This is the 54th 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
496. ANITA BAKER
This Ohio vocalist has won eight Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, seven Soul Train Music Awards, has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and continues today adding to her already impressive resume.
Anita Baker began her career with Chapter 8, recording a minor hit with “Ready For Your Love” in 1979. But after one LP, Baker was on her own. In 1983, she released her first solo album, “The Songtress,” which yielded several R&B hits, including the lead track, “Angel,” which climbed to #5, helping the album reach #12. Her next release, 1986’s “Rapture,” was the breakthrough blockbuster, topping the R&B chart and reaching #11 on Billboard’s Top 200. It also established Baker as a worldwide star, charting highly around the globe. The long-player also produced four top 10 R&B hits and gave Baker her first top 10 entry on Billboard’s Hot 100, “Sweet Love” peaking at #8.
Two years later, Baker topped “Rapture” with “Giving You The Best I’ve Got,” which hit #1 on the R&B chart and the Billboard Top 200. It also rose to #9 on the U.K. chart and gave Baker another global success. The title song hit #3 on the Hot 100 and topped the R&B list as did its successor “Just Because.”
By the end of 2004, Baker had added three more albums to reach the top five on the mainstream chart, one climbing to #7 on the U.K. list, with two topping the R&B list. Three singles made the R&B top 10 and in 2012 her single “Lately” reached #15 on the R&B chart, indicating her continuing presence as a hit-maker.
497. IRENE CARA
By the time this Bronx vocalist hit it big on record, she already was an established star on stage, screen and TV. Yet she still was just 21 when her recording career took off with her appearance in the hit movie “Fame.” Her role at first was as a dancer, but it was re-written when those in charge heard her sing. The result had Cara vocals on the first three cuts of the soundtrack album, which rose to U.S. #7 in 1980.
But that was just the beginning. The first two cuts, “Fame” and “Out Here On My Own,” marked the first time two songs from the same film sung by the same artist were nominated in the same category for an Academy Award, in this case “Best Original Song.” Cara won for “Fame,” while Michael Gore, a co-writer who also wrote “Out Here On My Own” with his Goldmine Hall of Fame sister, Lesley, won the award for “Best Original Score.” Needless to say, Cara immediately found herself “flavor of the day,” with Grammy and Golden Globe nominations joining her Oscar nods.
“Fame” peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and #4 on the Hot 100 singles chart in 1980, but two years later, when the “Fame” TV show made its debut in England, the single was #1 in the U.K. It also topped charts in Holland, France, Belgium, Ireland and New Zealand and came close in Sweden and South Africa. “Out Here On My Own” also finished a respectable #19 on the U.S. charts.
But the success of “Fame” was eclipsed by another soundtrack offering from Cara, 1983’s “Flashdance…What a Feeling.” This offering, the lyrics written by Cara, topped the Hot 100 for six weeks, and also reached #1 in Canada, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and South Africa, the LP doing almost as well. Later that year, “Why Me?” peaked at U.S. #13 and went top 10 in several countries and in 1984 “Breakdance” brought her back to the U.S. top 10 at #8.
498. THE TROGGS
Much like the MCoys and the Kingsmen, this English band is often erroneously relegated to “one-hit wonder” status. The reason? Probably because their first hit was so huge, it overshadows the rest of the group’s accomplishments. For instance, the MCoys came out of the gate with “Hang On Sloopy.” Few recall the follow-up, “Fever,” reached U.S. #7 and later “C’mon Let’s Go” climbed to U.S. #21. Although the Kingsmen failed to hit #1 in the U.S., their “Louie Louie” spent four weeks at #2, blocked by Bobby Vinton’s “There I’ve Said It Again.” Eventually, the Kingsmen’s offering became one of Rock’s most enduring classics, but the band had other hits as well, their version of “Money” reaching #16 and “The Jolly Green Giant” climbing to #4.
The Troggs also opened with an impossible act to follow, topping charts in the U.S., Canada and the Pan Pacific with the raunchy “Wild Thing.” But that epic was far from the last shot fired by this late entry in the British invasion. While “Wild Thing” stopped at #2 in the group’s home country, its successor, “With A Girl Like You,” became a U.K. #1, also topping charts in Holland, New Zealand and Spain. Before 1966 was over, the Troggs had two more top 10 entries in the U.K., the even raunchier “I Can’t Control Myself” climbing to #2 – a finish duplicated in Germany – with “Any Way That You Want Me” climbing to #8.
