By Phill Marder
This is the 24th 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
231. BILLY IDOL – The rise of some artists to superstar status depends on many factors. In Billy Idol’s case, MTV played a major role in making the former Generation X member one of the 1980’s most memorable figures. Good looking, muscular, spiked blonde hair and a sneer borrowed directly from Elvis, Idol’s impact on the new video market was immediate and significant. But the look – on most occasions – has to be supported by talent. And Idol had that, too, becoming an accomplished vocalist and songwriter.
In 1981, Idol first released a four-song EP entitled “Don’t Stop.” Though it included a remixed version of “Dancing With Myself” from the last Generation X recordings and a version of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Mony Mony,” the EP didn’t gain much attention except in the U.S., where the Brit punk attracted some listeners. When Idol released his first proper LP, 1982’s “Billy Idol,” that groundwork helped the release come close to breaking the top 40, with”Hot In The City” and “White Wedding” making significant noise. Both singles were strong hits in the Pan Pacific area, helping the LP climb to #5 in New Zealand.
Idol’s 1983 release, “Rebel Yell,” yielded four hit singles, the title cut hitting #3 in New Zealand and #7 in Australia, “Eyes Without A Face” climbing to #4 in New Zealand and the U.S. and #10 in Germany, where “Flesh For Fantasy” and “Catch My Fall” each just missed the top 10. Buoyed by this success coupled with MTV’s birth, the LP reached #2 in Germany and New Zealand and #6 in the U.S. The successor, 1986’s “Whiplash Smile,” matched that position in the U.S., but did even better in most areas, going top 10 around the world. By this time, remixed versions of “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell” had caught on in Britain, both climbing to #6 and an LP of remixes, “Vital Idol,” climbed to #7.
The revisitation of Idol’s catalog came to a climax in 1987, when a live version of “Mony Mony” became the only release by Idol to become a chart-topper, going #1 on the U.S. Hot 100. Idol released three more best-selling LPs, though there was a 12-year delay between 1993’s “Cyberpunk” and 2005’s “Devil’s Playground.” He remains an active concert attraction.
232. SUPERTRAMP – This British group had its fair share of hit singles, but today stands as one of the top 100 album selling acts of all time.
Fueled by material supplied by Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, both vocalists and multi-instrumentalist, Supertramp became one of the most popular acts of the 1970s and 1980s after a most sluggish start. Starting as a four-piece, drummer Robert Millar and guitarist Richard Palmer joining Davies and Hodgson, Supertramp released its eponymous debut in 1970. It was generally ignored as was its second release, 1971’s “Indelibly Stamped,” with Kevin Currie, Frank Farrell and Dave Winthrop replacing Millar and Palmer.
It took over three years and yet another lineup – Bob Siebenberg, John Helliwell and Doug Thomson along with Davies and Hodgson – for the next effort, “Crime Of The Century,” to appear. But three was the charm as this release, buoyed by a couple fairly successful singles, “Dreamer” and “Bloody Well Right,” soared to #4 in the U.K. and Canada and #5 in Germany. It also broke the group in the U.S., reaching the top 40. Having tasted success, the band personnel stabilized, but the next LP “Crisis? What Crisis?” didn’t continue the momentum. However, Supertramp’s next three albums turned the tide for good, 1979’s “Breakfast In America” proving one of the decade’s most popular releases. Even though Hodgson left in 1983 and the group failed to produce any more major singles, Supertramp’s albums – studio efforts, concert albums and hit collections – continued to be top global sellers, their most recent being live recordings of their 2010 tour celebrating the group’s 40th anniversary.
The inductees are: Rick Davies (keyboards, vocals, harmonica); John Helliwell (saxophones, vocals, woodwinds); Roger Hodgson (guitars, keyboards, vocals); Bob Siebenberg (drums); Dougie Thomson (bass).
233. THE POINTER SISTERS – There have been many famous families in music – the Jacksons, Osmonds, Everlys, for example, and Oakland’s Pointer Sisters rank right up there with best of them. Sometimes a quartet, sometimes a trio, at times even just a duo, June, Bonnie, Anita and Ruth put together two decades of top singles and albums, beginning in 1971.
