By Phill Marder
This is the 40th set of 10 selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 10 inductees approximately every three 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
391. SARAH McLACHLAN
Another in the growing list of Canadian artists to be inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame, this Halifax native is still going strong. Sarah McLachlan already has amassed sales figures in albums and singles large enough to place her among the worldwide leaders on the all-time list. And she has moved right along with the times, iTunes and Amazon dotting her resume right next to Billboard and Goldmine.
But it took awhile to get things rolling full blast as her first two albums, “Touch” released in 1988 and “Solace” in 1991, didn’t have much impact outside her native land where they finished #61 and #21, respectively. But two singles from “Solace” did crack the Canadian top 30, positioning McLachlan for her breakthrough which occurred in 1993. “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” also yielded two top 30 singles in Canada and the LP soared to #5 there. It also announced her arrival on the main stage in the U.S., where it peaked at #50.
So it was no surprise that her leadoff single from her next album “Surfacing,” “Building a Mystery,” topped the Canadian charts in 1997 seven months before the LP debut. By the time “Surfacing” was finished, it had produced three more top 10 hits in Canada, “Adia” and “Angel” also reaching the U.S. top five and charting through most of the world. The album topped the charts in Canada and ranked #2 U.S.
It was a tough act to follow, but McLachlan’s next two studio LPs also topped the Canadian charts, with the third, 2010’s “Laws Of Illusion,” stopping at #2. All three also made the U.S. top 10. In 1999, McLachlan’s “Mirrorball,” a live recording, topped the Canadian chart, hit #3 U.S. and yielded the hit single “I Will Remember You,” which had been a minor hit in 1995 when featured in the movie The Brothers McMullen. McLachlan is scheduled to release her next LP this Spring (2014).
392. SINEAD O’CONNOR
Some artists court controversy. This Irish vocalist was on top of the musical landscape in 1990 and ripping up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live two years later. She has pulled no punches when it comes to criticism, whether it be of a fellow artist, a war or anything else that ticks her off. She goes bald in opposition to what she feels are unflattering traditional views of women.
And, Sinead O’Connor has maintained a powerful fan base around the world, though she never has come close to the heights she claimed with the 1990 LP “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.” That album, powered by the Prince-written single “Nothing Compares 2 U,” hit #1 in most countries as did the single, winning the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance.
Three years prior, O’Connor’s debut album, “The Lion & The Cobra,” had established O’Connor as a star of the future, reaching #27 in the U.K., #36 in the U.S., #4 in New Zealand and #12 in Switzerland. Her 1992 release, preceding her Saturday Night Live appearance by less than two weeks, still connected, reaching top 10 status in several countries, including a #6 standing in the U.K., but, overall, acceptance for that release and subsequent offerings fell short of her big smash.
Of course, sales success does not always equate with quality and 2012’s “Lay Your Head Down,” while not a hit, still garnered a Grammy for World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film.
393. KIM WILDE
The daughter of English rocker, Marty Wilde, drove the Wilde family to heights never approached by her father. Ironically, Marty and his son, Ricky, accounted for a great portion of Kim Wilde’s considerable success, writing and producing most of her hits. Ironic because Marty’s career was based on cover hits as he reached the U.K. top 10 with “Endless Sleep,” “Donna,” “A Teenager In Love,” “Sea Of Love” and “Rubber Ball” between 1958 and 1961. And Ricky, promoted as “the new Donny Osmond,” never became the young star backers had hoped for.
But together, father and son found magic with family member Kim, who became the U.K.’s most dominant female recording artist in the 80s. Wilde had 13 top 20 singles in the U.K. between 1981 and 1993, seven reaching the top 10, most written by Marty and Ricky. Her first hit, 1981’s “Kids In America,” topped the charts in Ireland and South Africa, just missed in the U.K., Sweden and France, stopping at #2, and scored a respectable #25 in the U.S. The follow-up, “Chequered,” gave her a second straight chart-topper in South Africa, also hit #1 in France and reached #2 in numerous countries and her debut LP, “Kim Wilde,” topped the charts in Sweden and Germany and reached #3 in the U.K.
Before 1981 concluded, Wilde scored again with “Cambodia,” included on the not-yet-released second LP, “Select.” “Cambodia” topped charts in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and France and its successor, “View From A Bridge,” became a top 10 entry in most European nations. Naturally, the LP was a success.
Wilde continued to release a string of hit singles through the ‘80s, including several that topped various charts across Europe and in South Africa and three straight top 10 entries in the U.K. in 1988. But success in the U.S. eluded her except for a 1986 cover of the Supremes’ “(You Keep Me) Hangin’ On,” which topped the U.S. Hot 100 and the Australian, Norwegian and Canadian charts and rose to #2 in the U.K., Switzerland and Sweden.
