I know it is probably too late to influence the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee this year, since the nominations will be announced soon. And when you are a very minor voice in all of this, as I am, I should just “know my role.” But, I have spent the better part of my 56 years here on Earth swimming against the current, so why would I let such a thing as a deadline deter me.
My purpose in such an endeavor is to inform, and possibly even entertain. Well, honestly, this is seeming exercise of futility is honestly an effort to take my mind off my daily pain issues if only for an hour or two. In essence, this is an act of defiance and survival. And, instead of focusing on sports, I have turned to my hobby of music collecting for this stand.
After watching the 2019 RRHOF Induction Ceremony, I was taken with the lack of female representation in the Hall. Since women make up 50% of the world’s population, you would think the Rock Hall would have similar statistics. But, when I found out that only SEVEN PERCENT (!) of the inductees were female, that convicted me. You see, my older son and his wife, a year ago, had the first female baby in my family in about a century. And when I see her, I want her to see strong women in all aspects of her life so she knows that she has absolutely no limits to follow whatever path she desires in life. So, I have been making it a priority to fight this fight for her and every other woman on this planet, be they past, present or future. Am I a saint? By no means! I am a huge sinner in all aspects of my life, but I do have a sincere heart. So, I will attempt to make my white male-privileged voice heard.
Of course, it does not change the fact that I am still fighting for Todd Rundgren and The Jam. Nothing will thwart that! I simply want to see more women inducted. Hopefully, the Hall will one day begin inducting more than five to seven artists and get this logjam of artists in waiting cleared out soon, but I am not holding my breath. Not until the Rock Hall has many of the old guard cleared out of their influence.
With that said, I have 30 female-oriented artists who deserve induction soon. Actually, I probably could actually come up with 100, but in an effort to limit my lists, let’s begin with these 30. Additionally, I have another 17 women whom have played an important role in the advancement of this music we love. These women are all pioneers in the musical industry and should be recognized. That means I have 47 women who all deserve this honor for their contributions to rock and roll.
- Big Mama Thornton
- Carol King
- Cyndi Lauper
- Diana Ross
- Dionne Warwick
- Dolly Parton
- Kate Bush
- Mary Wells
- Pat Benatar
- Patsy Cline
- Rufus & Chaka Khan
- Sheryl Crow
- Sonic Youth
- The B-52’s
- The Carter Family
- The Crystals
- The Go-Go’s
- The Marvelettes
- The Pointer Sisters
- The Runaways
- The Shangri-La’s
- Tina Turner
- Whitney Houston
Other Important Female Contributors to Rock History
- Alison Steele – First female DJ recipient of Billboard’s “FM Personality of the Year,” 1976.
- Carole Kaye – Bassist of L.A.’s session musician collective known as the Wrecking Crew, the greatest collective of session musicians this side of the Funk Brothers.
- Cordell Jackson – First female record producer for her own rock label.
- Deena Weinstein – Screw Eddie Trunk! Weinstein is THE foremost expert of metal!
- Donna Gaines – Rock critic extraordinaire.
- Donna Halper – Noted for discovering Rush while a DJ at WMMS in Cleveland.
- dream hampton – Before becoming a well-known filmmaker, she was “your favorite rapper’s favorite journalist.”
- Genya Ravan – Producer of the Dead Boys’ Young, Loud and Snotty.
- Holly George-Warren – Top notch rock journalist.
- Jaan Uhelszki – One of my favorite rock journalists from Creem magazine (she was a co-founder!).
- Lisa Robinson – My favorite rock journalist from the 70s, bar none! Her articles in Creem magazine were my rock & roll nirvana during my teenage years.
- Maxanne Sartori – Hired by Boston’s WBCN as their afternoon drive DJ in 1970, credited with influencing the success of Aerosmith and The Cars.
- Sharon Osbourne – Most famous for being Ozzy Osbourne’s manager.
- Susan Rodgers – Engineer on most of the great Prince records of the Eighties.
- Sylvia Robinson – Started Sugarhill Records, and subsequently, hip hop.
- Sylvie Simmons – Anyone who has written for Mojo as long as Simmons has got to be a preeminent rock expert.
- Vivienne Goldman – Covered the UK punk scene early on for NME and Melody Maker. The basis of my punk knowledge came from her writings.