Well, in truth it began in 1973, the group releasing singles the two years prior with no success. But in 1973, good fortune smiled on the Pointers as their recording of Allen Toussaint’s “Yes We Can Can” rose to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, leading the group’s debut album to #13 U.S. It did even better in Canada, peaking at #3. By 1988, the sisters had placed 16 albums on the Billboard chart, 1983 “Break Out” finishing at #8. Their best-selling LP, “Break Out” also hit #4 in Canada, #6 in New Zealand and #9 U.K. The leadoff single didn’t do much, but “Automatic” became a worldwide smash, as did “Jump (For My Love)” and “Neutron Dance.” The group was so hot, even a re-release of “I’m So Excited,” which reached #30 U.S. just two years before, found its way into the U.S. top 10 and just missed in the U.K.
Prior to “Break Out,” the Pointers stalled at #2 in 1978 with their version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire.” They came close twice more, “He’s So Shy” rising to #3 U.S. in 1980 and “Slow Hand” getting to U.S. #2 the next year. “Fire” did reach #1 in Belgium, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and “He’s So Shy” made it to #1 in the Netherlands.
The inductees are Bonnie, June, Anita & Ruth.
234. AMERICA – In 1973, the field of contenders for Grammy recognition as “Best New Artist” was stacked…Harry Chapin, The Eagles, John Prine and Loggins & Messina. All went on to most successful and productive careers. As did that year’s winner…America.
The trio of Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and the late Dan Peek came out of the gate with a #1 album in 1971, starting a four-year stand that saw four of their first five LPs hit the top 10, with a sixth stopping at #11. The trio’s first single, “A Horse With No Name,” reached #1 in the U.S., France, Canada and Australia and #3 in the U.K. It was a tough debut to follow, but “I Need You,” “Ventura Highway,” “Tin Man” and “Lonely People” all reached the top 10 in the States and in 1975, America unleashed another #1 with “Sister Golden Hair.”
But in 1977, Peek, who wrote the hits “Lonely People” (with wife Catherine) and “Today’s The Day,” left to pursue a career in Christian music. Beckley and Bunnell continued on as a duo, touring steadily and recording many albums that sold well, but the early success couldn’t be duplicated. However, in 1982 the pair scored a #8 single with “You Can Do Magic.” In 2011, Beckley and Bunnell released their first collection of covers, “Back Pages,” after 40 years of recording almost exclusively originals.
The inductees are the original trio.
235. BOBBY BROWN – Many of our most famous stars often find the non-performance part of their lives overshadowing the entertainment side. Such has been the case with Bobby Brown, who has had a successful career as a member of the vocal group New Edition and as a solo artist. But numerous arrests, drug problems and high-profiled relationships often have stolen the limelight from Brown’s recording career.
However, the Goldmine Hall of Fame deals strictly with musical accomplishments, and Brown’s have been considerable. The singer quit or was thrown out of New Edition, depending on whose story you choose to believe, then released his first solo LP, “King Of Stage,” in 1986. It included “Girlfriend,” which became a #1 single on the R&B chart and helped get Brown’s career off and running in the U.S. and U.K. The next effort, 1988’s “Don’t Be Cruel,” put Brown at the top of the U.S. LP chart and in the U.K. and Australian top five. The album produced five U.S. top 10 singles, two hitting the U.K. top 10 as well. “My Prerogative” topped the U.S. chart. In the midst of this success, Brown saw his “On Our Own” from the “Ghostbusters 2” soundtrack hit #2 U.S., #3 Canada and #4 U.K.
Fans had to wait four years for “Bobby,” which became Brown’s second straight R&B chart-topper, also hitting #2 in the U.S. and Canada and #4 in Sweden. Two singles, “Humpin’ Around” and “Good Enough” hit the U.S. top 10, the former topping the Australian chart. The next single, “Get Away,” achieved a #14 position in the U.S., but marked the beginning of Brown’s slide out of favor stateside.
“Get Away” proved Brown’s last solo hit in the U.S., but his run in the U.K. continued until 1997. In 1995, two remixes – “Two Can Play That Game” and “Humpin’ Around” hit the Brit top 10. In 1997, Brown reunited with New Edition, and their “Home Again” became their only #1 album.
