By Phill Marder
This is the 18th 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. These also can be found under “Great Blogs Of Fire” at the bottom of the page.
171. PETULA CLARK – At age nine, Petula Clark toured the U.K. with another young phenom, Julie Andrews, and became known as the British “Shirley Temple.” She starred on radio, television, in the movies and comic strips, and began releasing singles in 1949 while still a teenager. 1954’s “The Little Shoemaker” became her first major recording success, climbing to #7 in the U.K. and #1 in Australia. She continued her popularity in both countries, her success eventually spreading across Europe.
In 1961, she got her first English chart-topper with “Sailor,” which also hit #2 in France, becoming her second top 10 hit in that nation. Later that year, she hit #3 in France with a French version of the Drifters’ hit, “Save The Last Dance For Me” and before that year was over, she hit #1 in that country with “Romeo,” which rose to #3 in England, preceding another English top 10 hit, “My Friend The Sea.” In 1962, her empire widened as she scored back-to-back #1s in Italy with “Chariot” and “Monsieur,” the latter also becoming her first German #1. Two more French #1s followed, 1962’s “Ya Ya Twist” and 1963’s “Cœur Blessé.”
Meanwhile, Clark had remained a non-entity in the States. But that was soon to change as she became an improbable import of the British Invasion, improbable because she now was in her 30s with a remarkable career already behind her. But here she was, in 1964 in the midst of Beatlemania, fighting off the Fab 4, the Dave Clark Five and the Stones, and everyone else, to top the charts in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany and Italy and reaching #2 in the U.K. with the now-standard “Downtown.”
Clark’s success was no fluke as she followed with more universal hits including “I Know A Place,” “My Love,” “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love,” “This Is My Song” and “Don’t Sleep In The Subway” and others. As late as 1988, a remixed version of “Downtown” once again reached the British top 10. Ironically, for her success, Clark never has released a #1 album in the U.K or U.S., though her LPs have been best sellers over the years.
172. CYNDI LAUPER – Even those who have never heard her music recognize the name Cyndi Lauper as she became one of the world’s most identifiable celebrities from the day her debut album was released. The hair of various colors, the clothes defying description, the stage movements of a joyous marionette and the voice seemingly borrowed from Teresa Brewer combined to make Lauper an instant worldwide sensation in 1984, shortly after the release of her album, the aptly titled “She’s So Unusual.”
Rarely has a debut had such impact, “She’s So Unusual” reaching the top of record charts from North America to the tip of South America, across Europe and stretching into the Orient. The impetus was four straight singles reaching the U.S. top five and doing likewise in many other countries. The first, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” has become a pop culture anthem, “Time After Time” hit #1, “She Bop” followed closely in spite of controversial subject matter and “All Through The Night” kept the steamroller going. A fifth single, “Money Changes Everything,” also connected, but to a lesser extent as most already owned it on the LP.
Lauper had a daunting task, trying to follow that debut, but she reached the top 10 again with a single from the movie, “The Goonies,” then topped the charts again with “True Colors,” the title song from her 1986 LP of the same name. “Change of Heart” followed at #3 and the album almost equaled the success of its predecessor. In 1989, “I Drove All Night,” a cover of a Roy Orbison song, climbed to #6, but it proved Lauper’s last major U.S. hit, though she had back-to-back #1 successes on the U.S. dance chart in 2008 and occasional successes in other countries.
In 2010, Lauper proved her staying power when her “Memphis Blues” became her highest charting LP since 1989, reaching U.S. #26 and scoring heavily worldwide in addition to drawing raves from critics. She remains a vibrant force on the music scene, in recording and in concert.
173. HERB ALPERT – A successful songwriter, producer and record company executive, Herb Alpert is best known for leading The Tijuana Brass to recording glory. In the process, he became one of the top selling album artist of all time and the only artist to notch a #1 single as an instrumentalist and another as a vocalist in the process.
