By Phill Marder
This is the 10th 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.
91. THE STEVE MILLER BAND – One of the 1970’s most popular singer/guitarists, Steve Miller continues to sell recordings and draw large crowds for personal appearances more than 40 years after first making his mark.
Not the most prolific composer, Miller, nonetheless, has accounted, either as sole composer or with a shared credit, for a good percentage of the hits The Steve Miller Band has charted over the years, hits that have become staples of Classic Rock radio. These include “The Joker,” “Take The Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like An Eagle” and “Abracadabra.”
The members of the band have been numerous over the years, but a certain few have contributed to many of the hit albums issued under the Steve Miller Band moniker, 12 of which have reached the U.S. top 40 with sizeable sales figures reported in many other countries as well. In addition, three of the aforementioned singles topped the U.S. charts, while “Fly Like An Eagle” resided two weeks at #2, kept from the top spot by Barbra Streisand’s “(Love Theme) From ‘A Star Is Born.’”
Thus, receiving “Miners” along with Miller are Lonnie Davis (bass), Tim Davis (drums), Ben Sidran (keyboards), Gary Mallaber (drums), Byron Allred (keyboards), Kenny Lee Lewis (guitar), Norton Buffalo (harmonica), Gordy Knudtson (drums) and Billy Peterson (bass).
92. NATALIE COLE – Natalie Cole certainly has superstar pedigree, being the daughter of Nat King Cole, #69 on our list of Hall of Famers, and Maria Hawkins Cole, who sang with Duke Ellington, her former husband, and Count Basie. But the music business is littered with offspring of famous parents, offspring who flopped when their time came to produce the goods.
Natalie Cole did not flop. On the contrary, she became one of the Rock Era’s biggest stars who, as time goes on, may eventually pass her legendary dad on this list.
Signed by Capitol Records, her father’s label, Cole, touted as “the new Aretha Frankllin,” won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1976, one of nine she has captured so far, including 2009’s Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Still Unforgettable.” This repeated the 1992 award for her biggest selling record, “Unforgettable, With Love,” a collection on which Cole covered her father’s catalog. It also received the Grammy for “Album of the Year” and the matching of her with her dad on “Unforgettable” was named “Record of the Year.” In 1993, she won the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Musical Achievement Award, in 1999 she captured the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Hitmaker Award and in 2009 she took home the NAACP’s Image Award for Best Jazz Artist, which she also won in 2002.
She has registered 11 top 40 albums in The United States, has had a steady residency in the higher echelon of the Canadian album listings, has been a steady seller in the Pan Pacific region and has scored three top 20 LPs on the Brit charts.
Five singles have hit the U.S. top 10, not including “Unforgettable,” which reached #2 in Australia and top 10 in New Zealand and Ireland while peaking at #14 in the States.
93. AC/DC – This Australian quintet has been called hard rock and heavy metal and probably fits under both headings. But one heading they certainly fit under is successful, having released “Back In Black,” reported to be the second best selling album worldwide in history behind only Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and slightly ahead of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon.” Of course, these figures are just estimates, but the RIAA, which deals with the U.S. alone and has pretty solid data to work with, ranks “Back In Black” sixth with 22 million units sold in the States alone.
Of course, AC/DC is far from a one-disc wonder. Overall they rank as one of the top-selling album artists worldwide, having unleashed two U.S. top 20 albums prior to 1980’s “Back In Black” and seven more after that milestone, including two #1 long players, 1981’s “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” and 2008’s “Black Ice.” And that doesn’t include live albums, greatest hits collections, box sets etc.
Besides the success in the U.S., the band has been heavily supported in their homeland, five LPs topping the charts. They also have scored #1 albums in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. And though the band has failed to move singles beyond Australia, several of their 45s have become classics, namely, “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Highway To Hell” and “Back In Black.”
Amazingly, AC/DC has done all this despite the loss of lead singer Bon Scott, who died after the band’s 1979 “Highway To Hell” had become an international best seller, leaving the group and fans to rally behind his replacement, Brit Brian Johnson, whose first effort was the aforementioned “Back In Black.”
