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150 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Candidates T-Z
The Top 150 Candidates (Eligible artists who have yet to be inducted and are not among this year's nominees). Candidates names are in alphabetical order. (T through Z)
(Note: DDD is not affiliated with the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame)
Written By: Sampson
QUALIFICATIONS (on a scale of 1-10)
10 - The Immortals
9 - Deserves To Be A First Ballot Lock
8 - Should Be Guaranteed An Induction
7 - An Eventual Induction Is Likely
6 - Should Be Nominated At Some Point
5 - Worthy Of At Least A Debate For A Nomination
4 - Not Insignificant, But Shouldn't Be Nominated
3 - No Business Being Debated By Committee
2 - No Business Being Even Mentioned
1 - No Business Visiting The Hall Of Fame Without a Ticket
Candidates A-C
Candidates C-F
Candidates F-K
Candidates K-P
Candidates P-S
Candidates T-Z
50 Unlikely Candidates
Sidemen Candidates
Early Influences
Outside Genre Possibilities
Non-Performers
2013 Inductees
Inductees 1986-2013

Johnnie Taylor
Few artists can match the sheer breadth of Taylor's career, from his start as Sam Cooke's replacement in the Soul Stirrers to his jump to bluesy secular material with Stax in the mid-60's before landing smack in the middle of the soul revolution at the label where he wracked up enormous hits, including the cheating classic "Who's Makin' Love". Unlike many in that style he made the transition into the disco scene with the first certified platinum single ever given by the RIAA with "Disco Lady", his fourth #1 hit overall. Today his name recognition in the mainstream is fairly low but his accomplishments should be looked at closer.
Qualifications: 6
Joe Tex
Of all of the 60's soul kingdom in rock Tex is the one name who was as consistent, popular and innovative as virtually any, yet who's been left behind in recognition ever since. His track record more than holds up against most from that era who are already in, with more than two dozen hits to his name over 15 years, including 6 that went to either #1 or #2 on the R&B Charts, spanning southern soul to pure funk. A prolific writer and extremely influential performer with the oft-imitated microphone trick as his lasting legacy. Despite multiple nominations he's thus far failed to get in and remains one of the Hall's most inexplicable omissions.
Qualifications: 7
Carla Thomas
It was a teenage Carla Thomas who first put Stax records in Memphis on the map with her hit "Gee Whiz" in 1960, a song she'd written in high school. Over the next few years, while attending college much of the time no less, she managed to put over 20 songs on the charts both as a solo artist and in duets with her father Rufus (see below), and finally with some scorching duets with label mate Otis Redding. If class counts for something she'd already be in, either way she still deserves another look.
Qualifications: 6
Irma Thomas 
The Soul Queen Of New Orleans is still going strong but it is her 60's work that she'll remembered for. She never had too much national success but her songs remain the epitome of expert craftsmanship, and her own composition, "Wish Someone Would Care" is considered a classic. Known by many as the originator of "Time Is On My Side" which the Stones took but couldn't beat in execution (though they trounced her in airplay). It'd be a fittingly ironic touch if Irma got in and Mick and Keith inducted her.
Qualifications: 5
Rufus Thomas
In a career spanning from rock itself's birth to his own recent death Thomas was a true ambassador of music, both as a DJ on the legendary Memphis radio station, WDIA, and as a performer for over 50 years. In 1953 he had the first ever hit on Sun Records with "Bear Cat" and a decade later he was back in another new Memphis studio, Stax, where he cut his most famous song, "Walking the Dog". He topped the charts again in the 70's with a series of funky records at the age of 53. One of the true patriarchs of rock 'n' roll and among the most engaging live performers ever.
Qualifications: 6
Three Dog Night
In the 50's and early 60's vocal harmony groups were a revered part of rock but by the late 60's and 70's they were often pushed to the side as the guitar began to take a more prominent role in rock's image. White vocal groups in particular were seen as too "pop" by many and Three Dog Night was the most popular among them. That they notched over 20 hits, eleven of which made the Top Ten, would usually be enough for consideration at least, but the style in which they are remembered doesn't make it likely they'll ever be nominated.
