Yes, I took the title of this article from Billy Joel’s song of the same name. He will be mentioned later because this article is about… The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It is located in Cleveland, Ohio. Why there? Usually, the reason given is: a Cleveland disc jockey named Alan Freed first used that term to describe the music he favored in the early 1950s.
The Hall was established in 1983 and its home was chosen in 1986. It documents the history of rock and roll and has inducted its finest artists into the Hall every year from 1986 to 2018. Don’t worry, I won’t list everyone so honored. But, for those interested, Google does so under “List of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.” It is a wonderful walk down memory lane.
Here are some Rock and Roll questions whose answers you may already know. The first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction class (1986) contained 10 people. How many can you name? Take a guess before reading further. If you are my age, you may surprise yourself with how many names you know. If you are younger than me, I’m appropriately envious –and I think you will still get some answers correct.
Answers = Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino (his song, Blueberry Hill, was the first 45 record I bought), The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley. Here is a wonderful footnote: Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” represented Rock and Roll music on the gold disc sent aboard Voyager 1 which is still traveling at 38,000 mph.
Who was the first woman inducted into the Hall? In 1987, she was Aretha Franklin.
What 2 groups have the most songs in the Hall’s list referred to as “The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll?” The Beatles and The Rolling Stones with 8 songs each.
Among the inductees that made me smile as I read their names have been: 1987 (Bill Haley and Marvin Gaye); 1988(The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Drifters –I’m revealing my age, Bob Dylan, and The Supremes); 1989 (Dion, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, and Stevie Wonder); 1990 (The Platters, Simon and Garfunkel,); 1991 (Ike and Tina Turner –remember Thunderdome); 1992 (Johnny Cash); 1993 (Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers); 1994 (The Band, Duane Eddy, Elton John, John Lennon); 1995 (Janis Joplin, Neil Young); 1996 (David Bowie); 1997 (Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joni Mitchell); 1998 (Eagles, Santana); 1999 (Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Staple Singers); 2000 (Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor); 2001 (Michael Jackson, Queen, Paul Simon); 2002 (Brenda Lee); 2004 (George Harrison, Bob Seger); 2008 (Leonard Cohen); 2011 (Neil Diamond, Dr. John); 2012 (The Comets, The Crickets); 2013 (Randy Newman); 2014 ( Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens); 2017 (Joan Baez); 2018 (Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone).
Make your own list of favorites. You’ll enjoy the experience and the memories.
There were other individuals who were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Some were considered Early Influences. Among them are: Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, Les Paul, Louis Armstrong, Pete Seeger, Bill Monroe, and Nat King Cole.
Non-Performers, including songwriters, producers, disc jockeys, etc. who
had a major influence on rock and roll” are in the Hall. For example = Alan Freed Berry Gordie, Jr., Phil Spector, Bill Graham, Dick Clark, Carole King, George Martin, and Quincy Jones.
The Hall of Fame staff, plus “rock critics” and “music experts” created a list of 500 “Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.” Later, 100+ more songs were added to the list. The groups or individuals most represented on the list are = with 8 songs: The Beatles and the Rolling Stones; with 7 songs: Elvis Presley; with 5 songs: The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Wonder.
How many people pictured in this article can you name? How about: Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Linda Ronstadt, Les Paul, Stevie Wonder, The Platters? Each meant something special to me. Whose pictures would you include in an article if you chose the visuals?