Both former Beatle Paul McCartney and blue-collar rocker Bruce Springsteen --
the most recognizable names in rock history -- are to be inducted into the Rock
Hall of Fame next year.
Joining first-time nominees Springsteen and McCartney on the Hall of Fame roster
be piano-man Billy Joel (also a first-time nominee), classic '50s-rocker Del
soul singer Curtis Mayfield, veteran pop/R&B singer Dusty Springfield and
the Staples Singers, a spokesperson for the Hall's foundation said Tuesday (Nov.
The 14th annual induction ceremony will take place March 15, 1999, at the
Astoria Hotel in New York City.
"With this group, I think it will certainly be one of the most dynamic and
ceremonies ever," said Suzan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall
Fame Foundation, the administrative body that oversees the Hall's induction
"We have great opportunities for a really outstanding jam session and some great
combinations of artists up there playing."
The Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's annual induction
ceremony traditionally features other artists inducting the new Hall of Fame
often in emotional, highly personal speeches. Evans said it was not yet known
would induct any of this year's honorees.
Also to be honored this year, in the early-influences category, are the late
pioneer Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and blues and R&B singer Charles Brown.
British record-producer George Martin, best known for his work with the Beatles,
be inducted, in the non-performer category.
New Jersey-bred Springsteen was nominated in his first year of eligibility.
eligible for induction in the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their
In Springsteen's case, that is his 1973 debut, Greetings From Asbury Park,
highlight of that record was the track
Up"(RealAudio excerpt of demo), an early demo of which can be found on
just-released, four-CD rarities set, Tracks.
Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. also contained the rock classic "Blinded
Light," which was later turned into a hit by Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
Along with the late John Lennon, McCartney was a driving force behind the
unprecedented success of the Beatles. His solo work, which has earned him his
induction, began with the 1970 album McCartney, which included the
international hit "Maybe I'm Amazed." McCartney did not attend the Beatles'
ceremony in 1988, but in 1994, he was present as Lennon was honored posthumously
for his solo work.
McCartney spokesperson Paul Freundlich said the artist was unavailable for
due to ongoing promotional obligations for his late wife Linda's recently
posthumous debut album, Wide Prairie.
Joel, known for his piano-based, pop-rock style, also was nominated exactly 25
after his major-label debut, 1973's Piano Man. (Joel's recorded debut,
Cold Spring Harbor, featured the concert staple "She's Got a Way" and was
released on the Family Productions label.)
Ed Thacker, a producer who mixed 35 songs on Springsteen's Tracks,
Springsteen's endurance and work ethic.
"He's so prolific that he can just have an inspiration and I'm sure go in his
room and write
a great song every day," Thacker said. "Everybody I've talked to who's recorded
Bruce has always said that. When he's on a roll, it's just so easy."
Although a number of hard-core fans grumbled when it was announced that
Springsteen's long-time backing group, the E Street Band -- who did not play on
Greetings -- were not on the induction list, foundation spokesperson
anything is possible down the line.
"The rules say very clearly that in order to be inducted an artist has to
release an album
under that same name 25 years prior," Evans said, "and the E Street Band was not
that release. They might be eligible at some point in the future."
Nominees not making the cut this year were heavy-metal pioneers Black Sabbath,
jazz-rockers Steely Dan, soul singer Solomon Burke, doo-wop vocal groups the
Flamingos and the Moonglows, pop singers Darlene Love and Gene Pitney and '50s
rocker Ritchie Valens ("La Bamba").
"These artists [Joel, Springsteen, McCartney] are still very active today and
impressive bodies of work," Evans said of the honorees, "and I think they will
impact on our culture for many years to come. They're still very vital in