The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a shell of its former self, is getting ready to announce a raft of potential inductees for the 2020 ceremony.
Eligible this year for the first time are many artists who are good, bad, or eh. Those include Sheryl Crow, Weezer, Wilco, Notorious BIG, Daft Punk, Oasis, Keb Mo, and Marilyn Manson. But do any of them really belong in the Hall of Fame with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Sam & Dave? Think hard on that question.
However, still eligible and constantly not voted in are many classic acts who had an impact or influence on popular music. Those include Nile Rodgers & Chic, Carole King (she’s in only as a songwriter) and Sting (in with the Police only, and not for his 25 year solo career) each as artists, Chubby Checker, Tommy James and the Shondells, as well as Rufus and Carla Thomas, Barry White, Harry Nilsson, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, and — still most embarrassingly, The J Geils Band.
Any or all of those artists should have been inducted long ago. Also missing are Billy Preston, Motown’s Mary Wells, The Spinners, Steppenwolf, and the Doobie Brothers. There are also pop groups like the Fifth Dimension and Three Dog Night that were responsible for introducing many classic songs and famed songwriters like Randy Newman, Hoyt Axton, and Laura Nyro to wide audiences.
Plus there are more than a dozen New Wave artists who are absent, as the RRHOF mirrors Rolling Stone, a magazine that preferred Fleetwood Mac to the Clash in 1979. Squeeze, XTC, the Jam, the Eurythmics, the B52s all had many hits and were great influences. And let’s not forget trailblazers like Iggy Pop, or the MC5.
Cyndi Lauper is also not in the RRHOF, neither are a bunch of female hitmakers including Tina Turner (Ike and Tina are in together, but nothing for Tina’s extraordinary solo career), or Cher, Petula Clark or Dionne Warwick.
So stand by. The announcement usually comes around October 9th, right before Columbus Day weekend. And every year, the chosen group induces intense debate, shouting, and disappointment.