in that regard.

Posted by JR on Monday, 06.30.14 @ 09:57am


****DIONNE WARWICK****

from Wikipedia:

"Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, (Dionne)Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the ENTIRE ROCK ERA, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Dionne Warwick is second ONLY to Aretha Franklin as the MOST-CHARTED FEMALE VOCALIST of ALL TIME with 56 of Dionne's singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998."

THAT put's her AHEAD of Whitney,Darlene,Dusty,Madonna,Ronstadt,and EVERYONE ELSE you'd care to name...and makes it all the more a TRAVESTY that she's not inducted ALREADY .

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 06.30.14 @ 17:17pm


http://ourrockandrollhalloffame71305.yuku.com/topic/2239?page=1

*****INDUCT DIONNE !!!*****

from Wikipedia:

"Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, (Dionne)Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the ENTIRE ROCK ERA, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Dionne Warwick is second ONLY to Aretha Franklin as the MOST-CHARTED FEMALE VOCALIST of ALL TIME with 56 of Dionne's singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998."

THAT put's her AHEAD of Whitney,Darlene,Dusty,Madonna,Ronstadt,and EVERYONE ELSE you'd care to name...and makes it all the more a TRAVESTY that she's not inducted ALREADY .

Posted by Bill G. on Tuesday, 09.30.14 @ 05:08am


Technically, she's tied with Connie Francis, who also made the singles charts 56 times. Although, actually, both have been surpassed by Taylor Swift, with 60 Hot 100 hits. So I guess you'll be okay with Taylor Swift being inducted when she's eligible. And Pat Boone, for that matter.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 09.30.14 @ 21:26pm


Technically, she's tied with Connie Francis, who also made the singles charts 56 times. Although, actually, both have been surpassed by Taylor Swift, with 60 Hot 100 hits. So I guess you'll be okay with Taylor Swift being inducted when she's eligible. And Pat Boone, for that matter."

Posted by Philip

Yep. Anything to GET YOUR GOAT, Philip...yeah, I'm good with that . (HA-HA)

Posted by Bill G. on Tuesday, 09.30.14 @ 22:51pm


Not at all, Bill G. In fact, I let it go by completely the first time you posted that. It wasn't even so much about Dionne either, about whom I'm willing to agree to disagree with you. Just showing that, one, the information is no longer true, and two, pointing out the downside of relying that heavily on chart statistics, something I have been accused of by others on this site.

Posted by Philip on Wednesday, 10.1.14 @ 02:06am


"Not at all, Bill G. In fact, I let it go by completely the first time you posted that. It wasn't even so much about Dionne either, about whom I'm willing to agree to disagree with you. Just showing that, one, the information is no longer true, and two, pointing out the downside of relying that heavily on chart statistics, something I have been accused of by others on this site."

The whole point is not even about THAT. The Point is, you just can't RESIST "agreeing to disagree" with me ....on ANYTHING . If I post on this site at ANY time, you just can't resist responding ... and disagreeing. You just can't HELP yourself...you just HAVE to do it.

(plus , I still think that you never got over The Famous Flames getting inducted. Don't worry...you'll get over it ).

Dionne deserves to be inducted. Like it or Not . You want chart stats ? and "Pop Chart penetration?"

Wikipedia:

"Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Dionne Warwick is second only to Aretha Franklin as the most-charted female vocalist of all time with 69 of Dionne's singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998".

That means that with the sole exception of ARETHA FRANKLIN, Dionne BURIES EVERY OTHER CHARTING FEMALE ARTIST OF ALL TIME ...INCLUDING EVERY ONE THAT HAS BEEN INDUCTED THUS FAR.
But they deserve induction....and DIONNE doesn't? Sorry...I'm not buying it.

Posted by Bill G. on Wednesday, 10.1.14 @ 02:57am


Come on, Phillip. Dionne Warwick is so much better than Pat Boone. As for Ms. Swift, she's still a tyro. Her career arc (as of now) has her heading in HOF direction (whether you or I like her music at present time).

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 10.1.14 @ 07:28am


"Come on, Phillip. Dionne Warwick is so much better than Pat Boone. As for Ms. Swift, she's still a tyro. Her career arc (as of now) has her heading in HOF direction (whether you or I like her music at present time)."

Posted by Paul in KY.

Thanks, Paul . At least SOMEONE out there knows what their talking about.

Posted by Bill G. on Wednesday, 10.1.14 @ 12:20pm


"Just showing that, one, the information is no longer true, and two, pointing out the downside of relying that heavily on chart statistics, something I have been accused of by others on this site."

Yeah....like ME.

Posted by Bill G. on Wednesday, 10.1.14 @ 12:21pm


"The whole point is not even about THAT."

That was my point, though.

"you just can't RESIST "agreeing to disagree" with me ....on ANYTHING . If I post on this site at ANY time, you just can't resist responding ... and disagreeing. You just can't HELP yourself...you just HAVE to do it."

Scroll up dude. You posted the same thing awhile back, and I let it go. And if you posted on Barry White, the Chi-Lites, Jerry Butler, Brook Benton, etc., I would completely agree with you. And I have in the past.

"(plus , I still think that you never got over The Famous Flames getting inducted. Don't worry...you'll get over it ). "

I am over it. I respect your position on them... they were the whole reason we ever heard of James Brown, and they were credited (despite never actually appearing) on some of his best known songs. Not their best call, but not their worst, nor the most recent questionable call either.

"That means that with the sole exception of ARETHA FRANKLIN, Dionne BURIES EVERY OTHER CHARTING FEMALE ARTIST OF ALL TIME ...INCLUDING EVERY ONE THAT HAS BEEN INDUCTED THUS FAR.
But they deserve induction....and DIONNE doesn't? Sorry...I'm not buying it. "

As many as Connie Francis, fewer than Taylor Swift. But why stop with Dionne? Why not Pat Boone, Paul Anka, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra? All powerhouses of hits!

"Come on, Phillip. Dionne Warwick is so much better than Pat Boone."

Best case scenario, it's a push. Pat Boone was a cover artist, but so was Linda Ronstadt and she's in. Pat brought Black music to White America, same thing the Beastie Boys did, and they're in. But he did do a bunch of soft love ballads. Dionne Warwick did a bunch of original material, BUT the bulk of her legacy, what she's best-known for, is as the voice of Bachrach & David, who should never be inducted. Their music is not soulful at all, even when sung by Dionne Warwick. Their compositions are the Whitest, tritest, poppiest, yuppiest catalog. If Bachrach and David's writing style was a social demographic, it'd be the straight, White, male, white collar middle manager who has Black friends, but doesn't understand why they didn't like Ronald Reagan. Being associated with B&D, imo, makes her less deserving.

" As for Ms. Swift, she's still a tyro. Her career arc (as of now) has her heading in HOF direction (whether you or I like her music at present time)."

We'll see. Her trajectory is primarily Nashville pop right now, and the Hall doesn't seem to be itching to have anything to do with that anytime soon.

"Thanks, Paul . At least SOMEONE out there knows what their talking about."

Because "knowing what their [sic] talking about" means "agrees with me", right?

"Yeah....like ME."

Then you admit you are committing a hypocrisy then, for doing the very thing you hated that I did, right?

Posted by Philip on Wednesday, 10.1.14 @ 22:05pm


Phillip, as far as Dionne being 'whitebread' (which is basically what you are calling her work), she was a product of her times & did the best she could with the B & D compositions. I would call those tunes (several of them great songs) 'easy listening/pop'. There are other artists in the Hall that sang those songs & she should be in too.

She recently was honored with the Soul Train Lifetime Achievement award (because she was such a tool of the man).

We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

Posted by Paul in KY on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 07:11am


How likely is it that when Dionne Warwick is nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that she will get enough votes to be inducted and Burt Bacharach and Hal David will also get enough votes from the non-performers nominating committee to be inducted the same year as Dionne Warwick?

Posted by Roy on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 07:21am


Can Dionne find know the way to Cleveland? I will agree with Paul in KY. Is Karen Carpenter in the RRHoF? The Carpenters have been left out because they were "easy listening" pop. Dionne Warwick pretty much the same. However, I actually would like The Carpenters to be inducted. Would not rule out Dionne, but she is nowhere on rock spectrum.

Posted by Worm on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 09:00am


Paul, if we could successfully extract the B&D from her legacy, you'd have a stronger case. Bill G., much to his credit, did pique my curiosity for more of her post-B&D work, which isn't half bad, but does leave her behind Patti LaBelle in terms of deserving soul divas, imo (LaBelle herself behind Chaka Khan in my queue). To her credit, her two #1 hits are post B&D. Unfortunately, she's not on her own on either: one is the adult contemporary borderline schmaltz "That's What Friends Are For," and the other is "Then Came With You" which is very much more in the general style of the Spinners, but is quite different from her own oeuvre.

Still, I'd rather see Dionne on the ballot than Joan Jett again.

