Gene Autry, 'Graceland,' More
Inducted Into Grammy Hall of Fame
Posted November 21, 2011
By Ben Wener, The Orange County Register
soundcheck.ocregister.com (November 21, 2011)
Last year they put in 30 titles. This year, only 25, bringing the total number of recordings ensconced in the Grammy Hall of Fame to 906.
What was selected this time? Well, for a change, not another Beatles single.
The British Invasion band of choice for 2012 is instead the Rolling Stones, honored for the shaggy brilliance of 1972's double-album Exile on Main St., widely regarded by virtually every serious rock fan as one of the very best collections ever made. It's the fourth Stones album to be recognized, behind Let It Bleed (inducted 2005), Beggars Banquet and Sticky Fingers (both honored in 1999).
For those keeping count: that's three behind the Beatles. In terms of albums, that is. When it comes to singles, it's Beatles 8, Stones 1, for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," picked in 1998.
Here's another surprise: an O.C. icon is in the mix. Gene Autry's 1942 single for Decca [sic] Records, "Deep in the Heart of Texas," which he sang in the film Heart of the Rio Grande from that same year.
Perry Como actually beat Autry to the charts with that June Hershey/Don Swander ditty; he cut his in December '41 – two days after Pearl Harbor was attacked, in fact. Still, given this induction, I think the "citation needed" note on the Wikipedia entry can be removed now: "(Autry's) version may be the most well known" is a fair statement, I'd say.
This isn't the first Autry song to get singled out, though it is the Singing Cowboy's first posthumous nod. His debut entry in the Hall of Fame came in 1985, for his Christmas staple and biggest hit "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1949). The next honor – for his 1939 signature song "Back in the Saddle Again" – came in 1997, a year before his death at 91.
Plenty of other previous Hall of Fame artists are receiving additional nods this year.
Paul Simon adds his sixth, for indisputably groundbreaking Graceland, which joins his one other solo entry (for 1975's Still Crazy After All These Years) to a tally that includes three Simon & Garfunkel singles ("Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Sound of Silence") and one S&G album (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme, curiously chosen before Bookends or the full-length Bridge).
Racking up their third notices are Crosby, Stills & Nash (with and without Young), gospel legend Mahalia Jackson and American sweetheart Doris Day, recognized this time for her version of "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)." The CSN&Y selection this time is Déjà Vu, which joins its predecessor Crosby, Stills & Nash and the powerful protest piece "Ohio."
The inclusion of "What's Love Got to Do with It" also makes it three for Tina Turner, though this is her first solo nod; her others were for "Proud Mary" and "River Deep – Mountain High," both with Ike Turner.
Scoring their second inductions are Santana (1969's eponymous debut joins 1970's Abraxas), Bruce Springsteen (install 1984's Born in the U.S.A. next to 1975's Born to Run) and bluegrass giants Flatt & Scruggs (last time was for their "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" single, this time it's for their 1957 album Foggy Mountain Jamboree).
Finally, among those who are being newly inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, are Bill Cosby, for his still-funny second album, 1964's I Started Out as a Child ... Gloria Gaynor, for her empowering 1978 disco anthem "I Will Survive" ... and two major statements about the struggles of black Americans, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech from the March on Washington in 1963 (released as a recording that year by 20th Century Fox) and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's sketch of inner-city life on the edge, rap classic "The Message" (1982).
What exactly is the Grammy Hall of Fame? You can read about that in my post about the 2011 inductees. The entire Class of '12 follows.
2012 Grammy Hall of Fame Inductees