This is the 51st set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 5 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
481. LESLEY GORE
The “T.A.M.I Show” is considered by many the greatest Rock & Roll concert movie ever released. It’s hard to argue against that considering the show kicked off with Chuck Berry and concluded with the youthful Rolling Stones. Hosted by Jan & Dean, the 1964 super event in California’s Santa Monica Civic Auditorium also featured the Beach Boys, the Supremes and a show-stopping set from James Brown & the Famous Flames. In the midst of all this madness, was an 18-year-old New Jersey beauty, the lone solo female singer on the entire show. And she had to follow The Miracles and Marvin Gaye.
But Lesley Gore was held in such high esteem she was allocated six songs, more than any other act. And she didn’t disappoint, proving more than up to the task. She opened up with her most recent hit, “Maybe I Know,” which reached #14 in the U.S. and Canada and U.K. #20 that year, becoming her sixth top 15 smash in the States. And remember, she still was just 18.
Gore’s career was top of the charts right from the start. Quincy Jones took a reported 200+ songs to Gore’s house in an effort to find her debut single. The only one Gore favored was “It’s My Party,” recorded by British vocalist Helen Shapiro, whose version was not released at the time. Gore had a #9 hit in the U.K. and a #1 smash in the U.S., Canada and the Pan Pacific. But Shapiro was not the only one to miss out. Jones had bumped into Phil Spector, who told him he planned to record the song with The Crystals. Jones went into high gear, getting Gore’s record out in lightning fashion, kick-starting her career.
The follow-up continued the saga of “It’s My Party” and “Judy’s Turn To Cry” proved another hit, topping off at #5 in the U.S. and Canada and #8 in New Zealand. “She’s A Fool” followed and that, too, hit #5 in the States, peaking at #8 in Canada.
In 1964, and still just 17, Gore recorded “You Don’t Own Me,” which reached U.S. #2, held from the top spot for three weeks by The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” It was a change of pace for not only Gore, but Philly writers John Madara and David White, who penned such upbeat hits as “At The Hop,” “Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay” and “1-2-3” among others. This was a stirring ballad with the young Gore convincingly telling her mate she could stand on her own. After “Maybe I Know,” Gore added two more top 20 hits, 1965’s “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows” and 1967’s “California Nights.” She also has placed seven albums onto the Billboard Top 200.
482. JOHNNIE RAY
Deaf in one ear, this Oregon-born vocalist became a sensation in the early ‘50s. Tearing at his hair, dropping to his knees, writhing in apparent agony and crying while he sang, Johnnie Ray was not your typical Bing Crosby/Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin style vocalist. But his material was more in tune with those than the big beat of Rock, though Tony Bennett later was said to have called Ray, “the true father of Rock & Roll.”
Ray first broke into the spotlight with a rare single that saw one side, “The Little White Cloud That Cried,” stall at #2 because its flip side, “Cry,” was firmly entrenched at #1. This remarkable achievement occurred in 1951, long before our beginning year of 1955. But it’s worth noting because it propelled Ray to superstar status, not just in the U.S. but in other parts of the world, “Cry” topping the Australian charts for five weeks. Others followed, “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” hitting #1 down under in 1952 and “Such A Night” topping the U.K. chart in 1954.
Ray continued his torrid pace overseas in 1955, “If You Believe,” “Hey There” and “Song of the Dreamer” all hitting the U.K. top 10, while “Hernando’s Hideaway” reached #11. But while Ray’s popularity seemed other-worldly elsewhere, he was far from finished in the States as he proved when his 1956 offering, “Just Walking In The Rain,” peaked at #2. It did even better in Australia, holding down #1 for nine weeks, and in the U.K., where it topped the charts seven weeks. In 1957, Ray returned to the U.S. top 10 with the Marty Robbins’-penned “You Don’t Owe Me A Thing,” the flip, “Look Homeward, Angel,” also reaching the top 40. Later in the year, “Yes Tonight, Josephine” peaked at U.S. #12.
All three were hits in the U.K., “Yes Tonight, Josephine” hitting #1. He continued having hits in the U.K. until 1960 and in 1959 “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” topped charts in Australia where he remained extremely popular. He died of liver failure in 1990 at age 63.
483. THE BAY CITY ROLLERS
Call a group “the next big thing” and you’ve issued the kiss of death in most instances…especially in the USA. But some do manage to survive the hype, at least long enough to leave a mark on music history. One such group was this Scottish aggregation.
Known as the Bay City Rollers, Les McKeown (guitar), Eric Faulkner (guitar), Stuart Wood (guitar) and the Longmuir brothers, Alan (bass) and Derek (drums), became teen sensations in 1974 with a string of bouncy, bubblegum flavored hits that saw them dominate the U.K. charts. It was and wasn’t instantaneous success, though. The band’s first release, a cover of the Gentrys’ hit “Keep On Dancing,” had reached #9 on the U.K. charts in 1971. But then it took three years to score a follow-up hit, “Remember (Sha La La La),” which rose to U.K. #6 and also hit the top 10 in France. By this time, original lead vocalist Nobby Clark had left the band, though his vocals were featured on the first two hits. The Rollers then had McKeown re-record the lead on the second smash. By the time 1974 was over, “Shang-A-Lang” (#2), “Summerlove Sensation” (#3) and “All of Me Loves All of You” (#4) all had reached the U.K. top 10 and “Rollermania” was in full swing.
Still, the band’s popularity was centered in their home region, but the next year changed that as “Bye Bye Baby,” a cover of the Four Seasons’ classic, held the top spot in the U.K. for six weeks, and topped charts in Australia and Ireland as well. It also entered the top 10 in South Africa, Norway and Germany. “Give A Little Love” gave the Rollers two straight U.K. chart-toppers, also reaching #1 in Ireland and #4 in Norway. Strangely, the latter didn’t even see a release in North America, where the group remained a distant fad as “Love Me As I Love You” peaked at U.K. #4 and Switzerland #8.
