By Phill Marder
This is the 21st set of 10 selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 10 inductees approximately every two 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
201. WILSON PICKETT – He was known as “The Wicked Pickett,” a most appropriate nickname to say the least. For this Alabama native rocked so hard, he even took a cover of the Archies’ “Sugar Sugar” to #4 on the U.S. Rhythm & Blues chart the year after the original had spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. By that time, Pickett had established himself as the premier R&B sledgehammer, save, possibly, only James Brown.
Pickett had first made a name for himself as co-writer of “I Found A Love,” which became a minor hit for the Falcons in 1962. He had replaced Joe Stubbs, the brother of Four Tops’ lead singer Levi Stubbs, as lead singer, but didn’t stay long, releasing “If You Need Me,” penned with Don Covay, as a solo singer. It had moderate success, but became a #2 R&B hit when Atlantic Records gave it to Solomon Burke. The label soon made it up to Pickett, though, signing him and starting a union that brought both great results.
In 1965, Pickett posted a pair of blockbusters, “In The Midnight Hour,” co-penned with Steve Cropper, hitting #1 on the R&B charts and becoming one of the most covered songs of the Rock age, and “Don’t Fight It,” which hit #4 R&B. Both also scored well on the U.K. charts. The following year saw Pickett top the R&B chart twice more with “634-5789” and his cover of Cannibal & the Headhunters’ “Land of 1,000 Dances.” He finished the year with another to-be classic, “Mustang Sally,” which climbed to R&B #6. While Pickett continued to dominate the R&B chart, his raw sound had little difficulty crossing over to the mainstream, too. “Land Of 1,000 Dances” had peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and in 1967 his cover of Dyke & the Blazers’ “Funky Broadway,” another R&B #1 for Pickett, made it to #8 on the Hot 100. Significantly, both featured spectacular drumming by Roger Hawkins.
As late as 1971, Pickett still was posting hits, his cover of Free’s “Fire & Water” reaching #24 on the Hot 100. In addition, after “Funky Broadway,” Pickett put “I’m In Love,” “She’s Looking Good,” “I’m A Midnight Mover,” “Sugar Sugar,” “Engine Engine #9,” “Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You,” and the #1 “Don’t Knock My Love” into the R&B top 10, concluding with “Fire & Water’s” #2 finish.
He died in 2006 at age 64.
202. ROBERTA FLACK – Like Pickett, Roberta Flack recorded for Atlantic Records. They also both originated in the South, Pickett in Alabama, Flack in North Carolina. Each had tremendous success, critical and commercial. But while Pickett’s recording were pure raw, rocking energy, Flack’s were about as subdued as any found on record. Maybe it was the change of decades, but just as Pickett’s career faded, Flack’s took off. And took off it did. Thanks to Clint Eastwood.
Flack had a couple minor successes in 1971, covering previous hits, her duet with Donny Hathaway on Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” peaking at U.S. #29 to get her some attention. Her debut LP, “First Take,” contained “The First Time Ever,” written by Ewan MacColl in 1957 and eventually recorded by most major folk groups through the ‘60s. Flack’s slowed-down version was picked up by Eastwood and used in his successful movie, “Play Misty For Me,” and the exposure led to the single being #1 in the U.S., Australia and Canada as well as Flack’s first hit in the U.K., Brasil, South Africa, Holland and elsewhere. “The First Time Ever” won the Grammy for “Record Of The Year” and its home LP, “First Take,” also became a worldwide hit, reaching #1 in the States.
The follow-up single, another duet with Hathaway entitled “Where Is The Love,” reached #5 on the Hot 100 and topped the U.S. R&B chart, but didn’t do much elsewhere, though the pair took the Grammy for “Best Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.” The next single, “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” became a global sensation, reaching the top in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and earned Flack two more Grammys for “Record of the Year” and “Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female.” In 1974, Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” became her third chart-topping single and four years later another duet with Hathaway, “The Closer I Get To You,” just missed, stopping at #2. She returned in 1991 to push “Set The Night To Music” with Maxi Priest to #6.
She remains a top selling album artist, her most recent effort being 2012’s “Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles.”
203. BONNIE RAITT – It took 18 years and 10 albums for this Californian to break into superstardom, but when she finally broke through, she did it in big fashion…at least in the United States. Ironically, her ninth album – aptly titled “Nine Lives” – had peaked at a lowly #138 on the Billboard Top 200 after her previous four albums had made the top 50. Certainly, this 1986 release gave no indication that Raitt was to become such a major player. But never underestimate the importance of a hit single, and when “Have A Heart” was pulled off the 1989 album “Nick Of Time” and hit paydirt at #16, it drew attention to the LP, which eventually hit #1 in the U.S. It didn’t hurt that Raitt took home Grammys for “Album Of The Year,” “Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female,” and “Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female.” She also garnered a Grammy for “Best Traditional Blues Performance” for “I’m In The Mood,” a duet with veteran Blues giant John Lee Hooker.