Posted by Philip on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 10:26am


What most of you guys are forgetting, (or are maybe too young to know) is that , while some of Dionne's Bacharach and David tunes have a somewhat Brill Building Pop leaning , they are definitely firmly rooted in the "Girl Group" genre...which,again definitely...is a legitimate branch of Rock and Roll. I could surely see her Scepter Records labelmates, The Shirelles, recording "Anyone Who Had A Heart", "Don't Make Me Over" and "Walk On By",and THEY'RE in the Hall. Also remember ,The Shirelles' #1 hit,"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin...and you can't get more "Brill Building" than THEM...and THEY'RE in the Hall. B&D were Brill Building writers. It is the highest form of hypocrisy to say that The Shirelles and Goffin and King deserve to be in the Hall of Fame ....but Dionne,Burt Bacharach, and Hal David DON'T.

Also,don't forget that Dionne and her sister Dee Dee Warwick (who sang the original version of "You're No Good" BEFORE Betty Everett and WAY before Linda Ronstadt), began their career doing backup work on The Drifters' records.The Drifters are RRHOF Inductees...as are Leiber and Stoller and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil...and THEY were all "Brill Building" writers TOO.

Are we now picking and choosing just WHICH Brill Building Artists and writers get inducted ...and which DON'T ??

DIONNE WARWICK, HAL DAVID, and BURT BACHARACH ALL DESERVE INDUCTION....PERIOD

Posted by Bill G. on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 13:53pm


http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/dionne-warwick/Event?oid=3587642

If Dionne gets on the ballot, she WILL SURELY get in...NO QUESTION.

******BUT*****

WILL SHE EVER GET ON THE BALLOT ??

We know that,in THIS business...in order to get AHEAD... you've got to be willing to PLAY THE GAME.

CASE IN POINT: a Few years ago, Former Motown Records V.P. and Miracles lead singer William "Smokey" Robinson was asked to be interviewed by the Rock Hall. He consented. Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs at the Rock Hall, interviewed Robinson...who stated at that time that the other members of his group, The Miracles-Pete Moore, Claudette Rogers-Robinson, Ron White, Marv Tarplin, and Bobby Rogers-should have been inducted with HIM back in 1987. Dr Onkey responded (in the words of one of The Miracles' biggest hits), "I Second THAT Emotion!!" Shortly thereafter, The Miracles were inducted....

About one year later, Dionne Warwick was ALSO scheduled to be interviewed by Dr. Onkey...as part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Black Music Month".

Dionne consented,then cancelled, the interview...and failed to show.

It was well known at that time that she was undergoing financial problems .It is not known if these problems prevented her from making an appearance then or NOT....but,it could have been a factor.

Let's hope that it doesn't affect her chances...

Posted by Bill G. on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 14:24pm


I would be quite surprised if she was nominated this year. The Hall has had ample time to nominate her & hasn't. I guess they are 'rockist' about her & her body of work.

I woulod like her inducted into our Rock Hall Projected.

Posted by Paul in KY on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 15:27pm


Bill G., good points on the other poppers from that era that are in Hall. However, maybe Phillip doesn't think any of them should be in Hall.

Just a conjecture. I'm sure Phillip will give his take on it.

Posted by Paul in KY on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 15:36pm


Thanks, Paul. Besides, the way that I see it, if someone like ABBA can get inducted...then Dionne is a SHOO-IN. You cant GET more "Popish" than THEM...but it didn't affect THEIR chances. To me Dionne has loads more credibility...and will raise far fewer eyebrows if it happens.

I also know that this year, there is a big push to get Janet Jackson inducted. Politics being what they are, It would seem to some people ludicrous to induct TWO Black women in one year...so a nomination for BOTH probably won't happen.

...but it sure would be COOL.

(The Hall waiting for DONNA SUMMER to DIE before FINALLY inducting her (after FOUR nominations) still leaves a bad taste in the mouths and memories of many.)

Can you imagine if MARY WELLS , and The MARVELETTES also got the nod ? That would go a long way to build good faith in the much-maligned Hall of Fame ...who is already under fire for not inducting enough women....

And let's cross the color line while we're at it...and induct CONNIE FRANCIS, THE SHANGRI LAS, and LESLIE GORE. How's THAT for "Girl's Night Out" ?

An All-Female Inductees' ballot ? Boy, somebody's head would REALLY roll over THAT one...CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MAD THE "ROCKISTS" would be ?? No long-Haired guitar players (or Rappers) inducted for 2015.

But, It would be REALLY COOL...

(P.S. -A serious case can also be made for PATTI La BELLE & THE BLUE BELLES/La BELLE and The POINTER SISTERS, TOO !!

Posted by Bill G. on Thursday, 10.2.14 @ 19:23pm


http://rockhall.com/inductees/bobby-darin/

Oh ...and one more thing while it's on my mind....BOBBY DARIN. He started out making Rock and Roll records: "Splish Splash", "Queen of The Hop" ,"Dream Lover",etc...and then did a "180" and started doing Show Tunes and Standards: "Mack The Knife", "Beyond The Sea", "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey ?","Artificial Flowers", etc. Then he did still ANOTHER 180, and started doing Folk Songs, like "If I Were A Carpenter".

Is Bobby Darin in the Hall ?

Click on the above link and see for yourself.

So, just because an artist diversifies into different musical genres...

Doesn't mean that they're not worthy for induction.

That's just as dumb as saying that Linda Ronstadt shouldn't have been inducted because she recorded Jazz Standards and Traditional Mexican Music.

...Is Linda in the Hall of Fame ? (I think you KNOW the answer).

If Dionne Warwick doesn't deserve to be inducted...
Then they should have used that SAME criteria to reject Darin and Ronstadt. But THEY'RE IN...

...And Dionne deserves to be inducted TOO !!

Posted by Bill G. on Friday, 10.3.14 @ 14:19pm


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees who will vote for Dionne Warwick:

John Hammond, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Carole King, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Barry Gibb, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Simon and Garfunkel, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Al Green, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Clive Davis, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bonnie Raitt, Talking Heads, Prince, Jackson Browne, The Pretenders, Blondie, The Ronettes, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, Madonna, The Dave Clark Five, The Ventures, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Jimmy Cliff, The Hollies, Genesis, ABBA, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love, Dr. John, Alice Cooper, Leon Russell, Donovan, Quincy Jones, Lou Adler, Randy Newman, Heart, The E Street Band, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, The Isley Brothers, The Staple Singers

Posted by Roy on Friday, 10.3.14 @ 14:46pm


Linda was a pioneer of country-rock fusion (though I still maintain the Big Bopper was a major innovator there and still overlooked because he died so early into his career.

Bobby Darin was a diverse artist indeed who did it all, and indeed I embrace diversity. I don't know where you would get the idea that I didn't. My problem with B&D's songwriting is that I don't hear "Brill building" or "girl group" origins... I hear pre-rock origins... not blues, country, gospel, or jazz, but the whitebread Americana pop. I hear Mitch Miller, Andy Williams, Percy Faith, Lawrence Welk, Gershwin Brothers, etc. in songs like "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" and "What The World Needs Now Is Love", etc. I hear origins of the music that tried to STOP rock'n'roll from progressing. Trite fluff of a white suburbia. A friend of mine once said about the Dave Clark Five that when she hears them, she thinks of cleaning products: music that is sterile and sanitized for easily offended sensibilities. Well, that's how I feel about Bachrach and David. That doesn't necessarily make it bad music, just that it really doesn't belong in the Hall. And Dionne's legacy so closely tied to that is what makes me see her as less deserving as the other female artists that Bill G. listed. Excellent list though, that would be one HELL of a ballot. Let's also throw in solo Chaka Khan, Pat Benatar, and maybe even Timi Yuro. That is just my opinion.

Posted by Philip on Friday, 10.3.14 @ 20:10pm


I have no particular horse in this race to bet on, but Philip, could you please elaborate on this statement:

My problem with B&D's songwriting is that I don't hear "Brill building" or "girl group" origins... I hear pre-rock origins... not blues, country, gospel, or jazz, but the whitebread Americana pop. I hear Mitch Miller, Andy Williams, Percy Faith, Lawrence Welk, Gershwin Brothers, etc. in songs like "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" and "What The World Needs Now Is Love", etc."

When I see someone list incomparable masters of music like George & Ira Gershwin alongside schlockmeisters like Mitch Miller, Percy Faith, and Lawrence Welk, I'm not sure if they're trying to provoke a reaction or if they're serious. There is nothing white-bread or sanitized about Rhapsody in Blue, Embraceable You, or I Got Rhythm. The Great American Songbook didn't come to be referred to as such by accident: These are the songs that have shattered virtually all barriers and transcended time to become one of America's finest gifts to the world. I shouldn't even have to defend the GAB, but please tell me whether or not it was your intention to put the Gershwins in the same category as Miller, Welk, and their ilk. Let's face it, The Yellow Rose of Texas and Calcutta are a much different breed of animal from They Can't Take That Away from Me and Georgia on My Mind.

Posted by Zach on Friday, 10.3.14 @ 21:07pm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionne_Warwick_discography

About Dionne Warwick, Philip wrote:

"Bobby Darin was a diverse artist indeed who did it all, and indeed I embrace diversity. I don't know where you would get the idea that I didn't."

