2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

satisfaction

Todd Rundgren Gtr Player 1977On February 10, I received an email: “Hello rock and roll fans! We’re excited to announce this year’s Nominees for induction into the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, JAY-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offers fans the opportunity to participate in the Induction selection process with the Fan Vote. Through April 30, fans can vote every day at rockhall.com, or at the Museum in Cleveland. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a ‘fans’ ballot’ that will be tallied along with the other ballots to select the 2021 Inductees.

For the past three years, I’ve had this no-doubter.

#TODD RUNDGREN
This is the third year in a row he’s been nominated. Two years ago, I wrote: “I have his albums with the Nazz, Utopia and a number of his solo albums. He’s also produced a chunk of notable albums for others… He’s a wizard, a true star.”
I Saw the Light  

“To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Seven out of 16 of the Nominees are on the ballot for the first time, including Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, JAY-Z, Mary J. Blige, Fela Kuti, and Dionne Warwick.”

They got the beat

My next choice: #The GO-GO’S:
They’ve had a resurgence of sorts with a 2020 documentary about “the first all-women group to write their own songs, play their own instruments, and snag a #1 hit.” I’ll admit my bias since I saw them at J.B. Scott’s in Albany back in 1981. They played the entire first album and a non-album B-side.
Our Lips Are Sealed 

I don’t know Iron Maiden’s music very well. But the other first-timers on the list I could make a case for.

Dionne Warwick has no chance with the fans. She does not rock, and while neither did her young cousin Whitney Houston, who has been inducted, Whitney wasn’t doing Bacharach and David. I’m fond of Dionne, and maybe I’ll vote for her down the road.

On the other hand, I was shocked by the votes for the late Fela Kuti, who was leading the pack early. I didn’t think the originator of Afrobeat was that well-known, certainly not in the US. I don’t have any of his albums as such, but I do have Red Hot + Riot, which features his music. If things get close, I might switch to him.

#CHAKA KHAN:
“Chaka Khan was previously nominated both solo and with the band Rufus.”
Frankly, I’m not feeling Rufus for the Hall. But Chaka’s body of work, absolutely. This is her 7th nomination either solo or in the group.
I Feel for You 

“If elected, Carole King and Tina Turner will become the second and third female artists inducted twice, following Stevie Nicks’ 2019 election. If Foo Fighters are inducted, Dave Grohl will also become a twice-inducted performer.” And, I suppose, because there are so many deserving nominees, I won’t be voting for any of these.

Uncontrollable urge

#DEVO
Wikipedia says “their music… mingling kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humor, and mordantly satirical social commentary. Who knew how prescient they would be?
Whip It 

Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, and especially The New York Dolls would be on my ballot if I had more picks. Mary J. Blige and Jay Z, as first-timers, will get nominated again, I’m sure.

#LL COOL J; Eligible year: 2009
This is his sixth nomination, previously considered in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2018, and 2019. His historic import, I suspect, has been buried a bit by his acting success.
I’m Bad 

You can vote every day, presumably. An “overwhelming” fan response crashed the Fan Vote early the first morning but was fixed in short order.

Little Richard, Originator. Good Golly!

Richard Wayne Penniman

Little RichardCuriously, just a couple weeks ago, before it was announced that Little Richard had died of bone cancer, I was communicating with a fellow blogger. My basic point was that I had a great disdain for Pat Boone. Specifically how Boone covered some of Richard’s hits in a most uninspired way. Little Richard spoke about this here.

Another blogger friend and I were discussing the value of the rhythm and blues charts. Certain music did not get as much play on the pop stations, which dominated the marketplace. This is why I usually designate both charts, and also the country charts when discussing music.

I checked out some JEOPARDY! clues over the years. Can you come up with the questions? Solutions below.
’50s FILM FACTS $400: Little Richard sang the title tune for this blonde bombshell’s 1956 comedy “The Girl Can’t Help It”
POP MUSIC $100: Little Richard has a street named for him in Macon in this state
COUNTRY SINGERS $300: When Mary Chapin Carpenter sang “Shut Up And” do this to “me” on 1994’s CMA Awards show, Little Richard complied
CELEBRITY ASTROLOGY $100: Little Richard & Rich Little were both born under this sign of the archer
WE BAND OF BROTHERS $800: Little Richard inducted this R&B vocal trio of brothers into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

J fame

Little Richard, who was in the inaugural class in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, taught later music legends everything from soul to sex.

