By Phill Marder
This is the 12th set of 10 selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 10 inductees approximately every two weeks until all 700-plus inductees are announced. Bios of all selections and criteria for induction can be found on our website by clicking the Goldmine Hall of Fame tab. A running list of all announced inductees will be listed, also.
111. FATS DOMINO – When the history of Rock & Roll is written, eight names stand out as the Founding Fathers. Those would be Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, The Everly Brothers and … Fats Domino.
Who should be on top? Most will agree Elvis is “The King Of Rock & Roll,” but strong arguments can be presented for each of the others, and who is next in line can be, and has been, fodder for heated debate for decades. For the record, no pun intended, according to Joel Whitburn’s book of Top Pop Singles, based on Billboard charts, thus based on the music industry’s Bible, Fats ranks second only to Elvis when it comes to hit singles by pure rockers in the ‘50s and fourth overall, Pat Boone being second, Perry Como third. This will come as no surprise to those who lived through the ‘50s and had first-hand experience of Domino’s impact as almost every single he released from 1955 through 1962 was not only a hit, but usually a two-sided hit.
Long before the birth of Rock, Domino was a mainstay on the Rhythm & Blues charts, starting with 1949’s #2 “Detroit City Blues.” Before 1955, he had posted 11 more top 10 R&B hits, including 1952’s #1, “Goin’ Home” backed by “Reeling & Rocking.” Being before the Rock Era, these successes don’t factor into our compilations, but Domino was just warming up, joining the Rock parade with 1955’s “Ain’t That A Shame,” a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. That reached #10 in the U.S. and he followed with #3 “I’m In Love Again,” #2 “Blueberry Hill,” #5 “Blue Monday,” #4 “I’m Walkin’,” #6 “It’s You I Love” backed by #8 “Valley Of Tears,” #6 “Whole Lotta Loving,” #8 “I Want To Walk You Home,” #8 “Be My Guest,” #6 “Walking To New Orleans” and many others that charted highly.
Still today, Domino ranks among the world’s best selling artists of singles. Like most of the ‘50s stars, his totals in our compilations suffer somewhat by the lack of album releases, aside from Greatest Hit collections. But his place in the Goldmine Hall of Fame and his standing as one of the all-time greats is assured forever.
112. RICKY NELSON – If you were a record purchaser in the 1950s, your collection likely would have been loaded with Imperial 45s because not only was Fats Domino on the label, but Imperial boasted Ricky Nelson as well.
Like Domino, Nelson consistently released top hit 45s, most of which were two-sided hits. In fact, Nelson’s first smash, on the Verve label, saw him cover Domino’s blockbuster, “I’m Walking,” as a B-side to “A Teenager’s Romance,” which hit #2. The B-side? That made it to #4, equaling Domino’s showing. After one more hit on Verve, Nelson, the younger son on the hit TV show “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet,” moved to Imperial and the hits started pouring out. Yes, he was a teen idol thanks to the TV show, which typically ended with Rick and his band playing a number. But, he was an extreme talent as well, and this enabled him to maintain a successful career in music until his death in a plane crash at age 45.
From his first smash in 1957 until 1972’s “Garden Party,” which reached #6, Nelson churned out 19 top 10 singles, including 1958’s “Poor Little Fool,” which held the #1 spot when Billboard’s Hot 100 chart made its debut. Three years later, “Travelin’ Man” also climbed to #1, the flip being the classic Gene Pitney-penned “Hello Mary Lou,” which hit #9.
Nelson surrounded himself with the best musicians, accounting for the quality of his recordings. He ditched session musicians almost from the start, forming his own band which featured 18-year-old lead guitarist James Burton, who would go on to become one of Rock’s top guitarists, and later his Stone Canyon Band included future Eagle Randy Meisner. Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, stars in their own rite, composed many of Nelson’s early hits.
113. DION (with The Belmonts) – For those present at the dawn of Rock & Roll, Bronx-born Dion DiMucci, his voice, his look, his style, his music, represents New York City “cool.” Even his group, The Belmonts, took their name from Belmont Avenue, the New York street on which Milano lived.