Technically, The Tijuana Brass didn’t exist until Alpert released the mammoth LP “Whipped Cream & Other Delights” in 1965, three years after his first LP, “The Lonely Bull,” hit the top 10. Even then, the Brass was formed as a band due to the public’s demand for concert appearances. In the studio, for the most part Alpert used studio musicians. While Alpert’s second album flopped when first issued, the third, “South Of The Border,” rose to #6 U.S. Then, “Whipped Cream,” powered by the #7 single “Taste Of Honey” held the #1 spot for eight weeks and the follow-up, “Going Places,” was #1 for six weeks, meaning Alpert held the top spot on the U.S. LP chart 14 weeks out of the year’s 52 smack dab in the midst of Beatlemania. “Going Places” also hit #1 in Australia and “Whipped Cream” rose to #2 in the U.K.
Alpert’s next six albums also hit the U.S. top 10, “What Now My Love” hitting #1 in 1966, followed by “S.R.O.,” which just missed, stopping at #2, “Sounds Like” topping the chart in 1967, and “The Beat Of The Brass” and “The Christmas Album” both hitting #1 in 1968.
Ironically, Alpert’s first #1 single was a rare vocal, “This Guy’s In Love With You,” a chart-topper for four weeks in 1968. Eleven years later, the instrumental “Rise” hit #1 and eight years later he scored another top five success, teaming with Janet Jackson on “Diamonds.”
174. THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – The Peppers released their first album in 1994, but didn’t break through to the big time until 2001 when “Blood Sugar Sex Magic” soared to No. 3 on the U.S. album charts, No. 5 in the U.K., No. 2 in the Netherlands and No. 1 in Canada and the Pan Pacific area. After that, it was nonstop blockbusters, five straight LPs hitting the top in almost every country that keeps charts, including their 2011 release “I’m With You,” which hit #1 in Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.K. and reached #2 in the U.S., Australia, Austria, Canada and France. Their previous release, 2006’s double disc “Stadium Arcadium,” hit #1 in every one of those countries.
They hold the record for most No. 1 singles on “alternative” charts with 12 and have had chart-topping singles around the world, including 1991’s “Under The Bridge,” which hit #1 in Austria and The Netherlands and 2006’s “Dani California,” #1 In Canada.
Vocalist Anthony Kiedis, guitarist Hillel Slovak, bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary and drummer Jack Irons started the Peppers in 1983, but only Kiedis and Balzary have remained constants, the lead guitar slot experiencing many changes. Those two and Chad Smith, who has occupied the drum stool since 1988, and John Frusciante who held down the lead guitar position for two terms, playing on five of the band’s major albums, are the inductees.
175. CHUBBY CHECKER – Most anyone on the street can answer the question “Who is Chubby Checker?” And most anyone can do the twist, or at least knows what it is. Hank Ballard wrote it and cut it first, but it certainly had a less than memorable birth, appearing as a B-side on a 45. If not for Checker’s high-profiled appearance blitz, it’s unlikely “The Twist” would have become the most popular dance of the Rock era. Checker’s live performances made “The Twist” the only record to hit No. 1 on two separate occasions, first in 1960 then again in 1961. Checker showed the country how to twist, appearing on “American Bandstand” and other television shows. And he sure could dance. Following his lead, the world soon was twisting and a whole era of dance crazes followed.
It was quite a start for a virtual unknown, whose only previous chart appearance had come with a novelty record called “The Class” 13 months earlier. “The Twist” was upended after just one week at No. 1 by Connie Francis’ “My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own.” Ballard’s version, while overshadowed, eventually finished its chart run with a more-than respectable No. 28 peak and a four-month stay. But while “The Twist” was beginning its ascent into Rock history, Checker took over. His constant appearances, his good looks, his winning smile and his personable nature – not to mention his dancing prowess – made even adults want to twist. Meanwhile, Checker began dominating the charts by introducing new dances. Most connect Checker with “The Twist,” forgetting his other successes. But he followed “The Twist” with “The Hucklebuck,” which just missed the top 10, then rode “Pony Time” to No. 1 as 1961 began. “Let’s Twist Again” came next, hitting the top 10, and a new dance, “The Fly,” buzzed to No. 7.
As Checker kindled interest in dancing, he kept alive his initial dance and 17 months after “The Twist” had first reached No. 1, it became the only record in history to return to the top. This time it stayed two weeks, and it took another twist record, Joey Dee’s “Peppermint Twist,” to knock it off. But Chubby was far from finished, “Slow Twistin,'” a duet with Dee Dee Sharp going to No. 3 before Checker had everyone doing the “Limbo Rock” as that disc reached No. 2 with the flip, “Popeye The Hitchiker,” which promoted the dance known as the hitchhike, also reaching the top 10.