He was the question to quite a few J answers:

PREACHERS $400: Taking Sputnik passing overhead as a sign from heaven to give up rock ‘n’ roll, he joined the ministry
THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS $400: He left rock ‘n’ roll in 1957 to be ordained a Seventh-Day Adventist minister: “Womp-bomp-a-loom-op-a-womp-bomp-bomp! Tutti frutti, all rooty! Tutti frutti, all rooty!”

CELEBRITY JEOPARDY! $100: I’m the architect of rock & roll & the originator–Good golly, Miss Molly!
SELF-PROMOTION $800: This musician seen here calls himself “The Originator”
WAYNE MAN $600: Good golly, his real name is Richard Wayne Penniman
ROLLING STONE’S 50 GREATEST ARTISTS $400: Good golly! The only artist to write his own tribute was this one, No. 8, whose first hit came in 1956
POP QUIZ $1600: This “diminutive” musician has had Top 40 hits about girls named Lucille, Sally, Molly & Jenny

SINGERS NAME’S THE SAME $100: Early rockers Anthony, Richard & Eva
LET’S GET SMALL $400: Dorrit, Engine that Could, rock & roll’s Richard

And there were several clues that referenced one particular song, as we’ve already seen:
MUSICAL RHYME TIME $100: Completes the title of Little Richard’s 1958 song “Good Golly…”

Listen

Tutti-Fruitti – #2 for five weeks RB, #17 pop in 1956 (Boone got to #12)
Long Tall Sally -#1 for eight weeks RB, #6 pop in 1956 (Boone only got to #8). Covered by The Beatles.
Slippin’ and Slidin’ – #2 for two weeks RB, #33 pop in 1956
Rip It Up – #1 for two weeks RB, #17 pop in 1956/
Ready Teddy – #8 RB, #44 pop in 1956
Heeby-Jeebies – #7 RB in 1956/
She’s Got It – #9 RB in 1956

The Girl Can’t Help It – #7 RB, #49 pop in 1957
Lucille -#1 for two weeks RB, #21 pop in 1957/
Send Me Some Lovin’ – #3 for two weeks RB, #54 pop in 1957
Jenny Jenny – #2 for two weeks RB, #10 pop in 1957/
Miss Ann – #6 RB, #56 pop in 1957
Keep A Knockin’ – #2 RB, #8 pop in 1957
Good Golly, Miss Molly – #4 RB, #10 pop in 1958

Rock Island Line (with FISHBONE), 1988, from FOLKWAYS – A VISION SHARED, A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly. A Leadbelly song.
I Feel Pretty, 1996, from The Songs of West Side Story

Little Richard tipped Ava DuVernay $100 a week when she was a waitress.

Questions: Jayne Mansfield; Georgia; Kiss Me; Sagittarius; the Isley Brothers

Derek Jeter tops Hall of Fame ballot

Larry Walker’s 10th and final year on the ballot

pettite posada jeter rivera
SP Andy Pettite, C Jorge Posada, SS Derek Jeter, RP Mariano Rivera
The article “Derek Jeter headlines 2020 Hall of Fame ballot” asks a question. Will the legendary Yankee shortstop and captain get in unanimously in his first year of eligibility? His former teammate, reliever Mariano Rivera did so the year before.

Jeter should. His stats are better than almost anyone else’s on the list. To boot, he and Rivera both played in Albany County before landing in the big leagues.

Barry Bonds (59.1% of the ballots last year) and Roger Clemens (59.5%) are both on the ballot for the eighth time. If I could vote, I’d pick them too, for reasons explained last year. Receiving 75% of the sportswriters’ votes is required for induction.

Curt Schilling (60.9%) is also on the ballot for time #8. It’s not the taint of steroids but his quite terrible politics, specifically “his xenophobic, transphobic and conspiratorial memes.” I’d bump him if there were lots of other candidates of a similar caliber, but there aren’t.

A pair of Rockies

Larry Walker (54.9%) is on the ballot for the 10th and final time. He suffered because he played in Colorado, where people believe his stats were inflated by the thin air. Put him in, and stop yanking him around!

Todd Helton (16.9%, 2nd year) Five-time All-Star. I think he also suffers from having played with the Colorado Rockies.