The Belmonts, Fred Milano, Angelo D’Aleo and Carlo Mastrangelo, were unjustly ignored when Dion was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and then again in 2012 when the Hall made up for most earlier goofs by inducting entire groups disregarded previously in favor of the lead singers. True, Dion had a Hall of Fame career on his own, but the Belmonts also had success after Dion left and there have been significant reunions over the years. In any event, Dion & The Belmonts became a household phrase, much like Little Anthony & The Imperials, Lee Andrews & The Hearts, Peanut Butter & Jelly, etc.
Together, Dion & The Belmonts became one of Rock’s greatest vocal groups during the Golden Age of Vocal Groups, Doo Wop. Their first smash, “I Wonder Why,” featuring Mastrangelo’s bass work, became an instant classic and has made several appearances in movies and TV over the years. “A Teenager In Love” and “Where Or When” each reached the top 5 and also became two of the era’s most cherished recordings. The group also notched four other top 40 recordings and released a pair of LPs before Dion split.
On his own, Dion broke out of the gate with a #12 “Lonely Teenager,” but 1961 saw him release the two singles he’s most remembered for, the #1 “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer,” which hit #2. The next year alone he had four more top 10 smashes, finished off by “Ruby Baby,” his cover of the Drifters’ earlier hit that hit #2. “Donna The Prima Donna” and another Drifters’ cover, “Drip Drop,” each reached #6 in 1963, but the popularity of drugs and the British Invasion marked an end to his run.
He formed a blues group with Mastrangelo drumming, but nothing happened until 1968, when he came back with the #4 blockbuster, “Abraham, Martin & John,” written by Dick Holler, who had written “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron.”!! That marked the end of his hit-making days, though he remains today a popular concert attraction.
On their own, The Belmonts placed seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1961 and 1981, “Tell Me Why” peaking at #18, “Come On Little Angel” at #28 and the unheralded gem, “Diddle-Dee-Dum” stopping at #53.
114. THE JACKSON 5 – Michael Jackson ranks #13 on the Goldmine list, and he’s back 100 rungs later with the remainder of the male Jackson clan, his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy. The famous 5 (Randy came later) put together enough points to get “Miners” long before Michael stepped out on his own to become one of the Rock Era’s most famous stars.
The Jackson 5 came out of the box with four straight #1 singles, “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There,” followed by a pair of #2 finishes with “Mama’s Pearl” and “Never Can Say Goodbye,” interest then falling off some as Michael stepped out solo. But the group did post four more top 10 hits after Michael left, stretching all the way to 1981’s “State Of Shock,” a pairing with Mick Jagger.
Despite the incredibly fast start, The Jacksons never had a #1 album in the U.S. other than on the R&B charts, but they did top the United Kingdom LP chart with a greatest hits package in 1983. And their albums have been top sellers around the world since their beginning.
Continuing the tradition of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, The Osmonds and other vocal groups composed of youngsters, family members, or both, and living up to Motown’s “Sound of Young America” slogan, The Jackson 5 became one of the most popular singing groups of the Rock Era, with and without Michael.
115. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS – Rarely has a group gone through such a drastic change of direction while maintaining the level of popularity necessary to place it this high on the Goldmine list. The favorite band of Rockers and Bikers everywhere, the Doobie Brothers established a driving sound, powered by the twin guitars and vocals of Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, the bass of third vocalist Tiran Porter and the double drum attack of John Hartman and Michael Hossack.
But as the band became one of the world’s most popular, Johnston developed stomach problems that drove him to the sidelines, and fill-in Michael McDonald took the group down a path no one could have envisioned. Johnston’s input became limited and the recordings began to feature the voice, keyboards and compositions of McDonald.
The change of sound didn’t appear to go over too well with the group’s hard-rocking fans, but success didn’t slow down. Prior to McDonald’s entry, the band had released three LPs that reached the top 10 in the U.S., two peaking at #4, and two top 10 singles, including the #1 “Black Water.” After McDonald, and guitarist Jeff Baxter became permanent members, the Doobies notched another two top 10 singles, one being the #1 “What A Fool Believes,” and four more top 10 LPs, “Minute By Minute” topping the charts.
In 1983, Johnston returned to the band, the result being yet another top 10 single, “The Doctor.”
Johnston and Simmons continue to perform regularly with a new cast of Doobies, McDonald occasionally dropping in for a guest appearance. Those receiving “Miners” include the seven previously mentioned and drummer Keith Knudsen, who replaced Hossack in 1974 and remained a regular member for the most part until passing away in 2005. Hossack, who returned to the fold in 1987, passed away in early 2012.
