Meet the Class of 2011: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces New Inductees

Posted January 17, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

This year’s inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have finally been revealed. Get to know the class of 2011

School’s definitely in for Alice Cooper since he’s at the head of the class of nominees selected to enter into the 2011 induction of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cooper, who made a name for himself with his theatrical rock in the late ’60s and early ’70’s with hits like “School’s Out” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with other classmates Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Darlene Love and Dr. John. Speciality Records’ founder Art Rupe and Elektra Records’ founder Jac Holzman will receive the Ahmet Ertegün Award, while Leon Russell (who released a successful duet album with Elton John on 2010) will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. The ceremonies will be held on March 14, 2011 in New York.

Need to know a little more about 2011’s inductees? We’ve got the ultimate crash course.


Alice Cooper

Who Is…Alice Cooper?
Before KISS, Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson brought horror to rock, they learned it from Alice Cooper. After a few name changes, Vincent Furnier choose Alice Cooper as his stage name and decided his band should carry it as well. Wearing black, outrageous outfits and using fake blood, guillotines and boa constrictors while using hardcore rock, now labeled shock rock, as his musical preference, Cooper became a major hit after signing with Warner Bros. and recording major rock hits like  “School’s Out,” “Eighteen” and “No More, Mr. Nice Guy.” He successfully went on to record a handful of solo concept albums in the mid-’70’s and is currently working on a sequel to his 1975 solo debut Welcome to My Nightmare.

Biggest Hits: “School’s Out” (1972), “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (1973), “You and Me” (1977)
Highest-Charted Single in U.S.: “School’s Out” (1972), “Poison (Gold)” (1989); #7
Best-Selling Album: Welcome to My Nightmare (1975)
Worked With: Dick Wagner, Michael Bruce, Twisted Sister, Gun ‘n Roses, Eric Singer
On the Hall of Fame good news: “For a while, people didn’t take me seriously. it only took 45 years. I’m elated.”


Neil Diamond

Who Is…Neil Diamond?
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond has sold over 115 million records worldwide and remains the 3rd most successful Adult Contemporary artist ever, ranking behind Barbara Striesand and Elton John. After starting out as a Brill Building songwriter for acts like Monkees, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard, Diamond started to take his solo career seriously after signing with MCA and recording groundbreaking hits  like “Sweet Caroline,” “Song Sung Blue” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” using his trademark tradition of merging folk, pop and country together. Diamond continues to tour and record – hoping to launch a tour this February.

Biggest Hits: “Sweet Caroline” (1969), “Crackiln’ Rosie” (1970), “I Am…I Said” (1971), “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (1978), “Love on the Rocks” (1980)
Highest-Charted Single in U.S.: “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970), “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (with Barbara Streisand); #1
Best-Selling Album: The Jazz Singer (1980)
Worked With: Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton, Barbara Streisand, Bob Gaudio
On the Hall of Fame good news: “Any club that has Chuck Berry, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of.”


Darlene Love

Who Is…Darlene Love?
The go-to-girl for Phil Spector, Darlene Love – along with her high school buddies The Blossoms – started singing background for big soul, R&B and rock ‘n roll acts in the ’50’s and ’60’s including Sam Cooke, the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Dionne Warwick. Much of her work failed went unnoticed by the public, especially during the sessions with The Crystals, in which Love sung the lead parts for songs like “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love.” After scoring a big hit with “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” Love’s work slowed up with Spector. She continued her success performing on Shindig!, the Elvis Presley ’68 Comeback Special and recording the holiday classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” She even re-recorded the song with U2, serving as a background singer, in 1987.

Biggest Hits: “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” (1962), “Zip-a-dee Doo Dah” (1962), “He’s a Rebel” (1962)
Highest-Charted Single in U.S.: “He’s a Rebel” (1962); #1
Best-Selling Album: A Christmas Gift for You (1963)
Worked With: Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, Bruce Springsteen, U2
On the Hall of Fame good news: “It’s wonderful. I always say, ‘Everything in its own time.’ This has been a  great year for me. Now my movie has an ending.”


Tom Waits

Who Is…Tom Waits?
Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is an experimenter who pulls from blues, jazz, vaudeville, parlor ballads and beat poetry to create music. Waits’ voice is clearly recognizable for its unique grizzled growl, but since he broke onto the music scene in the 1970s, he’s also composed film scores, musical theatre and an operetta and had his songs performed by the Ramones, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Bob Seger, Elvis Costello, Tori Amos, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant and the Neville Brothers. His reputation as an eclectic, cinematic performer drew him closer to the big screen, even working as an on-screen actor and composing music for the Francis Coppola-directed ‘One from the Heart’, which was nominated for an Academy Award for its soundtrack.

Biggest Hits: “Jersey Girl” (1980), “I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You” (1973)
Highest-Charted Single in U.S.: No singles charted Billboard Hot 100
Best-Selling Album: Mule Variations (1999)
Worked With: Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Roy Orbison
On the Hall of Fame good news: “I am still recovering from the news. I never really cared about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…but now  I am surprised to discover how much I do care. I’m wondering if i did something wrong?”


Dr. John

Who Is…Dr. John?
With a gumbo style fused with Zydeco, gritty funk, psychedelic rock and jazz, Dr. John emerged out of the ’70’s with his New Orleans R&B sound, in which he called “voodoo music,” on a collection of critically-acclaimed albums including 1968’s Gris-gris, 1972’s Dr. John’s Gumbo and 1973’s In the Right Place. The latter, featuring Allen Toussaint ‘s production and the Meters as the backing band, contained the major R&B/pop hit “Right Place Wrong Time.” John is also accredited for bring the term “bonnaroo” to the public eye, hence the name for the popular annual music festival.

Biggest Hits:“”Iko Iko” (1972), “Right Place ,Wrong Time” (1973), “Such a Night” (1973)
Highest-Charted Single in U.S.: “Right Place, Wrong Time” (1970); #9
Best-Selling Album: In the Right Place (1973)
Worked With: The Meters, Ralph MacDonald, Allen Toussaint, Joe Tex, Chris Barber
On the Hall of Fame good news: “I feel great. Does that mean I’m going to get duct-taped to the walls at the Hall of Fame?”

Quotes from the individual artists are taken from ‘Rolling Stone’, issue no. 1122 (January 20, 2011); written by Andy Greene.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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