Apr 05, 2018
By Gene Stevens
One of my favourite places in the whole world is the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame – in Cleveland, Ohio. That’s because I love rock’n’roll music, and there’s no better museum/shrine/celebration of our generation’s music than the Hall of Fame. I could spend endless hours in there reading, listening and absorbing the ‘magic in the music’ – from permanent displays to touring exhibits – from the earliest pioneers to all the superstars.
The Hall of Fame was opened in Cleveland, September 1st, 1995 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a spectacular concert the next day starring Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and many others. The choice of Cleveland, as its location, was controversial. Several other cities – perhaps more obvious choices – vied for the privilege. But Cleveland had something that New York, LA, and Memphis didn’t – a historic role in the new music’s evolution.
And finally, when Rolling Stone magazine held a readers’ poll inviting input – Cleveland won hands down, over all other cities, due in large part to an aggressive promotion by a local rock radio station. The Hall of Fame began induction of at least 5 performers every year, since 1986. An inductee must have released their first recording at least 25 years earlier to be considered. That first year, inductees included the founders of rock’n’roll: Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke and James Brown. Hundreds more would be inducted in the following 3 decades, including 5 more this year: Dire Straits, Moody Blues, The Cars, Bon Jovi, Nina Simone.
I hope you tune in for this year’s inductees’ feature, as well as the first 4 Canadian artists inducted in years past, and the answer to this question: ‘Who is the only artist inducted three separate times – and why ?’