Monday, May 23, 2011

10 Most Likely Next Members of the Clyde McPhatter Club

One of the more interesting phenomena of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is what is often referred to as the “Clyde McPhatter Club.”  The Clyde McPhatter Club is the unofficial name for the group of people who have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame more than once.  It happens when one person is involved with different endeavors that get inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  The “club” is named after Clyde McPhatter, the first person to accomplish this feat when he was inducted as a solo artist in 1987 and as a member of the Drifters in 1988.  Other members of this illustrious elite include Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Sammy Strain, and most recently Graham Nash.  Every year, there’s usually one potential member somewhere on the ballot, and with no potential members from the last ballot, it’s even more interesting speculation to guess who will be the next member to get inducted.  With that, here’s my evaluation on the ten most likely to become the next member of the Clyde McPhatter Club.  Honorable mentions for this Top Ten include Rod Stewart, Gram Parsons, Rob Trujillo, and Ozzy Osbourne.  As a disclaimer, this is not my personal preferences list, or what should be.  This is based on the trends at the Hall Of Fame.  I could very easily be wrong.  And as always, I welcome your thoughts on the matter in the Comments section.

10. Ringo Starr
Inducted first: the Beatles, 1988

As the only member of the Beatles yet to be inducted as a solo artist, there’s a sense of incompletion with many of the more hardcore Beatle fans.  His solo efforts and his very talents have frequently been panned as being subpar, and lacking in innovation and influence.  Worst of all, he seldom wrote his own material.  Sacrilege!  Still, the good time rock ‘n’ roll and steady commercial success in the early to mid ‘70s, plus even the love for the Beatles will always keep Ringo as a tangible possibility, even if they don’t get around to it until after he’s gone, like they waited with George.

9. Smokey Robinson
Inducted first: solo artist, 1987

Smokey’s induction as a soloist in 1987 was on a technical loophole that borders on the obscene (he did record as a soloist in 1958, but didn’t really take off as a solo artist until the 1970’s.)  Meanwhile, the Miracles, one of Motown’s biggest and most influential groups, remains not inducted.  The quandary with this situation is that supposedly if they were to finally induct the Miracles, it would tantamount to the Hall Of Fame’s powers-that-be admitting that they made a mistake.  However, at this point, supporters of the Miracles simply don’t care.  They’ll acknowledge the worthiness of Robinson’s solo career, the technicality of Robinson first recording for End Records in 1958, and even agree to having Robinson inducted a second time… whatever they want, just fix this glaring oversight!  One of those supporters in the past has been Robinson himself, too.  Having inducted Little Anthony And The Imperials in 2009, it looks possible that the Hall Of Fame may just give the Miracles their due and Robinson his second induction.

8. Carole King
Inducted first: Gerry Goffin And Carole King, 1990

Gerry Goffin and Carole King were a legendary songwriting duo in the ‘60s, and they were rightfully inducted as Non-Performers in 1990.  However, there’s always been a buzz about the need to induct Carole as a solo Performer for her amazing work, most notably in the ‘70s.  She hasn’t been nominated since being inducted with Gerry Goffin, but her name still comes up frequently as being a deserving candidate.  If she were to sneak through, it might open the floodgate to recognize other inductees who were influential in more than one category.  She’d also be the first female member of the Clyde McPhatter club.

7. Jackie Wilson
Inducted first: solo artist, 1987

Before Wayne Newton, the nickname “Mr. Excitement” belonged to this man, and his incredible voice and magnificent solo career first received just dues in the second year of inductions.  However, before his sterling solo career, he was a member of Billy Ward And The Dominoes.  The Dominoes were nominated in 1997, but have yet to receive a second nomination.  As time progresses, the odds of important ‘50s acts getting inducted slowly get slimmer.  However, the Dominoes are also a group that might be inducted in the Early Influence category.  Unfortunately, it may also happen that if the Dominoes were inducted, they might be inducted without Wilson, since he was brought in to replace former lead singer… Clyde McPhatter.  Hey, maybe Clyde can get his third induction out of the ordeal too.

6. Ben E. King
Inducted first: the Drifters, 1988

He hasn’t been nominated as a soloist since being inducted with the Drifters, but if they went back this past year to nominate Chuck Willis again, Ben E. King might once more get support for his solo career.  It’s hard to say how the current tide favors King, but with two monumental singles in the early ‘60s, one of which is an absolutely landmark piece of rock and roll, plus a steady career through the ‘60s and ‘70s, when he hit the top ten again… well, you can’t really rule him out.

5. Sting
Inducted first: the Police, 2003

The Police were a first-year-eligibility slam-dunk for induction, and sure enough, 2003 saw their arrival in the Hall.  Sting’s been eligible for a year or two now, and with a fairly successful solo career, he stands a serious chance of getting recognition once again.  His solo career isn’t quite held as legendary as the legacy with the Police, but his commercial success might just be enough to carry him over and in again.