For those who consider Checker just a singles artist, he charted 10 albums in the top 30 between 1960 and 1963. In a time when Rock was suffering, payola and other scandals crippling the still young music force, Chubby Checker helped keep the music alive, creating worldwide interest equaled only by Elvis and the Beatles. And, amazingly, he still entertains audiences today with the same energy and enthusiasm he displayed 50 years ago.
176. THE SMITHS – The Smiths are thought to be one of the greatest bands ever to emerge from the United Kingdom. When one takes into account the great bands to come out of the UK in the last 50 years, that’s saying something. And while it’s only opinion, it is the opinion of many, and their success in their homeland certainly backs up even the most flattering viewpoints.
Given their name by lead singer Morrissey because it was the most normal name he could come up with and he felt it was time for the normal people to raise their voices, The Smiths also included guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Today, there’s no love lost between the always outspoken, ever-controversial and anything but normal Morrissey and his ex-band mates, the front man continuing a solo career that has come close to eclipsing that of his former group.
Although they recorded just four studio albums and each charted in various countries, including the United States, success worldwide was nothing compared to their grip on the UK, where their results were phenomenal. The initial release, “The Smiths,” reached No. 2 while its follow-up, “Meat Is Murder,” a reference to Morrissey’s vegetarianism, topped the charts. The next two, “The Queen Is Dead” and “Strangeways, Here We Come,” each climbed to No. 2. Other chart-busters were some best of compilations that were still charting as recently as late 2008 and some live efforts.
There were no hit singles in the States, but in their homeland the band notched 13, beginning with “This Charming Man” in November 1983 until “Girlfriend in a Coma” in August 1987, a month after Marr had left the group, effectively ending its existence.
177. MUDDY WATERS (with the Headhunters) – While McKinley Morganfield, much better known as Muddy Waters, began making his mark in the mid ‘40s, long before the Goldmine Hall Of Fame’s starting point of 1955, many of his recordings became so highly valued they have continued notching respectable sales figures and critical acclaim to this date.
Already firmly established in Chicago, Waters teamed up with Little Walter Jacobs, a virtuoso on blues harmonica who would have a very successful solo career which included the national hit instrumental “Juke,” and guitarist Jimmy Rogers, who also experienced some success on his own and later played with Howlin’ Wolf, to form The Headhunters. Later they added Leroy Foster on drums, but they didn’t record until 1951. They then put together a collection that established the template for Chicago Blues followed by many, particularly British Invasion groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Yardbirds and Van Morrison’s Them. By then Elgin Evans had replaced Foster, Otis Spann had been added on piano and Willie Dixon contributed great material as well as playing some bass.
Just some of the recordings Waters accounted for were “Turn The Lamp Down Low,” known also as “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Just Make Love To Me,” known also as “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” “Manish Boy,” also known as “I’m A Man,” “Got My Mojo Working” and “You Shook Me.” Dixon wrote “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “I Just Want To Make Love To You” as well as “Little Red Rooster,” “Spoonful,” “I Ain’t Superstitious,” “My Babe” and many others.
In 1980, Waters, Little Walter, Dixon and Spann were inducted into the initial class of the Blues Hall of Fame. The Goldmine inductees are: Muddy Waters (guitar and vocals); Little Walter (harmonica); Jimmy Rogers (guitar); Leroy Foster & Elgin Evans (drums); Otis Spann (piano) and Willie Dixon (bass).
178. AL MARTINO – This Philadelphian had one of the biggest hits of the ‘50s with “Here In My Heart,” which topped the U.S. charts and became #1 on the first British singles chart, staying there nine weeks. In spite of that success occurring in 1952, three years before the cutoff year for the Goldmine Hall of Fame statistics, Martino still managed to rack up enough successes to easily become one of our inductees. In fact, before 1955 Martino had five more top 10 hits in England, proving so popular overseas he eventually lived there for a period.
Two of those, “Take My Heart” and “Rachel” were hits in the U.S., but Martino’s stateside career slumped when he moved overseas reportedly under conditions straight out of “The Godfather.” Ironically, when he moved back to the U.S. he played singer Johnny Fontane in that hit movie trilogy. He also saw his recording career rejuvenated in the U.S. even as his success disappeared in the U.K.
