Still Missing from the Rock Hall of Fame – Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, etc.

Here is the front page of a music magazine published almost 20 year  ago, deriding the Rock Hall of Fame for overlooking key talents (clockwise, from top right GENE PITNEY, NEIL SEDAKA, DEL SHANNON, CONNIE FRANCIS, THE SHIRELLES and BRENDA LEE.  Since that time,  Pitney , Shannon, the Shirelles and Brenda Lee have finally been inducted, but , amazingly, Neil Sedaka – who had two separate careers, in the 60s and 70s – and Connie Francis , who is the second if not best -selling female singer of all time– are still left out of the Hall, along with many notable names like Neil Diamond,  Chubby Checker Paul Anka, Jan and Dean, Nary Wells, The Ventures, Lesllie Gore and most of the attached list (at left) and others you could probably think of…  It’s always been an issue as to ‘What is rock and roll? ‘, but if they’re  now letting in rap artists and heavy metal,blues and country artists its high time they considered the pop-meisters. Afterall,  pop was the rock and roll in the 50s and 60s as was much of country music.  Many no longer take the Hall seriously once learning that it is run by the head of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine, a publication that has never really recognized any music prior to 1968, it’s inception, with rare exception.  Early RS publications , for example , idsmissed Roy Oribson as a lightweight who hid behind dark clothes and glasses – that is, until Orbison returned to fame in the 80s, playing with some of Rolling Stone’s faves like Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan.  Unlike some of the sports hall of fames, which put some actual ‘science’ to the test in selected members, the Hall is largely a popularity contest of music writers and publishers, largely of younger age.   Prior to being inducted into the hall, the late great Gene Pitney once suggested they not keep nominating him every year but give his slot to a younger artist more likely to get in.  Same for Del Shannon, who some say was very depressed after being overlooked many times.  Since then, the Hall has become a joke, except to those who may have been inducted or prefer newer music to older.

Radio’s PAUL HARVEY – Ageless Pioneer Is Already Missed

It’s been about a year or more since we lost radio news legend Paul Harvey.  We were always amazed how Harvey kept going on , despite some derision of his politics. But, Harvey, it seemed, got along with everyone and was youthful for his years. He would pass off people he didn’t care for with a joke or a light-hearted jab, not mean-spirited like some today.   Not surprisingly, nobody was able to take Harvey’s place, it appears. Mike Huckabee and the Huckabee Report does a good job, and is one of the few programs today  that gives time to some of the older  celebs, like his recent interview with Sedaka (see above).   I , like many used to pass Harvey off as an ‘old coot’ until I saw him on aLarry King interview and, much like with Ronald Reagan, I was impressed with his low-key, self-effacing and humorous style. It wasn’t long after his beloved ‘Angel’  (pictured above in their native Chicago) passed that so did Harvey,   age 90. Maybe not so surprisingly  I guess.  Now, whenever I hear the commercials for pharmaceuticals, such as High Health Occular Nutrition , I think of Harvey.