Once Raitt had established a major audience, she didn’t lose it, her next album, “Luck Of The Draw,” powered to #2 in 1991, led by her biggest single to that point, the #3 “Something To Talk About.” Raitt pulled in three more Grammys, but the single has a good deal of irony attached to it, particularly when it comes to the Goldmine Hall of Fame. Canadian Shirley Eikhard wrote the song and fellow Canadian Anne Murray had wanted to record it in 1986. Murray’s producers didn’t think it would do much, and she relented, not recording it. She did name her 1986 release “Something To Talk About” anyway, even though it didn’t include the song. Murray is next on our Goldmine Hall of Fame list.
Raitt posted her second U.S. #1 album, “Longing In Their Hearts,” in 1994 as “Love Sneakin’ Up On You” became her only #1 single. She hasn’t had a hit since, but the four albums she has released all have reached the U.S. top 20, 2012’s “Slipstream” rising all the way to #6.
204. ANNE MURRAY – A Canadian songbird who became one of best-selling and most honored Country singers in the U.S. and her homeland, Murray also was a strong crossover success from her second single, 1970’s “Snowbird.” A #1 Country hit in her home country, “Snowbird” also reached #2 on the Canadian hit list, #8 on the U.S. top 100 and #10 on the U.S. Country chart. It also became the first of her eight chart-topping singles on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. “Snowbird” helped Murray’s second LP, 1969’s “This Way Is My Way,” reach #14 in Canada, but the LP was not released in the U.S., where she didn’t have a hit album until 1973’s “Danny’s Song.”
The single of the same name had hit #1 in Canada the year before and returned Murray to the U.S. top 10, peaking at #7. The next year, Murray topped the Canadian charts again with “A Love Song,” which also hit #12 in the U.S. and helped her 1974 LP of the same name reach #24 in the U.S. It also was the fourth single to hit the U.S. top 20 on the Country chart, finishing at #5. By this time, Murray was so established in the Country market that the 1973 LP “Danny’s Song” was revisited and the oft-recorded chestnut, “He Thinks I Still Care,” became Murray’s first #1 on the U.S. Country chart.
Meanwhile, “Son Of A Rotten Gambler” and The Beatles’ “You Won’t See Me” were both pulled from the 1974 LP, the former becoming a major Country hit while the latter reached #8 on the Hot 100. Murray continued as a steady seller in various genres, then broke the bank with 1978’s “You Needed Me,” which hit #1 in the U.S. on the pop and country listings. The next year, Murray had three straight singles top the Canadian and U.S. Country charts. Those three also topped the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart and she started the ‘80s with 10 more consecutive #1s on that list.
The first hit of the ‘80s, a cover of The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer,” reached #12 in the U.S. It also proved her last mainstream smash. But the less fickle Country audience kept her discs selling, giving her 14 more top singles through 1990, six hitting #1.
The holder of four Grammys and a record 24 Juno awards, Murray also has the unique distinction of being the only woman to nail a hole-in-one on the 17th hole of Turning Stone’s Kaluhyat Golf Club. She did that in 2003 at age 57 and in 2007 the “Golf For Women” magazine named her best female celebrity golfer. In 2010, she was one of eight to carry Canada’s flag at the opening of the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
205. CHEAP TRICK – In Japan, where they had a #1 single, “Clock Strikes Ten,” two years before their breakthrough LP, “Live At Budokan,” they are known as “the American Beatles” and their home state of Illinois has declared April 1 their day. They have accomplished a musical rarity, having top 10 singles and albums, all the while maintaining their status as “critics’ darlings.” They make appearances in person and on record with today’s top artists, maintaining a popularity with younger audiences seldom found with groups who began long before most of today’s fans were born.
For close to 40 years, the original four-man lineup – Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos, along with Jon Brant – has remained virtually intact, steadily touring and recording.
While the band has maintained a steady hit-making presence in the Orient, results elsewhere have shown Cheap Trick has universal appeal. The band’s first chart hit, “Surrender,” which since has become one of the group’s heralded anthems, peaked at just U.S. #62 in 1978, but hit top 10 in Belgium and Holland. The remake of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame” only reached U.S. #35 in 1979, but went top 10 in Canada on the heels of the U.S. #7 breakthrough smash “I Want You To Want Me,” which ran to #2 in Canada and #1 in Belgium and Holland. “Dream Police” stopped at U.S. #26, but went top 10 in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, while “The Flame” was a worldwide smash, going #1 in the U.S., Canada and Australia and its successor, the 1988 cover of Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel” did almost as good.