Qualifications: 5
Toots & The Maytals
Apparently helping to actually create an entire sub genre of rock is not important if that sub genre only has sporadic interest in mainstream white American and British locales. Bob Marley cruised into the Hall of Fame as reggae's iconic figure, and rightly so, while Toots Hibbert appears no closer to induction now than he ever was. He may not have reached quite the same level of recognition as Bob but he was the one who built the steps for anyone in reggae to get up that high to begin with. Reggae demands more representation in the Hall starting with this group.
Qualifications: 7
The Treacherous Three
One of the more groundbreaking rap groups to emerge at the dawn of hip-hop. "Whip It" brought Kool Moo Dee's speed rapping to the forefront while "The Body Rock" was one of the first lyrically complex rhyme schemes in hip-hop and introduced the so-called "rock guitar" to rap. While they never attained the chart success of others at the time their influence on the emerging style can't be understated or overlooked.
Qualifications: 5
Tina Turner
Already in as half of Ike & Tina, her solo career actually outstripped her earlier work in terms of mainstream success and mainstream recognition, going from chitlin' circuit legend to worldwide superstar in the 80's.  Considering her celebrated status in rock, the respect she gets from all corners (critics, fans, artists) and the Hall's obsession with recognizable names and powerhouse performers to adorn its stage during the ceremonies, it seems odd that Turner hasn't gotten a second well-deserved induction yet for the work she did on her own that cemented her status as one of the all-time great performers rock's ever seen.
Qualifications: 7
The Turtles
One of the 60's stable of popular, though not quite legendary, groups The Turtles had a diverse career starting as the surf-rock instrumental group The Crossfires before finding folk-rock as a the Turtles and then becoming one of the more creative bands around for awhile. Their lack of modern recognition and appreciation for their work is certainly keeping them from getting so much as a nomination, as normally the Hall voters never miss a chance to acknowledge a 60's hit making group.
Qualifications: 5
2 Live Crew
At the peak of gangsta rap's takeover of the style and the controversy it aroused, one group far removed from that milieu stirred just as much outrage for their sexually explicit rhymes and ignited a firestorm of protest as the 80's closed. But far more than just being naughty party boys, 2 Live Crew were the biggest proponents of the Miami bass sound, a heavier booming style that terrorized suburban neighborhoods when blasted out of teenagers hatchbacks. The furor over their work and countless lawsuits, some going to the Supreme Court which ruled in their favor, exhausted the group's resources and they faded quickly, but few artists made such a splash while around.
Qualifications: 5
Junior Walker & The All-Stars
The one self-contained band at Motown never were considered by the company to be on the same level as their vocal-only acts, but in spite of that they scored a ton of hits, including one of the most familiar of its day, "Shotgun", and were the one of the pre-eminent dance groove oriented bands of the late 60's. Will likely always be overlooked by those who focus only on the upper echelon at Motown but the junior varsity in those years could kick the ass of most other labels varsity squads of artists.
Qualifications: 6
War
One of the 70's top funk groups began as backup musicians for Eric Burdon's post-Animals career before going out on their own and scoring immediately with both singles and albums considered to be among the best the style ever produced. They initially seemed to be one of the 70's groups that would be inducted sooner rather than later but they've been eligible now for a decade and are still no closer to entry, leaving you to wonder what the voting body is thinking or if they're thinking at all.
Qualifications: 7
Johnny "Guitar" Watson
The most unclassifiable artist of his time, Watson made his early mark with a mind bending rock instrumental "Space Guitar" in 1954. From there he flirted with blues, soul and jazz, all with success, and finally in the 70's emerged again as a funk star. Despite his ever-changing styles Watson scored hits in every decade from the 50's through the 90's. Few guitarists could equal his skill or influence, particularly on Frank Zappa and all of his disciples, and his vocal style was Etta James template for her own performances. A lack of mainstream recognition seems to be keeping Watson from getting the support he deserves.
Qualifications: 6
Mary Wells
Motown's first solo superstar wracking up a dozen hits in four years with the label before leaving on the heels of her biggest smash, "My Guy". Wells was one of the key reasons why Motown was able to break out to a wider audience than most black artist-based labels in the 60's and become the juggernaut of the era. Her early death from throat cancer in the 90's refocused attention on her accomplishments after she got a few nominations early on though it wasn't enough to get her inducted to the Hall Of Fame at the time, a mistake that should be corrected.
