This is the 60th 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
526. VERA LYNN
The Telegraph headline last June reported “Dame Vera Lynn becomes the oldest living artist to have a record in the UK top 20 chart at the age of 97.” The article, written by Hannah Furness, noted of National Treasure – The Ultimate Collection, “The album includes more than 40 tracks, including “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs Of Dover,” and has now beaten the likes of Pharrell, the Arctic Monkeys and rapper 50 Cent whose new album missed out on the top 20.”
Thus continues the remarkable story of this London vocalist, known as “The Forces’ Sweetheart,” whose recordings inspired the Allies’ forces during World War II as well as becoming chart toppers. So how does Lynn qualify for the Goldmine Hall of Fame when our factoring begins with 1955, almost a decade after the close of the Second World War? Easy, for her popularity continues to this day as last year’s album proves. And just five years earlier, her We’ll Meet Again – The Very Best Of Vera Lynn not only reached the U.K. top 20, it went all the way to #1, making Lynn, at 92, the oldest living artist to top the U.K. charts! But it didn’t stop there, reaching best-selling lists across Europe and in the Pan-Pacific.
Lynn’s enormous popularity in the U.K. continued through the second half of the ‘50s, her recording of “My Son My Son” holding the U.K. #1 position on the singles’ chart shortly before our survey begins. Her chart success continued through the remainder of the decade, even including several more appearances on the Billboard Hot 100. Coupled with her #1 album in 2009 and “20 Family Favourites,” which hit #25 on the U.K. album chart in 1981, Lynn’s hit singles in 1956 and 1957 lifted her onto our list of Miners.
The singles include “Who We Are” (#30) and “A House With Love In It” in 1956 and “The Faithful Hussar (Don’t Cry My Love)” (#29) and “Travelin’ Home” (#20) in 1957. Writers today are quick to toss out the description “legendary” almost as often as “influential.” Vera Lynn truly deserves the tag “legendary.”
527. THE CLOVERS
As the induction of Vera Lynn and many others has proven, the Goldmine Hall of Fame honors not just Rock & Roll stars, but giants of the music industry no matter what the genre. But our tabulations do begin with 1955, that year generally considered the dawn of the Rock & Roll era. And shortly after the first of that year, famed disc jockey Alan Freed held his first live New York City show. It featured a sensational lineup, including Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, The Drifters (led by Clyde McPhatter) and Fats Domino, all Goldmine Hall of Fame inductees, plus, among others, The Moonglows, The Harptones, Mickey Baker, of Mickey & Sylvia fame, and this inductee, The Clovers. Wow!
Formed in Washington, D.C., The Clovers usually are pictured as a quintet. However, the cover of their initial album shows all six members. Those pictured left to right are Buddy Bailey, lead on most cuts except for a brief absence for military service, Billy Mitchell, Matthew McQuater, Harold Lucas, Bill Harris and, (down in front) Harold Winley. But over the years, over 30 members have passed through the Clovers. And while the group had its biggest hits from 1955 on, several of those members contributed mightily to the group’s success, evident from its inclusion in Freed’s potent first New York City lineup.
From 1951 through 1954, The Clovers had 15 singles reach the Rhythm & Blues top 10, “Don’t You Know I Love You,” “Fool, Fool, Fool” and “Ting-A-Ling” hitting #1 with four more entries stopping just short at #2. Two of these, “One Mint Julep,” covered as a 1961 instrumental by Ray Charles and “Lovey Dovey,” later covered by McPhatter, were indicative of the impact The Clovers had later. Their first 1955 hit, “Blue Velvet,” a hit previously for Tony Bennett, later was taken to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by Bobby Vinton. Their first score of 1956 was “Devil Or Angel,” which later rose to #6 on the Hot 100 by Bobby Vee.
While these continued the group’s domination of the R&B chart, The Clovers didn’t score their own Hot 100 hit until later in 1956 when “Love, Love, Love” climbed to #30. They then hit a lull until 1959 when “Love Potion #9,” with Mitchell on lead, climbed to #23. Later, The Searchers would take it to #3. The group failed to find a successful follow-up and as the ‘60s began, the original members began drifting apart.
528. JOHNNY NASH
This Texan first appeared in the early years of Rock & Roll, having several major hits. He then disappeared only to return strong in the late ‘60s. That was followed by another quiet pause before he came back bigger than ever in the ‘70s…briefly.
At the very close of 1957, Johnny Nash, just 17, had his first hit record, “A Very Special Love,” which climbed to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. His next effort stiffed, but in 1958 his label, ABC-Paramount, in a very unusual move, had him join forces with label mates Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV in a narrative entitled “The Teen Commandments.” It proved a success, climbing to U.S. #29. After a mild success with the Casablanca standard, “As Time Goes By,” Nash was a chart absentee until “Let’s Move & Groove (Together)” proved a U.S. Rhythm & Blues hit in 1965.