Their album success also has been quite erratic, “Cheap Trick At Budokan” and “Dream Police” being the only top 10 entries, both coming in 1979. But they have had 18 reach the Billboard top 200 from 1977 to 2009, all but three climbing into the upper half of the chart. One puzzling aspect of the group’s career is its failure to dent the U.K. market.
206. HERMAN’S HERMITS – It’s hard to believe now that Peter Noone & company rivaled The Beatles and everyone else in popularity as the British Invasion got into full swing. But everyone knew the Hermits and, for a while, they were everywhere, especially the top of the charts.
Unlike most English bands, the Hermits didn’t write their own songs except for an occasional album selection, and the choice of material they recorded included several outright novelties, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry VIII, I Am,” and “Leaning On The Lamp Post,” for example. However, those novelties remain today some of the most remembered hits of a time period that many consider music’s best.
All told, Herman’s Hermits had 14 Top 20 singles in the states, 17 in the U.K., plus one solo by Noone. “I’m Into Something Good” hit No. 1 in England, “Mrs. Brown” and “Henry” reached the top in the US, “A Must To Avoid” was No. 1 in New Zealand and “No Milk Today” topped Norway’s charts. The first two Hermits’ LPs made it to No. 2 in the U.S. and three EPs hit the British Top 10. A global sensation whose popularity remained strong until the end of the ‘60s, Herman’s Hermits played a major role in the British Invasion.
The inductees are: Peter Noone (lead vocals), Keith Hopwood & Derek Leckenby (guitar), Karl Green (bass) and Barry Whitwam (drums).
207. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE – This selection deals with Jefferson Airplane only as Jefferson Starship or Starship was really a different band to be covered later on our list. Airplane’s success was based almost entirely on albums, while Starship’s sales were buoyed by huge singles. Ironically, though, Airplane’s career took off thanks to the 45. Make that two 45s.
After a debut album, “Jefferson Airplane Takes Off,” came close to entering the top 100 on the Billboard album chart, the six-member group unleashed “Surrealistic Pillow” eight months later, spearheading the blossoming San Francisco music scene. While the debut album had been dominated by songs written by group founder Marty Balin, and featured female vocalist Signe Toly Anderson, the second offering was more of a group effort and spotlighted new singer Grace Slick. The band’s initial hit, “Somebody To Love,” was written by Slick’s former brother-in-law, Darby Slick, and was powered by Grace’s lead vocal. It soared to #5, and the follow-up, “White Rabbit,” which was written by Grace, followed it into the Top 10, landing at #8. The dual success lifted the album to #3 in the U.S., the Airplane’s best-ever showing on the LP chart.
Several months later, album #3, “After Bathing At Baxter’s,” appeared, signaling a complete change of direction for the group, which, by now, had become a centerpiece of the psychedelic era. The Airplane never had another hit single, but “Baxter’s” still climbed to #17 on the U.S. LP chart and the group was a headliner at 1967’s Monterey Festival. In 1968, “Crown Of Creation,” settled at #6 and the following year “Volunteers” came in at #13. The group became synonymous with “The Summer of Love,” “Flower Power” and everything else associated with the hippie culture. In 1968, Jefferson Airplane headlined the first Isle of Wight Festival, which also featured The Move and T-Rex among others, and the next year, the Airplane was featured at the Woodstock and Altamont festivals and a 1969 live recording, “Bless Its Pointed Little Head,” recorded at the Fillmore East and West, charted at U.S. #17. The group’s appeal never really abated, a 1970 release, “The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane” rising to #12, while the following year “Bark” reached one notch higher. In 1972, “Long John Silver,” recorded as the band totally disintegrated, still peaked at #20.
The inductees are: Grace Slick (vocals); Marty Balin, Paul Kantner & Jorma Kaukonen (vocals & guitar); Jack Casady (bass) & Spencer Dryden (drums).
208. THE DAVE CLARK 5 – When the British Invasion clobbered the American and worldwide music charts, it was this Tottenham quintet that ran neck-and-neck with The Beatles, a fact often forgotten by those not around at the time. It was the Dave Clark Five who followed The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, eventually setting a record for most appearances. And while the Fab Four hit Ed Sullivan in February 1964, then appeared in Washington DC and Carnegie Hall that week before returning to the Sullivan show the next week, it was the DC5 who made the first real tour of the U.S., doing 15 dates, including one in Toronto, in May and June of ’64, while The Beatles’ first American tour didn’t start until August. In addition, it was Clark and his group that knocked The Beatles’ third straight U.K. #1, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” off the top rung with “Glad All Over.”
E-Street Band drummer and Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee Max Weinberg didn’t forget Dave Clark and his powerhouse, including Clark in his 1984 book, “The Big Beat (Conversations With Rock’s Greatest Drummers).” Weinberg, whose first concert experience was the DC5, described the Newark, N.J. scene as the DC5 sprinted up the center aisle and onto the stage, writing “Dave rolled into ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the place went absolutely crazy – three thousand kids all trying to squeeze into the first row. The DC5 played all their hits and sounded fantastic. I was thirteen years old and that beat and that energy really got to me.
