Goldmine’s Hall of Fame Inductees – Volume 20

By Phill Marder

This is the 20th 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 or by following this link – http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/goldmine-hall-of-fame-inductees

Essential(500)

191. ROXY MUSIC – They never had a hit record in the United States. They never had a top 20 album in the United States. Still, Roxy Music lands high on the Goldmine Hall of Fame chart because of tremendous success in Europe, particularly their home country, England, and critical acclaim.

While many musicians passed through the group over the years, those involved in the creation of their 1972 eponymous debut album were Bryan Ferry (lead vocals and keyboards), Brian Eno (vocals and synthesizers), Andy Mackay (oboe and saxophone), Phil Manzanera (guitar), Graham Simpson (bass) and Paul Thompson (drums). Reaching #10 on the U.K. chart, it started a streak that saw the group register nine straight LPs in the U.K. top 10 if you discount a greatest hits package that stopped at #20 in 1977, probably because most of the British record-buying public already had purchased the material.

Three of the band’s albums, 1973’s “Stranded,” 1980’s “Flesh and Blood” and 1982’s “Avalon” proved chart-toppers in the U.K. “Avalon” also hit #1 in Norway, Sweden and Australia, but by that time only Ferry, Mackay and Manzanera remained from the debut disc, Simpson having been replaced by John Porter for the band’s second release, “For Your Pleasure,” which hit UK #4 without producing a hit single. In fact, the group’s first two hits, “Virginia Plain” and “Pyjamarama” weren’t included on either of the band’s first two albums, though each reached the Brit top 10. Other major successes in the U.K. singles market were “Street Life” (#9 in 1973), “Love Is The Drug,” (#2 in 1975), “Dance Away” (#2 in 1979), “Angel Eyes” (#4 in 1979), “Over You” and “Oh Yeah (On The Radio)” (each #5 in 1980), “Jealous Guy” (#1 in 1981) and “More Than This” (#6 in 1982).

Ferry, Mackay, Manzanera and Thompson are inductees, having been with Roxy Music from start to finish.

Poison

192. POISON – Despite arrests, in-house brawling, reality shows, drug problems, glam hairdos and a lack of critical acceptance, Poison went on to become one of the most successful bands of the last 60 years in the studio and on the concert stage. At last count by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), Poison had sold 14.5 million albums, placing them in the top 200 all-time best sellers.

Their second single, “Talk Dirty To Me,” hit the top 10 in the U.S. and Canada, propelling the debut LP “Look What The Cat Dragged In” to #3 in the U.S. and top 30 showings in Canada and the U.K., and the group has never looked back. Its successor, “Open Up and Say…Ahh!” did even better, topping the New Zealand chart, finishing second in the U.S. and going top 10 in Canada and Australia. That disc produced three top 10 singles in the U.S., including the #1 “Every Thorn Has Its Rose.”

“Flesh and Blood,” released in 1990, became the group’s best selling LP in the U.K., climbing to #3. Again, Poison was stopped at #2 in the U.S. and suffered the same fate in Australia. The hits started coming slower after that, but Poison remained a top concert ticket seller and accounted for two best-selling DVDs since 2006.

Poison’s lineup has remained constant since the band’s inception except for guitarist C.C. DeVille, who was replaced on two studio LPs. DeVille, along with lead singer Bret Michaels, Bobby Dall on bass and Rikki Rockett on drums are the inductees.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

193. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – Coming out of the box firing bullets at Neil Young is not a recommended blueprint for success. Jacksonville, Florida’s Lynyrd Skynyrd did just that, but had the goods to back up their denouncing of the Canadian superstar, eventually becoming major stars and good friends with Young.

The group’s first big hit was, of course, “Sweet Home Alabama,” Skynyrd’s response to Young’s scathing blasts at the South in “Alabama” and “Southern Man.” It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and, most surprisingly, did even better in Young’s homeland, climbing to #6. The band never duplicated that success in the singles’ market, the anthem “Free Bird” and “What’s Your Name?” proving the band’s closest calls, each making the top 20. But the album market was a different story, 1975’s “Nuthin’ Fancy” and 1976’s “One More From The Road” each reaching #9, while 1977’s “Street Survivors” climbed to #5.

Unfortunately, “Street Survivors” was released just three days before the horrific plane crash that killed three band members, lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and severely injured most of the rest of the group members. While the album reached #3 in Canada and #13 in Great Britain, marking the group’s best showing there, it didn’t maintain the momentum from the prior release, “Gimme Back My Bullets,” which hit #1 in France and Switzerland, #2 in Canada and Finland, #3 in Sweden and #4 in Norway.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has had many different lineups, but several members have remained as the foundation. They include Goldmine Hall of Fame inductees Ronnie and Johnny Van Zant on lead vocals, guitarist Gary Rossington, Billy Powell on keyboards and Leon Wilkeson on bass. Other inductees are: Allen Collins, Ed King and Ricky Medlocke on guitar and Artimus Pyle on drums.

