With Dolly Parton’s recent humble rejection of her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, it occurred to me how many artists are part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but really wouldn’t be considered “rock and roll” artists. There are many.
After Parton announced her desire to be removed from the nomination list, the Hall responded by saying: “From its inception, rock and roll has had deep roots in rhythm & blues and country music. It is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moved youth culture. Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed. Her nomination to be considered for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame followed the same process as all other artists who have been considered.”
With that being said, and although may be true in some part, I, as well as many others, believe it’s time to change the name of this museum to the Music Hall of Fame. Because if rock and roll is not defined by any one genre, then why do you have artists from many different genres under one roof and call it the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”?
If you have a museum that has the likes of Leonard Cohen and Nirvana or Rush and Public Enemy or even ELO and Hank Williams, then it’s not just “rock and roll”. It’s music of all different kinds. (note: both Cohen and Rush are Canadian acts and are already part of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (emphasis on “music”) ).
For the record, Dolly’s name is still listed on the ballot and as of this writing she is shown as being in fourth place as of today. I voted for her. Not just because of her music, which is not rock and roll in style, but because she is a class act human being. And if they based their inductions solely on that, Dolly would’ve been selected long ago.