This is the 59th 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
521. SUZI QUATRO
Of all the Rock stars to come out of Detroit, Michigan, Suzi Quatro may be the least known…in Detroit. Moving to England in 1971, Quatro abandoned her home turf. But the move paid off as she became an international superstar. In spite of having just one top 40 single in the U.S., 1979’s “Stumblin’ In,” Quatro ranks as one of the world’s top sellers in singles and albums. And “Stumblin’ In” wasn’t even a solo hit, but a duet with Smokie’s Chris Norman, a previous inductee into the Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Quatro hailed from a musical family, her father being a jazz musician and several sisters joining Suzi in The Pleasure Seekers, who released a couple of singles in the late ‘60s, sister Patti later joining the all-female trendsetters, Fanny. British producer Mickey Most, known for his work with The Animals, Herman’s Hermits and Donovan, took Quatro to England where she recorded “Rolling Stone,” a #1 record in Portugal of all places. That laid the groundwork for 1973’s “Can The Can,” which didn’t do much in Portugal, but soared to #1 in the U.K., Australia, Switzerland and Germany. Later that year, “48 Crash” gave her a second chart-topper down under while coming close in the U.K. (#3) and Germany (#2).
The next year, Quatro continued her hot streak with another U.K. #1, “Devil Gate Drive,” which also topped the Australian and Norwegian charts and just missed in Germany, stopping at #2. As the ‘70s progressed, Quatro’s subsequent singles popped up in Top 10 charts around the globe. Still, she was unable to break the U.S. market – not that she tried. However, she did gain notice as a bass playing character with the classic moniker, Leather Tuscadero, on the smash TV show Happy Days. This led to a steady stream of roles on film and stage.
As the ‘70s wound down, Quatro’s role as a hit-maker slowed in spite of the success with Norman. But she did score several major hits in South Africa after “She’s In Love With You” went to #1 there and top 10 across Europe. Clad in leather and slinging her bass, Quatro was not the first female to make an impact in hard Rock circles. But certainly, she was one of the most successful.
522. THE DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET
When Rock and Roll lifted off in earnest, some artists popular before our survey starting year of 1955 were able to maintain a high level of success, though their offerings didn’t quite mesh with the new trend. But most were crooner types, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como on the male front, for example, Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney, among others, representing the distaff side. Few, very few, were Jazz musicians. But there were exceptions, as there always are, and one was this California pianist.
Without knowing it, Dave Brubeck had established a strong fan base, and one largely affluent, by having his Quartet become a regular on the college concert scene in the early ‘50s, even recording several albums directed at this young audience. In doing so, Brubeck drew young listeners into Jazz before the Rock Era exploded and many of those remained followers of that genre, even many attracted to the “new music.” In 1954, Brubeck became just the second Jazz musician to grace the cover of Time magazine, the first being Louis Armstrong. Thus, when the Rock Era began, Brubeck had a vast audience, a definite mix of young and old.
Brubeck’s Quartet, which, at its height of popularity, included Paul Desmond on sax, Eugene Wright on bass, and drummer extraordinaire Joe Morello, became famous for its strange time signatures, Morello often leaving listeners scratching their heads as he seemed to play impossible passages. This done without overdubbing, of course. In 1959, the group released the first Jazz album certified platinum showcasing these virtuoso performances. The release, “Time Out,” even produced that rarity of rarities, a Jazz hit single, when “Take Five,” done in 5/4 time, climbed to #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
523. LAURA BRANIGAN
This New York vocalist became a worldwide star during the Disco Era. But her success was not limited to dance hits alone, and today she stands high on the list of top singles sellers worldwide.
Laura Branigan had a knack for recording tunes originally done by European artists. But, without fail, Branigan’s versions would easily surpass the success of the originals. Her first triumph, 1982’s “Gloria,” stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 36 weeks, setting a record for longevity by a single by a female solo artist. The re-working of the Italian Umberto Tozzi’s European hit topped Australian and Canadian charts, peaked at #2 in the U.S. and finished in the top 10 in the U.K., Germany, France and South Africa. The following year, its successor, “Solitaire,” which had been a minor hit in France for Martine Clemenceau, went top 10 in that country as well as the U.S. (#7) and Australia (#5). “Solitaire” marked the first chart success for Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Diane Warren, who penned the English lyrics.
“How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” failed to match the heights of her two previous hits, but it still climbed to #12 in the U.S., topping the Adult Contemporary chart. Six years later, co-writer Michael Bolton turned it into his biggest hit. Branigan’s biggest came the next year as she began 1984 with “Self Control,” another Italian import. Branigan’s version hit #1 in Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, South Africa, Germany and Canada and just missed in Poland and Belgium, where it stopped at #2. She followed with another hit, “The Lucky One,” and continued sprinkling best-sellers around the globe as “Ti Amo” went top 10 in Canada, “Spanish Eddie” did likewise in South Africa and Austria and “Shattered Glass” and “Moonlight On Water” each reached the French top 10. She placed five albums well into the upper regions of the U.S. and Canadian charts.
