This is the 65th set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Goldmine 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
551. THE CRYSTALS/THE BLOSSOMS
The story of this New York vocal group is one of the most convoluted the music industry has to offer. They were one of the most popular female vocal groups in the ‘60s, holding their own with The Shirelles, The Supremes and all others, but hardly anyone knew who they were. Sometimes, The Crystals didn’t even know who they were. Because sometimes The Crystals weren’t The Crystals!
Today, the story is easy to dissect and understand. In 1961, The Crystals signed with Phil Spector’s fledging Philles Records. With Barbara Alston on lead, the girls gave Spector’s label its first hit when the ballad “There’s No Other (Like My Baby),” with Spector a co-writer, climbed to #20 on the Billboard top 100 list. Alston again was up front on the successor, “Uptown,” written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil. It reached #13 on the Billboard chart and spread the group’s success to Canada where it hit #3.
Now the thick plottens. Goldmine Hall of Famer Gene Pitney had written a new song and Vicki Carr was expected to release it. Spector wanted to get it out first, but The Crystals weren’t readily available. So he had Shindig regulars, The Blossoms, take it. With Darlene Love on lead, “He’s A Rebel” soared to #1, the label giving credit to The Crystals. Ironically, Pitney, who never had a #1 record in the U.S., saw his single “Only Love Can Break A Heart,” stop at #2, blocked by the Blossoms/Crystals “He’s A Rebel.” The record also hit #1 in Canada and New Zealand and climbed to #19 in the U.K. Its follow-up, “He’s Sure The Boy I Love,” also was recorded by the Blossoms, but credited to The Crystals. It hit U.S. #11 and #17 Canada.
Now, the “real” Crystals resumed studio work, and 1963 saw the release of two of their most enduring hits, “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me,” both featuring Dolores “LaLa” Brooks on lead vocals. The former became one of Rock’s most instantly identifiable records, hitting #3 in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand and #5 U.K. But “Then He Kissed Me” actually turned out to be their biggest hit, reaching #2 U.K., #3 Canada and #6 U.S. and New Zealand. Still today, the group ranks on the list of top 1000 singles sellers worldwide.
The inductees are: Alston & Brooks, Dee Dee Kenniebrew, Myrna Giraud, Mary Thomas, Patricia Wright, and The Blossoms, who with many voices contributing, became one of the most used background groups in history. The main trio, however, was Love, Fanita James and Jean King.
552. TERENCE TRENT D’ARBY
This Manhattan-born all-around threat had a short, but stunning ride on top of the Billboard top LP chart and the Hot 100 singles chart. But his career overseas continued long after he was relegated to afterthought in his homeland. And today, he stands in the top 75% of all album and single sellers worldwide.
Praised as a combination of Michael Jackson and Prince, Terence Trent D’Arby became an overnight sensation when his debut album, 1987’s “Introducing The Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby,” became a smash. D’Arby modestly referred to it as the most important album since “Sgt. Pepper,” a statement somewhat vindicated when it won the 1988 Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. But a vocal performance was just the tip of the iceberg as D’Arby played most of the instruments, wrote most of the material and co-produced the recording. “The Hardline” occupied the #1 LP position in the U.K. for nine weeks as well as topping charts in Switzerland and Australia. In addition, it went top five in Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Italy and France as well as the U.S., where it topped off at #4.
Five hit singles emerged from the long-player, contributing to its mighty success. The first, “If You Let Me Stay,” broke D’Arby on both sides of the Atlantic, the U.S. dance hit reaching #7 on the U.K. chart. The second, “Wishing Well,” exploded, hitting #1 on both the U.S. Hot 100 and the R&B Chart, while also topping charts in Canada and the Netherlands. It swept Europe, peaking at #4 U.K., and also scored well in South Africa and Latin America. “Dance Little Sister” also fared well, hitting top 10 in Holland, Belgium and France as well as the U.S. Dance & R&B charts. “Sign Your Name” followed, topping charts in Poland and Ireland, and reaching #2 in the U.K., Holland, Sweden, France and Belgium, while reaching U.S. #4.
Between 1989 and 1995, D’Arby released three more albums, all faring well around the globe. While his sales of singles dropped off in the U.S., he continued to have major hits in other markets until 2001. In 1993, “Do You Love Me Like You Say?” gave D’Arby a #1 in Japan and the same year “Delicate” reached #4 in France and #7 in Poland, “She Kissed Me” climbed to #5 in France and “Let Her Down Easy” reached the top 20 in the U.K., 1995’s “Holding On To You” also hitting the U.K. top 20.
