Return nominees are Donna Summer, LL Cool J, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Chic and Joe Tex.
Of the group, the five artists who would appear to be locks for enshrinement are Cooper, the songwriter's songwriter Waits, Dr. John, Bon Jovi and the Beastie Boys OR LL Cool J. The hall wants to acknowledge hip-hop, but two in one year? Probably not.
Besides being alive and still working, the aforementioned group would make for good TV (don't think it's not a factor) and producers could easily find other artists to pay musical and verbal tribute.
Long shots would appear to be Chuck ''The King of the Stroll'' Willis, Donna Summer, the J. Geils Band (Before Kiss? Really?), sentimental favorite Darlene Love and songstress Laura Nyro.
Really? Tom Waits is going to bring how many viewers? Are there even three people in America who would want to hear him croak out "Waltzing Matilda" today? I don't hate TW and have many of his albums (the seventies ones I have on vinyl). But isn't it cute that when this man picks who should be inducted from the nominees, he picks all men. And he doesn't have to excuse himself because sexism is such the norm that he doesn't think it matters or needs justification.
Laura Nyro was a pioneer. She influenced many. In fact, David Burger (Salt Lake Tribune) quotes Alice Cooper speaking about being nominated:
On behalf of Dennis (Dunaway), Neal (Smith), Michael (Bruce) and the late great Glen (Buxton), we are honored to be nominated for induction in to the Hall. Anytime you are nominated in your chosen profession, it's definitely a compliment to be recognized.
It's hard to fathom possibly being in the same club as artists who inspired us originally, like the Beatles, the Stones, the Beach Boys, the Who, the Yardbirds, and Chuck Berry, and to be nominated the same year as legendary artists like my personal favorite songwriter of all time, Laura Nyro, as well as Donovan, who sang on our "Billion Dollar Babies" record, and our good friends in Bon Jovi, is a great feeling.
Alice Cooper's personal favorite songwriter is Laura Nyro. But sexist pigs don't think she belongs in the hall. Brian McCoy (Oakland Examiner) knows better than Malcolm X Abrahm and McCoy writes:
For me, the one bright spot on the list is the inclusion of Laura Nyro, a remarkably gifted and tragically forgotten/overlooked singer-songwriter who did more than any artist this side of Steely Dan to inject jazz influences into pop.
Nyro was born in the Bronxand profoundly influenced by her father, a piano tuner and jazz trumpeter. She grew up listening to Billie Holiday and John Coltrane and was still a teenager when she began writing her jazz-inflected tunes. Her commercial breakthrough came with “And When I Die,” first recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary but immortalized a few years later by Blood, Sweat and Tears. In 1967, Nyro (pronounced “nero”) performed at Monterey Pop on the strength of her Verve debut album, “More Than A New Discovery.”
Following Monterey, David Geffen signed on as Nyro’s manager and got her a deal with Clive Davis at Columbia. Her Facebook bio picks up the story.
In 1968, Columbia Records released Nyro's second album, “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession,” which is widely considered to be one of her best works. It was followed in 1969 by “New York Tendaberry,” another highly acclaimed work. Nyro invited jazz great Miles Davis to the studio while she was recording “New York Tendaberry” and asked him to contribute to an instrumental section, but once he heard what had already been recorded he is reported to have replied, "I can't play on this. You already did it."
Laura's earned her place and it's telling how few seem to realize that.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"