Meat Loaf

194. MEAT LOAF – Do they play baseball in the Netherlands? Do the Dutch even know who Phil Rizzuto is? The answer to both questions may be a resounding “no.” So how did “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” sit atop the singles’ chart in the Netherlands while charting nowhere else but the United States, where it peaked at just #39?

The answer is simple. The Dutch may not know baseball or Phil Rizzuto, but, evidently, they do know a great record when they hear one. Actually, “Paradise” was the second big single in the Netherlands for Meat Loaf, who rode “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth” to #4 there, #3 in Australia and #2 in New Zealand. Ironically, that hit also peaked at #39 in the U.S. Both came from the breakthrough LP, “Bat Out Of Hell,” which finally produced Loaf’s first big U.S. hit, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad.” The album became one of the best selling in history, going top 10 in almost every charted country, #1 in Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands. Its #5 finish in the U.K. was just a prelude to a remarkable success story which saw Meat Loaf send his next three LPs into the Brit top 10 when they couldn’t even dent the U.S. top 40.

Actually, it took 16 years for Meat Loaf to regain his place in the hearts of the U.S. record-buying public, which he did with a flourish in 1993. “Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell,” the unlikely follow-up to his 1977 success, performed even better, going #1 across the board, thanks largely to the success of the album’s lead track, “I’ll Do Anything For Love But I Won’t Do That,” which topped the charts in 28 countries. The Jim Steinman-written mini-symphony clocks in at around 12 minutes – each and every second packed with drama. It became the U.K.’s best-selling single of 1993 and won Loaf a Grammy for best solo Rock vocal performance.

Following that hit proved impossible for the vocalist, but in Great Britain he did prove the isles had a taste for leftover Meat Loaf, a re-release of the “Bat Out Of Hell” single hitting #8 as 1993 closed. In 1995, “I’d Lie For You (And That’s The Truth”) climbed to U.K. #2 and the following year “Not A Dry Eye In The House” reached #7. As late as the close of 2006, Meat Loaf still appeared in the Brit top 10.

B.B. King

195. B.B. KING – Coming out of Mississippi, this Blues guitar legend had been recording since his early 20s, finding little commercial success, but building a catalog and reputation that would serve him well over a career that continues today. In 1951, in his mid 20s, King went from never having a hit to recording a single that would top the R&B charts for five weeks in 1952, “3 O’Clock Blues.” Later in 1952, he hit the top again with “You Know I Love You” and followed with “Story From My Heart and Soul,” which reached #9.

Riley B. King certainly was well on his way to becoming one of the Blues most successful and well-known artists, making roughly 250 to 300 personal appearances a year, while building a reputation as one of the all-time great guitarists, though he would be the first to admit he doesn’t play chords well. King’s success on the R&B singles’ chart continued leading up to 1955, the starting point for Goldmine’s Hall of Fame calculations as he reached the top 10 five more times, including two more stops at #1 with 1953’s “Please Love Me” and 1954’s “You Upset Me Baby.”

In 1955, King hit the R&B top 10 twice with “Every Day I Have The Blues” and “Ten Long Years” and the next year he scored three more with “Sweet Little Angel,” “Bad Luck” and “On My Word Of Honor.” King started making regular appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964, even reaching the top 40 with “Rock Me Baby” as British Invasion groups, particularly The Rolling Stones and The Animals, began touting the importance of many Blues’ classics. By the late ‘60s, King’s releases, both as singles and albums, appeared with regularity on the best-selling charts, 1970’s “The Thrill Is Gone” becoming his highest-charting single at #15 and probably his best-known work. He has had just one top 10 LP, 2000’s “Riding With The King,” a collaboration with Eric Clapton, climbing to #3.

King’s chart success outside the U.S. has been minimal, but several hits compilations have charted in Europe over the years and King has remained a top concert attraction. He has received 17 Grammy awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, and in 1980 he was inducted into the initial class of The Blues Hall of Fame. Other distinctions he has received are the Presidential Medal of the Arts in 1990 and Kennedy Center Honors in 1995.

