By Phill Marder
This is the 22nd 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
211. DONOVAN – Perhaps no one represents the “flower power” age better than Donovan. A folkie considered a European clone of Bob Dylan at first, Donovan quickly discarded his guitar/harmonica approach and branched into other areas much as Dylan did by going electric. But the music Donovan created was much more diversified than his American counterpart as far as style and instrumentation was concerned. And while his music was all over the map, his voice proved an anchor. As soon as you heard it, you knew it was Donovan, from his ominous breathing/hum countdown at the start of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” to the “Elec Trickle Banana” of “Mellow Yellow.” From his “Ah, when I look outa my window” vocal start of “Season of the Witch” to his ” “Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me” from “Sunshine Superman,” Donovan made an unmistakable mark on the musical landscape.
No one before or since sounded like Donovan and his recordings, particularly the “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow” albums, stand up to any recordings made even today. They remain as distinctive now as they were back then.
Donovan was close to the Beatles, contributing lyric help on several key tracks through the years. In addition, “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” supposedly marked the first occasion the instrumental portion of Led Zeppelin worked together. Jimmy Page, who had played earlier on “Sunshine Superman,” is rumored to have contributed guitar work and John Bonham claimed to have contributed some of the track’s distinctive drum work, but John Paul Jones, who played bass and arranged the track said Clem Cattini drummed and Alan Parker played guitar and that was it. Later Donovan’s lead vocal led the Jeff Beck Group on its biggest single hit, “Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot).”
A major staple of the British Invasion, Donovan placed 17 singles on the Hot 100, a dozen reaching the top 40 with three climbing to the top five – “Sunshine Superman” (#1), “Mellow Yellow” (#2) and “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (#5). Ten LPs cracked the top 30 between 1965 and 1973, including the two-record set “A Gift From A Flower To A Garden.” But his success was not limited to the U.S., with sales particularly strong in his homeland and across Europe and particularly Australia, pushing him into the upper echelon of record sellers – both albums and singles – on the all-time list. His compositions were also covered, The Animals recording of “Hey Gyp” being one of their strongest efforts and “Museum” proving a hit for Herman’s Hermits.
212. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD – As a member of the Springfields, Dusty Springfield was a star before she released her first solo record, the group having five hits – two top 10 – in England between 1961 and 1963. In fact, in 1962 the Springfields’ recording of “Silver Threads & Golden Needles” had even climbed to #20 in the U.S., the album of the same name rising to #92. But it was just the start for the London blonde, whose solo career made her one of Britain’s top icons.
Her first single, “I Only Want To Be With You,” was a smash on both sides of the Atlantic, climbing to #4 in the U.K. and #6 in Australia, and her debut LP, “A Girl Called Dusty,” which didn’t even include the hit, rose to U.K. #6. As the title would indicate, the U.S. version of the LP, “Stay Awhile/I Only Want To Be With You,” not only included those two hits, “Stay Awhile edging into the U.S. top 40, but also featured the next single, “Wishin’ & Hopin,’” which became the first of her three U.S. top 10 singles, rising to #6 in mid 1964, just as Beatlemania was kicking into high gear. Her next big smash came two years later when “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” became a worldwide success, hitting #1 in the U.K., #2 in Australia and Canada and #4 in the U.S. In 1969, “Son Of A Preacher Man” reached U.S. #10 and #9 in her homeland, but the LP from which it was pulled, “Dusty In Memphis,” reached just #99 in the States and didn’t chart at all in the U.K. in spite of critical ravings, which continue today.
In fact, after “Dusty In Memphis,” Springfield had difficulty scoring a hit even in her backyard. In 1987, she returned to the limelight when she appeared on the Pet Shop Boys’ massive hit, “What Have I Done To Deserve This?” That resulted in a three-year flurry which saw Springfield turn out a couple British hit singles and albums, including pairings with Richard Carpenter, B.J. Thomas and Daryl Hall.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994, Springfield passed away in 1999.
213. SADE – Absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s a cliché often heard. And one Sade seems determined to prove. Since 1984, the quartet from Britain, named after lead singer Sade Adu, has released just six studio albums and a couple hit singles. But every album has become a worldwide smash, fans seemingly starving for new product from the band.
Amazingly, the same four members from the first LP still remain, Sade handling lead vocals, Stuart Matthewman supporting on guitar and sax, Andrew Hale on keyboards and Paul Denman on bass. A huge supporting cast has contributed to the studio recordings and live performances.