Even stranger was the next release, “Saturday Night,” which broke the band in North America, shooting to #1 in both the U.S. and Canada. Originally recorded in 1973, the single never charted in the U.K. and Clark’s lead vocal still was present when it hit #1 in the U.S. McKeown redid the vocal, and his version was the hit in Canada. The successor, “Money Honey,” also hit #1 in Canada and climbed into the U.S. top 10 at #9. But a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You” stalled at U.S. #12, though it did reach U.K. #4 and Canada #3.
In total, the Bay City Rollers rank among the world’s best singles sellers, with a total of 10 top 10 singles in the U.K. and five in Canada. They rank even higher on the list of worldwide album sellers, with six top 20 LPs in the U.K., including two #1s, two #1s in Canada and three in Japan.
The inductees are the above five plus Clark.
484. MELISSA ETHERIDGE
This Kansas vocalist just got under the 25-year-wire to qualify for the Goldmine Hall of Fame, her first album being released in 1988. The eponymous release was an immediate success, registering a #22 finish on the Billboard Top 200 along with strong peaks in Australia (#3) and the Netherlands (#9). The album was powered by four singles that became hits on the Mainstream Rock chart, starting with the first release, “Similar Features,” which climbed to #6. “Bring Me Some Water” followed, reaching #10 on that chart and #9 in Australia.
There was no sophomore jinx for Etheridge, her second LP, “Brave and Crazy,” equaling the #22 peak of the debut in the U.S. while reaching top 10 status in Australia, Germany and Switzerland. This LP featured “No Souvenirs,” which hit #4 in Canada, also hitting #9 on the U.S. Mainstream list. In 1992, “Never Enough” continued Etheridge’s success on the LP chart, and the next year “Yes I Am” provided her with a breakthrough across-the-board hit single, “I’m The Only One” topping the U.S. Adult Contemporary Chart, while climbing to #10 on the Mainstream Rock list. More importantly, it became Etheridge’s first top 10 hit on the Hot 100, reaching #8.
“I’m the Only One” also was Etheridge’s only Hot 100 top 10 entry to date, but she has placed five more on the Hot 100 top 40 and has since seen three of her LPs, 1995’s “Your Little Secret,” 2001’s “Skin” and 2010’s “Fearless Love,” reach the Billboard top 10. Meanwhile, her success also has continued unabated worldwide. Starting with 1995’s “Your Little Secret,” she ran off four straight top 10 singles in Canada, 1996’s “I Want To Come Over” topping the Canadian chart followed later that year by “Nowhere To Go” and 1999’s “Angels Would Fall.” She continues to be a popular force in the industry, her 2012 album “4th Street Feeling” climbing to U.S. #18.
In 1997, “I Need To Wake Up,” from Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” became the first song from a documentary to win the Academy Award for best original song. She has received 15 nominations for Grammy Awards, winning twice for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female with 1993’s “It Ain’t Heavy” and 1995’s “Come To My Window.”
485. GEORGE JONES
Waylon Jennings sang “If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.” So highly regarded was this Texan, he was often called “the greatest living country singer.” And for six decades, Jones graced the Country Music charts like no other. His commitment to traditional Country music hurt his chances of becoming a crossover star, but that same commitment made him internationally famous as one of Country music’s all-time greatest. When Johnny Cash was asked to name his favorite Country singer, he replied, “You mean besides George Jones?”
Jones had his first Country hit in 1955, the starting year of our survey, when “Why Baby Why” climbed to Country #4. Written with Darrell Edwards, it became one of Jones’ many oft-covered compositions. Jones followed with three top 10 entries the next year, two in 1957 and two more in 1958 before connecting with his first #1, the immortal “White Lightning.” The 1959 hit, written by the Big Bopper, was one of the few Jones efforts to threaten crossover success, reaching the lower portion of Billboard’s Hot 100. “Who Shot Sam,” the follow-up, was another, climbing to #7 on the Country list later that year.
The following year, the self-penned “Window Up Above” just fell short of the top spot, but the next year “Tender Years,” penned by Edwards, returned him to #1. His third #1 came in 1962 with the classic “She Thinks I Still Care.” By this time Jones was a perpetual resident in the Country top 10, notching 10 more entries before “Walk Through This World With Me” hit #1 in 1967. Seventeen more top 10 efforts, including four that stalled at #2, followed before Jones had back-to-back chart-toppers in 1974 with “The Grand Tour” and “The Door.” The latter became his first #1 in Canada, though several other singles had come close.
His pace slowed somewhat in the latter ‘70s, but anyone thinking Jones’ success had run its course was in for a rude awakening when he started 1980 with his most notable recording, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Often named the #1 country single of all-time when such surveys are taken, it hit #1 and earned Jones a Grammy for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance.” The Academy of Country Music named it “Single of the Year” and “Song Of The Year” and the Country Music Association named it “Song of the Year” in both 1980 and 1981. Jones followed with nine straight efforts that hit the top 10, “Still Doin’ Time” reaching #1 in 1981 and “I Always Get Lucky With You” topping the chart in 1983.
Also in the early ‘80s, his collaboration with Merle Haggard, “Yesterday’s Wine,” topped the Country album charts where Jones saw success rivaling his run on the singles list. He also had successful efforts with Margie Singleton, Melba Montgomery, Gene Pitney and Johnny Paycheck, among others, particularly Tammy Wynette, his third wife. He recorded nine albums, “Golden Ring” reaching #1 in 1976, and 14 singles with Wynette, three of which proved chart-toppers.
Jones passed away in 2013.