By Phill Marder
This is the 26th 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
251. BING CROSBY – Who has hit records in 1927, then ends up doing duets with David Bowie? Who recorded what the Guinness Book of World Records ranks as the all-time best selling single in 1942? Whose name falls into place when the greatest male vocalists of all time are named…Jolson, Sinatra, Presley and …? Who was awarded the first Grammy for “Global Achievement” and also an Academy Award for Best Actor?
The answer to those questions, and too many more to ask here, is, of course, Harry Lillis Crosby, better known as Bing.
While most of Crosby’s recorded milestones occurred prior to our cutoff year of 1955, his recording of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” has charted so many times – can it be Christmas without it? – that Crosby has enough points totaled to gain entrance into the Goldmine Hall of Fame. But Crosby also had a few other major sellers post-1955, including a 1956 duet with Grace Kelly, “True Love,” that reached #3 in the U.S. and #4 in the U.K. and “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” another that has become a perennial Christmas favorite, that Crosby took to #2 in 1963. His Rock Era album success also has centered around holiday offerings, the LP “Merry Christmas” reaching #1 in 1957 and top 10 in two other years.
In tabulating career totals, Crosby usually comes out #1 or near #1 on any all-time list, the main caveat being the sparseness of reliable and thorough charts in the years prior to 1955. He died in 1977 just after completing a tour of England, but not before he finished his last LP, “Seasons,” and his famous duet with Bowie, “Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy.”
252. THE SHIRELLES – For those around in the ‘50s, the girl group was this New Jersey quartet. Sure, there was stiff competition from the likes of The Chantels, The Crystals, The Ronettes and others. But no one touched The Shirelles and that feeling for many survived even the onslaught of Motown groups led by The Supremes.
The Shirelles – Shirley Alston-Reeves (Shirley Owens), Doris Kenner-Jackson (Doris Coley), Addie “Micki” Harris McPherson and Beverly Lee – didn’t have the push of Motown or Phil Spector behind them. But they did have something more important – great material. Their first hit, “I Met Him On A Sunday,” topped out at U.S. #49, but did go top 20 In Canada and remains a covered classic today. But that was typical Shirelles. Very few of their songs have gone uncovered. And even fewer of the cover versions live up to the Shirelles’ originals.
The follow-up, “Dedicated To The One I Love,” surprisingly barely made the charts in 1959. But 1960 saw the quartet bust through, leading off with “Tonight’s The Night,” co-written by Shirley and Luther Dixon. It became the group’s first 45 to reach the top 40, though just barely. But it did open the door for the next, the instant classic written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” which soared to #1. The flip, “Boys,” was covered by The Beatles. The success prompted a 1961 re-release of “Dedicated To The One I Love,” which this time climbed to #3. In 1967, The Mamas & The Papas’ version, one of their few cover songs, went to #2. Before the year closed, the Shirelles hit #4 with “Mama Said” and #8 with “Baby It’s You,” a Burt Bacharach melody also covered by The Beatles.
The quartet returned to the top for three weeks as they opened 1962 with “Soldier Boy.” They closed it with a cover of their own, re-doing Doris Day’s “Everybody Loves A Lover,” which climbed to #19. But 1963 was to see The Shirelles last big hit when “Foolish Little Girl” peaked at #4. The decline coincided with The British Invasion, but probably more importantly with the departure of Dixon, who also had a hand in penning “Baby It’s You,” “Soldier Boy” and “Boys” and more in addition to serving as the girls’ producer.
253. AMY GRANT – She signed her first recording contract at the age of 15, recorded her first album while still in high school, then waited 14 years to have her first top 10 album. Who better to keep the faith than Amy Grant, who has earned the moniker of “The Queen of Christian Pop” by becoming the all-time best-selling Christian music artist. Though Christian music artists usually don’t sell much when compared to other genres, Grant, who grew up in Nashville, had the first Christian album ever to reach Platinum status, a feat she has accomplished on numerous occasions. She has won six Grammy awards, has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, and has been inducted into the Christian Music Hall Of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Though 1991’s “Heart In Motion” was Grant’s first major mainstream success, she had released over a dozen prior LPs, including concert albums and compilations, and several had done fairly well on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Ten of her singles had topped the Christian chart, with another three stopping just short at #2. But Grant made a conscious effort to broaden her horizons, and in 1986 her duet with Chicago’s Peter Cetera, “The Next Time I Fall,” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a hit in several other countries as well. Since she has performed duets with the likes of Michael W. Smith, Anne Murray, Keb Mo and husband Vince Gill.