Success in the U.S. wasn’t as strong, perhaps due to the groups’ failure to tour the States until 1968, but 1967 saw two more strong efforts with “Give It To Me” reached the German top 10 while just missing in the U.K., while “Night Of The Long Grass” climbed to U.K. #17. As the year closed, the Troggs had another mammoth hit with “Love Is All Around,” which entered the top 10 in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada. A remake by “Wet Wet Wet” became the U.K.’s top selling single of 1994, holding the #1 position there for 15 weeks. In 1969, “You Can Cry If You Want To” reached #1 in South Africa and three years later “Feels Like A Woman” hit #7 there.
But the Troggs were not a singles band. In 1966 their LP “From Nowhere…The Troggs” reached U.K. #6 and the following year “Trogglodynamite” climbed to U.K. #10. Over the years, many compilations have been released becoming steady sellers.
The inductees are lead vocalist Reg Presley, Chris Britton on guitar, Pete Staples on bass and drummer Ronnie Bond.
499. BIG JOE TURNER
In 1956, Melody Maker, the esteemed British music weekly, named this Kansas City, Missouri Blues belter best new vocalist. By that time, Big Joe Turner already had placed 17 singles on the U.S. Rhythm & Blues chart, starting in 1945. Obviously, he wasn’t new to American audiences.
Turner is the perfect example of how the Goldmine survey takes into account an artist’s reputation and not just record sales. He never had a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and none of his albums even reached Billboard’s top 200. In addition, most of Turner’s chart success occurred before our starting year of 1955. Of his 11 hit singles between 1945 and 1954, two – 1953’s “Honey Hush” and 1954’s “Shake, Rattle & Roll” – topped the R&B chart. “Chains Of Love,” a 1951 entry, just missed at #2 and three other Turner offerings reached #3.
But Turner far from vanished after 1955, placing nine releases into the R&B top 20 between 1955 and 1958, six reaching the top 10. Two, 1955’s “Flip, Flop And Fly” and 1956’s “Corrine, Corrina” climbed to #2. Turner kept performing and recording until 1983, just two years before his passing at age 74, releasing the album “Blues Train.”
That same year Turner was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Britain’s highly regarded weekly music trade the New Musical Express called Turner “the grandfather of Rock & Roll” and his impact was praised by many notables such as the great songwriter Doc Pomus, who said, “Rock and Roll would never have happened without him.”
500. THE FONTANE SISTERS
As 1955 began, Billboard charted hit singles with three main listings – Best Sellers In Stores, Most Played in Juke Boxes and Most Played by Jockeys. The Rock Era still was months away from dawning, Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” not hitting the Best Sellers top 30 listing until May when it began a very slow ascension to the #1 spot, taking nine weeks to get there.
The first year of our survey began in much different fashion. Haley did have two hits in the top 30, “Shake, Rattle And Roll” and “Dim, Dim The Lights,” the Charms were present with “Hearts Of Stone” and the Penguins’ “Earth Angel” was hanging around the bottom of the Best Sellers list. But the three charts were dominated by female carry-overs from the previous era, the Chordettes with “Mr. Sandman,” Joan Weber with “Let Me Go, Lover” and the DeCastro Sisters with “Teach Me Tonight.”
With a cover of the Charms “Hearts Of Stone,” the Fontane Sisters, a New Jersey trio that had experienced great success backing Perry Como, were getting more airplay than the Charms – typical for that time period. And though the Charms version was doing quite well, moving up to #15 on the year’s first Best Seller chart, it was the Fontane Sisters cover climbing toward the top spot, which it reached in February. It held the top notch for just one week, but held sway at #2 for three weeks at which time it remained on top of the Most Played In Juke Boxes” chart.
The trio followed with two more hits before the Rock Era officially began and the titles certainly were ironic, “Rock Love” and “Rollin’ Stone,” a cover of the Marigolds’ R&B smash, each reaching #13 by June, 1955. The ladies kept churning out hits as the year progressed, “Seventeen” reaching #3 and “Daddy-O” peaking at #11. With the onslaught of the younger rockers, the success rate of the Fontane Sisters slowed considerably, but they still were a force to be reckoned with, hitting #13 with a cover of Harry Belafonte’s “The Banana Boat Song” in 1956 and peaking a notch higher with 1958’s “Chanson D’Amour” in spite of a more successful version by Art and Dotty Todd.
The Rosse Sisters, who took the name Fontane from their great-grandmother, retired in 1961. Bea passed away in 2002 at age 86, Marge in 2003 at age 85 and Geri in 1993 at age 71.