Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2024 nominees

Blige, Carey, Cher, Matthews, Eric B., Foreigner, Frampton, Jane’s., Kool, Kravitz, Oasis, O’Connor, Osbourne, Sade, Quest.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2024 nominees were announced recently. They are Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Cher, Dave Matthews Band, Eric B. & Rakim, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Jane’s Addiction, Kool & the Gang, Lenny Kravitz, Oasis, Sinéad O’Connor, Ozzy Osbourne, Sade & A Tribe Called Quest.

Yes, please don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. I might even agree with you. But I loved visiting Cleveland in 1998 and 2016 to see the exhibits anyway.

For some years, I know precisely which three or four people I would vote for in the fan ballot, for which you can vote until April 26. I vigorously supported underappreciated artists such as Fela Kuti, John Prine, and Warren Zevon when they were recently on the ballot, but they were not inducted.

The nominees

This year, there was only one sure thing: Cher. Curiously, I don’t have any of her albums, though she does appear on compilations I own. She’s gone from being a background singer for Phil Spector to her days with Sonny Bono to becoming an icon. I watched her shows with and without Bono. Not that it’s particularly relevant here, but she was good in a trio of 1980s movies: Silkwood, Mask, and  Moonstruck. Absolutely YES.

I scattered my votes – one can vote for seven instead of five this year – among 11 artists.

Mary J. Blige: I have none of her music. Yet her influence is well-documented. PROBABLY YES.

Mariah Carey – I have her greatest hits album on CD. Still, I didn’t bother voting for her because 1) she’ll get in without my help, and 2) she has a five-octave voice, which she often uses unnecessarily to the music’s detriment. NO

Dave Matthews Band – I don’t own any of the music. A funny thing about me and Dave Mathews: I saw him at the Willie Nelson 90th birthday bash and the Rock Hall induction, and I NEVER recognized him, visually or sonically. MAYBE.

Eric B. & Rakim – I don’t own their music, but I appreciate their contribution. MAYBE.

Foreigner – I have a couple of their LPs and some irritating live CD. MAYBE.

An old Ray Charles song

Peter Frampton – I have Frampton Comes Alive. But my YES vote comes from his brief tenure with Humble Pie, particularly Rockin’ The Filmore, an LP I own. Specifically, I Don’t Need No Doctor was a staple of FM radio in the 1970s.

Jane’s Addiction is a group I don’t own, but again, I recognize their importance, in this case, to alternative rock. MAYBE.

Kool & the Gang – I have one of their LPs. Of course, it contains Celebration. And Pulp Fiction brought back Jungle Boogie. I am inclined to favor older acts, and they first charted in 1969. YES.

Lenny Kravitz – There are a LOT of artists for which I have one of their albums. I have one Kravitz CD. MAYBE

Oasis – Ditto. MAYBE.

Sinéad O’Connor – I have only her albums, the one with Nothing Compares 2 U, a video that has always gutted me. And it was before she died. But she became a probably YES after I heard the Coverville tribute to her.

Ozzy Osbourne – I wasn’t into Black Sabbath. Ozzy, I know more as a personality on that MTV show. He’ll get in, I’m sure. NO.

Sade – Lovely voice. I own one of her albums.  Also, Rebecca Jade will be doing a show of Sade songs plus her own in Philadelphia on my next birthday. MAYBE.

A Tribe Called Quest – They show up on a couple of my compilations, and I love what they do. YES.


So that’s six YES or PROBABLY YES, two NO, seven MAYBE.  I’ll admit to a certain bias. In Bernie Taupin’s acceptance speech, he pointedly lifted up articulate women and black people. It was a clear rebuke of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and his comments about why his then-current book included only white men. The statement got Wenner removed from the board of directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Who would you vote for?

The folks who decide on the new inductees can also select people in the category of  Musical Excellence, which “shall be given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.” Taupin, the lyricist for most of Elton John’s songs, was selected this way.

Besides Kuti, Prine, and Zevon, I’d like to see more of the Wrecking Crew picked, particularly Carol Kaye, who created the bass line for Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Goes On in the studio. They should also pick Glen Campbell, a mighty guitarist, before having success as a singer.