Easy. when you said that Dionne Warwick isn't worthy
for induction. Her catalog is incredibly diverse:

Girl Group

Cole Porter

Aquarela do Brazil

Track of the Cat (R&B)

On Stage and in the Movies

The Magic of Believing (with The Drinkard Singers)
(Gospel)

Dionne Warwick in Paris

So, Linda Ronstadt gets celebrated and inducted for her diversity....but Dionne Warwick is snubbed and maligned ?

Posted by Bill G. on Saturday, 10.4.14 @ 00:22am


Zach, that was a bad example on my part. I was trying to think of who the major whitebread songwriters of the '40s and early '50s were, and my brain misfired on that one.

Bill, I applaud diverse artists who really add to the rock spectrum: Bobby Darin, Linda Ronstadt, Paul Simon, Three Dog Night, Supertramp, etc. I think I've made it pretty clear though, that Dionne's bread and butter was the fluff of B&D, who, imo didn't really add to the rock'n'roll spectrum all that much. The fact that she did branch out helps the case for her, and you could even argue that doing B&D first gave her the stability to branch out artistically later on, but the fact remains that the biggest part of her legacy, especially during the '60s, which is almost inarguably the most musically fertile and diverse period of American music, is that trite Bachrach and David stuff

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 10.4.14 @ 21:18pm


"The biggest part of her legacy, especially during the '60s, which is almost inarguably the most musically fertile and diverse period of American music, is that trite Bachrach and David stuff"

Posted by Philip

I think that what you're REALLY trying to do is influence the thinking of others with your negative opinions of Dionne .

Sorry. You haven't influenced or convinced ME.
You also haven't convinced others who may happen to like Dionne and her music.

But,hey, you are entitled to your opinion.

But so am I . And I'm NOT changing it.

I believe that Dionne deserves induction.

And , eventually, she WILL get in . Do you know WHY ?

Because she deserves it .


Posted by Bill G. on Sunday, 10.5.14 @ 01:12am


"I think that what you're REALLY trying to do is influence the thinking of others with your negative opinions of Dionne."--Bill G.

Perhaps, but not intentionally. On some level, that might be the point of discourse and debate all along. It could just as easily be countered that you're trying to persuade and convince me, yet I am not. But no, at this point I'll settle for your mere respect of my dissenting opinion, and acknowledgment that dissension is not equivalent to ignorance, that not liking a particular artist is not indicative of prejudice, and quite honestly the simple acknowledgment that I do agree with you on a myriad of R&B legends who are truly deserving of induction, even if not some of your seemingly personal pet causes.

You unfairly cast me in the role of a nemesis of sorts, which is simply ludicrous. Earlier you said that I can't resist responding to your posts. Well, if that's what you want, fine. Unless you specifically ask or mention/hint at me *because I feel I'm allowed to defend myself), I'll try to remember to refrain.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 10.5.14 @ 22:11pm


You also ALWAYS have to have the last word .

Posted by Bill G. on Tuesday, 10.7.14 @ 12:47pm


From Wikipedia:

Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the ENTIRE Rock era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Dionne Warwick is second ONLY to Aretha Franklin as the MOST-CHARTED female vocalist of ALL-TIME, with 69 of Warwick's singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998.

Yet, female artists with FAR FEWER hits,influence, and credentials get in BEFORE her ?

Joan Jett ?
Linda Ronstadt?
The Ronettes ?
Darlene Love ?
Dusty Springfield ?

***WHAT ???***

Put DIONNE IN, PEOPLE !!! IT'S LONG PAST TIME !!!!

Posted by Bill G. on Thursday, 08.13.15 @ 03:58am


From Wikipedia:

Having been in a partnership with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the ENTIRE Rock era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Dionne Warwick is second ONLY to Aretha Franklin as the MOST-CHARTED female vocalist of ALL-TIME, with 69 of Warwick's singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998.

Yet, female artists with FAR FEWER hits,influence, and credentials get in BEFORE her ?

Joan Jett ?
Linda Ronstadt?
The Ronettes ?
Darlene Love ?
Dusty Springfield ?

***WHAT ???***

Put DIONNE IN, PEOPLE !!! IT'S LONG PAST TIME !!!!

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 09.7.15 @ 14:37pm


First post from me in ages here, but since I've been listening to some Dionne Warwick recently, I thought I'd weigh in on the debate between Bill G. and Philip. Gotta side with Bill (we typically see eye-to-eye on most things) on Dionne's music, although I could not care less about whether she gets inducted into the HOF, as there are far more egregious omissions (not to mention, the Hall already shred their last traces of credibility by inducting lightweight, lowest common-denominator schlock like Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens over actual trendsetters like Link Wray and Kraftwerk). No, I wouldn't say Dionne is more soulful than Aretha Franklin, but she certainly has a powerhouse voice with enough traces of soul to keep from being tagged a total white sell-out. Harry Belafonte, Johnny Mathis (although he later redeemed himself slightly in the 70s long after Mitch Miller was out of the picture), and to a lesser extent, Nat King Cole, Dinah Washgington, and Brook Benton, were just as if not more guilty of attempting to appease white audiences. Just listen to Don't Make Me Over, Walk On By, Anyone Who Had A Heart, or I Say A Little Prayer for evidence of Warwick's strong, commanding voice. I'll admit she did record some drab material (Alfie, Windows of the World, and Do You Know the Way to San Jose are major offenders), but the multi-layered production and fascinating chord/tempo changes (the abrupt shift to the chorus on Walk on By is a fine example) strengthen her best material.

BTW, Philip, you honestly have no right to complain about the squareness of any act after reading your glowing endorsement of Peter, Paul, and Mary. Now there's a corny, simplistic act with sickeningly sweet songs that make Sammy Kaye sound like G.G. Allin. I've agreed with you before, but seriously, PP&M? Why don't you make the case for Ray Conniff, The New Christy Minstrels, Jim Nabors, and other consignment store staples while you're at it?

Posted by Zach on Saturday, 03.19.16 @ 23:25pm


First post from me in ages here, but since I've been listening to some Dionne Warwick recently, I thought I'd weigh in on the debate between Bill G. and Philip. Gotta side with Bill (we typically see eye-to-eye on most things) on Dionne's music, although I could not care less about whether she gets inducted into the HOF, as there are far more egregious omissions (not to mention, the Hall already shred their last traces of credibility by inducting lightweight, lowest common-denominator schlock like Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens over actual trendsetters like Link Wray and Kraftwerk). No, I wouldn't say Dionne is more soulful than Aretha Franklin, but she certainly has a powerhouse voice with enough traces of soul to keep from being tagged a total white sell-out. Harry Belafonte, Johnny Mathis (although he later redeemed himself slightly in the 70s long after Mitch Miller was out of the picture), and to a lesser extent, Nat King Cole, Dinah Washgington, and Brook Benton, were just as if not more guilty of attempting to appease white audiences. Just listen to Don't Make Me Over, Walk On By, Anyone Who Had A Heart, or I Say A Little Prayer for evidence of Warwick's strong, commanding voice. I'll admit she did record some drab material (Alfie, Windows of the World, and Do You Know the Way to San Jose are major offenders), but the multi-layered production and fascinating chord/tempo changes (the abrupt shift to the chorus on Walk on By is a fine example) strengthen her best material.

BTW, Philip, you honestly have no right to complain about the squareness of any act after reading your glowing endorsement of Peter, Paul, and Mary. Now there's a corny, simplistic act with sickeningly sweet songs that make Sammy Kaye sound like G.G. Allin. I've agreed with you before, but seriously, PP&M? Why don't you make the case for Ray Conniff, The New Christy Minstrels, Jim Nabors, and other consignment store staples while you're at it?

Posted by Zach on Saturday, 03.19.16 @ 23:33pm


Zach,

Appreciate your comments. A few thoughts:

1. It's really not a good idea to say "So-and-so is in; therefore, this person should also be in." Two wrongs don't make a right, and while you didn't actually name this person, this is the logic we've come to call "Playing the Sledge card."

2. As far as other Black artists selling out, you're kind of missing out on some historical context. The social settings for artists like Nat "King" Cole, Dinah Washington, and Louis Jordan in the 40's and early 50's are not exactly the same as they were for artists like Aretha, James Brown, and Dionne. Were there still tensions? Of course, and there still are today. But there was a pretty marked social difference. Fwiw, I don't hear Brook Benton selling out at all. I think his style was pretty consistent R&B, even though it has an easy gait to it.

3. It's hard for me to consider Dionne's voice as commanding. It's timbre is too soft, imo. Aretha has a commanding voice. Darlene Love has a commanding voice, so does Martha Reeves. Dionne's voice doesn't have the same power, or if it does, she just doesn't use it that much. Her voice is about as commanding as Minnie Mouse trying to scold Mickey. On "I Say A Little Prayer," when she ramps up, so do all the other players, and by the end of the chorus, her voice is nearly buried by it all.

4. Kind of surprised by your disdain for Peter, Paul, And Mary. I thought you were more appreciative of folk than that. Or is it the harmonies that are sickeningly sweet to you? At any rate, there's a huge distance between them and the others you mentioned. PP&M were folk, New Christy Minstrels were MOR vocal music that tried to masquerade as folk. Btw, there's plenty of dissent, but the general consensus on this site towards PP&M is pretty favorable.