In November, 2013, Wilde, whose sister Roxanne sings backup for Kylie Minogue, released “Wilde Winter Songbook,” which includes several Christmas favorites.
394. PROCOL HARUM
When your first hit record is destined to become one of the classics of Rock & Roll, one of the most covered songs in Rock history and one of the most discussed and debated lyrics of all Rock, you’ve set the bar impossibly high. This British quintet did just that with its opening salvo, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale.” Tough act to follow? You bet. Remarkably, Procol Harum maintained the standard it established with its initial success. To some, the group even managed to eclipse the opener.
“A Whiter Shade Of Pale” was such a huge success, it was named co-winner of the Best British Pop Single along with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the years 1952-1977 and was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. Quite an achievement under any circumstances, but particularly impressive considering that period encompassed not only the beginning stages of Rock, but also the complete British Invasion, Beatles, Stones et al, as well as its immediate aftermath. “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” soared to #1 in the U.K., Holland, Canada, France, Flanders, Italy, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia and finished #5 in the U.S.
The successor, “Homburg,” failed to connect in the U.S., but rose to #6 in the U.K., topped the Holland charts and climbed to #2 in France. But Procol Harum was not a singles band, its legacy being firmly established with a strong series of albums. Its first, in original U.K. form, didn’t even include either of the two hits, kicking off with “Conquistador,” which would become one of the band’s many treasures. When released in the U.S., “A Whiter Shade of Pale” was now the leadoff track. “Homburg” appeared on neither. The LP reached #47 U.S. and #26 U.K.
The next six LPs – featuring classic rock stalwarts such as “Shine On Brightly” and “A Salty Dog” – broke into the U.S. top 40, but just one reached top 10 status. That came with the 1972 release of “Procol Harum Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra,” which climbed to #5. The lead track was “Conquistador,” which, now released as a single, rose to U.S. #16 and garnered top 10 status in several nations.
The inductees are: Matthew Fisher & Chris Copping (organ); Alan Cartwright & Dave Knights (bass); BJ Wilson (drums); Robin Trower & Mick Grabham (guitar) and Gary Brooker (vocals & piano).
395. DAVID SEVILLE
His real name was Ross Bagdasarian, his stage name David Seville. But this Californian was, and still is, better known as Alvin. Or sometimes Simon. Or at other times Theodore. Collectively, Alvin, Simon and Theodore are, of course, The Chipmunks, stars of recordings, television and movies.
Though Seville passed away in 1972, his comical creation lives on, “The Chipmunk Song,” also known as “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late),” becoming one of the holiday season’s staples, sitting right alongside other Christmas favorites such as “White Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Frosty The Snowman,” “The Christmas Song,” “Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer” and any Christmas recording by Elvis on yearly holiday playlists. In fact, after hitting #1 in 1958, its year of release, “The Chipmunk Song” reappeared in the top half of Billboard’s Hot 100 the next four years, inspired sequels, “Alvin’s Harmonica,” and “Ragtime Cowboy Joe,” #3 and #16, respectively in 1959, and “Rudolf The Rednose Reindeer,’ which hit #21 in 1960 and returned to the charts in 1961 and 1962.
But “The Chipmunk Song” was not Seville’s first #1. Earlier in 1958, he introduced his doctored vocals in his novelty smash, “Witch Doctor,” which inspired a host of recordings using his technique, including Sheb Wooley’s “Purple People Eater,” which held the #1 spot for six weeks in 1958 eventually leading to “The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor,” written by The Big Bopper and the first hit by none other than Joe South.
Novelty or not, the music of David Seville has brought great joy and probably a fair share of hula hoops, especially to youngsters, for 55+ years. The Chipmunks’ fourth major full-length film and a return of the TV series currently are on tap under the guidance of Seville’s son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr.
Graham Gouldman was a songwriter in much demand, having penned hits for The Yardbirds, The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits. When Wayne Fontana split, Fontana’s band became simply The Mindbenders and guitarist Eric Stewart sang lead on their mammoth success “A Groovy Kind Of Love.” Eventually, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley met the pair at Strawberry Studios, they began working together on recordings for the bubblegum giants Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, the result being recordings released under various names such as The Ohio Express and Crazy Elephant.