B 52's

196. THE B 52s – The town of Athens, Georgia may best be known as the home of R.E.M., but several years prior to that band’s emergence on the national scene, the B-52s (then the B-52’s) captured the attention of the world’s music fans. The two bands had little else in common, the B-52s fun-loving, party-at-all-costs style not exactly the template R.E.M. followed, but the two Goldmine Hall of Fame bands did work with each other on occasion, Michael Stipe appearing in a B-52s video, while the 52’s Kate Pierson contributed some vocal support on a couple R.E.M. cuts, including the 1991 hit single “Shiny, Happy People.”

By that time both groups were well established on the world scene, the B-52s 1978 release “Rock Lobster” having done well in the States and the U.K., and particularly in the Pan Pacific area where it climbed to #3 in Australia and hit the New Zealand top 40 as well. The follow-up singles were successful in Australia as well, though relegated to the dance charts in the U.S., though a 1986 re-release of “Rock Lobster” climbed to #12 in Britain. The group’s popularity in the dance clubs and the album charts continued into 1989 when the major breakthrough occurred, “Love Shack” reaching #3 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K. and #1 in Australia and New Zealand.

Its successor, “Roam,” did almost as well, getting to #3 in the States and going top 20 in many of the world’s other major markets. Both hits were pulled from the 1989 LP “Cosmic Thing,” which lifted the band from the category of steady album sellers to residents of the top 10 and spread their doctrine across Europe as well. Three years later, the single “Good Stuff,” pulled from the LP of the same name, became a top 30 hit and the host album scored well, duplicating the previous releases #8 peak in the U.K. In 2008, the group’s most recent release, their first LP of new material in 16 years, “Funplex,” hit #11 in the U.S., yielding two dance hits, the title track and “Juliet Of The Spirits.”

The inductees are the group’s founding members Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson and Ricky Wilson, all having contributed vocals, writing and various instrumental parts on every LP, except for Ricky Wilson, who passed away during the recording of the fourth LP, and his sister Cindy Wilson, who missed the sixth LP.

The Pretenders

197. THE PRETENDERS – It’s often said that when you start at the top, there’s nowhere to go but down. The Pretenders started at the top,  then went down. But not very far, which is why the band makes our hall of fame. American singer Chrissie Hynde, living in England, named her group after The Platters’ massive hit. She settled for The Pretenders, but as things turned out The Great Pretenders would not have been an overstatement.

In 1979, the band’s eponymous debut LP hit #1 on the U.K. chart, #2 in New Zealand and Sweden and top 10 in Australia, Canada and the United States as the album’s third single, “Brass In Pocket,” soared to the top of the charts in Britain and Sweden and just missed #1 in Australia and New Zealand. A 1981 EP morphed into the follow-up LP, “Pretenders II,” which almost equaled the debut’s success, going #1 in New Zealand and top 10 in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. It also began the revolving door that became The Pretenders’ lineup, with just Hynde remaining the constant.

Before the third release, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, who co-wrote with Hynde “Brass In Pocket” and several other selections on the first two albums, and bassist Pete Farndon both died from drug overdoses, leaving just Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers to continue. While various musicians were used in the recording of some of the third LP, “Learning To Crawl,” the majority was performed by two who were to become the band’s new permanent members, Robbie McIntosh on guitar and Malcolm Foster on bass. The pair did not play on either of the LP’s hits, though, “Back On The Chain Gang,” which became The Pretenders’ highest-charting single at #5, and “Middle Of The Road.” The album also reached #5 in the States, the group’s best showing on that chart.

By the time 1986 rolled in, Chambers was gone and Hynde and McIntosh were joined by T.M. Stevens on bass and Blair Cunningham on drums. The album “Get Close” peaked at #6 in the U.K. and yielded the single “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” which reached the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. By 1990, Hynde had become, for all intents and purposes, a solo recorder, through Cunningham did play on all tracks of the next release, “Packed!” Chambers was back for the release, but guitarist Adam Seymour and Hynde were the releases’ only two constants. Bass player Andy Hobson also contributed, then became a regular on the band’s next two releases, which also featured Chambers and Seymour.

The inductees are Hynde, Honeyman-Scott, Farndon and Chambers, the original lineup responsible for the band’s breakthrough to fame, and Adam Seymour and Andy Hobson, who joined Hynde and Chambers from 1993 to 2006 as the group’s longest-lasting lineup.

Mamas & Papas

198. THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS – In the midst of the British Invasion, when record charts and radio airways were dominated by talented English bands who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments, The Mamas & The Papas stood out as totally unique, visually and musically.  Two men, two women, one guitar and four voices the blend of which never has been matched before or since.