Great to have you back, and look forward to discussing more with you, if you wish. For me, you can't discuss her merits for the Hall without it depending primarily on her B&D stuff. And except for "Always Something There To Remind Me" and "Don't Make Me Over", her songs from that period... it's hard to qualify it as rock and roll for me. It wasn't the music of teenagers in the '60s, it was the music of PARENTS of teenagers in the '60s. But that's just my opinion.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 03.20.16 @ 00:14am


Responding to your points.

1. Actually it is a legitimate argument when you consider the HOF has inducted many lightweight acts who are hardly significant in the innovation/influence arena (the Lovin' Spoonful, Percy Sledge, Donovan, Ritchie Valens, plus the aforementioned Ronstadt and Stevens). Plus, the two acts I name-dropped are inarguably important (Wray for his work with distortion and power chords, Kraftwerk for electronic music). I guess I have too high a standard of what constitutes a HOF-worthy act. I don't disqualify commercial success entirely (Some bands, like KISS, are so absurdly popular it would be erroneous to leave them on the outside looking in), but the double I should always be the main concern when assessing an act's case for induction.

2. I'm very well-versed in music from before the birth of rock 'n' roll, so you're treading familiar waters with me there. You'll notice I used the qualifier "to a lesser extent" when referring to Cole, Benton, and Washington. Cole spent the majority of the 1940s playing jazz with his King Cole Trio. I have a 3-disc set of the Capitol Transcriptions the NKC Trio did in the 40s. Lots of very progressive, Latin/semi-bebop type playing on those CDs. His move toward traditional pop in the 50s was a boon and a drawback, as he experienced greater commercial success but also relied less on his piano playing abilities (though he did occasionally return to a jazz setting) and recorded some truly awful material in his twilight years (Ramblin' Rose and Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer are notable offenders). Overall, though, the dreck he recorded later on doesn't negate his Trio material or the more mature standards he did as a solo act.

Washington was outstanding on blues, R&B, jazz and the standards, but she was saddled with some corny arrangements on her popular hits later at the tail end of the 50s and early 60s. I love Benton as well, but you can't tell me with a straight face that recording something as silly as the Boll Weevil Song wasn't an attempt to court the MOR market.

3.As I stated before, it's songs like Walk On By and Don't Make Me Over where Dionne's voice shines. I won't defend the likes of Alfie, Trains and Boats and Planes, and Windows of the World, as they epitomize some of the worst in '60s MOR. I never once argued that she belongs in the same boat as those from the same timeframe who were more attuned to soul/R&B/blues/and /or jazz, like Aretha, Etta James, Nancy Wilson, and Martha Reeves. Dionne, does, however, have enough redeemable material to keep her on the OK list for me. I'll also add her duet with the Spinners on Then Came You as another good song of hers (although she only takes part of the credit, as the fantastic vocals of the Spinners and the production contribute just as much). Love the Minnie Mouse zinger, though.

4. You seriously weren't aware of my intense loathing of folk music? It's by far my most hated genre of music, as it is too simplistic (especially in terms of instrumentation, which is what really matters in music), lacks soul and technique, and sounds so damn white (both the more commercial and the authentic stuff). Perhaps I've been spoiled by too many Thelonious Monk and Les Paul listenings, but I value complexity, multiple layers, virtuosity, and the overall sound of music above all else. An idiot strumming his guitar just ain't gonna cut it, unless they're Django Reinhardt or George Benson-level players. BTW, PP&M's singles sold more in the AC charts in the '60s than on the general Billboard charts, which strengthens my argument for their squareness. Just because they sang protect songs doesn't mean they had any actual grit or angst. Protest songs are boring, simplistic (both musically and lyrically), and tend to be outdated very quickly anyway. Art for art's sake, I say! That's why the music that generally stands the test of time doesn't require any context to enjoy it (Beethoven, Gershwin, Armstrong, Bowie, etc.).

Don't expect my return to be a permanent one, as I've already stated my disgust and disinterest in the RRHOF. I only come back here when I want to promote an artist I genuinely enjoy. Unfortunately, since discussion of non-rock artists tends to be rather shallow here, I don't spend very much time posting here (My Al Jolson posts from about 4 months ago didn't receive as much as 1 reply, even though he's a legitimate legend and has lots of great performances). Outside the rock genres I already love (R&B/soul/funk, rockabilly, and new wave/synthpop/post-punk/goth rock/reign at the top for me), I've grown increasingly bored with rock 'n' roll and find more depth and pleasure in jazz, blues, film soundtracks, pre-1950s popular standards/vaudeville/Tin Pan Alley pop, and piano (my favorite musical instrument)-based classical. You can only listen to the friggin' Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin so many times before that wears out its welcome (I have a low opinion of most white guitar rawk). I've even grown to appreciate opera, as I have now have tracks from Enrico Caruso, Jan Peerce, Luciano Pavarotti, and Placido Domingo in my iTunes library. I do most of my online music discussions on some Facebook groups I belong to, although real, face-to-face interaction is still the way to go.

Just curious, but what-non rock music do you enjoy? Jazz, country-western, blues, classical, traditional pop, soundtracks, etc.?

Posted by Zach on Sunday, 03.20.16 @ 01:49am


One other points I want to make:

Louis Jordan never, EVER watered his sound or vocals down to accommodate mainstream audiences, even on his crossover hits like G.I. Jive (which is superior to the original written and sung by Johnny Mercer, although Mercer acquits himself just fine with his southern charm despite having no rhythm or soul to his voice) and Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby. His phenomenal run of hit singles on the Billboard R&B singles charts bears this out (16 no. 1 hits for the R&B, plus an overall total of 50 top 10 R&B hits and a respectable 7 top 10 pop hits). His influence can be evidenced in artists as varied as Chuck Berry and Sonny Rollins. I personally consider Jordan the true father of rock 'n' roll as he combined all the crucial elements - the backbeat, heavy rhythm, solo break, flamboyant frontman, humorous/risque lyrics, etc. Just because he didn't play guitar doesn't make his music any less rock than the '60s/'70s white guitar geeks lionized by Trolling (because their greatest lists read like attempts to troll legitimate musicologists/historians) Blown (because they blow just about every chance they have to redeem themselves).

Posted by Zach on Sunday, 03.20.16 @ 15:53pm


1. I don't know know that it's not a legitimate argument, but it's very seldom a strong argument. A candidate's worthiness should be on their own merits, not in comparison to others who are in, especially if you're only going to compare them to ones you don't like or respect.

2. Actually, I really wouldn't hold the mellowing of artists like Cole or Washington in too much of disdain, as it's pretty much what happens as acts get older. FWIW, I really don't think the "Boll Weevil Song" reflects too poorly on Brook. He's from the South, it's a song about Southern life, and has a pretty cozy R&B styling to it. Not his best song, but not a huge strike against him either.

Louis Jordan didn't water down his styling, but his off-and-on M.O. of novelty and humorous numbers was specifically done to appeal to White audiences.

3. I really don't like using "Then Came You" as an example for either Dionne or the Spinners... in fact, I don't like using duets to argue for any artist. I think an artist's merit is stronger when you can argue based on the material where they're the sole artist of credit. But to sum up on that one... it's one of Dionne's better songs, and NOT one of the better songs from the Spinners.

4. Sorry I forgot about your hatred of folk. Fwiw, though, I think it's a good thing to remember the folk influences too. With an establishment such as a Hall Of Fame, it's easy to paint rock 'n' roll music as *too* high of an art form, forgetting its history. For years, rock 'n' roll music was disregarded as base, crass, and the very antithesis of art. And some of the most beloved and time-enduring rock 'n' roll is some of the simplest.

Me personally, I like a lot of the traditional ballads and Americana. I'm a huge Perry Como fan, and also quite into Bing Crosby. I also like a lot of the older country, Johnny Horton has long been one of my favorite performers... the greatest hits LP my mother owned was one of my favorite records when I was in grade school. I also like blues, Broadway... I'm a huge sucker for vocal harmonies... in fact, in addition to the Rock Hall, I also have a homemade series of CDs honoring the now-defunct Vocal Group Hall Of Fame. I like classical, but am not the most thoroughly versed on that. Jazz, sadly, rates near the bottom. I don't hate it, but it's probably the main genre I care least about.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 03.20.16 @ 21:42pm


1. Apparently you see nothing wrong with lightweights like Linda Ronstadt, Percy Sledge, the Lovin' Spoonful, Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, Ritchie Valens, Donovan, and the Rascals being inducted (all of the aforementioned acts were most likely inducted because they had hits, not because of any tangible evidence of musical innovation or reinvention, and they've had minimal to no influence, and whatever influence they've had has been felt on equally insignificant or even less significant artists) while legitimate trendsetters and gamechangers like Kraftwerk, Link Wray, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Kate Bush, and Judas Priest (not to mention several very important Early Influences like Wynonie Harris, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Amos Milburn, Big Jay McNeeley, Al Jolson, The Ravens, The Four Freshmen, and Roy Brown) remain on the outside looking inwards. You can review the pages here for Hawkins, Harris, Kraftwerk, the Cure, Wray, Tharpe, and Jolson where I provide cases for their induction without comparing them to acts already enshrined. As it stands, the HOF has no credibility left with me (The addition of Tom Morello to the Nomimating Committee concerns me greatly, as he most likely has no or little knowledge of rock 'n' roll's formative years or its roots and has already demonstrated his bias for metal/hard rock acts).