But it was “Baby Baby” from “Hearts In Motion” that lifted Grant to her first solo #1 on the Hot 100, and before the LP had run its course it yielded three more top 10 singles, #2 “Every Heartbeat,” #7 “That’s What Love Is For” and #8 “Good For Me” as well as #20 “I Will Remember You.” Grant has never had another top 10 single in the mainstream, but she continues to dominate Christian music charts, adding five more #1 hits to her total.
Grant has released several popular Christmas collections, also, 1992’s “Home For Christmas” climbing to #2.
254. CULTURE CLUB – Rare is the band that stays together forever. And, unfortunately, often the band’s breakup and post-breakup activities overshadow its accomplishments, though it does make for interesting TV such as “Behind The Music” or “Bands Reunited.” England’s Culture Club has suffered somewhat from this phenomenon.
Flamboyant lead singer Boy George (George O’Dowd) was the group’s focal point, drawing much attention as MTV became a driving force in the industry. But he also drew the wrong kind of attention when his personal life spun out of control. Still, what should be remembered of Culture Club is the four studio albums the quartet recorded from 1981 to 1986, all of which entered the U.K. top 10, 1983’s “Colour By Numbers” reaching #1. That LP, the band’s second, also topped charts in the Pan Pacific area, Japan and Canada and reached #2 in the U.S. and Norway. The biggest driving force behind the LP’s success was the discs second single, “Karma Chameleon,” which, reportedly, topped charts in 16 countries, including the U.S., and became the U.K.’s biggest selling single of 1983. The album also yielded five other major hits, starting with “Church Of The Poison Mind,” which preceded “Karma Chameleon” and reached U.K. #2, “Victims,” which hit #3 U.K., “Miss Me Blind,” #5 U.S. and “It’s A Miracle,” #4 U.K.
But “Karma Chameleon” wasn’t the band’s initial score, 1982’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” from the group’s debut LP, “Kissing To Be Clever,” hitting #1 or #2 in almost every nation worldwide, followed by two more major blasts, “Time (Clock Of The Heart)” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.”
“Colour By Numbers” proved an impossible act to follow and the group’s next two LPs saw its fortunes sagging, though 1984’s “Waking Up With The House On Fire” reached #2 in the U.K., Australia and France and 1986’s “From Luxury To Heartache” reached the British top 10. In 1998, the band came back with an album and a U.K. #4 single, “I Just Wanna Be Loved,” but reunions have been sporadic. George did indicate a new album to be released in 2013.
255. BROOK BENTON – The smoothest voice this side of Jim Reeves, Lou Rawls and Pat Boone, and from his first hit, “It’s Just A Matter Of Time,” his velvety baritone slid effortlessly into the deepest bass heard on record. As 1959 began that gem was well on its way to becoming one of the era’s most enduring ballads, soaring to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Rhythm & Blues chart. The flip side, the uptempo “Hurtin’ Inside,” also reached the charts, climbing as high as No. 23 on the R&B list. Benton had a hand in writing both sides, but while this two-sided smash established him as a recording star, earlier successes as a writer and demo singer – Clyde McPhatter’s biggest hit, “A Lover’s Question,” and Nat King Cole’s #5 “Looking Back,” for instance – already had made him a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
Benton’s first hit was typical of his career. His recordings were so first-rate, both sides of his singles often became hits. This made it almost impossible to turn on the popular radio stations of the day without hearing Benton’s voice. Top 20 efforts included “Endlessly,” “Thank You Pretty Baby,” “So Many Ways,” “Kiddio,” “The Same One,” “Think Twice,” “The Boll Weevil Song,” which sat at #2 for three weeks, ”Frankie & Johnny,” “Revenge,” “Shadrack,” “Lie To Me,” “Hotel Happiness” and “You’re All I Want For Christmas.”