Their first LP, “Diamond Life,” set the pattern for the band’s future, topping charts in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, while climbing to #2 in the U.K., #5 in the U.S. and #7 in Canada. The lead single, “Your Love Is King,” was a moderate success in the U.S., but reached #6 in the U.K., while “Smooth Operator,” the album’s fourth single, reversed the trend, hitting #5 in the States but just #19 in England. “The Sweetest Taboo,” pulled from the group’s sophomore LP, also reached #5 on the U.S. Hot 100, but proved their last major hit single. After “Promise,” released just over a year after “Diamond Life,” topped LP charts in the U.K., U.S., the Netherlands and Switzerland, the pattern of long pauses began, album number three, “Stronger Than Pride,” not appearing until almost three years later.
The long delay and lack of hits had little effect as the LP topped the Netherlands’ chart and went top 10 in almost every other country. Over four years came and went before 2000’s “Lovers Rock” appeared, and while it failed to top any charts, it still hit #3 in the States and went top 10 in most countries. A live recording came out in 2002, but it was a 10-year wait for the next studio effort, “Soldier Of Love.” No problem. It hit #1 in the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Switzerland, #2 in Austria, Germany & the Netherlands and #4 in Britain and Australia, cementing Sade’s spot in the top 150 album charters of all time.
214. STEVIE NICKS – Already a Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee as a member of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks becomes the first from that group to earn a solo spot as well. Considering the talent that has passed through that group’s ranks over the years, that is no small achievement.
Nicks’ distinctive songwriting accounted for many of Mac’s most memorable recordings, “Dreams” being Mac’s only #1 single, while “Rhiannon” became one of the group’s favorites and “Landslide” has been covered by many. Even Nicks’ first two “solo” hit singles were supported by others, the U.S. #3 “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” being a joint effort with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, while “Leather & Lace,” which hit #6 U.S., was a duet with Don Henley. Both singles were pulled from Nicks’ debut LP, “Bella Donna,” which reached U.S. #1 in 1981 and produced yet another hit, “Edge Of Seventeen,” which reached #11 U.S. and became another of Nicks’ best-loved classics.
The pattern of collaboration was established right from the beginning of her career, her first LP “Buckingham/Nicks,” featuring future Mac partner Lindsey Buckingham. Long before her first solo releases, she had prominent roles on Kenny Loggins’ hit “Whenever I Call You Friend” and John Stewart’s “Gold,” both of which reached U.S. #5.
Nicks never had another #1 solo LP after “Bella Donna,” but did place four more long-players in the U.S. top 10, including 2011’s “In Your Dreams,” and today ranks as one of the world’s top selling album artists. The singles “Stand Back” & “Talk To Me” each placed high in the U.S. top 10 and she remains a top seller and major concert attraction as a solo artist and member of Fleetwood Mac.
215. THREE DOG NIGHT – You’ve heard the term “starving artists.” If not for this seven-member behemoth, there would have been many more during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Three Dog Night became one of the world’s most popular bands and did it in odd fashion for those days, relying almost exclusively on outside material. And often, the material chosen was written by artists who had yet to become household names. The royalty paychecks they earned from Three Dog Night recordings may have made career differences for many.
Fronted by three strong lead vocalists, Chuck Negron, Danny Hutton and Cory Wells, anchored by the rhythm section of bassist Joe Scherme and unique drummer Floyd Sneed, and colored by Mike Allsup on guitar and Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards, Three Dog Night established its credentials with its second single and first hit, a 1969 remake of Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness,” which peaked at U.S. #29 and Canadian #19. In a remarkable streak, the next 18 singles, stretching to 1974, all reached the U.S. top 20, 11 climbing into the top 10 with three topping the charts. Although the U.K. offered surprisingly little support, the group was a major seller across Europe, in South America, South Africa and the Pan Pacific as well as North America.
Harry Nilsson had never had a hit, his 1968 recording of his self-penned “One” failing to chart as had most of his previous releases. The leadoff cut on Three Dog Night’s debut LP, released at the close of the year, kicked off with their version of “One,” which soared to U.S. #5 and Nilsson was on his way. The LP, which reached #11, also included a cover of a Randy Newman song included on his first LP, which was released the same year, 1968, and one by Tim Hardin, who didn’t have a best-selling LP until Three Dog Night covered “Don’t Make Promises.” Three Dog Night’s second LP, “Suitable For Framing,” helped introduce Elton John to the world, its second track being “Lady Samantha,” not included on John’s British debut released about a week earlier. It also included the group’s top 10 version of Laura Nyro’s “Eli’s Coming.”