2. Benton was in his early 30s when he cut the Boll Weevil Song, so chalking it up to aging isn't quite accurate. Washington was in her mid 30s when What A Diff'rence a Day Makes (her vocals are fine, but the strings downgrade the single somewhat for me) reached #8 on the Billboard Pop charts, so again I wouldn't cite her age as the cause. Thankfully, she redeemed herself with two fine duets w/Benton, Baby (You've Got What It Takes) and A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in love), although some mainstream pop elements did unfortunately creep into those songs, particularly the backing vocals on the latter.

I always found the Boll Weevil Song incredibly corny for its annoying backing vocals, intrusive strings at the beginning, and Floyd Cramer-esque piano trinkling.

I don't buy that Jordan's use of humor was an attempt to court white audiences. Using that logic, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Castor, Bo Diddley, Fats Waller, and scores of other black artists were trying to appease whites with their occasionally humorous records. The humor in Jordan's songs did not arise from demeaning stereotypes, but rather from familial conflicts (the serious-toned father lecturing his irresponsible son about the evils of drinking on What's the Use of Getting Sober), subtly poking fun at racism and segregation (Beans and Cornbread), relationships (Louis's stern warnings to the band on women in Beware), and the infidelities of women (Ain't That Just Like A Woman). It's also very telling that many of his comical singles were top 5 hits on the R&B charts with fellow blacks (not to mention the hip whites) but reached lower positions or never charted the Pops. What's the Use of Gettin' Sober (#1 R&B, never charted Pops), Five Guys Named Moe (#3 R&B, no Pops), Caldonia (#1 R&B, but #6 Pops, as Woody Herman's version stole its thunder and reached #2 Pops), Beware (#2 R&B, #20 Pops), Ain't That Just Like A Woman (#1 R&B, #17 Pops), and Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens (#1 R&B, #6 Pops), to name some examples.

3. Hence, my reference to Then Came You as a song where neither of the participants can claim full credit. I enjoy the song quite a lot.

4. Read my posts on the Kingston Trio (another act I heavily despise for their white bread vocal harmonies and lack of musical ability) and Phil Ochs (ditto, although he had a nasally whine for a voice and was a solo act) for other missives I've directed at folk. I begrudgingly admit folk did have some influence over rock 'n' roll, but not to the same extent as blues (electric, Chicago, and jump/urban being the main styles to shape R'N'R) and country-western (particularly western swing, the father of rockabilly). You can't do much with such a limited genre of music that is primarily based on vocals and lyrics and less on actual musical content. It lacks rhythm, soul, swing, spontaneity, humor, and excitement, all qualities that I demand in music. The worst offense a song can commit is to be boring (The mainstream U.S. listeners must have been witnessing a collective stupor when such lifeless, somnambulistic songs as Tom Dooley, Walk Right In, and Michael, Row the Boat Ashore all reached the #1 spot, all of which are among my most hated songs).

Since you love Crosby and Como as well as Broadway, I was wondering if you had familiarity or experience with the pop/vaudeville singers that were popular before the rise of Bing. I'm referring to names like Billy Murray, Irving Kaufman, Ada Jones, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Whispering Jack Smith, Gene Austin, Helen Kane, and Rudy Vallee (combined, these singers' primes cover roughly the beginning of the 1900s through the very early 1930s). Many* of these names were experienced in vaudeville, Broadway, and other live entertainment, so you'll notice that their performances on record tend to be very loud and theatrical. The technological limitations of the acoustic recording era (1890s-1925) meant that Murray, Jolson, Kaufman, etc. had to perform these songs like live performances for the metal horns to reproduce. As such, the dominant genres were marching bands, vaudeville/comic numbers, Broadway showtunes, ragtime, early and Dixieland, society/novelty dance bands, and opera. Specialty labels like Take Two Records and Archeophone have released dedicated and various artists CDs covering this period. Major label releases worth tracking down are Nipper's Greatest Hits: 1901-1920 and The '20s from RCA and Columbia's Art Deco series (including releases for Josephine Baker, Jolson, Cantor, as well as V/A releases honoring male and female singers, among other themes).

*Vallee, Austin, and Smith emerged in the early years of electrical recording, and were much softer-voiced than their predecessors. Still, they also predate Crosby's rise as a solo act, so I group the earlier crooners along with the acoustic recording era performers for this sake.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 03.21.16 @ 19:23pm


1. A few of those acts were inducted before I'd even known that the RnRHoF ever existed. But you have to remember, I don't ignore hits outright either. When I rank artists' merits, I have the 4-I system, and the popularity and commercial success falls under impact. Of those you're griping about, I was pretty dumbfounded when I heard Sledge made it. Cat Stevens I was very much against, and Ronstadt I felt was middling at best. Honestly, part of the reason I don't get too mad, though, is because most of the acts that I both feel are very worthy and thoroughly enjoy listening to.... are already in. So these days if an act is either highly worthy, or if I really like them ("Unquestionable musical excellence" after all), I'm not likely to get too upset. But then again, I don't see what's wrong with having a Hall where there's room for Kraftwerk, the Moody Blues, and Donovan and Jackson Browne.

2. I wasn't chalking Boll Weevil up to aging. Not every song is a home run, but even that song isn't really that bad. A bit corny, but still good R&B undercurrents running through it.

The bit about Louis Jordan came straight from the booklet/liner notes from the 9-CD set of his complete Decca Recordings.

3. That song's only okay for me. As I said, so many better songs from the Spinners.

4. Folk contains a lot of simplistic beauty. Sometimes less is more. Heck, there are a lot of blues performers that are minimalist to a degree. The main beauty of folk is the ease with which you can get the listener or audience drawn in. Take something like "Simple Song OF Freedom," and by the time you near the finish, you can invite the audience to sing along, and they'll be able to. But hey, if you don't dig it, you don't dig it.

As for pre-40's, I'd like to do more of it, but I'm not as carefree as I was, and can't spend the same amount of money that I used to on music, and my dwellings have steadily gotten smaller, so storing them is getting steadily harder. Plus, good anthologies that can still reproduce good sound... they're hard to come by. While I was following the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame, I was rather lucky to find an anthology that had highlights from the American Quartet, the Peerless Quartet, and the Hayden Quartet. The huge stars like Jolson, Whiteman, and a lot of the big bands you can probably get good starter anthologies, but they don't always have the same depth.

Posted by Philip on Monday, 03.21.16 @ 21:31pm


Warwick could be an artist that makes RRHOF one day. She had a list of hit songs Do You Know The Way To San Jose, Walk On By, Then Came You with The Spinners. There seems many female singers like Connie Francis, Leslie Gore, Barbara Streisand that have been overlooked from that time period. Philip, I like the vocal groups and harmony. It's why I liked the Bangles, The Association, and acts like Def Leppard and Alice In Chains who were creative with vocals.

Posted by KING on Monday, 03.21.16 @ 23:02pm


I know this is a belated psot, but between my job, hobbies, home life, and social time, I don't have much time for discussion sites (except Facebook). With the weather warming up, I'm afraid my online time will diminish (outside of that which I devote to work-related emails and my work in general), so my posts here will become even less frequent than they already are.

Anyway, on with my replies:

1. I'm not so much of a music elitist that I disqualify commercial success. There are certain acts who are so overwhelmingly popular that leaving them out of a Hall of Fame would be erroneous (KISS and the Grateful Dead are two major examples here). That said, for a Hall of Fame that initially set out to honor the trendsetters, innovators, and all-around legends, the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame has denigrated itself by inducting acts that either conform to the voting committee's biases (The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Lovin' Spoonful, Laura Nyro) or shameless attempts to shoe in names who are popular but don't perform so strongly on musical credentials or historical importance (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor). Therefore, it is a legitimate gripe to bemoan the lack of some very crucial acts (Kraftwerk, Link Wray, Afrika Bambaataa, War) while bantamweights waltz in easily (take your pick).

Keep in mind I do enjoy some acts that are in the HOF but don't belong, like Ritchie Valens, the Rascals, and Percy Sledge. If you apply the eraser test to either of these three acts (or ones I mentioned earlier whom I outright despise, like Browne and Ronstadt), how does anything significant change in the history of rock 'n' roll? I say little to nothing. BTW, there already is a Hall of Fame that honors music acts for commercial success; it's called the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Names like Taylor and Ronstadt are more appropriate for that type of hall.

Inducting lightweight acts also opens the floodgates to dozens of similar acts. What makes Sledge more qualified than the Champs, another act with one hit that is still tremendously popular to this day? What makes Stevens a better singer-songwriter (a genre that has no business in a R'N'R HOF, as it is stylistically closer to pop) representative than Jim Croce or Harry Chapin? On and on it goes.

