CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ten of the most important figures in the history of music were honored together as the inaugural class of members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How could you find something wrong with that?
Our new "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Remixed" series goes back in time and revisits every year Rock Hall Inductions. Only this time, we put in the acts. we feel Fulfill better with our criteria of influence, cultural meaning and originality.
We started with 1986 and an inaugural class that many consider perfect. And it's hard to argue. However, we found a problem: where are the women?
Here is our remixed version of the Class of 1986. [Note — We’re only dealing with “Performers,” leaving specialty categories like Lifetime Achievement as is]:
Fiction against reality: We just change one thing. The first real class of the Rock Hall counted on Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Little Richard. To be eligible, an artist must have released their first recording in 1960 or earlier. These were all the pioneers of rock and roll indisputable.
Even so, we made an important change. We feel that the status of Aretha Franklin as the most influential woman in the history of popular music should have won her a place in the class of 1986 (The Rock Hall incorporated it in 1987).
More debate: Since we had the intention to keep the first two years of inductions in 10 artists each, we had to eliminate someone. Through the process of elimination, the debate was reduced to Everly Brothers and Fats Domino, the pioneers of harmony with the man who built the bridge between rhythm and blues and rock and roll.
Ultimately, the Everly Brothers were removed (pushed to 1987). It was not an easy decision and one that could provoke some polarization reactions (I guess that's the point). The other change we made was to join Buddy Holly with his support band The Crickets and James Brown with Famous Flames, something that Rock Hall did not remedy until 2012.
Wildcard: Another artist entered the discussions for the inaugural class. The role of Muddy Waters as the king of Chicago Blues, along with its impact on the genres of blues, R & B, folk, country music and hard rock is amazing. Waters was the driving force of blues to rock and roll. Artists like Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, The Band, Jimi Hendrix and some of the members of 1986 probably would not exist without him.
Whats Next: Watters and the Everly Brothers are located at the top of the list of acts considered for our Class of 1987 (next Monday, October 29).