He also teamed with Dinah Washington and the duo came up with two top 10 hits in 1960, “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)” and “A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around & Fall In Love).” In 1970, “Rainy Night In Georgia” proved to be perhaps Benton’s most memorable effort, his unmistakable vocal carrying it to #4 and #1 on the R&B charts.
One of our most distinctive vocalists, Benton passed away in 1988, but still ranks among the all-time leaders in singles’ sales.
256. THE STYLISTICS – Producer/writer Thom Bell was the main architect behind Philly soul in the late ‘60s and 70s, first with The Delfonics, then The Stylistics churning out hit after hit under Bell’s guidance. The Delfonics’ decline and The Stylistics’ rise coincided directly with Bell’s switch from one to the other, as practically everything he touched turned gold for both groups. But the success of The Stylistics worldwide far outdistanced that of their predecessor, thus landing this Philadelphia quintet fronted by the falsetto of Russell Thompkins, Jr. in the Goldmine Hall of Fame.
From 1971 until 1975, The Stylistics placed 13 singles in the U.S. Rhythm & Blues Top 10, five of which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But their presence on the United Kingdom chart was even more impressive as they landed 10 singles in the U.K. top 10, including the #1 “Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)” in 1975. Ironically, Bell was not involved in this hit, which didn’t even crack the top 50 in the U.S. So popular were The Stylistics in the U.K. that two volumes of their greatest hits topped the Brit LP charts, one in 1975 and one the next year.
But The Stylistics had no lack of success at home, beginning with 1971’s “You Are Everything,” which reached #9 followed the next year by “Betcha By Golly, Wow,” which did even better, climbing to #3. That year finished with “I’m Stone In Love With You” peaking at #10 U.S. and #9 U.K. and 1973 started with “Break Up To Make Up” making it to U.S. #5. Later that year, “Rockin’ Roll Baby” topped out at #6 on the U.K. chart, and 1974 saw “You Make Me Feel Brand New” reaching #2 in both the U.S. and U.K. and #3 in Australia and Canada. “Let’s Put It All Together,” at #18, was the last major U.S. hit, but it climbed to #9 in the U.K., where the group reached the top 10 four more times before cooling off
The inductees are Russell Thompkins, Jr., James Smith, Airrion Love, Herb Murrell & James Dunn.
257. LLOYD PRICE – Though he’s usually not mentioned when the roll call of Rock & Roll’s early legends is reeled off, this Kenner, Louisiana vocalist recorded some of the most memorable early Rock classics and was a constant presence at or near the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 and 1960.
Certainly, few singles from the ‘50s are remembered as fondly as the oft-covered “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Stagger Lee” and “Personality.” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” an old Blues tune with new lyrics by Price, was Price’s first recording, with his backing band including Fats Domino on piano and Earl Palmer on drums. It became the biggest R&B hit of 1952 and started the teenager on his way to stardom. He placed four more singles into the R&B top 10 in 1952 and 1953, but his momentum was stalled when he was drafted in 1954, ending up in Korea. By the time he returned, his label, Specialty, had two new stars, Little Richard and Price’s former chauffeur, Larry Williams, and Rock & Roll was in full swing.
Price decided to begin his own label, cutting the hard-driving ballad, “Just Because” in 1957. After ABC-Paramount picked it up, it returned Price to the top of the R&B charts, and, more importantly, reached #29 on the Hot 100. But Price had to wait until 1959 to find a suitable follow-up, which he did with an update of an oft-recorded folk tale, “Stagger Lee.” It went to #1 on the Hot 100 and R&B chart and became a worldwide smash, hitting #7 U.K. and going top 10 in Canada, South Africa and Norway. The success of “Stagger Lee” was, no doubt, advanced by the record’s controversy, the story telling of a vicious bar room murder. A second version, with less graphic lyrics, was issued to appease objectors, but the original and superior version still was dominant and became less controversial with each passing year.