2. Are you referring to the Bear Family set that collected all of Jordan's Decca Recordings? If so, I don't recall reading a statement to that effect anywhere in the book, and I read it very closely. Was it a quote from an archival interview w/Jordan, a quote from a producer/agent/collaborator, a line from a review, or just an assumption on the author's part? Regardless, my point still stands that Jordan never diluted his jump blues/R&B style to suit more conservative, mainstream tastes. None of his crossover hits bear traces of a more mainstream pop sound (ie, string-laden orchestras, annoying backup singers, etc.), and his appearances in the mainstream movies (like 1944's Follow the Boys, which is an all-star comedy/music revue with Jeanette McDonald, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, and others) were guest appearances, not featured roles. When he did get star billing, it was in the all black cast and "poverty row" (the term used to refer to the B studios in Hollywood during the 1930s and '40s, like Monogram, Republic, and PRC) films like Swing Parade of 1946 and Beware. I am a huge film buff (most anything from the 1980s and back through the silent era) so I thought this would add an interesting layer of discussion.

3. Agreed.

4. Simplicity is generally effective to me only when employed in a deceptive manner. You may not appreciate jazz, but Thelonious Monk was a master of composing pieces that would begin simply and expand into broader pieces. Simplicity as the end goal of music is regressive and prevents innovations and new sounds from breaking through in a big way. Imagine how many musical movements and genres would not exist if the very anti-intellectual and naive "3 chords and the truth" mantra was taken up by every artist. Music wouldn't have progressed beyond a capella in that case.

Blues as a genre was rather narrow and simplistic in the pre-post WWII era, outside of the classic female singers like Bessie Smith and the jazz bands that employed blues rhythms and patterns. One man playing a guitar isn't particularly interesting, unless they're a virtuoso or possess some unique talent. Thus, I find nothing of interest in the likes of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Son House. I'm also disdainful of rural blues due to the racial connotations present. The often incomprehensible voices and subpar production values on those archaic blues songs bring to mind ugly, racist stereotypes that should have died in the Antebellum Era (or, better yet, should have never existed, period). Blues progressed ten-fold when guys like Muddy Waters went to the cities, acquired electric guitars, and had better recording facilities. The urbanization of blues allowed the genre to cross-pollinate with other styles, particularly jazz, soul, and funk.

I would argue the sing-along nature of folk music gives it a "lowest common denominator" appeal (To be fair, other genres could be guilty of this, but in different ways). It doesn't require a great deal of effort to join along and sing. That is why I prefer instrumental-based music; it requires the listener to be active, create their own stories to fit the melody/rhythm/soundscape, and it takes patience. It may take longer to reach satisfaction, but the payoff is worth it. I generally don't care for lyrics unless they're either humorous/clever or come from the pens of the classic Great American Songbook/Tin Pan Alley masters.

I happen to despise Simple Song of Freedom, especially for the condescending and semi-racist "Hey there mister black man" verse. It was truly a pity when Bobby Darin went through his MOR pop and folk phases. They're a long drop off from his jazzy pop and R'N'R years, IMHO.

I usually acquire my music through library loan-outs (I copy the tracks to my iTunes), but I will acquire physical copies of albums, compilations or box sets on CD if I enjoy the artist enough. I have neither the money nor the time to buy all the music I enjoy. You can always go to YouTube and type in the names of Jolson, Whiteman, Murray, Cantor, etc. and listen to their songs (and, in some cases, watch their filmed performances) for no cost. If you ever do wish to rent or buy physical copies, I suggest these:

For individual artist comps:

The Best of Eddie Cantor - A Centennial Celebration (RCA/BMG, 1992. Note: Tracks 1-12 and 20 date from 1957 [a retrospective album featuring new recordings of his old hits, with orchestral accompaniment and introductions] and 1950 [a one-off recording session], respectively, but the rest all date from 1917, 1928, 1929, and 1931)

Art Deco Series: Eddie Cantor: The Columbia Years, 1922-1940 (2 discs, Columbia, 1994)

Let Me Sing and I'm Happy: Al Jolson at Warner Bros. 1926-1936 (Turner/Rhino 1996; this features his recordings made for the films he did at Warner Bros., including cuts from The Jazz Singer, The Singing Fool, and The Singing Kid, to name a few)

Fats Waller: If You Got to Ask You Ain't Got It! (Bluebird/Legacy 2006; I suspect older, pre-bebop jazz might be more appealing to you, as it is to me, although I enjoy plenty of post-WWII jazz. This is a great 3-disc set featuring both vocal and instrumental tracks)

Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Fives and Hot Sevens Recordings (Columbia/Legacy 2000; this one is pretty self explanatory)

V/A releases:

Nipper's Greatest Hits: 1901-1920, the '20s, and '30s, Vols. 1 and 2 (RCA/BMG; 1991 and 1990 [the next three, respectively]; these are part of a 13-disc series covering RCA/Victor hits from the 1900s through the 1980s; the first four are the best for historical value and repeat listening, as you'll get everything from Billy Murray and Enrico Caruso to Duke Ellington and Fanny Brice to Rudy Vallee and Lionel Hampton)

Favorites of the Roaring Twenties and Echoes from the 1920s (Take Two 1999 and 2002, respectively; the material here runs more toward second-string artists, but there's still plenty of jewels courtesy of Murray, Whiteman, Irving Kaufman, Nick Lucas, Helen Kane, Ruth Etting, and co.)

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 04.5.16 @ 21:06pm


1. I absolutely despise the eraser test, as I feel it is pre-programmed to promulgate and justify Small Hall mentality. Simply put, just because the Moody Blues belong in the Hall doesn't mean Ritchie Valens doesn't. Valens, I would consider not only a barrier breaker for Latino-rock, paving the way for Santana, Los Lobos, and others, but also had a style with his guitar that was formative of the early SoCal sound, and would later be expounded on artists like the Beach Boys in their non-surf songs... it wasn't surf, it wasn't beach, it was different.

I think it's utterly pointless and useless to demand a pecking order for artists. It's ultimately a dead-end, only guaranteed to aggravate. It also imposes a structure of hierarchy or merits that simply doesn't exist, while further ignoring the simple fact that taste does come into play, and always will. It's not perfect, but for arts, there's no such thing as perfection.

I furthermore reject your assertion that singer/songwriter has no place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. It leans and tips the hat toward folk roots, and though you hate folk, your personal bias against it is insufficient argument to blacklist its influence from the Hall. Additionally, singer/songwriter in much of its essence, espouses an emotional honesty, an honesty that expressed through gentle words, rather than anguished wails and cries.

2. Yeah, the 9-CD set. It was pretty early in that big booklet, where it mentions that. Again, I didn't say he diluted his sound, only that appeal to White audiences was in fact a goal.

4. That is merely *your* take on simplicity. Simplicity is also effective when the message of the song is of paramount importance, and should not be lost in the dress-up of fancy instrumental ornamentation... I think "Imagine" does this quite well. I think it also reinforces the basic-ness of the message. It states that the truth of the message is as simple as the minimal accompaniment. I think the acoustic performance of "All Apologies" does this well.

I disagree with your assertion about instrumental music though... without words, it's easy for a song to get put on back burner, treated as mere ambiance, even. With sing-along, the listener is active, and by singing along, they are more likely to remember the words and thus take them to heart.

As far as "Simple Song Of Freedom," that line about "Mr. Black Man" is pure context... the Black Panthers, and the Vietnam War, of which the U.S. Army was accused of being very discriminatory in their actions toward African-Americans. At a time when racial tensions were high, the point was that no matter the color, we all want the same thing, despite what these radical organizations on either side tell you.

As far as your library list, those are good starts, but I want the whole enchilada. I want to be able to collect the entire chart history of artists like Bing Crosby and Paul Whiteman. I don't want incompleteness.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 04.5.16 @ 23:48pm


I think I now understand what Bill G meant when he said you always like to disagree and have the last word. :)

1. Nope, I think the eraser test is perfectly valid. It allows one to keep a proper historical perspective and to evaluate which artists had the greatest impact. I admit Valens did have some importance by being the first commercially successful Latino rock artist, but his overall body of work is rather slim and his career was cut off too soon (sadly) for him to really hone his style. You could argue the same about Buddy Holly, but he had a 2-year jump on Valens with his recording career and he had more time to craft his Tex-Mex/rockabilly style while also contributing a larger body of work that has also influenced a greater body of acts.

Singer-songwriter pablum (I can't be objective about this, I truly despise this kind of music) is not rock 'n' roll as it lacks a backbeat, rhythm, or any of the excitement that one can find in the various styles of R'N'R. You can't trace anything from James Taylor back to Little Richard; if anything, the '70s singer-songwriters are more reminiscent of some of the '50s pop singers and early '60s pop-folk vocal groups: nonthreatening, middle-of-the-road, bland, unchallenging, and safe for even your grandparents. :D. So it isn't just a personal bias, but also it's a stylistic difference from the roots of rock, of which about half can be traced back to blues (folk is nowhere near blues in terms of import or the quantity of artists that influenced R'N'R).

