Home Music Kennedy Center Shuns Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary for a Stairway to Heaven

Someone on the Kennedy Center committee must be a huge Led Zeppelin and blues fan. Out of nowhere, the Kennedy Center Honors have chosen Zep and Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy for Kennedy Center nods this December. This is a shock because the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary is here, they’re far more original and influential than Zeppelin, and deserved to get the award. But it’s Led Zeppelin, which created most of its music from existing American blues including most of the Robert Johnson songbook. Again, a KC committee member must be a huge fan of “Stairway to Heaven.”

The other pics this year are good, Dustin Hoffman being the absolutely best choice. David Letterman was selected; it will be interesting to see if he brings his wife, or admits to having a personal life. Even he said today something to the effect that there must be a mix up. Natalia Marakova, the ballet great, danced at the first Kennedy Center Honors, so she makes sense too. No one was chosen from the dramatic arts, and writers don’t even exist in the Kennedy Center world.

Also passed over this year were Billy Joel, Carole King, Eric Clapton, Shirley Maclaine, Doris Day, and so on. The Kennedy Center honors airs December 2nd to a select audience on CBS.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
5 replies to this post
  1. im fine with led zep being in there as i enjoy their music a lot, they had a huge impact in the 70s. but the stones are the biggest band in the world, with the huge impact on not only america but around the world. go anywhere in any country, and ask someone if they know the rolling stones, and they will.

  2. unbelievable that KC overlooked the Rolling Stones and that Led Zepellin got in. What an oversite, there are so many MORE deserving entertainers then LZ

  3. The Kennedy Center Honors are awarded to those artists that have had the most profound influence on American culture; they do not necessarily have to be American.

  4. That is ridiculous………….

    9/12/12 11:39pm

    Aren’t the Kennedy Center Awards supposed to honor Americans?

    Since when are Led Zepellin Americans genius? Somebody made a HUGE mistake………and the ceremony honoring Paul McCartney-when did HE turn american??
    Get your facts at least a little straight………….

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