4. Tina Turner
Inducted first: Ike And Tina Turner, 1991

The first regularly-produced-by-Phil-Spector act to be inducted, Ike And Tina Turner were a powerhouse duo of soul music in the ‘60s and ‘70s.  By comparison, Tina Turner’s solo career was much more commercially successful.  However, there is speculation of an anti-‘80’s bias of sorts with the Hall.  The acts that have been inducted after breaking big during the ‘80s have thus far comprised a relatively short list.  Still, if any one such act has a real shot, Tina Turner as a soloist is one of those with the best chances.

3. Phil Collins
Inducted first: Genesis, 2010

With a decidedly lighter turn in his career during the ‘90’s, it may be a little while longer before he gets serious consideration.  In fact, “You’ll Be In My Heart” may be just as detrimental to his case as “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” was for Neil Diamond, but Neil Diamond made it in eventually, so Phil Collins has a legitimate shot at it.  If they focus more on “In The Air Tonight” and less on “You’ll Be In My Heart”, Collins may get in sooner than later.

2. Peter Gabriel
Inducted first: Genesis, 2010

It was a tough decision to determine whom to rank higher between Collins and Gabriel.  However, Gabriel’s solo work is considered more “artistic” than Collins’.  Peter’s work hasn’t been nearly as prolific as Phil’s, but Peter Gabriel’s solo efforts have actually received consideration before, although not yet making it to the final ballot.  Overall, I say that gives solo Peter Gabriel the slight edge over solo Phil Collins in being the next member of the Clyde McPhatter Club.

1. Steve Winwood
Inducted first: Traffic, 2004

Steve Winwood is the seemingly obvious choice as the most likely next member of the Clyde McPhatter Club.  He’s been nominated once before for the Class of 2003, plus he’s been under consideration as a member of both the Spencer Davis Group and Blind Faith.  Of these three possibilities, it’s actually his solo career that has the best chance right now.  The Spencer Davis Group is at least behind Donovan in terms of the pecking order of ‘60s British Invasion acts that they’re trying to induct right now, and may even be behind a couple others.  Blind Faith’s career was notably short, and besides which, there’ll be clucking about whether or not we really need to induct Eric Clapton a fourth time.  So for now, Winwood’s solo career stands the best chance, but with so many possible avenues of induction, he’s the most likely candidate to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame a second time.


  1. Something tells me the Hall is happy with Winwood getting in with Traffic. Ben E. with the Drifters, Collins getting in with Genesis. Tina with Ike, and Carole King as a Songwriter.
    That leaves Gabriel and Sting as the strongest contenders. NomCom member Robert Hilburn is big on Sting getting in as a solo act.
    But because Genesis just recently got in, I think Gabriel may be waiting a few more years.
    As for Ringo, its possible they might slot him in somewhere. Like you said, the Beatles are a great lure as nominees and bringing in publicity for a Hall ceremony.
    P.S. down the road, once Nirvana gets inducted then you can add Dave Grohl to this list, with the Foo Fighters (who I wouldn't support).

  2. I guess I am coming at this as someone too young to know better, but was Diana Ross' solo career so forgettable that she doesn't even make your close cut list?

    As someone in their early thirties, it just seems like Ross and Patti LaBelle (who isn't in at all) are the two female artists I expected to be in already on their own. And neither are in there. Just always curious as to why.

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  4. Tom, true Winwood's nomination as a soloist was before the induction with Traffic, but I'm not so certain we can rule out the Spencer Davis Group. Maybe they were too minor, but you never know. Collins may just be too big to keep out as a soloist; Tina could get it as a PC/sympathy bid, though the music is plenty solid and definitely distinct from her duo career. As for Carole, we'll see, I guess. Supposedly, she was a near miss for as recent as '99.

    Anonymous, solo Diana Ross imho should not happen, but from a more objective position, disco/dance has been a hard enough sell so far, and it certainly won't happen until they get Chic and Donna Summer in. Additionally, the "previously considered" list, which Ross is not on, includes Barry White, the GAP Band and Grace Jones, so I think she'd be a little too far back in the queue. LaBelle I'd like to see though.

  5. Patti La Belle and The Bluebelles and Labelle are one and the same group, with the same members.The only difference is the deletion of Cindy Birdsong, who left the group to join The Supremes. The other members, Patti,Sarah Dash, and Nona Hendrix became Labelle, and are still touring today.This group should be inducted. They transcended their "girl group" era status and continued to be successful long after that era had passed, and they all had successful solo careers to boot.

  6. As far as I'm concerned Jackie Wilson is STILL "Mr Excitement" not Wayne Newton. Wayne's gonna have to get himself another nickname

  7. The Miracles , Motown's first group, should have been inducted over two decades ago, not just Robinson as a solo artist. They are one of the most deserving groups not currently not inducted. They received their long-overdue star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame two years ago, and are Motown's most influential and most covered group...ever. The RRHOF needs to get with the program and put these people in.

  8. The recently deceased JOHNNY CARTER is also a member of this club....having been inducted with THE DELLS and THE FLAMINGOS.

  9. here are a few artists should be inducted to the Rock N Roll hall of fame are Jesse Belvin,Roy Hamilton,Bobby Freeman,Johnny Ace,Chuck Willis,Guitar Slim and others even the Spinnners and Marvelettes