Release #3, “It Ain’t Easy,” gave the group its first #1, “Mama Told Me Not To Come,” written by Newman, a version of John’s “Your Song” before his own LP featuring it was released as well as “Out In The Country,” the first of three hits the group recorded written by Paul Williams. Folk artist Hoyt Axton was another to benefit from the Dog’s coverage, his compositions “Joy To The World” hitting #1 and “Never Been To Spain” #5. Later, the group took B.W. Stevenson’s “Shambala” to #3 and Leo Sayer’s “The Show Must Go On” to #4.
The band’s third #1, “Back & White,” featured lead vocals by Hutton, while “Joy To The World” was led by Negron and “Mama Told Me Not To Come” had Wells out front, another remarkable achievement.
216. EDDY ARNOLD – This Tennessee troubadour had 59 Country Top 10 singles, including 18 that hit #1, before 1955, the year the Rock Era started and the Goldmine Hall of Fame survey begins. And he still had enough post-1955 success to come in at this prestigious position on our list.
Between 1955 and his passing in 2008, Arnold put 36 more singles into the Country Top 10, 10 of which topped the chart. From 1965 to 1968, he had nine consecutive #1 Country LPs, then two straight #2s. Truly, his dominance of Country music has rarely been approached.
The Hank Cochran composition “Make The World Go Away” was Arnold’s biggest crossover success, a #1 Country single that also reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Just two years earlier, Ray Price’s version had peaked at #2 Country and had squeaked into the #100 position on the Hot 100. As a composer, he co-wrote the standard “You Don’t Know Me,” a #2 hit for Ray Charles in 1962.
In the early ‘50s, he had his own television show. During 1966, he became the youngest (48) to become inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the following year he was the recipient of the first Entertainer of the Year award by the Country Music Association. Arnold passed away in 2008 at age 89. Three weeks later, his recording of “To Life” entered the Country chart, making him the oldest artist to reach a Billboard chart. It also established a longevity mark, just short of 63 years from his first chart hit to the last.
217. THE KINGSTON TRIO – Few acts can claim that the musical landscape was never the same once they appeared. The Kingston Trio can make that claim. They didn’t purport to be folksingers, but they began the Folk Music boom and remained the most popular and successful practitioners of that genre from their breakthrough in 1958 until the British Invasion.
“Tom Dooley,” the story of a murderer awaiting his hanging and done with just guitars, voices and standup bass, became a worldwide hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. The Trio never had another #1. In fact, the group had just one more top 10 single, and that didn’t come until 1963 when “Reverend Mr. Black” reached #8. But their success in the blossoming album market rivals the greatest sellers of all time in the United States, some spilling over to Canada. The eponymous debut LP, featuring the hit single, topped the Billboard chart, and the follow-up, a live recording “…from the Hungry I,” the famous San Francisco club, hit #2. After another concert LP stopped at #15, the Trio placed four straight albums at the top of the charts, “At Large,” “Here We Go Again!”, “Sold Out” and “String Along.”
That streak stopped at the end of 1960, but as 1961 started the Trio was back at #2 with “Make Way,” following that success with three straight LPs that reached #3. In total, the Kingston Trio’s first 18 LPs made the U.S. top 20, not including a 1962 “Best Of” collection that reached #7. Of those 18, 13 reached the top 10. As 1959 ended, four of the top 10 albums were by The Kingston Trio. They even changed the Grammy Awards after “Tom Dooley” was named 1959’s “Best Country & Western Recording” because the Grammies had no Folk category. That was introduced the next year when the Trio’s “At Large” LP was named “Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording.” The Trio also was presented a “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Four members are being inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame, the original trio of Bob Shane, Dave Guard and Nick Reynolds, along with John Stewart, who replaced Guard in 1961 and remained until the Trio ceased performing in 1967.
218. THE O’JAYS – Born in the ‘50s, it took a long time for this Ohio vocal group to make an impact. But in the ‘70s, they made up for lost time in a big way, placing nine albums in the top 30 of the Billboard Top LP chart, including three that reached the top 10. The O’Jays also had seven top 20 singles, including “Love Train,” which hit #1.
The upturn in fortune coincided with the O’Jays teaming up with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s newly formed Philadelphia International label. It also coincided with the departure of original members Bill Isles and Bobby Massey, leaving three original members – Eddie Levert, Walter Williams and William Powell – to soldier on as a trio. Though the five-man O’Jays had scored several minor hits on the R&B chart, it took the first product from the new label and alignment to push them to the forefront of 1970s vocal groups. The album, 1972’s “Back Stabbers,” reached #3 on the R&B chart, climbed to #10 on the Billboard LP Chart and became a best-seller in Canada. The success was spurred by two hit singles, “Back Stabbers” topping the R&B chart, getting to #3 U.S. and #14 U.K., and “Love Train,” which became the group’s sole chart topper in the States and lone top 10 hit in Britain, reaching #9.
