At mental_floss, our job is to present information in an entertaining and informative fashion. So when an opportunity came along to offer one of our readers a trip to the sold-out 2009 RockÂ and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, we did two things. First, we rocked (loudly!) to some tunes recorded by each of the five inductees. Energized, we did some serious diggingÂ on the new inductees as well asÂ other inductees and nomineesÂ from previous years. We crunched the numbers, sorted the names, and came up withÂ this blackjack bundle ofÂ facts. Enjoy! And when you're done reading, go enter our sweepstakes.
Background: IndividualsÂ and groups can be inducted into the RockÂ and Roll Hall of Fame in several categories: Performers, Non-Performers, Sidemen, Early Influences, and Lifetime Achievement. It's the "Performer" category that goes through the nomination process, so we're focusing on those for the purposes of this list.
Nominated performers must receive at least 50 percent of the committee's vote to win induction. The committee is made up of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame insiders, and isn't swayed by public opinion. Sure, there areÂ candidatesÂ that we personally feel shouldÂ be in the Hall of Fame, but have never even been nominated. But let's be fair: If public opinion entered into the picture, few musical acts would be excluded... and what's the point of aÂ Hall of Fame if everyone gets in?Â
ONE Bad Apple
1. Only one first-year nominee failed to win induction this year: the band War. In 2008, threeÂ new namesÂ didn't make the cut; Afrika Bambaataa, Chic, and Donna Summer. None of those three were renominated in 2009.
TWO Tickets to Paradise
2.Â After another nomination in 2009, The StoogesÂ have beenÂ up for inductionÂ seven timesÂ but have yet toÂ garner enough votes to succeed. They've been nominated moreÂ often than any other performer still on the "waiting" list.
THREE Window Coupe
4.Â Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members have names beginning with every letter of the alphabet"¦ except the letter X. (But fans of XTC remain hopeful that the band will remedy that situation soon.)
6.Â In contrast to the huge 1987 Class, only five performersÂ were inductedÂ in 1988: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, and The Supremes. No induction ceremony hasÂ honoredÂ fewer than five performers.
SEVEN Bridges Road
EIGHT Miles High
8.Â Four of the original Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees from 1986 found thatÂ eight was their lucky number. Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1993), Duane Eddy (1994), Little Willie John (1996), and Gene Pitney (2002) were each inducted on theirÂ eighth nomination.
NINE Pound Steel
TEN Days Late
8.Â Solomon Burke was nominated ten times, more than any other performer. He appeared on the nomination list in 1986 (the Hall's first year) and finallyÂ securedÂ his placeÂ in the HallÂ 15 years later, in 2001.
ELEVEN O'clock Tick-Tock
12.Â Five acts who appeared on the very first list of nominees in 1986 have yet to reach the Hall: Johnny Ace, Ben E. King, Esther Phillips, Mary Wells, and Chuck Willis.
- (Ben E. King has notÂ been inductedÂ as a solo artist, but did join the Hall in 1988 as a former member of The Drifters. Chuck Willis was nominated each of the Hall's first five years, from 1986 through 1991, but never made it.)
THIRTEEN Steps Lead Down
14.Â Six of the sevenÂ 1999 inducteesÂ entered theÂ Hall asÂ solo artists: Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Curtis Mayfield, Del Shannon, Dusty Springfield, and Bruce Springsteen. Only one group "“ The Staple Singers "“Â joined the Hall during that year's ceremony.
16.Â Stephen Stills is the only performer toÂ be namedÂ to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twiceÂ at the same year's ceremony. In 1997, he was a member of two groups "“ Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash "“ that were inducted.
EIGHTEEN and Life
18.Â Gene Pitney holds the record for the longest period of time between his first nomination and his induction: 16 years. He appeared on the Hall's very first nomination list in 1986, but didn't make the cut until 2002.
20.Â Wanda Jackson was nominated this year as a "Performer," but won induction under a different category: "Early Influence." Three others "“ King Curtis, Elmore James, and Carole King "“ failed to gain induction as "Performers" but were inducted to the Hall in a different category.
21.Â This year's ceremony will be only the second (along with 2007) to not include at least one inductee in the "Non-Performer" category.