236. OZZY OSBOURNE – Speaking of those making headlines without performing, the former Black Sabbath front man has been a gossip monger’s delight throughout his career. Star of his own Reality TV show, subject of a 2011 documentary “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” and already a member of the Goldmine Hall Of Fame with Black Sabbath, “The Prince of Darkness” has remained one of the top selling artists through a lot of thick and a fair share of thin.
Releasing his first solo album, “Blizzard Of Oz,” in 1980, the Brit experienced little backlash from his split with Sabbath, the debut reaching #7 in his homeland and #21 in the States. Though never a success with hit singles – his 1989 duet with Lita Ford, “Close My Eyes Forever,” made the Hot 100’s top 10 and another duet, 2003’s “Changes” with Kelly Clarkson, hit #1 for his lone U.K. top 10 entry – “Crazy Train” powered the debut LP by scoring top 10 spots across Europe (not in the U.K., though) and peaking at #9 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. Only one other Osbourne single approached that success, 2002’s “Dreamer.”
Meanwhile, his albums remained top sellers, his fourth effort, 1986’s “The Ultimate Sin” landing in the U.S. and U.K. top 10 as did 2007’s “Black Rain.” Osbourne’s stronghold was in the U.S. where, from 1991 until 2007, four of his five releases peaked in the top 10.
Ozzy continues to record solo and a reunion LP with Black Sabbath is tentatively due in the summer of 2013.
237. BETTE MIDLER – The second in this group of 10 to win a Grammy for “Best New Artist,” then go on to a Hall of Fame career, this Hawaiian has become a superstar not just in music, but on stage and screen as well. Midler took her honors in 1974, the year following America. By that time, Midler had seen her first two albums, “The Divine Miss M” and “Bette Midler,” hit the top in the U.S. and Canada.
Midler’s debut LP was powered by three hit singles in 1972-73, “Do You Want To Dance,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Friends.” The first, a cover of the 1958 Bobby Freeman hit, but leaning more toward the arrangement used by Johnny Rivers and the Mamas & the Papas, made the top 20 in the U.S. and Canada. The second, a carbon copy of The Andrews Sisters 1941 top 10 hit, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” hit #8 in both countries. The second album did even better – #3 Canada, #6 U.S. – in spite of yielding no hits. In fact, Midler went until 1980 without another hit.
That ended when Midler starred in the 1979 film “The Rose.” Eventually, she would win the Golden Globe for best actress and the film’s success helped buoy the soundtrack LP all over the world. The title song “rose” to #2 in Canada and #3 in the U.S. and the LP hit #12. Another drought followed until 1984’s “Beast Of Burden” hit #2 in Norway and Sweden and #4 in New Zealand. But Midler’s next big score came from the movie “Beaches.” Midler’s soundtrack hit #2 in the U.S. and New Zealand and #1 in Australia and produced her biggest single, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which had been recorded often, but had never been a hit until Midler took it to #1 in the U.S. and Australia. Her last major single, “From A Distance,” stalled at U.S. #2 in 1990 as the parent album became her last top 10 long-player until 2005 when her covers of Peggy Lee made it.
In 2012, she received the Sammy Kahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
238. HENRY MANCINI – An arranger, conductor and composer, Cleveland’s Henry Mancini compiled staggering numbers during his recording career, ranking in the very top group of the all-time album artists. Mancini is credited with the release of nearly 100 albums, many being film soundtracks. Thirty-nine of those releases placed on the Billboard Top 200 chart, including eight entries in the top 10.
Mancini hit the top spot in 1961 with his soundtrack “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” for which Mancini won an Oscar for “Best Original Score” and another for “Best Original Song,” which went to the classic “Moon River,” with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Mancini’s version reached #11. The much-covered tune also hit #11 for Jerry Butler just a couple weeks before Mancini’s version.
Mancini had seven other LPs hit the Billboard top 10 with “Music From Mr. Lucky” climbing to #2 in 1960. “Mr. Lucky” was Mancini’s first hit single, reaching #21. But he often frequented the singles’ chart with some very famous movie themes. In 1963, “Days Of Wine & Roses” reached #33 and the next year “The Pink Panther Theme” hit #31. In 1969, Mancini had his lone #1 single, “Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet” and two years later “Love Story” climbed to #13.