Qualifications: 7
The Whispers
Long lasting groups with steady popularity within their core fan base but very little in the way of overwhelming mass appeal (four Top 30 hits, just one went Top Ten) hasn't been a successful game plan for induction traditionally. Add to this the fact that the Whispers are a black vocal group of the 70's and 80's, a double whammy against them since the Hall is shamefully neglectful of both the style and those respective eras. Yet the Whispers are the ultimate survivors, having their biggest hits more than two decades after they began, and very well respected within music circles.
Qualifications: 5
Barry White
Utterly unique soulful sex-balladeer with a run of enormous success in the 70's, a strong track record as a producer, plus a recent early death makes him an appealing candidate. The excessive style in which he recorded the majority of his hits and his connection to disco are drawbacks in many voters mind no doubt but at some point his success and his larger than life image will get him looked at and quite possibly inducted.
Qualifications: 7
Whodini
In the mid-80's there were a succession of important rap groups emerging, but while Run-D.M.C. and The Beastie Boys broke through to stardom, Whodini remained known primarily by hip-hop aficionados only. But their innovations to the style, adding more melodic elements to their tracks, pioneering use of video and helping to establish the prototype hip-hop stage show, featuring dancers, all contributed to the growing impact the music was having. Wrongly overlooked by history, with rap continually dissed by the Hall, they re sadly not even going to be discussed at the nomination debates.
Qualifications: 5
Larry Williams
One of rock's first bad boys Williams had a short lived but prolific heyday churning out a number of raucous hits along with many equally impressive non-hits many of which the Beatles and Stones later covered. In the mold of fellow Specialty label mate Little Richard the piano pounding Williams later resurfaced in the mid-60's with pal Johnny "Guitar" Watson for some funky soul material. After a career in which he earned more money as a drug dealer and pimp than as a singer, Williams was murdered in 1980 and his recognition as an artist has climbed slowly but steadily ever since.
Qualifications: 6
Otis Williams & The Charms
Among the more consistent hit makers on the mid-50's vocal group scene, but their image among hardcore doo wop fans is that of opportunists as they frequently covered other artists records and got the bigger hits with them. That was indeed the case even with their 1954 smash "Hearts Of Stone", which nevertheless was among the most important records in rock's early history, signaling the divide between black and white audiences was coming to an end. The style itself is among the most lastingly respected in rock's history and if they're in need of a recognizable artist from that era, who were very good no matter who's songs they were cutting, even doing country material well, they might slip in.
Qualifications: 5
Chuck Willis
One of the few artists to be successful in the early 50's before rock's crossover into white America and to maintain that popularity into late 50's where he ignited the first rock 'n' roll dance craze when his re-working of the blues "C.C. Rider" led to his title of "King Of The Stroll". Equally known for his prolific songwriting ability, penning hits for multiple artists including more than a dozen R&R HOF'ers who have recorded his compositions. In 1958 bleeding ulcers claimed his life at age 30. One of the most multi-talented stars of his era, Willis got nominated each of the first five years of the Hall's existence without making the cut but has gotten just one nomination since, which is a crime.
Qualifications: 7
Bill Withers
He's already been elected to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, which while certainly no guarantee of similar honors in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame does show that his critical respect is fairly high. Artists with one immortal song to serve as a calling card have always had a leg up when it comes to fringe candidates and in Withers case you have two - "Lean On Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine", along with another that remains fairly recognizable, "Grandma's Hands". But there are still far too many more accomplished contemporaries from soul still waiting to have their name called, so he should be lower on the list, but with the Hall sometimes you never know.
Qualifications: 5
Warren Zevon
His poignant death a few years back might've been expected to give him a leg up on a nomination, though that didn't happen obviously. Still, as many times as the Hall has missed the opportunity to honor someone while alive, they frequently try making up for it after the fact and Zevon still has a widely respected name, enjoys the adoration of other artists and is far more popular with the public than most artists with a quirky style, so it could add up to a ticket sooner or later.
Qualifications: 6
Back To Top NEXT (50 Unlikely Candidates)


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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees 1986-2014
2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees
2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees
2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees
2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees
2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees
2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Candidates A-C
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Candidates C-F
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Candidates F-K
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Candidates K-P
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Candidates P-S
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Candidates T-Z
50 Unlikely Hall of Fame Candidates
Sidemen Candidates
Early Influences
Outside Genre Possibilities
Non-Performers



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