If one is to evaluate the historical and musical importance, then a hierarchy is necessary as it allows for one to evaluate which artists did the most to develop a style or genre of music, reinvent the rules completely, or do more than anyone else to embody a style or genre. Objectively, I see the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Scott Joplin, Al Jolson, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Muddy Waters, Hank Williams, James Brown, Les Paul, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Prince, and possibly 4 or 5 other names resting at the top of the mountain. All of the names I mentioned are crucial to music as a whole; whereas others may comprise a handful of paragraphs or a couple of pages, these acts all take entire chapters in the book.

4. Of course that's my perspective. You knew it was when you read it, didn't ya? I don't necessarily have to preface all my opinions with qualifiers to indicate that they are my views.

Messages in music can get lost in translation for those who do not speak the language. I think it's also rather narrow-minded to judge music as a venue for messages when lyrics are not music and it is a performance-based art, not story (Musical theater is a different animal altogether). Indeed, lyrics can resonate with people, but so do instrumental rhythms, riffs, melodies, harmonies, and other musical aspects that don't need words. Think of all the classical pieces that are instantly recognizable to the average set of ears, and none of them have any lyrics. How about The Entertainer, In the Mood, Sing Sing Sing, Take Five, countless movie themes (Star Wars being the most obvious one here) and countless other instrumental pieces of music with very familiar melodies or rhythms? You don't think any of these examples have become ingrained in the minds of millions? I daresay something like the Imperial March or Moonlight Sonata has been heard by more ears and is more recognizable than a naive, silly song like Imagine (Lennon was hardly a saint, as seen by his leaving his first wife and song for Yoko, so his authority on the subjects of peace and love is nonexistent).

I stand by my evaluation of instrumental music. Those who treat it as mere background music (unless it is designed as such, like easy listening) lack the patience and effort to truly appreciate it. I like having multiple instruments in a piece of music because when I listen to it, I can focus my ears on a different one each time out. The first time, I'll absorb the whole package, then each subsequent time, I might pick up on something in the background that wasn't apparent to me initially or focus only on the foreground, etc. With one instrument and a voice, the layers are drastically reduced. Your options for focusing attention on different elements are limited, so there is no challenge present to the listener. A solo performance by a musician is only worth hearing if the musician gives a complex performance with technical ability and vituosity.

I'm well are of the context in which Simple Song of Freedom was made, and that's why I don't like it. To a millennial ike me, it sounds like ancient history. I can't relate to that time period. Besides, songs do not accurately or completely capture history. You can already consult documentaries, history textbooks, archived newspaper/journal stories, eyewitness testimonies. There is no obligation or necessity for music to be concerned with the truth or social commentary. It sounds rather condescending for a white person to address blacks as though they know their struggle and goals and can identify with them. That line makes it sound as though blacks are incapable of being self-sufficient and helping themselves without whitey's intervention, which is obviously false, as seen by groups like the Nation of Islam that have practiced self-determination and helped raise fellow blacks from their troubles without whitey's aid. SSOF is an outdated relic that has been mostly forgotten, thankfully. Darin has been (rightfully) remembered primarily for his performances of Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea, Splish plash, and Dream Lover, to name examples of his more signature work. Great art requires no context to appreciate it; one just needs to listen to the music or look upon the images and get lost in it.

I recommended those CDs as beginners. However, the Cantor Columbia set contains all his Columbia recordings, so it isn't an incomplete set (even thought it concentrates on his work for one label as opposed to his entire career). I find your last comment rather rude and dismissive. I wanted to suggest some worthy additions to your collection and your response is essentially "It's all or nothing!" Again I suggest you begin with YouTube and decide from there whether you want to invest more time and effort in compiling their work or not.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 04.6.16 @ 10:27am


Just keepin' the discussion going. I don't like to disagree per se. Last word, yeah, I admitted to that one before already.

1. The problem with the eraser test though,is that it is also highly editorial, as perspectives can have incredible blind spots. Take the Moody Blues, for instance, an act that pretty much everyone on this forum agrees is a glaring omission. To a NomCom member, however, the eraser test would turn up negative, that not only could the history of rock 'n' roll be told without the Moody Blues, but that the narrative would be better told without them to boot. And again, the eraser test is a Small Hall tactic, a take I do not embrace. As far as a hierarchy goes, naturally we want only worthy inductees, but it's beside the point to create a hierarchy beyond a simple litmus test. If an artist is worthy, then it's okay that they get in. Pure and simple. They don't have to be the MOST worthy or the biggest snubs. Ultimately it doesn't matter when they get inducted, only that they do. Employing a hierarchy suggests that the less time an artist has to wait, the more worthy they must be/have been, and even a cursory glance at the inductees based on first year of eligibility versus year of induction clearly demonstrates that this is not the case. Also, a hierarchy flat-out ignores the concept of "unquestionable musical excellence" which supposedly matter more than innovation and influence.

Singer/songwriter is indeed close to rock'n'roll's roots.... its folk roots. Rock 'n' roll didn't just come from the blues and country. Folk played a part of it too, and you can't ignore that. Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger... all Early Influence inductees. Rock 'n' roll has roots that include folk, and singer/songwriters are fairly close to those roots. Also, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers are charter members, and singer/songwriters have some traces of the Everly Brothers and Holly's balladry. Lastly, I wouldn't dismiss teen idols. Historical perspective: teen idols were considered rock and roll back in the day too... Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vee, Tommy Sands... they were considered rock'n'roll too. Parents hated all of them.

4. "Lyrics are not music"?? What, you hate accapella then? Rhythmic chanting isn't music? Lyrics are a part of the music, as is the melody. It's an integrated thing.

" A solo performance by a musician is only worth hearing if the musician gives a complex performance with technical ability and vituosity."

Very much disagree. It's worth hearing if it makes an impact on your life, whether in the form of a good time, hearing a message or philosophy that is different from yours, having what you believe stated succinctly, or if the melody evokes an emotion within the listener. Complexity is nice to have, but is hardly the only thing that matters in a performance.

Zach, I'm about the same age as you, born in the '80s. I'm in that limbo where older Gen-Xers say I'm a Millennial and younger Millennials say I'm a Gen-Xer. Point is, I'm not from that time too, and I don't hate that song. I think that line is not nearly as patronizing as you're making it out to be. And strangely enough, the context of the whole song in general is still pertinent, though art can be great with or without context.

My comment wasn't meant to be rude or dismissive, btw. It's just an acknowledgment of reality: I have obligations now that I didn't in my younger years, meaning I don't have as much income to dispose on music after the bills are paid that I once did. So if I'm going to go buying music (the libraries here are rather paltry, as I don't live in a metropolis), I don't want a mere ten-track thing that doesn't offer me something I haven't already heard, and I don't want to have to go buying four additional CDs just to find some of the more obscure hits. It shouldn't be like that. Now, in the case of multiple labels, that's fine, if I have to buy an additional CD because of licensing or multiple label spans, I'm more okay with that, but if I don't have to, that's even better. That's not dismissive, that's wanting the biggest bang for my buck.

Posted by Philip on Wednesday, 04.6.16 @ 19:35pm


Well I suppose we'll wrap it up here. At this point, nothing you nor I can post to convince either of us to yield to the other's viewpoints. I sincerely ask that we bury the hatchet here, as I don't have the time to keep returning to post my rebuttals (That, and it's warming up outside, so my online time will be limited to job-related affairs and an occasional check-in with social media).

1. No argument on the Moody Blues' merits. I don't consider myself a prog rock devotee, but I'd agree that they constitute a major omission given their significance to prog rock (I might also add they're one of the few remaining worthy '60s acts, as that decade is vastly over represented in the Hall and doesn't need much more representation). The NomCom needs an entire overhaul, but as I've pointed out, I've given up any hope of the RRHOF redeeming its credibility after countless belated inductions, both to those who died before their inductions and had already been alive longer enough to be shoed in sooner (Donna Summer in the Performers and Jesse Stone in the Nonmusicians are 2 major examples) or long after they were eligible (Black Sabbath and Rush come to mind), constantly sucking the nipples of the '60s and scraping the bottom of the barrel for fourth and fifth-tier acts from that decade (Take your pick), and inducting leadmen in the early years without their band or groupmates and then finally honoring them nearly 2 decades later (Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, and others going in as solo acts, to name a few). I'd just as soon prefer to see the sham burn to the ground, preferably with the likes of Dave Marsh, Jann Wenner, and other self-appointed "experts" all trapped indoors. :D

I actually prefer using the book as a litmus test than the eraser test, but I mentioned the latter as it's been brought up before and think it has some relevance in being able to determine how much history would or wouldn't change. The hypothetical book should naturally reserve chapters dedicated to solo acts, but only to the cream of the crop (Any of the names I suggested earlier would suffice). You don't need entire chapters extolling the virtues of featherweights like the Lovin' Spoonful (Folk rock doesn't need to be represented by anyone else besides Bob Dylan, the Byrds, and Simon & Garfunkel, all of whom I despise but begrudgingly acknowledge their importance. The LS don't deserve more than a quick mention in a list of disposable '60s pop acts), Laura Nyro (A virtual nonentity as far as her actual recording career goes, plus her songs are better known as covers by other artists. A footnote at best), Ritchie Valens (I like him, but his legacy is rather slim and wouldn't cover much than 2 short paragraphs tops, in the book), or Gene Pitney (I'm indifferent to him, but I don't see him as absolutely essential Either way, he's worthy of no more than perhaps a sentence or two). Call it small hall if you must, but if you induct minor leaguers and artists you like because they come from your formative years or preferred decade, you open the floodgates to dozens of similar names. Thus, concepts like legends and halls of fame become diluted. The objective list of worthy HOF'ers shouldn't be limited only to one act per style (some styles are so crucial, like soul, that you could legitimately claim that there are at least 20 names worthy of putting in), but the line between the excellent and the very good/good needs to be drawn more clearly.