Mancini, who passed away in 1994, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award the next year and was nominated for a record 72 Grammy Awards, winning 20. He received 18 nominations for Academy Awards, taking home four Oscars. He also won a Golden Globe.
239. SONNY & CHER – Cher was inducted in Goldmine’s eighth group, but she would be the first to tell you Sonny should be with her. Now he is. Constant appearances on television kept Sonny & Cher in the public eye, which is where they were at their best. Not that they were slouches in the studio. On the contrary, they made some great records. But any teenager of the ‘60s will remember the caveman look and the genuine electricity between the two.
The pair had opened their singing career as Caesar & Cleo, meeting with little success. But in 1965 everything changed as “I Got You Babe,” written and produced by Sonny, became one of the most identifiable recordings to emerge from the ‘60s. Instantly, it transformed the photogenic duo into superstars, reaching #1 in the United States and in the U.K. The ensuing LP, “Look At Us,” also was a smash, reaching #2 in the U.S. and #7 in the U.K. With Cher simultaneously releasing solo hits and “I Got You Babe” spreading top 10 success around the globe, suddenly Sonny & Cher were everywhere. The album, primarily covers of song by others, did include Sonny’s “Just You,” which reached #20 U.S. and #15 Canada as the follow-up to “I Got You Babe.”
But actually, the follow-up had come prior to their breakthrough when “Baby Don’t Go” was released on Reprise the year before without much fanfare. After the success of “I Got You Babe” on Atco, Reprise re-released “Baby Don’t Go” and it became the hit it deserved to be, topping the Canadian chart and going top 10 in the U.S. and #11 in Britain.
Following a hit such as “I Got You Babe” is often impossible, and Sonny & Cher never could duplicate that success, but they gave it a great shot, their second LP, “The Wondrous World Of Sonny & Cher” yielding three hits. “But You’re Mine,” with a message similar to the earlier smash, went top 20 as did “What Now My Love” and Sonny proved he could hit it on his own, too, as his solo, “Laugh At Me,” went top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. But 1966’s “Little Man” was to prove the duo’s biggest European success, eclipsing even “I Got You Babe,” hitting the top 10 in France, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and the U.K. Its parent LP, “In Case You’re In Love,” also produced “The Beat Goes On,” which remains today a constant reminder of the pair’s greatness.
240. PETER, PAUL & MARY – There were some Folk “purists” who bemoaned the commercial success of The Kingston Trio. But there is no question that success spread Folk music to the mainstream, and many Folk artists became popular, Peter, Paul & Mary, for example. The New York City trio burst upon the scene in 1962 and became a symbol of the ‘60s.
Their debut LP, “Peter, Paul & Mary,” topped the Billboard album chart for seven weeks. While Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow were responsible for half the material on the LP, the trio also included two Pete Seeger protest songs, “If I Had A Hammer” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” Both had been recorded previously, and continued to be well covered, emerging as two of the Folk movements most memorable compositions. “Hammer” became PP&M’s first major hit, reaching #10 U.S. “Lemon Tree,” also from the debut album, entered the top 40. Mary Travers received writer’s credit on several tunes from the sophomore effort, “(Moving),” which spent eight weeks at U.S. #2 as “Puff The Magic Dragon” also hit #2.
By 1963, the peace movement was in full swing and Peter, Paul & Mary were right at the front, their third long-player, “In The Wind,” holding the #1 slot five weeks. Though most of the material was group penned, the album’s two biggest singles were U.S. #2 “Blowin’ In The Wind” and U.S. #9 “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright,” each penned by Bob Dylan, who benefitted greatly from the exposure.
Dylan, of course, went electric eventually, and Peter, Paul & Mary appeared to be headed in the same direction when “I Dig Rock and Roll Music” reached #9 in 1967, ending a four-year absence from the singles top 10. But it was just a temporary detour as the trio’s albums, which year after year continued to be among the best sellers, remained true to Folk for the most part. In 1969, “Leaving On A Jet Plane” became the group’s only #1 single. Ironically, it was also their last major hit.
Mary Travers passed away in 2009, ending the trio’s lengthy career. But Peter and Paul remain active with personal appearances.