Finally, with Gouldman absent, the remaining trio released a single under the name Hotlegs. “Neanderthal Man” became a huge hit, Gouldman returned and the foursome was born officially, though a commitment to their own band didn’t come until a couple years later after the four had worked on two Neil Sedaka albums. Their debut LP, “10cc,” became an instant classic featuring all original material, including three singles that reached the U.K. top 10, #2 “Donna,” #1 “Rubber Bullets” and #10 “The Dean & I.” The next five studio albums all reached the U.K. top 10, as did three greatest hits compilations. Eight more singles hit the Brit top 10, including two chart-toppers, 1975’s “I’m Not In Love” and 1978’s “Dreadlock Holiday.”
In 1976, Godley & Creme split to work on their own, eventually coming up with several U.K. top 10 hits, and 1985’s “Cry,” which hit U.K. #19 and U.S. #16. Meanwhile, Gouldman & Stewart hardly missed a beat, the next two 10cc LPs each hitting U.K. #3 with the 1977 single, “The Things We Do For Love,” becoming one of the band’s most successful, reaching #1 Canada, #5 U.S. and #6 U.K.
Today, 10cc ranks among the top 50% of all-time worldwide LP and singles sellers. The inductees, all playing multiple instruments and contributing vocals, are Gouldman, Stewart, Godley & Creme plus drummer Paul Burgess, who augmented the quartet in live appearances before becoming a regular member when Godley and Creme left.
397. THE LITTLE RIVER BAND
There’s nothing little about Australia’s Little River Band except for the number of native Australians in the early lineup, which included players from England, the Netherlands and Italy. But the band, which has varied in number of members over the years, quickly took to “Down Under” and Australians responded in kind, making The Little River Band one of Australia’s most popular, that success carrying over to the United States.
Most of the original lineup had found local success in Australia, guitarist Beeb Birtles having played bass for Zoot, which also included Goldmine Hall of Fame member Rick Springfield. Along with Graehme Goble and Glenn Shorrock, Birtles served as one of three lead vocalists on the group’s 1975 eponymous debut. The LP proved an immediate success, reaching #17 in Australia with three hit singles, including “It’s A Long Way There,” which peaked at #28 U.S. and helped the album reach #80 U.S., more than respectable for a debut.
The follow-up LP did even better at home, climbing to #5, but the lack of a hit in the U.S. saw it miss the Billboard chart completely. But help was on the way with 1977’s “Diamantina Cocktail,” which climbed to #2 in Australia on the back of the group’s biggest single, “Help Is On The Way,” which topped the Aussie charts. It also scored in the U.S., peaking at #14, and another hit from the same release, “Happy Anniversary,” helped the LP hit #49 U.S. by peaking at #16.
The next five years saw The Little River Band place five more LPs, including two greatest hits collections, in the Australian top 10, with one just missing at #11. Five more singles reached the Aussie top 20, including 1988’s #6 ”Love Is A Bridge.” In the U.S., LRB had six more top 10 hits before the close of 1981 and two 1982 releases came close. The highest charting U.S. single was 1978’s “Reminiscing.” The next year, “Cool Change” reached #10. It stiffed in the group’s homeland, but later was named one of Australia’s top 30 songs of all time.
The inductees are: Beeb Birtles, Ric Formosa, Graeham Goble & David Briggs (guitar); Roger McLachlan, Wayne Nelson & George McArdle (bass); Derek Pellicci (drums) & Glenn Shorrock (lead vocals).
398.TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD
Already a member of The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Gospel Music Hall of Fame, this vocalist now joins the Goldmine Hall of Fame. Ford was inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991, a year before he passed away. The Gospel honor came in 1994. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for radio, records and television.
Not bad for an “Ol’ Pea Picker” from Bristol, Tennessee.
Ford already was a major Country & Western recording star before our survey-beginning year of 1955, pushing 14 singles into the C&W top 10. Two, 1949’s “Mule Train” and 1951’s “The Shotgun Boogie,” reached #1 with three more just falling short at #2. Nine of those crossed over to the mainstream chart, establishing Ford in the Pop field as well. When the Rock & Roll Era began in 1955, Ford still dominated the charts. He opened 1955 with “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett.” Bill Hayes hit #1 for five weeks with the tune, while Fess Parker’s version climbed to #6. In spite of being third out of the box, Ford’s rendition still reached #5 and placed one better on the Country chart. In Australia, Ford’s version held the #1 slot four weeks.
But later that year, Ford released what proved to be his signature song and an all-time classic as “16 Tons” held the #1 slot in the U.S. for eight weeks. His second #1 in the U.K., following “Give Me Your Word,” which started 1955 at #1, the success of “16 Tons” also helped “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett” climb to U.K. #3 in 1956. Ford would go on to have several other U.S. top 20 singles through the ‘50s and was a presence on the Country chart until the mid-‘70s.