In addition to Scott and Johnson, inducted members include the group’s amazing centerpiece showman, lead guitarist Angus Young and his rhythm guitar partner and brother, Malcolm Young, Mark Evans and Cliff Williams (bass) and Phil Rudd (drums).
94. BARRY MANILOW – It’s a long trip from writing commercials (“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”) to an induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, but Barry Manilow’s success as a tunesmith made the honored recognition a no-brainer.
After all, many of his 17 top 20 hits were self-penned, with some reaching near standard status. His success also has reached audiences worldwide, keeping him a top concert attraction to this day and making him one of the best-selling artists of the Rock Era, though the majority of his music would rarely be called Rock.
Ironically, Manilow’s three #1 singles were not self written. His breakthrough, 1974’s “Mandy,” which topped the U.S. and Canadian charts and just missed the U.K. top 10, was written by Scott English and Richard Kerr, while English teamed up with Will Jennings to write 1977’s “Looks Like We Made It.” Beach Boy Bruce Johnston contributed 1975’s “I Write The Songs.”
But Manilow’s success stretches far beyond his hit singles as 11 top 10 albums from 1974’s “Barry Manilow II” to 2011’s “15 Minutes” demonstrates. In Britain, where he performed sell-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena, seven of his LPs reached the top 10, including 1982’s #1 “Barry Live In Britain.”
95. OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN – Olivia Newton-John recorded her first single in her native England in 1966. But it wasn’t until 1971 that folks started listening. When they did, they did so in droves, especially in Australia, the country that became her home at age six.
Newton-John has recorded 15 singles that have reached the Australian top 10, five climbing all the way to the top. She matched those totals in the U.S., though some of the selections vary. Her first #1, 1971’s “Banks Of The Ohio,” was #1 in Australia alone, but “I Honestly Love You,” topped the charts in both countries as well as Canada in 1974 and the follow-up, “Have You Never Been Mellow,” repeated in the U.S. and Canada.
The film hit “Grease” gave the world a whole new side of Newton-John and “You’re The One That I Want,” a duet with John Travolta from the movie, hit #1 across the board, becoming her first U.K. #1. Another duet with Travolta taken from the movie, “Summer Nights,” also topped the U.K. chart. Movie magic worked again in 1980’s “Xanadu,” as “Magic” held the U.S. top spot four weeks and also reached #1 in Canada, while the title cut, which teamed her with the Electric Light Orchestra, gave her another U.K. #1 and also topped the German charts.
But in 1981, she outdid herself…and everyone else, putting “Physical” on top of the U.S. charts for an incredible 10 weeks. The recording also was #1 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. There were several interesting sidelights to “Physical,” the first of which is that it was originally intended for Rod Stewart, but Newton-John saw its potential and recorded it immediately. Again, Newton-John had some famous teammates, Toto’s Steve Lukather contributing the significant guitar. Amazingly, Foreigner’s “Waiting For A Girl Like You” held the #2 position nine of the weeks “Physical” was #1. And “Physical” remained on top so long, it was preceded and followed to the top by the same artists, knocking “Private Eyes” by Hall & Oates off the top, then finally being displaced by the duo’s “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do,” which, ironically, leapfrogged the Foreigner smash, which remained #2 for a 10th week!
Newton-John had back-to-back #1 albums in the U.S., “If You Love Me, Let Me Know” in 1974 and “Have You Never Been Mellow” the following year, both also topping the U.S. Country chart as well as 1973’s “Let Me Be There.”
96. GENESIS – Second lead singer Phil Collins is already in at #70, so he becomes a two-time Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee. But several other members, including original lead singer Peter Gabriel, certainly merit induction also, if not as individuals, then certainly under the Genesis umbrella.
Tony Banks (keyboards) and Mike Rutherford (bass and guitar) are the only two members to appear on all the group’s albums. Obviously, they deserve induction as does guitarist Steve Hackett, who appeared on nine LPs. In addition to their obvious instrumental prowess, all group members contributed to the writing of the songs.
