Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Time for a Name Change?
Another class of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been announced.
And so begins another session of (justifiable) carping.
The problem isn’t with any of the new Hall of Famers, as each has had a significant impact on popular music — the sounds one hears on the radio, in widely distributed recordings, at concerts, in nightclubs — to one degree or another.
Rush and Heart easily fit the “rock” category, and the great singer and songwriter Randy Newman kind of does. But Donna Summer (disco), Public Enemy (rap/hip-hop) and Albert King (blues) don’t. Quincy Jones has made major achievements in pop/rock, as well as jazz.
New Orleans’ Meters, who should have been asked to join the club this year, but apparently didn’t receive enough support, aren’t “rock,” either. They split the difference between New Orleans funk and R&B.So why not call the place/institution the Popular Music Hall of Fame? No, it’s not as snappy as the existing name, which is often shortened to “Rock Hall.” But it would be far more accurate than “rock” or even “pop,” neither of which are broad enough.
The time for a name change is long overdue. Get with it, RnR HoF — Shouldn’t your name reflect your membership, rather than refer to a single genre of popular music?
Ceremonies will be held April 18 in Los Angeles. More details, including interviews with the inductees, can be found in this AP story.