In 2001, D’Arby officially changed his name to Sananda Maitreya, a steady stream of releases under that moniker following. The most recent is 2014’s “The Rise Of the Zugebrian Time Lords.”
It was far from this brother act’s biggest hit, but “More Than A Woman” may be one of the most listened to tracks on record, having existed on the immensely popular soundtrack, Saturday Night Fever. In fact, this Rhode Island quintet had been one of the most successful vocal groups across North America and in the United Kingdom since 1973, four years before Saturday Night Fever, and their success ran on another 10 years after that historic appearance.
The brothers Ralph, Arthur (Pooch), Antone (Chubby), Feliciano (Butch) and Perry (Tiny) took their last name and Tavares became an instant success, their first single, “Check It Out,” reaching #35 on the Billboard Hot 100. More importantly, it climbed all the way to #5 on the R&B chart, a list the quintet would dominate for 10 years. Another brother, Victor, sang lead on the hit, but left the group soon after.
Tavares registered 17 R&B single hits between “Check It Out” and 1983’s “Deeper In Love.” Included are three that didn’t stop until they reached the top, the first being 1974’s “She’s Gone.” Yes, that’s the “She’s Gone” which later became a smash for its writers, John Oates and Daryl Hall. The next year, Tavares returned to #1 with “It Only Takes A Minute,” their lone top 10 entry on the Hot 100, and in 1977 they were back again at #1 with “Whodunit.” That hit reached #5 in the U.K., but “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” and “Don’t Take Away The Music” each peaked one position higher in the U.K. the previous year.
Ten albums by the group have scored on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, topped by 1976’s “Sky High!,” which peaked at #24 U.S., #22 U.K., #7 Canada and #2 in the Netherlands.
554. LOU RAWLS
This Chicago vocalist didn’t have his first and only top 10 single until 1976, 14 years after his most famous vocal performance. Unfortunately, that 1962 release didn’t even credit him so, even today, many don’t realize who was responsible for that famous background performance.
The classic performance came on Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me,” one of the most covered songs from the early days of Rock. And answering Cooke’s calls was this inductee, Lou Rawls.
Rawls may not have had a top 10 single of his own until 1976 when “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts as well as #10 in the U.K., but most serious record collectors probably had a Rawls LP in their collections. In the first two years, Rawls released seven albums and all but the first reached the top 30 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, three climbing into the top 10. Overall, his LP releases, which sold steadily, totaled over 50.
Rawls had several singles reach the top 20, including 1966’s “Love Is A Hurting Thing,” which topped the R&B chart while reaching #13 on the Hot 100, 1969’s “Your Good Thing (Is About To End),” which reached #18 and 1971’s “A Natural Man,” which peaked at #17.
Rawls passed away in 2006 at the age of 72.
555. HARRY CHAPIN
The 70s often has been called the decade of the singer-songwriter. And truly, some of our most beloved artists – Elton John, Billy Joel, Carole King, Carly Simon and James Taylor being just a few – made their strongest impact during this decade. But none was as unique as Brooklyn-born Harry Chapin, who, unfortunately, left us at the young age of 38.
Chapin served notice immediately that he was something special when he performed his first hit, “Taxi,” on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. NBC was flooded with so many requests that Chapin be brought back that he became the first-ever artist Carson brought back for an encore the next night. In spite of running nearly seven minutes, “Taxi” rose to #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song tells the story of a cab driver who picks up a fare – Sue – only to discover she is an ex-lover who aspired to be an actress. When Sue tells Harry to keep the change after giving him $20 for a $2.50 fare, Chapin responds in a most unexpected way, saying “I stashed the bill in my shirt.”
“Sniper,” a 10-minute intense telling of Charles Whitman’s shooting barrage on the University of Texas campus in 1966, was typical of Chapin’s efforts. Commercial he wasn’t. “A Better Place To Be” also failed to dent the charts, but became so noteworthy some restaurants adopted it as their name. In 1974, “W.O.L.D.” rose to #34. The story of an aging deejay helped garner radio airplay. Later that year, Chapin had his biggest hit, the #1 “Cat’s In The Cradle,” which depicts a boy whose father is just too busy for him. The boy then grows up and finds he’s treating his son just the same. Eight years after “Taxi,” Chapin recorded part two, known as “Sequel,” and it rose to #23. Other Chapin favorites include “Mr. Tanner,” the story of a tailor who sang opera, and “What Made America Famous,” matching a firefighter and a bunch of hippies.
Chapin died in a 1981 car wreck while on his way to perform in a free concert, something Chapin did with regularity as he was on the frontline in fighting world hunger, donating an estimated one-third of his paid concert earnings to charity. In 1987, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his humanitarian work.