While the members remained fairly constant, there was a distinct difference in the group’s results under its two lead singers. With Gabriel, Genesis never produced a hit single. With Collins, almost everything Genesis released became a hit. But under Gabriel, Genesis became a progressive rock powerhouse, establishing itself as a major album seller in its native England and a top concert attraction, featuring the bizarre outfits and unique showmanship of its lead singer. Under Collins the hit singles produced hit albums and Genesis continued as a major concert act with its success spreading around the world as opposed to primarily in England.
In total, Genesis notched eight top 10 singles in the U.K., seven in the U.S. There were no U.K. chart-toppers, but “Invisible Touch” did reach #1 in the U.S. and “Misunderstanding,” “No Son Of Mine” and “Hold On My Heart” all hit #1 in Canada. The group dominated the U.S. album charts in the ‘80s, five LPs hitting the top 10, but that was nothing compared to their homeland, where 17 of their long players reached the top 10, six climbing to the top with two just stopping short at the runner-up position.
97. DONNA SUMMER - “The Queen Of Disco” not only dominated the disco era, she also carried her huge success through the ’80s. Fourteen top 10 singles, including four No. 1s.
Donna Summer is proof that the disco era did produce some fabulous music. After her first success, “Love To Love You Baby,” which hit #2 in 1975, it took Summer almost two years to return to the Top 10 in 1977 with “I Feel Love.” But then the hits started coming rapidly. The next year her “Last Dance” from the movie “Thank God It’s Friday” became a classic, climbing to #3, and the floodgates opened. She followed with an unlikely disco version of “MacArthur Park” and it reached the top of the Hot 100 and remained there for three weeks. While the follow-up “Heaven Knows” stalled at No. 4, Summer wasn’t through with dominating the radio.
In 1979, “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls,” both more hard rock than disco, were back-to-back chart toppers and while “Dim All The Lights” just missed at No. 2, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” a collaboration with Barbra Streisand, gave Summer another #1.
During a 14-year domination of the charts, she also posted 12 top 40 albums, closing the ‘70s with three straight #1s in the States. Her albums and singles also dominated the Rhythm & Blues chart in the U.S. and best-seller charts around the world. She notched seven top 10 singles (two #1s) and three top 10 albums in Australia and four of her 13 top 10 Canadian singles reached #1, with two just stopping short at #2. Her singles also hit the top 10 multiple times in Germany (four), Ireland (seven), the Netherlands and Norway (10 each), New Zealand (eight) and Sweden (six). Over a 19-year span, Summer also had 10 top 10 hits in the U.K.
Truly an international superstar, Summer passed away May 17, 2012.
98. JEFF LYNNE with THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA & THE MOVE – Originally the concept of Roy Wood, the focal point of the great British group The Move, the Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO as it came to be known, eventually became Jeff Lynne’s baby. And what an offspring it became.
Lynne had joined The Move, not very impactful in the U.S. but owner of five consecutive top five singles in the U.K. in 1967 and 1968, in time to contribute heavily to its classic albums “Looking On” and “Message From The Country,” but he eagerly wanted to pursue Wood’s concept of a classical Rock group including strings and horns…an electrified orchestra so to speak. Thus, the core of The Move, Wood, Lynne and drummer Bev Bevan, evolved into ELO. As so often is the case, the relationship between Wood and Lynne became strained, and Wood left to form Wizzard after just one ELO record, though he did contribute to two tracks on the second album.
Under Lynne’s guidance, ELO began to build a fan base in his native England and in the United States, but it wasn’t until “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” hit the U.S. top 10 in 1974, carrying the band’s fourth LP, “Eldorado,” up the charts, that ELO began changing into the behemoth it was destined to become. The next LP, 1975’s “Face The Music,” yielded two worldwide smashes, “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic,” and 1976’s “A New World Record” did even better, with “Telephone Line,” “Livin’ Thing” and a remake of The Move’s “Do Ya” dominating radio play.
