I’m just wondering where’s Chubby?
And where’s Ben E. King?
I can tell you where they are not. The two superstar singers are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they will not gain admittance this year, either, as the nominating committee refused to select them.
How the Hall’s leaders can consider it a legitimate Hall of Fame without Chubby Checker and Ben E. King is beyond comprehension!
Leaving the duo out of the Hall of Fame is as egregious as not having Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb or Ted Williams in the Baseball Hall of Fame or Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.
It’s incomprehensible how Chubby Checker was not inducted years ago when he first became eligible.
Checker’s record, “The Twist,” became the only single to top the Billboard Top 100 on two separate runs, accomplishing the feat in 1960 and 1962.
“The Twist” also topped Billboard’s list of the most popular singles in the 50-year period beginning in 1958 when the magazine’s Top 100 made its debut.
“The Twist” also radically changed society.
It was the first song to which adults danced to teen music. It also was the first song where partners danced without touching each other.
One anonymous member of the nominating committee said she didn’t support Checker because he was a “one-hit wonder.”
That’s as absurd as saying Frank Sinatra had no talent.
After “The Twist” in 1960, Checker followed with “The Hucklebuck,” which reached No. 14.
The following year, he charted with “The Fly” at No. 7, “Dance the Mess Around” at No. 24, “Let’s Twist Again” at No. 8 and “Pony Time,” which became his second No. 1 hit.
He continued to roll out the hits in 1962 with “The Twist” at No. 1, “Slow Twistin’ “ with Dee Dee Sharp at No. 3 and the “Limbo Rock” at No. 12.
He is the only artist in history to have five albums among the Top 12 at the same time.
Despite Checker’s music dossier, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still ignores him.
Ben E. King joined the Drifters in 1958 and was the lead singer on 10 of the group’s singles, including “There Goes My Baby” and “Dance with Me” in 1959, “This Magic Moment,” “Lonely Winds,” “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “I Count the Tears” in 1960.
Because of a contract dispute, he left the Drifters and became a solo act late in 1960.
The following year, he had Top 10 hits with “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand By Me.”
He returned to the charts in 1962 with “Don’t Play That Song” and in 1963 with “I (Who Have Nothing).”
King’s “Stand By Me” was re-issued in 1986 following the song’s use as the theme in movie of the same name, and it became a Top 10 hit for the second time.
The 25-year span for placing the same song in the Top 10 is the longest in history.
King had five No. 1 hits during his career: “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” with the Drifters, and “Stand By Me” in 1961 and 1986, and “Supernatural Thing” in 1975.
He had 12 Top 10 hits and 25 Top 40 hits from 1959 to 1986.
King’s “Stand By Me” has been recorded by 400 different artists. Staggering, just staggering.
Yet the Hall of Fame has not found room for these two greats.
There is no logical explanation for this. Until they are enshrined, the Hall of Fame will be nothing more than a Hall of Shame.
And that’s a shame!
Just wondering how much better off this country would be today if President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy had not be assassinated more than four decades ago?
Just wondering if the Dougherty County School Board is considering opening a special school for those girls who are pregnant in order for them to earn their diplomas instead of leaving school? It also would give the girls the opportunity to learn the necessary parenting skills.
Indianapolis opened a special school for their pregnant students, and it has worked well in assisting the students at this critical time. If it worked there, it certainly could work here.
And there is a need.
Just wondering how much the music world would have been different if performers such as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Otis Redding, Jim Croce, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye and John Lennon has not died so young?
Would their influences have had a greater impact on today’s performers?
Just wondering if I’m the only one who misses great TV shows from 40 or 50 years ago like “The Honeymooners,” “Father Knows Best,” “The Fugitive,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “All in the Family,” “Ben Casey” and “Dr. Kildare?”
Sorry, but they just don’t make them like that anymore.
Email Barry Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.