Finally, they need Estelle Axton, the co-founder of STAX Records, in, as I have been nagging about since 2015. As I noted, her brother, Jim Stewart, was inducted in 2002! My late friend Dustbury opined: ” So why is Stewart in the Hall and Axton not? Because Stewart, who couldn’t comprehend contract law, signed all those early Stax masters over to Atlantic, and at the Hall, Ahmet Ertegun sits at the right hand of God. Estelle, had she seen the paperwork, would have figured out the deal from day one.”

Estelle Axton for the ROCK HALL. Estelle Axton for the ROCK HALL. Oh, and Estelle Axton for the ROCK HALL.

June rambling #1: Seven and Seven Is

Once I could have told you ALL the guys with 500+ homers.

Geez, I forgot to mention that I got together with some former JEOPARDY! contestants on the first Friday in May at a bar in Albany. I remember that because I had to rush from the First Friday event at my church. Anyway, nice people. Yes, and smart.

Mark Evanier writes about being The Advocate — “the functional person who handles everything for the sick person. I had to watch over their needs, get them whatever they required, intervene with the hospital and caregivers when necessary and run the aspects of their lives they could no longer handle, including personal finances. In simpler terms, I had to just be there for them.” Maybe I got a little teary.

I was going to write why I think the US pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement won’t be that bad, since mayors and governors and industry will step up. But with The Weekly Sift guy explaining The Paris Agreement is like my church’s pledge drive, plus what John Oliver said (or here), and what Hank Green said and what Ben & Jerry wrote and what Arthur wrote, I’m not feeling compelled.

Covfefe department: Do trademarks present an ethical violation? These probably do. Plus the swamp and failed Twitter intervention and the corrosive privilege of the most mocked man in the world.

Chuck Miller, my former Times Union blogger buddy – we’re still buds, but he’s not with the TU blogs anymore, explained in these pages in early April. Anyway, he is doing a new thing, and I am mentioned. The only problem is that he didn’t link to a certain song, so I did, below.

Chuck also writes about Teri Conroy, who also used to be in the TU blog farm. I’ve met her and she really IS a saint.

Su-sieee! Mac, one our ABC Wednesday participants: “Am I allowed to say I’m a cancer survivor when I didn’t know I had cancer?”

My local library branch (Pine Hills in Albany) gets a new art installation every few months. Among the artists this go round is Peach Tao, whose dinosaur woodcuts are really cool. I went to the opening on June 2. The art will be there until October 28.

Jaquandor has been doing his Bad Joke Friday for a while. Some are quite terrible. So naturally, sometimes I encourage him.

Albert Pujols became the ninth hitter in Major League Baseball to hit 600 or more home runs. Once I could have told you ALL the guys with 500+ homers, which used to be a lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame*. But as a result of the era of performance-enhancing drugs, Bonds and Sosa, for two, have not yet made it.
1 Barry Bonds 762
2 Hank Aaron * 755
3 Babe Ruth * 714
4 Alex Rodriguez 696
5 Willie Mays * 660
6 Ken Griffey, Jr.* 630
7 Jim Thome 612
8 Sammy Sosa 609

What Does Wonder Woman Actually Represent? and Revisiting the story that redefined her. Reckon Eddie and I need to see this movie.

The first shopping cart was introduced in OKC 80 years ago this week.


Dustbury expands on my reference to Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

Liverpool Plays Pepper (link good only in June 2017) and When I’m Sixty-Four – MonaLisa Twins and Sgt. Pepper at 50.

Hey, Animaniacs, shouldn’t it be 50 state capitals, plus the federal one?

K-Chuck Radio: The Adjustments of Popular Songs.

Seven and Seven Is – Love. (CM)

How Gregg Allman and Cher stunned Canisius High ‘assembly’ in 1976.

Cher is 70

“Their lounge act was so depressing, people started heckling them. Then Cher started heckling back.”

cher_2Two years back, on this date, one of my earliest online buddies, Greg Burgas, kvetched about me recognizing the late Joe Cocker’s 70th birthday. “It’s Cher’s birthday too. She’s 68 if I recall correctly. Much more important than Joe ‘Help me I’m constipated’ Cocker. Come on, Roger!”

