Please Mr. Postman: More Rock Hall debates, an update on 'Swingin' Years'

Try the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Year after year, readers mention the names of “worthy” performers and groups that they feel should be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and it happens with some, but with others it never seems to happen.

Why? Because The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is an image exclusive organization. Even among rock ’n’ rollers, it seems that a certain “image” is required for induction and that artistic integrity or popularity isn’t enough. Hey, don’t start getting mad at me or anything, I like rock ’n’ roll.

Now the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, (founded in 1969, far earlier than the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame) honors the lives and accomplishments of the musical individuals from early American times — 1600 to present — those who “create the popular songs that serve as the soundtrack for our lives.”

Actually, in this organization are many Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, and SHOF feels that their underlying goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the value of the songwriter and to do what they can to build our musical future, as opposed to “educating people on the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music.”

— Joe Giersher
via e-mail

Lightfoot deserves HOF position

With all the talk of who should and shouldn’t be in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, I’d like to put my two cents in for Gordon Lightfoot.

He is one of the finest songwriters/singers/human beings who ever existed, and somehow he has been criminally overlooked for decades. (Yes, decades).

Is there a world-wide conspiracy or something? To the best of my knowledge, he has never missed a performance, never trashed a hotel room, never caused a drunken disturbance, never been through a messy divorce…..hmmm….am I answering my own question?

Anyway, if Goldmine doesn’t see fit to publish an article about this multitalented musician (I’ve never seen one), could you at least print a sentence or two acknowledging his existence?

 — Bob Ziegler
Minot N.D.

Rock Hall not for all popular music

In reply to Jean’s request to explain why Connie Francis isn’t in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, the answer is simple. Connie Francis was not, whatever her appeal otherwise, a rock music artist.

While Francis was inarguably a highly successful musical performer and recording artist (as well as actress) with more than one impressive page in the Billboard Book of Top Pop Singles and would certainly rate an appropriate feature article in a publication such as Goldmine, it is also inarguable that few, if indeed any, of her many recordings can be remotely categorized as rock music. 

Goldmine readers and correspondents often have strong feelings about having their favorite artists recognized, but judging by occasional letters, many evidently fail to understand that the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame is not the Popular Music Hall of Fame. Nor is it the Billboard Hall of Fame. As a charter member and frequent visitor, I can confidently state that the Rock Hall, for all its faults and inconsistencies, was never intended to encompass all forms or genres of popular recorded or performed music.

Pop does not equal rock. A release date after Bill Haley or Elvis does not equal rock. Selling lots of records to teens does not equal rock, and that is even more likely to be the case in the fifties and early sixties.

Regardless of their merits, popularity, success or millions of recor

One thought on “Please Mr. Postman: More Rock Hall debates, an update on 'Swingin' Years'

  1. Then how do you explain many of the inductees who are not rock such as Ella Fitzgerald, to name one. she, like Connie, had a highly successful career, but she certainly was not rock.

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