These are the artists I would choose to induct into the Hall of Fame's next class if I were dictator.
* PEARL JAM This is a true no-brainer. If Nirvana were the Beatles of grunge, Pearl Jam is the Rolling Stones of grunge. This is the lock for the year.
* CHIC Enough is enough.
* THE CARS Critical acclaim AND popular hits? This would be great. An easy call for the Hall.
* THE CURE or THE SMITHS 1980s alternative music continues to be an influence in the contemporary scene, and these two giants of that genre are certainly deserving. Americans probably know more songs by the Cure, but the Smiths were probably more influential. One of these artists ought to make it in this year.
* THE MONKEES 25 years after they became eligible for induction, the Monkees are experiencing a renaissance of sorts with a fine 50th anniversary album & an ongoing tour. Look at their catalog: their hits are among the best of the 1960s. The controversies of the past seem silly today; their influence is trumpeted by many current artists; Micky Dolenz was clearly one of the best pop-rock singers of their (or any) era. Stop messing around & do the right thing. They have become the most glaring oversight in the Hall.
* PATSY CLINE There are other female-oriented artists deserving of consideration (the Marvelettes, the Shangri-Las, the B-52s, Pat Benatar, Cyndi Lauper, Eurythmics, Alanis Morissette, to name a few), but none are as impactful as the Queen of Country Music. Listen to her sing & you will immediately be reminded of what great singers sound like. Long overdue.
* THE MOODY BLUES If I could pick one more, this classic band deserves a nod.
Award for Musical Excellence:
* BILLY PRESTON He had fine hits of his own but was also a much loved sideman.
* CAROL KAYE The greatest bassist not in the Hall.
* THE JORDANAIRES Elvis' back-up singers have long deserved consideration.
* SISTER ROSETTA THARPE
* THE CARTER FAMILY
* BOUDLEAUX BRYANT & FELICE BRYANT
* BERNIE TAUPIN
Note: I don't think that Janet Jackson deserves serious consideration. Many women have been more influential & have stronger bodies of work.