As many music fans should know, the annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is coming up on April 4th. This year's inductees include Run-DMC, Metallica, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Wanda Jackson, Jeff Beck and Bobby Womack.
Still, there is one thing that I do not understand about the famous hall of fame -- its NAME! If one simply looks at the list of people who have been inducted over the years, one will see that it is not only the genre of Rock music that is in the hall of fame. Then, why is it called Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
Starting from the first ceremony in 1986, here is a list of perofmers who are not Rock music artists:
The Four Tops
Sam and Dave
The Isley Brothers
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
Sly and the Family Stone
Gladys Knight and the Pips
Little Willie John
The Bee Gees
The Jackson Five
Nat "King" Cole
Earth, Wind and Fire
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
and this year...
Little Anthony and the Imperials
All of the artists mentioned above make up almost half the list! I can understand including Blues, Rockabilly and transitory (between rock and another genre) artists in the hall because they had a major influence in Rock music, but RnB, Doo-wop, Soul, Pop and Hip-hop artists do not exactly fit into that group. Although many of these genres and artists incorporate rock elements into their own and vice-versa, they are still not RocknRoll specifically. It would have been more appropriate to have called it, the Music Hall of Fame and have sub-categories for each genre under it or have separate halls of fame (which I know would be difficult since there are so many fusion styles). This will allow for a broader range and mix of music styles to be included.
Whose smart idea was it to call it the RocknRoll Hall of Fame if they knew the hall would induct other musical genres into it. I feel it some sort of dominant view that the music industry is trying to portray by using the term RocknRoll. Since RocknRoll is considered the most mainstream and commercial (the market is mostly white artists and white listeners), it is also considered the most influential. However, if it was not for other styles of music like the Blues, Jazz, Hillbilly (Country music) and Tin Pan Alley music, you would not have RocknRoll (which at least the hall recognizes as "early influences"). So, I, along with thousands of other people, are requesting a name change!