This is Music History Today the Weekly Edition 35. On this week’s show, we review Pink’s new album, we discuss the list of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, & we make the case for putting one of those artists on that list, Miss Nina Simone, in.
First, some quick news. The MacArther Foundation awards were given out this past week. The awards are $625,000.00 grants that go to people who the foundation thinks exhibit “exceptional creativity”. This year, three musicians made the list. They are:
Rhiannon Giddens, who is a singer-songwriter in Greensboro, N.C.
Opera director and producer
The Industry, founder and artistic director
Composer and musician
In other news, The American Music Award nominations were announced this past week. We’ll discuss them in next week’s topic in depth. However, I have recently decided that the awards are more geared towards popularity & sales, as opposed to creativity or simply, how good you were this past year.
Recently, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame released its list of 19 acts who are on the short list for induction into the Hall next year. Since I’ve started this weekly edition podcast, I’ve been advocating for certain artists to get some respect and get inducted. I’m happy to say that a decent chunk of them made the list.
Those artists are first time nominees Rage Against the Machine, Eurythmics, Bon Jovi, & Kate Bush, along with returning nominees LL Cool J, the Cars, Depeche Mode, MC5, & Link Wray. You can listen to the older podcasts for why I think they should be in.
As far as the rest of the list goes, the other eligible nominees are the Moody Blues (who I covered on last week’s show), Rufas with Chaka Khan, Radiohead, Judas Priest, Dire Straits, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the J Geils Band, the Meters, & the Zombies. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be covering these groups.
Overall, I like the list. It’s got an eclectic mix, with some artists people have rarely heard of. My only problem is that there were some glaring omissions from this list. For starters, Soundgarden. With this being their first year of eligibility, with them being part of the four horsemen of grunge, and with the tragic death of lead singer Chris Cornell, I figured that the Hall would at least give them a nod. I’m also disappointed that Tool didn’t make the cut.
Now, there is a way you can get involved. The Hall figures in the fan votes quite heavily. I’m figuring that’s how Journey got in last year. If there’s any group that will benefit from the fan vote this year, it’ll probably be Bon Jovi. Go to rockhall.com/vote. You can vote up until December 5. As for who I think will make the final cut, I’ll put out my list around the end of the fan vote. I don’t want to try to sway anybody from some other deserving nominees. I’ll let you know after December 5 when the voting is over.
Speaking of the Hall, time to talk about one of the people who are nominated this year: the High Priestess of Soul, Miss Nina Simone. Nina Simone lead a multifaceted life. She was a singer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, went to Juilliard School of Music, & was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. She crossed over into several genres of music including pop, r&b, jazz, gospel, blues, folk, soul, & classical.
As far as the artists whom she influenced, a better question might be who didn’t she influence? The list includes (but definitely not limited to) Elton John, Adele, Kanye, Mos Def, Nick Cave, David Bowie, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Bono, John Legend, Cat Stevens, Jeff Buckley, Lana Del Ray, Peter Gabriel, Janis Joplin, & the list goes on & on.
If you don’t know her music, I guarantee you you’ve heard it. Her music’s been in lots of movies & tv shows like La Femme Nikita, Point of No Return, Any Given Sunday, Six Feet Under, Notting Hill, the Big Lebowski, & more.
The problem with the nomination has nothing to do with her; it’s with the Hall. They don’t show enough women the respect they deserve. Even people like Tina Turner & Carol King aren’t in unless they’re part of something else like, say, a duo or group. That needs to chenge immediately & this is a good place to start.
If you want to get your feet wet, go with Nina Simone – the Greatest Hits. If you want to deep dive, go with Pastel Blues & Black Gold. Hopefully, this is the year that Nina will finally, after years of people not giving her the respect, get her rightful place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.