The next year saw The O’Jays release the first of four LPs that would top the R&B chart before the decade’s end. From “Ship Ahoy,” the leadoff track, “Put Your Hands Together,” reached U.S. #10 and the second side’s leadoff track, “For The Love Of Money,” did one better. The next long-player, 1975’s “Survival,” topped the R&B chart and hit #11 on the Hot 100, but three singles failed to connect.
However, later that year the O’Jays released “Family Reunion,” another R&B #1 that became the band’s highest charting LP to that point, going #7 U.S. The main impetus was provided by “I Love Music (Part 1),” a single that climbed to #5.
In 1977, Powell, just 35, died of cancer. He was replaced by Sammy Strain of Little Anthony & the Imperials. Before the decade ended, Strain had participated in three LPs that reached the top 30 in the U.S., including the group’s highest-charting LP, 1978’s “So Full Of Love,” which hit #6 and was another R&B chart topper. He also was on the group’s second best charting single, “Use Ta Be My Girl,” which topped the R&B chart and hit #4 on the Hot 100. He remained with the group until 1992 and becomes a Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee along with Levert, Powell and Williams.
219. THE COASTERS – While the O’Jays struck paydirt by teaming up with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, The Coasters did the same when teamed with two of Rock’s most famous songwriters, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. But while The Coasters are most remembered for their renditions of novelty hits, they were the vocal equals of the greatest groups of the era, particularly lead singer Carl Gardner who passed away in 2011.
The Coasters’ first big smash, 1957’s coupling of “Searchin’,” which featured Billy Guy on lead, and “Young Blood,” came at a time when the 45 was Rock’s main vehicle, and most of the great artists routinely released two-sided hits. This may have been the greatest. “Searchin’” reached #3, while “Young Blood” rose to #8, both sides remaining on the charts for half the year. Both have been covered often through the decades, but no versions have come close to the originals.
When 1958 rolled around, The Coasters cranked out their only #1 single, and it was instantly memorable as teenagers could relate from the very opening line, “Take out the papers and the trash, or you don’t get no spendin’ cash.” “Yakety Yak” was followed the next year by another teen anthem, “Charlie Brown,” which held the #2 position for three weeks as Will Jones asked over and over, “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?,” “Charlie” was blocked at the top by Frankie Avalon’s classic “Venus.” Before the year ended, “Along Came Jones” and “Poison Ivy” each became top 10 hits for the group.
The inductees are Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Cornell Gunter, Will Jones and Adolph Jacobs.
220. STEVE WINWOOD – As the British Invasion reached its peak, American shores were being bombarded by import after import. It seemed every Brit capable of picking up a guitar or drumstick was “the next big thing.” So it’s somewhat understandable that word of a new phenom not yet old enough to drive in most of the U.S. was treated with some skepticism.
But this time, the hype was right. Steve Winwood turned out to be as advertised…probably even more than as advertised.
Though just 17, Winwood, the focus of The Spencer Davis Group, was singing lead and playing his Hammond B3 on Britain’s #1 single, “Keep On Running,” as 1965 closed down. As 1966 began, the band’s first two LPs hit U.K. #6 and #3, respectively, and “Somebody Help Me” had become their second #1 single. Before the year concluded, “Gimme Some Loving,” its pounding, distinctive riff leading the way to the #2 spot, gave Winwood an important entry into his writing portfolio, and the successor, “I’m A Man” added to his growing legacy, pushing into the U.K. top 10. The latter two singles established Winwood’s credentials in the U.S., hitting the top 10.
Still just a teenager, Winwood made a bold career move, vacating his band to start a new group, Traffic. The first three singles and first two LPs reached the top 10 in Britain, but the U.S. was slower to accept Winwood’s new project as Traffic failed to produce one hit single. Album buyers were more receptive, though, as the second Traffic LP started a string of six consecutive top 20 releases. In the midst of the Traffic releases, Winwood joined the supergroup Blind Faith, then Ginger Baker’s Air Force, and finally in 1977 his eponymous solo debut surfaced to reasonable success on both sides of the Atlantic.
He reached U.S. #3 in 1981 with the LP “Arc Of A Diver” and again in 1986 with “Back In The High Life,” and finally hit the #1 spot with 1988’s “Roll With It.” While his success on his homeland’s singles’ chart has been moderate at best, #7 “While You See A Chance,” #1 “Higher Love,” #8 “The Finer Things,” #9 “Valerie” #1 “Roll With It” and #6 “Don’t You Know What The Night Can Do” made Winwood one of the ‘80’s mainstays on U.S. charts and his most recent LP release, 2008’s “Nine Lives” just missed the U.S. top 10.