WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/15/2010) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation has announced the names of performers to be inducted into the 2011 Rock Hall of Fame. They are, the Alice Cooper Band, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love and Tom Waits. Also being inducted as individual recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award are Jac Holzman and Art Rupe. The Award for Musical Excellence (previously the Sidemen category) will be presented to Leon Russell. Even though the winners were announced Dec. 15, 2010, the induction ceremony will be held in March of 2011.
"We are pleased to welcome these artists and executives into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman.
"They truly represent the variety of people that have defined and continue to influence music and the business of Rock and Roll," Peresman added.
The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performer inductees were chosen by more than 500 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.
All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Through approaches as creative and diverse as the music itself, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum tells the story of rock music with its exhibits, education programs and Library and Archives.
The 26th annual ceremony will take place on Monday, March 14, 2011, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and be broadcast on Fuse, Madison Square Garden’s national music television network.
Presenters and performers at the induction will be announced at a later date. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be broadcast on Fuse; more information can be found at fuse.tv.
Before there was Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson or KISS, there was Alice Cooper, the original self-proclaimed “rock villain.” Born Vincent Furnier, Cooper and his mighty band of the same name – lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bass player Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith – pioneered the dark spectacle of heavy metal with their huge blues-rock sound and extravagant stage show.
Neil Diamond’s half-century as a prolific singer, songwriter and recording artist (nearly four decades on Columbia Records) is one of the eternal verities of American popular music. He began taking pre-med studies at New York University, but was interrupted in 1962 by an offer to write songs for $50 a week at 1619 Broadway, the Brill Building. Like many writers there, including fellow Brooklynites Neil Sedaka and Carole King, Diamond was writing as much for himself as for others. Diamond continues to be a world-class, top-grossing concert draw, slinging his custom Gibson flat-top with a fury that remains undiminished at age 69.
New Orleans’ own Dr. John has been recording for more than 50 years. He is steeped in the rhythms and traditions of the city, and has spent his career championing its music. As he told New Orleans rhythm & blues historian Jeff Hannusch, “[New Orleans music] is part of whatever I’m about. The importance of it is beyond anything I do.” Born Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, he learned piano and guitar as a child. Schooled by Crescent City legends like Walter “Papoose” Nelson, James Booker and Cosimo Matassa, Rebennack began recording in 1957; between 1956-1963, more than 50 of his songs were recorded in New Orleans.
Darlene Love was a high-school sophomore in California with a powerful church-choir voice when she joined the popular girl group the Blossoms as their first lead singer in 1958. They shot to immortality in 1962, when producer Phil Spector used them as surrogates on his new Crystals’ singles. With “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” Darlene Love turned into a familiar (though uncredited) voice on radio and records; she also became a member of Spector’s Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. Darlene’s own 1963 hits – “(Today I Met ) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry,” “Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home,” “A Fine Fine Boy,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – made her a household name.
Only one songwriter could be covered by the Ramones (“I Don’t Want to Grow Up”) and the Eagles (“Ol’ ‘55”). Beginning with his first album in 1973, Tom Waits has carved out a unique place in rock and roll. His music mixes Chicago blues, parlor ballads, beat poetry, pulp-fiction parlance and – when you least expect it – heart-breaking tenderness. A tribute to his great influence is how many of his songs have been recorded by artists who usually write their own – including Bruce Springsteen (“Jersey Girl”), Tim Buckley (“Martha”), Johnny Cash (“Down There by the Train”), Bob Seger (“16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six”), T-Bone Burnett (“Time”), Tori Amos (“Time”), Steve Earle (“Way Down In the Hole”), Elvis Costello (“Innocent When You Dream”) and Rod Stewart (“Downtown Train”).
Jac Holzman founded Elektra Records in 1950, initially operating it out of his college dorm room. Headquartered in New York City, the label primarily focused on folk music throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, building a catalog of recordings by such leading lights in the field as Josh White, Jean Ritchie, Theodore Bikel, Tom Paxton, Tom Rush, Phil Ochs and Judy Collins.
Art Rupe founded Los Angeles-based Specialty Records in the years immediately following World War II. Specialty, which is best known for the series of groundbreaking, earthshaking Little Richard singles that it released in the second half of the 1950s, ranks with the foremost of the pioneering independent record labels of its era.
Leon Russell has been called a rock and roll Renaissance man, and indeed there is little that this piano-playing legend from Oklahoma hasn’t done. He was a busy session musician in Los Angeles in the 1960s, playing on countless records, including many of Phil Spector’s greatest productions and hits by the Byrds, Paul Revere and the Raiders and Gary Lewis and the Playboys, as well as George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh benefit in 1971. His churchy, rolling piano figures and sly, drawling vocals pegged him as a unique stylist, and his evangelical outpouring of energy from the stage turned his concerts into, as Russell himself put it, “an artificially induced religious experience.” Russell exploded into public view in 1970, with the release of Joe Cocker’s live double-album Mad Dogs and Englishmen (for which Russell served as ringmaster) and his own self-titled debut album. Leon Russell and the Shelter People appeared a year later and became his first gold album.
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