Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Shirley
I'm Steve Ember. Today we tell about nine musicians who were recently inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is part of the Rock and
Roll Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. This museum opened in nineteen ninety-five and
is extremely popular with visitors.
idea for the museum came from leaders of the music industry. They formed a
group called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in nineteen eighty-three. Since nineteen eighty-six, this group
has been honoring performers who have been important in the development of rock
and roll. The latest ceremony took place on April fourth at Public Auditorium
six hundred voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation chose this year's
Hall of Fame inductees. Artists can become part of the Hall of Fame twenty-five
years after the release of their first recording. But not all inductees are
Reporters, songwriters, radio show hosts
and music industry leaders who helped influence rock and roll can also be honored.
So can artists whose music came before rock and roll, but influenced its
In two thousand, the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame Foundation also began to honor a new group called sidemen.
honors performers who played as backup musicians for major stars. The inductees
from this group include two musicians, D.J. Fontana and Bill Black, who played with
Elvis Presley in the nineteen fifties. The keyboard player and soul songwriter
Spooner Oldham was also honored. He recorded with artists including Percy
Sledge, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan. Now we tell about the five main
performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
Little Anthony and the Imperials are
known for recording "doo-wop" songs that were popular in the nineteen fifties.
The lead singer, Anthony Gourdine, got the nickname Little Anthony because his
voice sounded very young. The group's song "Tears on My Pillow" was one of the
big hits of nineteen fifty-eight.
group from Brooklyn, New York remained popular in the nineteen sixties and
seventies performing soul songs. Other artists have created their own versions
of hits by Little Anthony and the Imperials.
British guitarist Jeff Beck began his career playing in the British band the
Yardbirds. In fact, Jeff Beck became a
member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of his work with this band.
But this year, he was honored for his work as a solo artist. During his career,
he made several albums as the leader of the Jeff Beck Group. One of his most
successful rock albums, "Blow by Blow," is heavily influenced by jazz.
"You Know What I Mean")
One critic praised Jeff Beck's
playing for his "fierce attack and fat tone" and his ability to use the
electric guitar to create textures as well as notes.
American heavy metal rock band Metallica formed in nineteen eighty-one in Los
Angeles, California. Their first full-length album, "Kill 'Em All," brought new
energy to the heavy metal scene when it was released in nineteen eighty-three. The
group's other popular albums include "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of
Puppets." The nineteen ninety-one album "Metallica" brought the band success
from mainstream audiences. This album became a number one hit.
has sold more than one hundred million albums over the years and remains one of
the most influential heavy metal bands in history.
rap group Run-D.M.C. has had a big influence on rap and hip-hop music. This
group's first albums, "Run-D.M.C." and "King of Rock," were some of the
defining examples of rap music.
also the first rappers to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and the
first to win a Grammy award nomination. Their albums "Raising Hell" and "Tougher than Leather" made them stars
and changed the sound of rap music forever.
Bobby Womack began his
career as the lead singer in his family's gospel band, the Womack Brothers. The
soul singer Sam Cooke later asked the brothers to record music with his record
company. The brothers recorded songs under the name the Valentinos. Bobby Womack also played the guitar in Sam
Cooke's band. Womack later continued his
musical career on his own. He wrote songs made famous by singers including
George Benson, Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones. In the nineteen seventies
and eighties, he released several popular soul albums.
As a singer,
songwriter and guitarist, Bobby Womack has had a big influence on soul and
Wanda Jackson was
honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence on rock and
roll. Known as the "Queen of Rockabilly," she began her career in the nineteen
fifties singing country music. But she soon moved to rock and roll. Her strong
voice and energetic performances made her very popular.
she returned to country music later in her career, Wanda Jackson left a special
mark on the development of rock and roll. We leave you with her nineteen
fifty-eight hit, "Let's Have a Party".
Our program was written
and produced by Dana Demange. I'm Shirley Griffith.
And I'm Steve Ember. Our
programs are online with transcripts and MP3 files at voaspecialenglish.com.
Join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.