“Twenty years later some people might not remember just how big the DC5 were. . .In those days sides were taken. You were either a Beatles, Stones, or a DC5 fan. I had a problem. I went nuts over all three.”
He wasn’t alone. Even though their music was unavailable from 1975 until 1993, the Dave Clark Five still ranks in the top 500 all-time sellers of singles and albums worldwide. Between 1964 and 1967, the band posted 14 top 20 singles and six top 20 LPs in the States, and between 1964 and 1970 nine top 20 singles and six top 20 albums and EPs in the U.K.
The inductees are: Mike Smith (lead vocals & keyboards); Dave Clark (drums); Lenny Davidson (guitar); Denis Payton (sax) and Rick Huxley (bass).
209. UB40 – This Birmingham, England reggae/pop group ranks near the very top of the list of worldwide singles and album sellers, their home country being especially supportive. In fact, UB40, named for the British Unemployment Benefit Form 40, almost needs its own U.K. charts, its success there has been so massive.
Between 1980 and 2005, UB40 placed 37 singles in the U.K. top 40, 16 reaching the top 10. Twice, the group hit #1 in the U.K. and also in the United States, where their success has been good, but limited compared to the rest of the world. In 1983, their cover of Neil Diamond’s “Red, Red Wine” reached #1 as well as topping charts in New Zealand and the Netherlands and resting at #2 in Australia and Canada. Ten years later, their cover of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love” went #1 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. Other major successes include their debut single “King” backed with “Food For Thought,” which got the band up and running, hitting #1 in New Zealand, 1985’s pairing with Chrissie Hynde on Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” which hit #1 in Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the U.K., 1986’s “Sing Our Own Song,” which hit #1 in the Netherlands as did 1990’s “Kingston Town,” which also topped the French charts.
The album charts have been no different, 25 LPs entering the U.K. top 40. The band’s first two offerings reached #2 and their most recent, 2010’s “Labour Of Love 4” climbed to #24, proving their staying power. Two of their long-players, 1983’s “Labour Of Love” and 1993’s “Promises and Lies,” topped the U.K. charts. Fifteen reached the top 10.
One major factor in the band’s success is the original eight-man lineup staying intact for 30 years: The inductees are: Terence “Astro” Wilson (trumpet & vocals); Jimmy Brown (drums); Alistair Campbell (lead vocals & guitar); Robin Campbell (guitar & vocals); Earl Falconer (bass); Norman Hassan (percussion & trombone); Mickey Virtue (keyboards) and Brian Travers (sax).
210. JONI MITCHELL – Growing up in Canada, Joni Mitchell was into Classical music, Rock & Roll and Jazz. But it was Folk Music that introduced her to the masses when George Hamilton IV’s 1967 LP, “Folksy,” contained Mitchell’s “Urge For Going,” which became a #7 Country hit for the singer. Hamilton had picked it up from noted Folk star Tom Rush, who then recorded it plus Mitchell’s “Tin Angel” and “The Circle Game” for his 1968 album “The Circle Game,” which also included a couple James Taylor tunes, and one each by Jackson Browne and Charlie Rich. Then, the same year, Judy Collins took Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now” to #8 on the U.S. Hot 100.
So, by the time Mitchell’s second LP was released in 1969 – her first had barely charted in the U.S. and hadn’t registered at all in her home country – Mitchell still was a star. “Clouds” contained her own versions of “Tin Angel” and “Urge For Going,” soaring to #25 in Canada and #31 in the States. But Mitchell still was denied a hit single, though “Chelsea Morning” became one of her most beloved songs, inspiring covers by Collins and Neil Diamond, among others. The next LP rectified that, though, as “Big Yellow Taxi” became a major hit in Canada, Australia and the U.K., propelling the album “Ladies Of The Canyon” into the upper regions of the charts in those countries, plus the U.S.
“Blue,” released in 1971, became Mitchell’s most successful release to that point, breaking across Europe as well as North America, and may be her most acclaimed effort. But it wasn’t until 1974’s “Court and Spark” that Mitchell had her first chart-topper, hitting #1 in Canada and #2 in the U.S., helped by her biggest single, “Help Me.” A live release, “Miles of Aisles,” also reached #2 in the U.S. that same year.
Thirteen studio albums followed “Court and Spark,” with usually a one- to two-year break between releases, with only 1998’s “Taming The Tiger” missing the top 50 in Canada. In 2007, Mitchell released her most recent studio effort after a five-year absence. “Shine” proved her audience was still with her, the recording reaching #10 in Norway, #13 in Canada and #14 in the U.S.
A member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame since 1981, Mitchell was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1997 and was the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.