Andy Petitte (9.9%, 2nd year) holds all-time postseason records for wins, innings pitched and games started. He too was a member of the Albany-Colonie Yankees in the early 1990s.

Jeff Kent (18.1%, 7th year) – why does he get overlooked? He “snuck up on the baseball world as a Hall of Fame-caliber player… Kent was an average player at best for five seasons in the major leagues before blossoming into a star in San Francisco.”

Omar Vizquel (42.8%, 3rd year) was a defensive wiz who occasionally also hit well.

I suspect that Jeter, Walker, and maybe Schilling will get in.

2020 Rock Hall of Fame noms

If I have a bias…

Doobie Brothers
Doobie Brothers
They are doing something different for the fan balloting with the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations. You can vote every day via Google until January 10, 2020 for five nominees, which, collectively, will be considered in the process.

My picks tend to be partly based on how long it’s been since they were first nominated, how many times they’ve been nominated before, their musical significance, and, frankly, whether I like them.

My Sure Things

#TODD RUNDGREN – Eligible year: 1995
Number of nominations: 2; Nominated in 2019, 2020
One of My Sure Things LAST year. I wrote: “I have his albums with the Nazz, Utopia and a number of his solo albums. He’s also produced a chunk of notable albums for others. It’s SHOCKING that he was never nominated before. He’s a wizard, a true star.”
Something to Fall Back On

#THE DOOBIE BROTHERS -Eligible year: 1996
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
The Doobies was one of my college-era bands. And I was impressed when they reinvented themselves with Michael McDonald on many lead vocals. I noted that only Walter Becker and Donald Fagan are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Steely Dan. The group had initially included Skunk Baxter. On later albums, McDonald provided many vocals.
Members: Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, John Hartman, Michael Hossack, Tom Johnston, Keith Knudsen, Michael McDonald, John McFee, Tiran Porter, Patrick Simmons
What A Fool Believes

I voted for them because I like them

#DEPECHE MODE – Eligible year: 2006
Number of nominations: 3; Nominated in 2017, 2018, 2020
Members: Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Alan Wilder
Three noms in four years. Put ’em in!
People are People

#PAT BENATAR – Eligible year: 2004
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo
If I have a bias, it’s probably in favor of women in rock.
Heartbreaker

The ones who appear influential

WHITNEY HOUSTON – Eligible year: 2009
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Lots of complaints in my circle that she’s not “rock”. Whatever. One of the greatest voices in pop music.
How Will I Know

KRAFTWERK; Eligible year: 1995
Number of nominations: 6; Nominated in 2003, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020
Members: Karl Bartos, Wolfgang Flür, Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider
“KRAFTWERK IS THE FOUNDATION UPON WHICH ALL SYNTHESIZER-BASED ROCK AND ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC IS BUILT.”
Showroom Dummies

NINE INCH NAILS; Eligible year: 2014
Number of nominations: 3; Nominated in 2015, 2016, 2020
Members: Trent Reznor
Hurt

THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.; Eligible year: 2019
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: Christopher Wallace/BIGGIE SMALLS
Hypnotize

SOUNDGARDEN; Eligible year: 2011
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: Matt Cameron, Chris Cornell, Ben Shepherd, Kim Thayil, Hiro Yamamoto
I actually have a few cuts of the group and Cornell solo cuts, and I was sad when he died.
Rusty Cage

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND; Eligible year: 2018
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: Carter Beauford, Jeff Coffin, Stefan Lessard, Dave Matthews, Leroi Moore, Tim Reynolds, Rashawn Ross, Boyd Tinsley
They’ve played around here practically every year. I’ve never seen them.
What Would You Say

JUDAS PRIEST; Eligible year: 1999
Number of nominations: 2; Nominated in 2018, 2020
Members: Les Binks, K. K. Downing, Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Dave Holland, Glenn Tipton, Scott Travis
Hell Bent for Leather

MOTÖRHEAD; Eligible year: 2002
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: ‘Fast’ Eddie Carke, Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor
Not my cuppa.
Eat the Rich

I like them but I don’t know if they should be in there

MC5 Eligible year: 1991
Number of nominations: 6; Nominated in 2003, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Sixth nomination! Yet I can’t quite pick the Detroit group.
Members: Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, Dennis Thompson, Rob Tyner
Tonight