Add to the mix the songwriting of leader John Phillips and it’s no wonder this fab foursome had the success it did in the middle of what many consider modern music’s greatest five-year span, 1964-1969. For those of that opinion, The Mamas & The Papas contributed mightily to their argument. The group only recorded five studio albums, though the finale, “People Like Us,” was done without much of a “group” effort, Phillips being forced to piece together individual performances as the group by that time had split up.

But from the first LP, with a cover considered “indecent” at the time because it pictured the four in a bathtub next to a “gasp” toilet, The Mamas & The Papas became a household name, largely thanks to two future standards, “California Dreamin’” and “Monday Monday.” The former, credited to Phillips and his wife, Michelle,” rose to #4, the latter, credited to John Phillips alone, giving the quartet its only #1 single. That was enough to push the debut album, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears,” to the top spot in the U.S. and #3 in the U.K. The second album, “Cass John Michelle Dennis The Mamas & The Papas,” slipped a bit as in-group turmoil interfered, but still two singles “I Saw Her Again,” penned by Phillips and Denny Doherty, and “Words Of Love,” penned by Phillips and sung by Cass Elliot each hit U.S. #5 and the album reached #4.

“Deliver” yielded a #2 smash as the group covered the Shirelles “Dedicated To The One I Love” and a #5 hit with the autobiographical “Creque Alley.” The fourth, “The Papas & The Mamas,” though another excellent effort, topped out at #15 in the U.S. and failed to chart in Britain, “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” being the top charting single at #12. A much covered chestnut originally done by Ozzie Nelson in 1931, it featured Cass on lead vocal.

Though many variations of the quartet have appeared over the years, none has come close to equaling the original four. The Goldmine inductees are: John & Michelle Phillips, Dennis Doherty and Cass ElliotCarly Simon199. CARLY SIMON – This female superstar wrote and recorded two of the most memorable songs of the ’70s, “You’re So Vain” and “Anticipation.” The former, with none less than Mick Jagger singing along, was #1 in the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand and Australia and  listeners are still trying to figure out who she was writing about. The latter was not just a hit, but remained in the public ear for years to come as the soundtrack for a  famous ketchup commercial.

All told, Simon had nine top 20 singles, including “Mockingbird,” the duet with her former husband, James Taylor, who was inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame at #79. Simon has had eight top 20 LPs on the U.S. charts, including “No Secrets,” which closed 1972 at No. 1 and remained there five weeks. Simon’s first two album releases topped off at No. 30, before “No Secrets.” After that, she reached the top 10 four more times, the most recent being 2005’s “Moonlight Serenade.”

She ranks in the upper half of the top single and album sellers worldwide.

Simon won Grammy Awards for “Best New Artist” in 1971, “Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television” for “Let The River Run” from the 1988 film “Working Girl,” and the “Grammy Hall of Fame Award” in 2004 for “You’re So Vain.” She also won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for “Let The River Run.” She was inducted into “The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame” in 1994. Last year (2012), she was awarded the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Founders award.

Billy Vaughn

200. BILLY VAUGHN – Wrapping up the Goldmine Hall of Fame’s second 100 inductees is this Kentucky native who notched more American pop hits during the Rock & Roll era than any other orchestra leader. Vaughn’s totals are rather staggering, 28 singles reaching the Billboard Hot 100 and 36 albums hitting the Billboard top 200.

Vaughn, who entered the year 1955 with a #2 single, “Melody Of Love,” continued his chart success though the record-buying public certainly was changing, scoring the #5 “The Shifting Whispering Sands Parts 1&2” later in 1955, the #18 “When The Lilacs Bloom Again” the next year, and in 1957 a double-sided smash, “Sail Along Silvery Moon” hitting #5, the flip, “Raunchy,” rising to #10. The streak continued in 1958, “La Paloma” climbing to #20 and in 1960 his “Look For A Star” peaked at #19. His last major U.S. single came in 1962 when “A Swingin’ Safari” peaked at #13. But Vaughn’s success was not limited to the U.S. He also had #1 singles in Canada, Norway, Germany and Australia.

Vaughn had 16 albums hit the U.S. top 20, and was a regular chart presence until 1970. In 1960, he put three LPs into the top five, “Theme From A Summer Place” topping the chart, while “Look For A Star” and “Theme From The Sundowners” each reached #5.

Ironically, Vaughn had begun his success as a member of the vocal group, The Hilltoppers, who had seven top 10 hits before 1955, the first, “Trying,” written by Vaughn. The Hilltoppers had continued success after Vaughn left in 1955 to become musical director for Dot Records, where he spent his very successful recording career in addition to working with other Dot stars, Pat Boone in particular.

Vaughn passed away in 1991.

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