Now the performer formerly known as Cherilyn Sarkisian is the big 7-0. But what shall I write? I have but one Sonny & Cher song on one compilation, and a Cher song on another. Though I realize I do own some Cher vocals:

“Cher met performer Sonny Bono in November 1962 when he was working for record producer Phil Spector… Sonny introduced Cher to Spector, who used her as a backup singer on many recordings, including the Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ and the Righteous Brothers’ ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin”.”

As I recall, my sister Leslie owned the debut album of Sonny and Cher, Look at Us, featuring the massive hit I Got You Babe, written by Sonny. But while they, especially she, became fashion icons, they were soon perceived as uncool. So how was it that they eventually got a television show?

Sonny repeatedly cheated on Cher, and by the end of the 1960s their relationship had begun to unravel. According to People magazine, “[Sonny] tried desperately to win her back, telling her he wanted to marry and start a family.” They married after she gave birth on March 4, 1969 to Chastity Bono… That year, the duo spent $500,000 and mortgaged their home to make the film Chastity. Written and directed by Sonny, who did not appear in the movie, it tells the story of a young woman, played by Cher, searching for the meaning of life. The art film failed commercially, putting the couple.. in debt with back taxes. However, some critics noted that Cher showed signs of acting potential…

At the lowest point of their career, the duo put together a nightclub routine that relied on a more adult approach to sound and style… “Their lounge act was so depressing, people started heckling them. Then Cher started heckling back. Sonny … reprimanded her; then she’d heckle Sonny”. The heckling became a highlight of the act and attracted viewers. Television executives took note, and the couple began making guest appearances on prime-time shows, in which they presented a “new, sophisticated, and mature” image. Cher adopted alluring, low-cut gowns that became her signature outfits.

They got their own TV show, first as a summer replacement, then as an ongoing series. I watched. AMERICA watched. It was an entertaining schtick. Meanwhile, Sonny kept pitching music that was commercially unpopular, even as producer Snuff Garrett picked hits for her, such as Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves.

After her split with Sonny, Cher had her own show. Then another show with her now ex-husband, all of which I continued to view. Recounting the ups and downs of her musical and love lives, including a brief marriage to Greg Allman, would be exhausting. Suffice to say that it was during one of her down periods that director Robert Altman selected for the Broadway stage production Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and then for the movie adaptation.

I saw a few movies featuring Cher, all in theaters, and she was consistently good. Silkwood (1983), about the union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., who was “killed in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter”; Mask (1985); Moonstruck (1987), for which she won an Oscar; and Mermaids (1990).

Now she’s Cher the icon, giving advice to the Kardashians about transgender issues after Bruce Jenner’s transition to Caitlyn. She was reportedly asked because of her experience when Chastity Bono transitioned to Chaz.


Ringo, I Love You – Bonnie Jo Mason. Phil Spector produced Cher’s first single under this pseudonym; it was commercially unsuccessful.

Do You Wanna Dance? – Caesar & Cleo. A late 1964 poorly-received single by Sonny and Cher.

Love Is Strange – Caesar & Cleo. Got all the way to #131 on the Billboard pop charts in 1965.

Let the Good Times Roll – Caesar & Cleo. Another non-hit.

Dream Baby – Cherilyn. Produced by Sonny, received airplay in Los Angeles.

All I Really Want to Do – Cher, Bob Dylan cover, #15 in 1965.

I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher. “3 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States where it sold more than 1 million copies and was certified Gold. It also reached number 1 in the United Kingdom and Canada.”

Baby Don’t Go – Sonny and Cher, #8 in 1965

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Cher, #2 in 1966

The Beat Goes On – Sonny and Cher, #6 in 1967. The 2nd Cher-related song covered by Vanilla Fudge.

You Better Sit Down Kids – Cher, #9 in 1967

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves – Cher, #1 for 2 weeks in 1971

Half Breed – Cher, #1 for 2 weeks in 1973

Dark Lady – Cher, #1 in 1974

If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher, #3 in 1989

Believe – Cher, #1 for 4 weeks in 1998. The curse of Autotune took flight here.

TV: McLean Stevenson on the Cher show.

TV: Back in 1987, Letterman reunited the legendary duo of Sonny and Cher, to sit and talk on the couch — and to once again perform their classic hit, “I Got You, Babe.”

Coverville 1125: Cover stories for Bobby Darin and Cher.

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