The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced it’s list of inductees for 2010. Once again there is no mention of one of rock’s great guitarists Link Wray among them. I have not been able to see who if anyone is the early influence inductee however. I theorize that this would be how Link would be inducted.
Among the inductees are Swedish glam rockers Abba. Perhaps they are best known for their song ‘Dancing Queen’ which is still played at many dances. They reportedly recently turned down a multi-million dollar offer to tour again. British rockers, Genesis famous for their brand of theatrical rock are among this year’s class. Early on they were fronted by Peter Gabriel and would eventually become a trio consisting of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford. Their biggest selling album was Trick of the Tail. They are also known for albums The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Nursery Cryme, and Selling England by the Pound. The song ‘Supper’s Ready’ is well worth a listen. An accomplished band that has been a force in the evolution of rock, and should have been inducted years ago. Jamaican, Jimmy Cliff who is regarded by many as an innovator of Ska joins the list. He’s mostly regarded as a reggae artist. ‘Vietnam’ and ‘The Harder They Come’ are well known Cliff songs. Recently he has done a great deal of soundtrack work notably for Cool Runnings and The Lion King. There was a campaign on his behalf for his induction. Genesis are joined by another English band The Hollies. Early hits were mostly covers. Well known songs include ‘Bus Stop’ and ‘Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.’ The Hollies have never officially broken up. The Stooges also known as Iggy and The Stooges are the hardest rockers of this year’s class. The Michigan rockers are considered by many to be an early influence on punk and grunge. Albums that should definitely be must listens are Raw Power and Fun House. ‘No Fun’, ‘Search and Destroy’,’ I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and ‘Raw Power’ are noted songs. Frontman, Iggy Pop also had a hit with ‘Lust for Life’. I believe that this was the eighth year that The Stooges were voted on by the induction committee. A band that should’ve been a no brainer in this writer’s opinion but what do I know I don’t even consider Run DMC or Madonna to be rock.
In the non-performer category record executive David Geffen is perhaps the most widely known non- performing inductee. Otis Blackwell wrote many songs which helped shape early rock. Among them are ‘Great Balls of Fire’, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, and ‘All Shook Up’. Songwriting couple Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil have written many hits such as ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’, ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place’, and ‘Walkin in the Rain’. Jesse Stone who was said by Ahmet Ertegun to have done more to develop the rock sound than anyone else. Stone was involved in many early rock songs as well as big band. Another husband and wife team, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich who are known for writing ‘Leader of the Pack’, ‘Be My Baby’, ‘Hanky Panky’, and ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy.’ Mort Shuman is well known for his work with Doc Pomus. Famous Shuman compositions include ‘Little Sister’, ‘Turn Me Loose’, ‘This Magic Moment’, and ‘Viva Las Vegas’.
We the devoted fans of Link are left to wonder when he will join them. Many have pontificated that the hall is not deserving of his presence there. I can understand that perspective, it is the product of frustration. It seems that Link Wray as an inductee would lend the institution a great deal of credibility even among musicians already inducted let alone museum goers. To those that have told me that it is only a matter of time, yes it is. Long overdue.
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