Branigan died in her sleep in 2004, suffering a cerebral aneurysm. She was listed as 47 years old with a DOB of July 3, 1957. However, some reference sources claim her high school records show her graduating in 1970, which would mean she graduated at 13. Those records show a DOB of 1952.
524. RANDY TRAVIS
In the second half of the ‘80s and through the ‘90s, it almost was impossible to avoid this North Carolina Country star…even if you wanted to. Most didn’t want to. Tops on the record charts, a constant performer on TV, prevalent in videos, a regular in the movies…Randy Travis was everywhere.
Beginning with 1985’s “1982,” Travis put an incredible 30 top 10 singles on the U.S. Country chart and 28 on the Canadian list. Even more amazing, 16 hit #1 in the U.S. with six just missing at #2, while in Canada Travis posted 21 top-of-the-chart singles with three more peaking at #2. Five consecutive albums, beginning with 1986’s “Storm Of Life,” went to #1 Country in the States. Ten more reached the U.S. top 10.
When his success cooled in the Country market, he became a top selling Gospel artist. That success was still there as late as 2009 when Carrie Underwood recorded his “I Told You So.” The original single then was released as a duet with Travis resulting in a #2 peak on the Country chart along with a #9 finish on the Billboard Hot 100. To list the awards bestowed upon Travis would take almost as much room as listing his hit singles and albums. Suffice it to say Travis has received seven Academy Of Country Music Awards, nine American Music awards, six Country Music Academy awards, and seven Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.
As a capper, his 2010 Grammy Award for “Best Country Collaboration With Vocals” for his duet with Underwood put his Grammy total at six, two for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance” and three for “Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass, Gospel Album.”
Travis, just 55, today is recovering from a 2013 stroke and the resultant brain surgery which left him unable to speak or sing.
525. THE DOMINOES
When your lineup is fronted by Goldmine Hall of Fame inductees Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson, it’s hard to figure why this great vocal group, also referred to as Billy Ward & the Dominoes and Billy Ward & His Dominoes, has the name Billy Ward as top billing. But Ward was the group’s founder, ran the aggregation like a drill sergeant commanding his troops, contributed an occasional lead vocal and wrote some of the group’s material.
As 1950 drew to a close, The Dominoes recorded “Do Something For Me.” This recording introduced McPhatter, who sang lead, eventually climbing to #6 on the U.S. Rhythm & Blues charts. Before the year ended, the group laid down one of the genre’s most important offerings, “Sixty-Minute Man.” With bass singer Bill Brown up front bragging about his ability as a lover, the single became a colossal success, staying on the R&B charts 30 weeks, 14 at #1. Considered one of the forerunners of Rock & Roll, “Sixty-Minute Man” crossed over to the mainstream, peaking at #17 on the Billboard hit list. Both hits were penned by Ward and his business partner Rose Ann Marks.
With Ward and Marks providing the material, the Dominoes notched two more top 10 R&B entries before returning to the top in 1952 with another of the pair’s compositions, “Have Mercy Baby,” which featured McPhatter on lead. It stayed on the R&B chart 20 weeks, 10 in the #1 slot. The hits kept coming, six more climbing into the R&B top 10 before the end of 1953. But while the hits kept coming, members kept changing. By that time, Brown was long gone and McPhatter was, too.
McPhatter’s replacement was not too shabby, being Wilson, who had been in a Detroit group with none other than Levi Stubbs, who would become lead singer of the Four Tops. He sang lead on a cover of Tony Bennett’s “Rags To Riches,” which reached #2 R&B in 1953. The Dominoes would have just one more R&B hit, 1957’s “Star Dust,” which became the group’s biggest Pop hit, reaching #12 on the Billboard chart and #13 in the U.K. By that time, Wilson, who sang lead on their 1956 hit, “St. Therese Of The Roses,” which peaked at #13 on the Billboard Pop list, was off to a solo career. Both “Star Dust” and its successor, “Deep Purple,” which reached mainstream #20 featured Gene Mumford, formerly lead singer of The Larks. Their last chart effort was an unlikely cover of Jan & Arnie’s “Jennie Lee.” But Ward kept different formations of his group recording and making personal appearances for years to come and there’s no questioning the impact of the Dominoes.
The inductees are Ward, McPhatter, Wilson, Mumford, Brown, Charlie White and William Joseph Lamont.