At this time, Nash helped start the JAD label, an early signing being the Cowsills. Their success came later with MGM, but Nash, on a trip to Jamaica, met Bob Marley and his group, The Wailers, and signed them, too. Meanwhile, he scored his biggest success to that date with “Hold Me Tight,” which reached #5 in both the U.S. and U.K. as well as climbing into the top five in Australia and Canada. Its successor, “You Got Soul,” reached #6 in the U.K. as did a 1969 cover of Sam Cooke’s “Cupid,” which also went top 10 in Holland, France and Canada.
Nash’s biggest hit followed as 1972’s “I Can See Clearly Now,” with Marley’s band providing backup, rocketed to #1 in the U.S., Canada and South Africa as well as going top 10 in the U.K., France and Australia. “Stir It Up” followed, giving Marley, who wrote it, his first international success. In 1975, Nash reappeared hitting #1 in the U.K. with “Tears On My Pillow,” not the Little Anthony & the Imperials song. It missed entirely in the States, but also climbed to #1 in New Zealand and was a top 10 success in several European nations. A cover of Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World” was another U.K. success in 1976.
529. THE CHI-LITES
Just about the same time the Impressions were winding down their hit-making run and Curtis Mayfield was preparing for his solo career, this quartet played a major role in keeping Chicago on the Rhythm & Blues/Soul map.
Eugene Record, Marshall Thompson, Robert Lester and Creadel Jones formed the Chi-Lites, choosing that moniker as a tip of the hat to their hometown. Success took awhile, the group starting in the late ‘50s, but its first LP, 1969’s “Give It Away,” reached #16 on the R&B chart and even cracked the Billboard Top 200 list, the title cut climbing into the R&B top 10. “Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was” and “The Twelfth of Never” also proved R&B hits from the debut LP, with many of the tunes penned by Record. The second LP contained a couple R&B hits, but failed to chart.
Record took over on the third offering, 1971’s “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People,” penning most of the material himself. Powered by the title track, which hit #4 on the R&B list and #26 on the Hot 100, the LP rose to #3 R&B and #12 on the Top 200. The single also became the Chi-Lites first U.K. hit. But it was the album’s fourth single that lifted the group from the pack as “Have You Seen Her?” hit #1 on the R&B chart and came close to topping all contenders on both sides of the Atlantic, climbing to #3 on the Hot 100 and the U.K. charts. The next year’s “A Lonely Man” topped the R&B album chart and climbed to #5 on the Top 200 thanks to the leadoff track, Record’s “Oh Girl,” which hit #1 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B list as well as reaching #14 in the U.K.
The group continued as a major force on the R&B chart until 1984, finishing with 21 entries that made the top 30, 12 reaching the top 10. The inductees are the four members listed above.
Being “the first” always carries significance. This trio may or may not have been the first all female Rap group, but certainly they were the earliest to achieve the level of success they reached. Hailing from Queens, New York, Cheryl James (Salt), Sandra Denton (Pepa) and Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella) released their first album in 1986 and remained a fixture on the best-seller lists for more than a decade.
“Hot, Cool & Vicious” rose to #7 on the U.S. Rhythm & Blues chart and, more significantly, climbed to #26 on the Billboard Top 200, also becoming a chart factor in Canada, parts of Europe and the Pan-Pacific. All in all, it was quite an impressive showing for a new phase of a fairly new genre, but it was just the start. A year after the LP’s release, “Push It,” originally released as the B-side of their previous single, “Tramp,” was re-released as an A-side, becoming a worldwide smash. It hit #1 in Holland and Belgium, climbed to #2 in the U.K. and landed in the top 10 of many nations around the globe. Originally not on the debut LP, which eventually peaked at #19 on the Billboard Top 200, “Push It” was added onto the reissued version, accounting for much of that disc’s success.
The next two albums didn’t contain any major hit singles, though the second LP “A Salt With A Deadly Pepa,” did contain “Push It,” which helped it reach #19 on the U.K. chart. But that LP and 1990’s “Blacks’ Magic” each did reach #38 on the Billboard chart, and “Blacks’ Magic” did unleash two huge hit singles, “Do You Want Me” and “Let’s Talk About Sex,” which eventually became the trio’s biggest worldwide hit. Though it stopped at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Let’s Talk About Sex” was a chart-topper in Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Germany, Australia and Belgium, rose to #2 in the U.K. and was top five in several other nations.
The next album, “Very Necessary,” didn’t appear until 1993, but, evidently, absence made the heart grow fonder toward the trio as it climbed to a U.S. best #4 and two of its singles, “Shoop” and “Whatta Man” reached U.S. #4 and #3, respectively, the latter done with En Vogue. The trio’s final long-player, “Brand New,” wasn’t released until 1997 and, despite the long wait and the albums’ label going bankrupt before the disc’s release, it still reached U.S. #37.