In 1963, Martino unleashed three singles that ranked #22 or higher, including the #3 “I Love You Because.” In 1964, he put “Silver Bells” and “I Love You More and More Every Day” into the U.S. top 10 and finished the year with “Tears and Roses” peaking at #20. The British Invasion began dominating the airwaves, making things tough for crooners such as Martino, but in 1966 he still managed to place “Spanish Eyes” at #15. This recording also accounted for a brief comeback in the U.K. when it was re-issued there in 1973 and climbed all the way to #5. Martino never again reached his early heights, but hits such as “Mary In The Morning,” “To The Door Of The Sun” and a version of “Volare” kept him on the radio through the ‘80s.
From 1962 until 1975, Martino regularly appeared on the U.S. best-selling album charts. He passed away in 2009 at age 82.
179. JANIS JOPLIN (with Big Brother & the Holding Company) – It is remarkable that Janis Joplin was able to accomplish so much in so little time. But with just four studio albums recorded over a brief three-year period, Joplin became one of the century’s most heralded vocalists. Much of her success was due to her electrifying personal appearances and the fact that her career coincided with The Monterey and Woodstock Festivals.
Unfortunately, the band she fronted, Big Brother & The Holding Company, was so over-shadowed by its lead singer, it became denigrated as not polished and lacking in chops. True or not, the group’s rawness actually enhanced Joplin’s performances. Thus, although the band was present on just the first two Joplin albums, “Big Brother & The Holding Company” and “Cheap Thrills,” they receive equal recognition with Joplin as Goldmine Hall of Fame inductees.
The debut album peaked at #60 on the Billboard chart, but the follow-up, “Cheap Thrills,” hit the top and remained there two months. These two discs contained the performances that made Joplin’s reputation, “Down On Me,” “Summertime,” “Piece Of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain.” Many live performances with Big Brother were released after Joplin passed away. Joplin’s first LP without The Holding Company, “I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!,” peaked at #5, but her last release, “Pearl,” was #1 for nine weeks, containing such Joplin favorites as “Move Over,” “Cry Baby,” “Mercedes Benz” and the #1 “Me & Bobby McGee,” her only top 10 single.
The inductees are: Janis Joplin (vocals); Peter Albin (bass); Sam Andrew (guitar); David Getz (drums) and James Gurley (guitar).
180. PETER GABRIEL – He left Genesis in 1975, and many thought that was the end of the group. After all, Gabriel’s voice as well as the many outlandish outfits he wore on stage, were focal points for fans of the band. But Genesis proved more than resilient, gaining induction to the Goldmine Hall of Fame at #96. In addition, Phil Collins, who replaced Gabriel as lead vocalist of Genesis, already has been inducted at #70. Amazingly, Gabriel’s solo career has been enough of a success to rank him at this impressive position.
Less than two years after leaving Genesis, his first solo effort, “Peter Gabriel” or “Car,” was top 10 across Europe. Today, he ranks among the top 100 album sellers of all time and is one of the top selling singles artists as well. His second LP, also titled “Peter Gabriel” but also known as “Scratch,” also reached the U.K. top 10, and the third – again titled “Peter Gabriel,” but known as “Melt” for convenience – became his first solo #1 in the U.K. and France. But Gabriel’s big bust through didn’t occur until 1986 when the single “Sledgehammer” went top 10 worldwide and hit #1 in the U.S. and Canada, lifting its LP home to #1 in the U.K. and five other nations and #2 in the U.S. That LP also yielded other hits, “Don’t Give Up” featuring Kate Bush, “Big Time” and “In Your Eyes.”
It took over six years for the next album to see the light of day, but “Us” hit the top of the German chart and finished #2 in Sweden, the U.S., the U.K. and France. But that was swift compared to the 10-year gap before Gabriel’s next release, “Up” appeared. This time, despite some soundtrack work and live recordings breaking the silence, the long wait cost Gabriel some followers, though the release did hit #1 in Italy and top 10 in many other countries.
Not to disappoint, Gabriel made fans wait eight years for the next studio LP, “Scratch My Back,” It was strictly a covers album, but his base remained solid and, once again, the LP was a chart success in most areas.