RUFUS FEATURING CHAKA KHAN; Eligible year: 1999
Number of nominations: 4; Nominated in 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020
Members: Dennis Belfield, Al Ciner, Andre Fischer, Chaka Khan, Tony Maiden, Nate Morgan, Kevin Murphy, Ron Stockert, Bobby Watson
I picked them a couple of years ago, but it was really for her. On the fence about the group.
Dance Wit Me

T. REX; Eligible year: 1993
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: Marc Bolan, Steve Currie, Mickey Finn, Bill Legend
“The musical herald that ushered in the birth of Glam Rock.”
Jeepster

THIN LIZZY; Eligible year: 1996
Number of nominations: 1; Nominated in 2020
Members: Eric Bell, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Phil Lynott, Brian Robertson
As I read their bio, they’re more impressive than I had remembered
Whiskey in the Jar

I vote for the first four. My fifth tends to float among Houston, Kraftwerk, and that last grouping. Who are YOU voting for?

Here is my annual pitch for Estelle Axton, the AX of STAX Records. Her brother, Jim Stewart, has been in nearly two decades.

Baseball Hall of Fame: Mariano Rivera

The author “draws a distinction between allegations stemming from the ‘Wild West’ era before testing and penalties were in place and those that resulted in actual suspensions.

Mariano RiveraThere will be a time that I’m less invested in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I don’t follow the game nearly as much in the past decade as I did last century.

But the Hall points to past accomplishments. One must be retired for five years to be eligible. Then one must receive 75% of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to be inducted.

There are 35 players on the ballot, 20 players eligible for the first time, and 15 players who had received at least 5% of the ballots in the previous year. The writers can pick up to 10 players.

If I were to be able to vote, I wouldn’t pick the colorful outfielder Manny Ramirez, despite his mostly stellar career. This article by Jay Jaffee of Sports Illustrated addresses the reason: “On performance alone, [he is] a Hall of Famer, but his drug transgressions make voting for him anything but automatic.”

Interestingly, the author “draws a distinction between allegations stemming from the ‘Wild West’ era before testing and penalties were in place and those that resulted in actual suspensions. I wouldn’t vote for Ramirez at this juncture.”

My picks – stats are HERE.

1. Barry Bonds (7th year on the ballot, 56.4% of the votes need last year) – 14-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards, the most of any player all-time.

2. Roger Clemens (7th year, 57.3%) – Won record seven Cy Young Awards. Jaffe alludes to the fact that the alleged performance-enhancing actions that the best outfielder and best pitcher on the ballot were not actually banned at the time.

3. Edgar Martinez (10th year, 70.4%) – Named to seven All-Star Games, Won AL batting titles twice. It’s his FINAL year of eligibility, and while I’m no great fan of the designated hitter, who generally bats for the pitcher, he’s SO close to the 75% promised land.

4. Fred McGriff (10th year, 23.2%) – A five-time All-Star. Also his final year of eligibility. “Crime Dog” is a borderline great player, and he won’t make it, but what the heck.

5. Mariano Rivera (1st year) – Led American League in saves thrice, Named to 13 All-Star Games Ranks first all-time in saves (652). The best closer (relief pitcher) of his generation.

6. Todd Helton. (1st year) – Five-time All-Star. I think I have an anti-Colorado Rockies bias because the altitude gives hitters an advantage.

7. Miguel Tejada (1st year) – Six-time All-Star. his name came up in the steroid scandal. Rafael “Palmeiro had told an arbitration panel he tested positive after receiving a vial of liquid vitamin B-12 from Tejada. Tejada was cleared of any wrongdoing,” but I’d be surprised if he got in this year.

8. Larry Walker (9th year, 34.1%) Won seven Gold Glove Awards, Named to five All-Star Games. Another Colorado Rockies player who deserves more support.

9. Andy Petitte (1st year) Holds all-time Postseason records for wins, innings pitched and games started. If he hadn’t been playing for the Yankees, he might not have had such opportunity to play in October.

10. Mike Mussina (6th year, 63.5%) 11 seasons with at least 15 wins, Named to five All-Star teams, Won seven Gold Glove Awards.

There are others I definitely considered such as the Omar Vizquel, Jeff Kent, and the late Roy Halladay, who died in a boating accident in 2017.