116. THE CARS – This Boston-based group disintegrated after their 1987 album “Door To Door.” Twenty-four years later, they returned with “Move Like This.” The album contained no hits, but still debuted at No. 7 in the United States. Think they were missed?
Pioneers in the video field, The Cars are one of the groups fans of ‘80’s music point to when discussing how musically great the decade was. But The Cars were well established before the dawn of the ‘80s, having released two albums in the ‘70s, their 1978 eponymous debut scoring #18 in the U.S. and proving an even bigger smash in the Pan Pacific area. It also reached #29 in the U.K., propelled by the top 20 single “Just What I Needed.”
When “Let’s Go” barreled into the Australian and Canadian top 10s, the 1979 album “Candy-O” easily eclipsed the debut, soaring to #3 in the States and going top 10 in the Pan Pacific. So, when the ‘80s began, the Cars already were rolling, and “Panorama” cruised to #5 without a hit single and 1981’s “Shake It Up” was another success, the title song being the group’s highest charting single (#4) to that point.
“Drive” bested that, getting to #3 as the 1984 album “Heartbeat City” became The Cars’ best seller worldwide, reaching #3 in the U.S. and topping the charts in New Zealand. In addition to “Drive,” the LP spawned “You Might Think,” the winner of MTV’s first Video of the Year award, “Magic” and “Hello Again.” The group peaked at 1985’s Live Aid in Philadelphia, performing a virtually perfect set.
The inductees are: Ric Ocasek (guitar & vocals); Elliot Easton (guitar & vocals); Greg Hawkes (keyboards, sax & vocals); David Robinson (drums & vocals) and Benjamin Orr (bass & vocals).
117. HEART – Led by sisters Ann & Nancy Wilson, there were two versions of the group Heart, and both were powerhouses, dominating record charts and airwaves through the 1970s and ‘80s.
The original band’s albums – “Dreamboat Annie,” No. 7 in 1976, and “Little Queen,” No. 9 the following year – emulated Led Zeppelin’s approach, including heavy rockers such as “Crazy On You, “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Little Queen,” “Kick It Out,” “Heartless,” “Straight On” and “Even It Up,” alongside acoustic-flavored gems such as “Dreamboat Annie.” Between 1976 and 1980, they placed eight singles in the top 40, peaking with a No. 8 remake of the 1966 Aaron Neville hit “Tell It Like It Is.”
After a brief slump, a revamped and almost forgotten Heart achieved its greatest success, beginning with 1985’s eponymous LP which produced four top 10 singles and gave Heart its first No. 1 album. While Ann, one of Rock’s best female vocalists, sang most of Heart’s leads, the third single from the LP, “These Dreams,” featuring Nancy on a rare lead vocal, became the group’s first No. 1 single. The follow-up LP, “Bad Animals,” reached No. 2 powered by the No. 1 single “Alone,” and the next LP, “Brigade,” got to No. 3 led by the single “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You,” which hit No. 2.
Strangely, “Alone” was the band’s first hit in the United Kingdom though both the “Dreamboat Annie” and “Little Queen” albums reached the UK top 40. Once “Alone” clicked, Heart ran off 10 more British hit singles.
The recently released “Red Velvet Car,” coming 34 years after “Dreamboat Annie” first graced the charts, brought the Wilsons back into the top 10 (“Fanatic” was released at the end of September). For those who haven’t heard it, the effort hearkens back to the sound of the original version of Heart and the girls had a hand in the writing of all the material as they did early in their career.
In addition to the Wilson sisters, Heart’s inductees include: Roger Fisher (guitar), Steve Fossen and Mark Andes (bass), Howard Leese (keyboards & guitar), Michael DeRosier and Denny Carmassi (drums).
118. INXS – Yet another great band from the ‘80s, INXS roared out of Australia with a funk straight out of an American city. The Farriss brothers, along with bassist Gary Beers, were largely responsible for their unique sound, particularly Andrew on rhythm guitar and Jon on drums. Tim on lead guitar, Kirk Pengilly, who doubled on guitar and sax, and lead vocalist Michael Hutchence completed the sextet.