I clearly stated that folk was part of RNR's roots, but definitely not to the same extent as country-Western and blues. I don't dispute folk's influence, but it certainly isn't as widespread in rock as the blues. There's a perfectly good reason why the blues men and women are more heavily represented in the Early Influences than the folkies: the blues names were influential in musical, vocal, lyrical, and performing aspects equally, whereas the folkies were mostly influential in just the lyrics, with slight influence in vocals, and next-to-none in musicianship and performing.

You mention the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly as examples of displayint the storytelling tradition of folk, but I see no influence from Guthrie or Seeger in either of them. I hear lots of Hank Williams in Holly. You might suggest Hank was as much of a storyteller, and you'd be right, but the sound of his band, the Drifting Cowboys, was every bit as important. Take them away, and you remove more than half of the Williams style. The Everly Brothers were likewise more influenced by country than folk, particularly by the Lovin Brothers. Citing storytelling as a sign of influence just doesn't cut it; just about every singer tells some kind of story, but stories are literature, not music, so that doesn't count any more than one's on-stage attire or body weight. The Everly are known primarily for their vocal harmonies: they could have been singing nonsense syllables and their
clear, smooth voices still would have resonated.

The teen idols were primarily pop disguised as rock. Some, like Bobby Darin in his early years, did record rock material and would return it again, but by and large the likes of Bobby Vinton, Pat Boone, Frankie Avalon, and Neil Sedaka were singing mushy ballads just as their older counterparts like Eddie Fisher and Tony Bennett did, only they were aimed at teenagers rather than adults. Add in the fact that most of these teen idols worked with large orchestras more typical of the adult pop singers of the day, and you can see why they are mostly dismissed, aside from a handful of worthy individuals who didn't just use rock as a springboard to something else. I couldn't imagine too many parents in those days finding something transgressive or offensive in Avalon or Fabian. They, along with the whiter-than-wonder bread pop-folk groups like the Kingston Trio and the Brothers Four, helped make the pop top 40 very dire in the 1959-1963 timeframe (Early Motown, soul, some of the Brill Building pop, surf/instrumental rock, some '50s rock holdovers, the occasional jazz piece, and some of the country-western/R&B crossovers saved the top 40 charts from being entirely putrid). They were every bit as nauseating as when crap like How Much is That Doggie in the Window, If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked A Cake, Oh My Papa, and Rags to Riches were burning up the charts in the 1950-1954 timeframe (an even worse period for mainstream top 40, except for Nat King Cole, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Dean Martin, C&W/R&B crossovers, and a few other names).

4. I should've pointed out that lyrics alone are not music, After all, they do require voices to sing and interpret them. They're fine to have, but not a necessity in music. The only time lyrics come close to being musical is when you delve into singing styles like scat singing and vocalese, which require a lot more chops in the vocal department than your average crooner, folkie, or balladeer could ever hope to muster. I'd say wordless chants could be musical, as the content of what is being said isn't that significant. Some vocal groups like The Four Freshmen could make voices sound like instruments, but again, the words were not of paramount importance. Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Slim Gaillard, Dizzy Gillespie and other jazz singers proved you could make entire songs out of syllables and obscure phrases and have hits with those. It's like with movies; dialogue is OK, but you can present the narratives entirely with visuals and not have one word spoken. Watch some old Harold Lloyd or Fatty Arbuckle movies; they're as downright hysterical as any Mel Brooks or Marx Brothers film.

I find it odd that a millennial such as yourself would find anything of merit in an outdated song like SSOF. The song is no longer relevant; yes, racial prejudice and racism as a whole do still exist, but the times we live in are very different from those 50 years ago. Segregation is thankfully long gone as an institution in the U.S., although members of every group practice their own quasi-segregation by choosing to mingle and live with others of the same background. There are also no unpopular wars being waged at the moment, although like most other Presidents, the current puppet in charge doesn't seem to mind approving despicable actions that could lead to war (e.g. the drone strikes in various Middle East nations). Further evidence that SSOF has no relevance is its lack of popularity in the Darin canon. Compare the number of views it has on YouTube compared to more signature songs of his like Beyond the Sea and Mack the Knife. The differences are stark. There's already enough strife in the world; songwriters aren't needed to inform the world when the proper sources already exist. Ohio didn't lead to Tricky Dick's impeachment; the Angry American didn't eliminate the threat of terrorism; Eve of Destruction was nothing but irrational fear mongering (Red China isn't as red as it once might have been). On and on it goes. Those songs haven't and won't stand the test of time. The ones that have remained staples and will continue to win new fans are the likes of Rock Around the Clock, Over the Rainbow, Stand By Me, and Summerime, none of which have any sociopolitical overtones and can be enjoyed and understood by anyone regardless of demographic or psychographic factors. Ditto for all the instrumental classics.

I understand your situation in regards to disposable time and having your priorities organized quite clearly. My work schedule and outside endeavors take up a great chunk of my time. I spend little money purchasing music as I prefer the option of having thousands of songs at my disposal, as opposed to changing the CD, cassette, LP, 45, etc., every time I want to hear something different. I will make exceptions for those whom I love deeply, like Ray Charles and David Bowie, but I cannot realistically acquire everything I like on CD or vinyl. Not enough time or money for the average person to do that. I have performers, genres and eras I prefer, but I have very broad tastes that encompass some very eclectic names (Who else do you know that has both Thelonious Monk and Roxy Music, or Elmore James and Bing Crosby, on their iPod?). Not bragging here; if I could show you my iPod songlist, I'd do it (And I'd ask you to share yours in return, unless you use another device). I'll be turning 30 in 2 1/2 years, so keeping abreast of new music isn't a top priority of mine. If the music comes from a genre or style I already I enjoy and want to hear more of, I'll seek it out. Otherwise, I ain't wasting time, effort, and/or money. Oddly enough, this is in direct contrast to my consumption of movies, as I am more well versed in movies and have more shelf space to hold DVDs/Blu-Rays than CDs or vinyl. Time and money prevent me from going to the theaters on a regular basis, but I'd say I see at least 6-8 (give or take a couple) movies a year in a theater. I'm more enthralled by older movies, especially those from the '80s, '70s, '30s, '40s, and '50s (I'd have more silent films if there were more available on DVD/Blu-ray, but most of them aren't so easily accessible. I prefer movies of the '60s to most music of the '60s, but not by much. Mostly just Hammer/Amicus horror, kaiju eiga from Japan, Peter Sellers comedies, and some other odds and ends).

BTW, I file my requests for CDs through my college's online interlibrary loan system. I can request something from a library in an entirely different part of my state and have it shipped either to my alma mater or another library in my vicinity. I'm not from a big city, mind you, so I don't go to the libraries to look through the CDs every week. I use the online catalogs when I have the down time. You should check with your local library to see if they have a virtual interlibrary loan system. No pressure, just a tip that would save you the time and money to have to visit every library in your state.

Posted by Zach on Thursday, 04.7.16 @ 00:54am


Don't Make Me Over * Make the Music Play * This Empty Place * A House Is Not a Home * Anyone Who Had a Heart * Reach out for Me * Walk on By * You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) * Here I Am * Looking With My Eyes * Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) * You Can Have Him * Are You There (With Another Girl) * I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself * Message to Michael * Trains and Boats and Planes * Alfie * Another Night * I Say a Little Prayer * The Windows of the World * (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me * Do You Know the Way to San Jose? * Let Me Be Lonely * Promises, Promises * Theme from Valley of the Dolls * Who Is Gonna Love Me? * Odds and Ends * The April Fools * This Girl's in Love with You * You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' * I'll Never Fall in Love Again * Let Me Go to Him * Make It Easy on Yourself * Paper Maché * The Green Grass Starts to Grow * Who Gets the Guy * If We Only Have Love * Just Being Myself * Sure Thing * Then Came You * I Didn't Mean to Love You * I Say a Little Prayer * Deja Vu * I'll Never Love This Way Again * After You * Easy Love * No Night So Long * We Never Said Goodbye * Some Changes Are for Good * For You * Friends in Love * Heartbreaker * All the Love in the World * How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye * Take the Short Way Home * Finder of Lost Loves * Run to Me * That's What Friends Are For * Whisper in the Dark * Love Power * Reservations for Two * Another Chance to Love * Take Good Care of You and Me * What the World Needs Now Is Love

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 06.18.17 @ 07:46am


It's a crime that Dionne Warwick hasn't even been considered for a nomination.

From Wiki:
She is second only to Aretha Franklin as the most-charted female vocalist of all time, with 56 of Warwick's singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998 and 80 singles making all Billboard charts combined.

Posted by Classic Rock on Saturday, 11.25.17 @ 23:13pm


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