As huge as “Stagger Lee” was, it wasn’t Price’s biggest smash, though it was his lone nationwide #1. Later the same year, he issued “Personality,” a tune still used often in commercials today. It did reach #1 on the R&B chart, but stuck at #2 on the Hot 100 for three weeks, blocked by Johnny Horton’s mammoth smash, “The Battle of New Orleans,” which held the top spot for six weeks. “Personality” did reach the top in Australia, and went top 10 in the U.K. and Norway, just missed in South Africa and was one of the year’s biggest singles in Brasil. Price’s next single, “I’m Gonna Get Married,” continued his hit blitz, rising to U.S. #3 and #2 in Canada and he recorded more than half a dozen other top singles, maintaining a presence on the R&B charts well into the ‘70s.
258. JETHRO TULL – Their hit singles are almost non-existent. Yet most fans of popular music during the Rock era are familiar with many of their songs. In fact, many know many by heart. In the 1970s, they were one of the most popular bands on the planet, selling out albums and concerts around the world. On the Billboard album charts, they rank 20th on the list of best sellers in the ’70s. Ian Anderson (lead vocals and flute) and Martin Barre (lead guitar), saw band members come and go, but for over 40 years Tull retained its popularity.
Tull first made its presence felt in United Kingdom concert appearances as the ’60s drew to a close. With the band playing what was then described as a mixture of blues and jazz behind the madman antics of their front man, British audiences responded by sending their initial LP, 1968’s “This Was,” into the top 10, while U.S. record buyers ran it to #62, a more than respectable showing for a new group without a hit. The following year, Tull broke the British singles market with two top 10 hits, “Living In The Past” and “Sweet Dream,” and the “Stand Up” LP, though it didn’t include either hit, became the group’s only #1 long player in the UK. and broke the band in Norway, starting a string of six straight Top 10 LPs there. The LP also hit #20 in the U.S. Album #3, “Benefit,” did even better in the States, just missing the top 10. It didn’t follow “Stand Up” to the top in the UK, but it didn’t miss by much, peaking at #3.
Remaining a favorite concert attraction and having established a constant presence on flourishing FM progressive rock radio, Tull had become one of the most popular bands in the world by the time they released their first true blockbuster – “Aqualung.” The title cut and “Locomotive Breath” became radio staples and the album became a classic, hitting the top 10 in the US and UK. Guitarist magazine listed Barre’s guitar solo on the title track on their list of “20 greatest guitar solos of all time.”
“Thick As A Brick,” the entire album being one 45-minute song, was a spoof of progressive rock albums, according to Anderson. It became Tull’s first #1 album stateside and reached #5 in Britain. The next “new” release, “A Passion Play,” also hit the top of the United States chart and the next, “War Child,” just missed, stopping at #2. Tull continued to release best-selling works, four more LPs hitting the US top 20 before closing its most productive decade with “Stormwatch,” which peaked at #22. In the spirit of a true super group, Jethro Tull continued to release new material as the years passed, charting six U.S. albums in the 1980s, four reaching the UK top 20, including “The Broadsword And The Beast,” which also climbed to No. 19 in the U.S., and four more best-sellers in the ‘90s.
In 1987, Tull, always hard to classify, saw its “Crest Of A Knave” win the Grammy for “best hard rock/metal performance vocal or instrumental.”
The inductees are Anderson and Barre, Glenn Cornick, Jeffrey Hammond, Dave Pegg and John Glascock (bass), Clive Bunker, Barriemore Barlow and Doare Perry (drums) and John Evan and David Palmer (keyboards).
259. BO DIDDLEY (with Jerome Green) – The term “one-hit wonder” is often heard in the music industry, applicable to many artists who have struck gold, then disappeared as quickly as they appeared. But “one-beat wonder” can be applied to just one artist, he being Ellas McDaniel, better known as Bo Diddley. Of course, this Mississippi guitar giant could play any rhythm better than most, but his signature drive was so significant, when one mentions “The Bo Diddley Beat” the reference needs no clarification.