Constant touring in their native land built INXS a strong following and helped them notch three top 40 singles in their homeland before they broke worldwide with 1982’s “The One Thing,” which cracked the U.S. and Canadian markets in addition to being a hit in Australia. The next year, “Original Sin” gave the group its first #1single, topping the Australian charts. It did well in Canada and made slight inroads in Europe, but drew little support in the States. Two follow-ups, “I Send A Message” and “Burn For You” reached No. 3 in Australia. In 1985, INXS turned the corner when “What You Need,” a #2 hit down under, hit #5 in the States and became their first single to crack the British charts.
“Good Times” from “The Lost Boys Soundtrack” kept the momentum going and 1987’s “Need You Tonight” hit #1 in the U.S. and Canada. By this time Hutchence had become a sex symbol on par with a Jim Morrison and the band had become a steady resident in the upper echelon of worldwide album charts and a popular touring attraction .
In late 1997, just prior to hitting the road, Hutchence was found dead, the official ruling being a suicide though rumors of an accidental hanging have persisted. The band took some time off, then appeared sporadically with different lead singers, even hosting a reality TV show in 2004 aimed at finding a new lead singer. The winner, J.D. Fortune also gains induction as success continued in Canada, even yielding another #1 single in 2005 with “Pretty Vegas,” and their LPs continue to sell, particularly in that country and Australia.
119. DIONNE WARWICK – Under the guidance of Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick was responsible for some of the most memorable rhythm & blues recordings of the early 60s. As a result, she became one of the most successful female recording artists of the Rock Era, both in singles and albums.
From her start as a background singer for the Drifters and demo provider for the Shirelles, Warwick steadily provided a string of hits. While some bordered on the easy listening side, many became R&B classics, starting with her first hit “Don’t Make Me Over” followed by “This Empty Place,” also done by the Searchers, “Make The Music Play,” also done by the Drifters, “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Walk On By,” “Reach Out For Me,” a cover of Lou Johnson’s version, “You Can Have Him,” a cover of Roy Hamilton’s big smash, “Message to Michael,” also recorded by Johnson in addition to Jerry Butler as “Message To Martha,” “Are You There (with Another Girl),” covered by the Buckinghams, “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself,” covering Tommy Hunt’s version, “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me,” done by too many artists to name, and a cover of Butler’s “Make It Easy On Yourself.”
In the ‘70s, she combined with the Spinners to hit No. 1 with “Then Came You.” In the ‘80s she paired with the Bee Gees for the top 10 “Heartbreaker” and with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder in the No. 1 “That’s What Friends Are For,” hosted the TV show “Solid Gold” and made a prominent appearance on the “We Are The World” single. Also, some of her album cuts such as “Wishin’ & Hopin’,” copied almost note for note by Dusty Springfield, and “Close To You,” done by the Carpenters, provided the groundwork for other artists to have hits.
She held her on the R&B singles chart and the R&B album charts as well as dominating the Hot 100 and top LP charts. She has won Grammy Awards, appeared in film and participated in countless charity events and continues as a top concert attraction.
120. DIANA ROSS – Yet another of our great female vocalists holds down slot #120 on our survey, Diana Ross making her second appearance in the Goldmine Hall of Fame. Ross already gained induction as lead singer of The Supremes, who rank #65. But after she left the group, her solo success almost equaled the trio’s achievements.
In 1976, Billboard magazine named her no less than “Female Entertainer of the Century,” a designation pretty hard to top. Her success has been worldwide, her singles and albums charting so frequently and successfully she ranks near the top 100 all-time in both categories around the globe. In the U.S., she has notched four top 10 LPs, including a #1 for the 1972 soundtrack to “Lady Sings The Blues,” for which she also won a Golden Globe for her starring role as Billie Holiday. In England, where she has dominated sales charts since leaving the Supremes, she has released nine top 10 LPs, including a greatest hits compilation that hit #1 in 1993.
On the singles’ front, 17 of Ross’ releases have reached the U.K. top 10, including duets with Marvin Gaye and Lionel Richie. Twelve singles have reached the U.S. top 10, half climbing to #1.
Not the original lead singer of the Supremes, the switch to Ross upfront was a stroke of genius on the part of Berry Gordy Jr. Her distinctive voice cut through AM radio, the British Invasion, the psychedelic era and every other obstacle, making the Supremes the Rock Era’s top female vocal group and herself one of the ages supreme vocalists.