Four of Ford’s Gospel albums hit the U.S. top 10, starting with 1956’s “Hymns,” which reached #2 and stayed on the Billboard chart 277 weeks. “The Star Carol” hit #4 during the 1958 Christmas season, then returned the next Christmas to reach #7. His 1964 release, “Great Gospel Songs,” was awarded a Grammy.
399. BOZ SCAGGS
A childhood friend of Steve Miller, this Ohioan served as vocalist and guitarist on the first two albums by The Steve Miller Band before heading out for a solo career. On the first Miller LP, he sang lead on his own two compositions as he did on the group’s second LP as well. It’s hard to say if leaving was the right career move as both Scaggs and Miller’s band, already inducted into the Goldmine Hall Of Fame, dominated sales and radio play charts in 1977.
Five albums hadn’t produced much success for William Royce Scaggs, at least as far as sales were concerned. But in 1974, the tide began to turn as Scaggs teamed with former Motown ace Johnny Bristol, fresh off his own top 10 hit, “Hang On In There Baby.” Bristol wrote about half the LP “Slow Dancer” and served as its producer, also. It didn’t produce any hits, but it did become the first Boz Scaggs LP to break into the Billboard top 100, peaking at #81.
In spite of the relative success with Bristol, Scaggs went a different direction with his next LP, 1976’s “Silk Degrees.” He and future Toto member David Paich penned every song but one. Other future Toto members, David Hungate and Jeff Porcaro, joined in as well as Louis Shelton, the ace guitarist on many Monkees’ hits, including “Valleri.” This combo did the trick as “Silk Degrees” soared to U.S. #2 and #1 in Australia largely on the backs of three smash singles, “Lowdown,” which hit U.S. #3, “Lido Shuffle,” which peaked at U.S. #11 and “What Can I Say,” which climbed to #10 in the U.K.
The next year, “Down Two Then Left” failed to produce a hit, but still rose to #11 on the Billboard Top 200. But in 1980, Scaggs, with an all-star supporting cast, unleashed “Middle Man,” which rose to #8 U.S., yielding two top 20 hits, “Breakdown Dead Ahead” and “Jojo.” Before the year ended, the Urban Cowboy soundtrack boasted “Look What You’ve Done To Me,” which reached U.S. #14 as did “Miss Sun,” a Paich composition on the “Hits!” collection.
Scaggs then put the brakes on his career, not releasing another LP until 1988. Since, his releases have been sporadic, the most recent being 2013’s “Memphis.” He continues to tour regularly.
400. GORDON LIGHTFOOT
Named Canadian male vocalist of the ‘70s, the Ontario-born Gordon Lightfoot epitomizes the decade that became known for the emergence of many solo singer/songwriters. Yet, Lightfoot already had been well established in North America as early as 1962.
That year, the 24-year-old had a #3 Canadian single with “(Remember Me) I’m The One,” following that with a #27 hit, “It’s Too Late Now, He Wins/Negotiations.” In 1965, he released his debut LP, “Lightfoot!,” which yielded “I’m Not Sayin’,” a #12 Canadian single and “Ribbon Of Darkness,” which became a #1 U.S. Country hit for Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee Marty Robbins. The long-player also includes the oft-covered “For Lovin’ Me” and “Early Morning Rain.” But the LP and the follow-up, “The Way I Feel,” which contains “Song For A Winter’s Night” and “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” failed to chart. Meanwhile, a non-album single “Spin Spin” hit #7 for Lightfoot in 1966.
By now, the foundation had been established and Lightfoot’s next three albums all reached #21 in his home country. Then came 1970 and his big breakthrough, the album “Sit Down Young Stranger.” His version of “Me & Bobby McGee” brought Lightfoot back to the Canadian forefront for the first time in four years, going #1 on the Canadian Country charts and #13 overall. But later, “If You Could Read My Mind” was pulled from the album to become #1 in Canada, #5 in the States and also a major success in the U.K. and Australia.
For the remainder of the decade, Lightfoot was a regular resident on the hit parades of Canada and the U.S. North of the border, “You Are What I Am” reached #3 in 1972, “Sundown” hit the top in 1974 as did “The Wreck Of the Edmund Fitzgerald” two years later. “Rainy Day People” and “The Circle Is Small (I Can See It In Your Eyes)” each reached the Canadian top 10 and “Carefree Highway” just missed, though it did grab U.S. #10. “Sundown” also was #1 in the U.S. “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” stopped at #2. “Sundown” also was a #1 LP in both countries. All told, Lightfoot has placed 13 albums into Canada’s top 20, eight reaching the top 10 capped by four that hit #1, one #2 and two #3s.