Miracles do happen: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Adds Six Backing Groups to the Class of 2012
- Blue Caps (Gene Vincent)
- The Comets (Bill Haley)
- The Crickets (Buddy Holly)
- Famous Flames (James Brown)
- Midnighters (Hank Ballard)
- Miracles (Smokey Robinson)
In each of these cases, the backing group failed to get into the Hall of Fame at the same time as their frontman - sometimes causing a great deal of controversy. The Hall of Fame's failure to induct the Miracles along with Smokey Robinson in 1987 caused a particularly large uproar. Hall of Fame rules state that artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their debut release. At the time, Robinson had been a solo artist for only 14 years.From John Soeder’s Plain Dealer report:
The newly announced honorees were not nominated on the latest Rock Hall ballot. Instead, they were designated by a special committee.
"There was a lot of discussion about this," said committee member Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
"There had always been conversations about why the groups weren't included when the lead singers were inducted," Stewart said.
”Very honestly, nobody could really answer that question -- it was so long ago. . . . We decided we'd sit down as an organization and look at that. This is the result.
"You're looking at some of the lynchpins between rockabilly and vocal-harmony and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll. It speaks to when this music took off. It's a great statement about the early years.”
. . .
As for other groups that were not inducted alongside their frontmen -- Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, for example -- Stewart said they might have a shot at getting in someday as recipients of the Rock Hall's Award for Musical Excellence.
"The great thing is that the organization recognizes that it needs to look at the process from time to time, and look at the results," Stewart said.
”If there are things that we think need to be modified or changed, then that's what we do."
Congratulations to the members of these groups (and their families) who are finally getting the recognition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they deserve. A shout-out also goes to the community members of Future Rock Legends who have been banging the drum on this issue for so long (especially Bill G. and Roy).
More to come...