“A New World Record” hit top 10 around the world, including topping the charts in Australia and Sweden, and the successor, the double set “Out Of The Blue” continued the success. By this time, ELO reportedly was the world’s largest concert attraction, also. 1979’s “Discovery” became the group’s first U.K. #1 album, its next four LPs hitting the Brit top 10, including 1981’s #1 “Time.”
Lynne eventually went on to become one of Rock’s most respected producers and a member of the supergroup, “The Traveling Wilburys,” reviving the Electric Light Orchestra name for the 2001 album “Zoom,” which became a worldwide hit, though not of the magnitude of the earlier releases. Bevan drummed for Black Sabbath and different incarnations of ELO.
ELO had many members during its long run, Lynne and Bevan being the obvious inductees. Remaining members to receive “Miners” are Richard Tandy (keyboards), Mik Kaminski (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello) and Kelly Groucutt (bass). Along with Lynne & Bevan, Move members inducted include Wood (various instruments), vocalist Carl Wayne, Trevor Burton (guitar & bass) & Rick Price (bass).
99. JOHN DENVER – For most, a spot in the Chad Mitchell Trio, or Mitchell Trio as it came to be known, would be the highlight of a career. For John Denver, it was just the beginning.
After Chad Mitchell departed what many consider Folk music’s finest group, Denver took his slot in what was then known as The Mitchell Trio. Just 21, he was an unknown, but already showing signs of things to come, the Trio performing the first version of “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” later to become Peter, Paul & Mary’s biggest hit.
But it took quite some time before Denver broke through on his own, 1971’s “Take Me Home Country Roads” just missing #1 in the U.S. and Canada as listeners realized he could sing as good as he could write. In the decade of the singer/songwriter, Denver became one of the most successful, turning out classic after classic. “Rocky Mountain High” followed “Country Roads” into the top 10 and “Sunshine On Your Shoulders” took Denver all the way to the top as did its successor, “Annie’s Song.” The next four singles, “Back Home Again,” “Sweet Surrender,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” and “I’m Sorry” continued Denver’s North American chart dominance through 1975.
His albums were just as successful, three topping the U.S. charts, while five times he hit #1 in Canada. Europe was no different, Denver’s 1976 release, “Live In London,” reaching #2 in the U.K.
The blistering pace he set in the 1970s had no option but to slow down, but Denver continued to score the occasional blockbuster until his death in an airplane crash in 1997.
100. HALL & OATES – The duo of Daryl Hall & John Oates has been named by Billboard as the most successful duo of the Rock Era, eclipsing the likes of The Everly Brothers, the Righteous Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel, and the top duo/group of the ‘80s. They have outdistanced such superstar groups as The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees and the Four Seasons for most top 10 hits. They have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and appear consistently on various lists of greatest artists of all time.
In the United States in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was nigh impossible to listen to the radio for longer than 60 minutes without hearing Hall & Oates, and their success carried into 1990, when they just missed the top 10 with “So Close.” They did reach the top 10 on the singles chart 16 times and held the top position on six occasions, starting with 1977’s “Rich Girl.” Four years later, “Kiss On My List” followed “Rich Girl” to the top, and before 1981 was over “Private Eyes” and “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” also reached #1. “Maneater” hit #1 in 1982 and “Out Of Touch” in 1984. In 1983, they missed, but still notched three top 10 hits, including “Say It Isn’t So,” which remained #2 for four weeks. Four of their albums reached top 10 status.
In the midst of all this, Hall released a successful solo LP that included the #5 hit “Dreamtime,” and a cover of the duo’s “Everytime You Go Away,” written by Hall, hit #1 for Paul Young.
While the success of Hall & Oates was centered mainly in the States, the pair has regularly graced charts in Canada and has proven a favorite throughout Europe, particularly England.
Recently, the popular internet attraction, “Live From Daryl’s House,” has been picked up by television stations around the country, showcasing Hall with different guests each week.