Breaking Down the Walls of the Rock Hall: Class of 1988

[Note: this post was originally supposed to be posted yesterday, but due to technical difficulties from WordPress, this was pushed back by a day]

Okay, part of the reason why I’m doing this class is because I wanted to do a year where I can write the article quickly. I could’ve done the first two years that predated 1988, but this year is probably the best years where the inductees are, in no doubt, belong in the Hall of Fame. Not only the performer inductees worthy, but also the other inductees in other categories as well.

First off, I’ll start with the inductee that was the reason why this ceremony became worthwhile: The Beatles. 1988 was the year that The Beatles have eligible for induction and I can tell that every Hall voter at the time voted for them. You can’t a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without ever inducting the band.

Also, 1988 was also the year when The Beach Boys have been eligible for induction. The Beach Boys are probably one of the few American acts in the 1960s that could rival The Beatles, so it’s really a no-brainer that they got inducted right away. The induction of the Beach Boys was also important in Rock Hall history for Mike Love’s rambling rant about how he himself is better than any artist in the room. The speech itself is so hilariously bad that have to watch the speech to behold of Mike Love’s ego.

Video starts on Mike Love’s speech as soon as you play it.

In addition to The Beatles and The Beach Boys,, this was also the year when Bob Dylan has become eligible for induction. Like I mention with the first two above, inducting Bob Dylan should really be a no-brainer to do due to his importance as one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

After inducting Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson the previous year, it’s really no question that the next Motown act to be inducted would be The Supremes. Even some people might say that either The Temptations or Stevie Wonder should’ve been in before, The Supremes predated them that without The Supremes, Motown wouldn’t be the way it would be known for today. Also, it’s nice to have female representation in this class and to also have Diana Ross be inducted in this all star year.

While not a lot people know who The Drifters are, you at least know the songs from them. “Save the Last Dance”, “Under the Boardwalk”, “Up On the Roof”, “On Broadway” etc, The Drifters have a lot extensive catalogue that you couldn’t not let the band get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Also, with this induction, Clyde McPhatter has become the first inducted twice with inductions as a solo artist the previous year and as a member of The Drifters this year.

The other inductees outside the performer category were also great as well. In the non-performer category, Berry Gordy is still one of the most recognizable music executive that it made sense for him to be inducted as he is the man behind Motown. In the early influence category, there was also the inductions of folk artists Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie, and guitar maestro Les Paul. Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie are probably the top two most influential folk artists of the first half of the twentieth century and their songs have been covered by and influenced other artists, including fellow Bob Dylan. Back before Rock and Roll was even born, Les Paul changed the guitar playing was played and many guitarists are still influence d by him to this day,

An excuse to post this song in this article.

Artists Who Nominated, But Didn’t Get Inducted.

With the exception of Chuck Willis and Ben E. King (who I believe the Hall stopped nominating after he got inducted as a member of The Drifters), all the nominees are artists who were eventually got inducted later on. Since I’ll be talking about them in the future, here is the list of artists who got nominated in 1988:

  • Bobby “Blue” Bland
  • Bobby Darin
  • Booker T. & The M.G.’s
  • Del Shannon
  • Dion
  • Duane Eddy
  • The Four Seasons
  • Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
  • Gene Vincent
  • Hank Ballard
  • Jimmy Reed
  • King Curtis
  • LaVern Baker
  • Little Willie John
  • Lloyd Price
  • The Platters
  • Ruth Brown

Final Thoughts

The early years of the Hall of Fame ran so smoothly that it wasn’t that big of a problem as it was today. And 1988 really prove why the Hall of Fame exists. The inductees are really great if I had a real ballot, I would’ve voted for all five of the performer categories