The beat had been used in recordings prior to Diddley, but his initial single, the R&B chart-topping “Bo Diddley,” brought it to its peak in 1955. The timing couldn’t have been better as teenagers, soaking up everything that “rocked,” quickly latched onto the driving guitar supplied by Diddley. Though the record was not a crossover hit, it did dominate the R&B chart, hitting #1, and became part of Rock & Roll’s foundation as did the flipside, the oft-covered Blues “I’m A Man.” Diddley’s self-centered lyrics on both sides also could be viewed as part of Rap’s foundation, though Diddley sang rather than spoke and the background featured spectacular musicianship.
Certainly, his one major crossover hit, “Say Man,” a hilarious debate between Diddley and his maraca player, Jerome Green, that reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #30 in Canada foreshadowed Rap battles which would occur many years later. Ironically, “Say Man” is not one of the most remembered Diddley recordings, mainly because so many others have been covered so often, particularly by British youngsters who helped push four of his LPs into the U.K. top 20 in 1963 and 1964. In addition to “I’m A Man,” a #17 U.S. by the Yardbirds in 1965, “Mona,” “Who Do You Love?”, “Diddley Daddy,” “Road Runner,” along with “Hey! Bo Diddley,” are among the many Diddley compositions that became staples in the set lists of many Rock bands.
Still pleasing concert goers as recently as 2007, Bo Diddley passed away in 2008. But “the Bo Diddley beat” lives on in many popular recordings, as new generations of Rockers incorporate it into today’s music. Green was with Diddley from the very beginning. Along with maracas and vocal support, Green also played bass.
260. DONNY OSMOND – Like Ricky Nelson and Michael Jackson, this Utah native grew up in the public eye. But unlike those two, Osmond has had difficulty getting his props except from those who count … the public. As a member of The Osmonds, as a solo artist, as half of the brother-sister act, Donny & Marie, even as a contestant on TV’s Dancing With The Stars, Osmond has retained his grip on the public, which has made him one of the world’s most beloved superstars since his TV debut at the age of five.
For Goldmine Hall Of Fame purposes, Osmond’s rating is based solely on his individual performance, his work with The Osmonds and sister Marie judged separately. Of course, by the time Osmond started recording solo, his work with his family already had established him as a superstar. Thus, when his first solo release appeared in 1971, it had little trouble reaching #13 though it bucked the singer-songwriter trend of the ‘70s. “Sweet & Innocent” was the hit single, reaching #7 U.S., but doing even better in Canada, climbing to #2. From there, Osmond concentrated on covering former hits, and it paid off. His next LP, “Donny Osmond To You With Love,” bettered the debut by one position, but also produced Osmond’s first #1 single, “Go Away Little Girl,” a hit previously by Steve Lawrence. A two-sided smash followed, “Hey Girl,” a hit previously by Freddie Scott, and Billy Joe Royal’s “I Knew You When,” reaching #9.
The pattern established, Osmond proceeded to cover everyone from Nat King Cole to The Four Seasons, all with hit results. In 1972, his cover of Paul Anka’s “Puppy Love” rose to #3 and the next year he took on Johnny Mathis’ “The Twelfth Of Never,” riding it to #8. Both topped the U.K. chart as did 1973’s “Young Love,” previously a hit by Sonny James and Tab Hunter. By that time, Osmond was as big in Europe as in North America, his cover of Doris Day’s “When I Fall In Love” peaking at #4 in the U.K. and climbing into the top 10 in several other countries though it was unsuccessful in the U.S.
In the mid-‘70s, Osmond teamed up with sister Marie for a series of hits that carried him almost to the end of the decade. After a long absence, Osmond returned in 1987 with “I’m In It For Love,” but it flopped everywhere but Holland and Belgium. Feeling his “Boy Scout” image was proving detrimental, Osmond released his next single, “Soldier Of Love,” as an unnamed “mystery” artist. It climbed to #2 U.S. and just missed the top 10 in Japan and became his first U.K. single hit in 14 years. His 2007 LP “Love Songs Of the ‘70s,” and his 2011 album “Donny & Marie” proved Osmond still had a hold on his audience, both going top 30 in the U.S., the former reaching the U.K. top 10 as did the 2008 follow-up “From Donny…With Love.”
In 2009, Osmond’s popularity again came to the fore as he won the “Dancing With The Stars” competition, proving one of the series’ most talented and best loved contestants.