January 17, 1996
Web posted at: 11:30 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Mark Scheerer
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A new batch of members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Wednesday night in New York. And this year, there's an actual hall of fame for them to enter -- in Cleveland, Ohio. Here's a look at the class of 1996.
With inductees like the Velvet Underground, the 11th annual ceremony played catch-up by honoring artists who became eligible some years earlier but were overlooked by voters.
Lou Reed wishes his bandmate Sterling Morrison, who died last year, could have been around for what Reed views as vindication. "We never sold any records. Recognition of any type really came 20 years after the fact. You must remember, for the longest time, people thought Andy Warhol was lead guitarist," Reed says. The Velvet Underground frequently performed at the late pop artist's "Happenings."
Women performers, who some say have been neglected by voters, are represented this year by The Shirelles. Group member Beverly Lee is proud of the honor. "We were the first female group to sell a million records. We opened the doors for a lot of the acts to play in the South at segregated colleges," Lee says.
Being inducted as an early influence on Rock 'n' Roll is protest singer Pete Seeger.
The late Little Willie John, whose "Fever" was a hit by Peggy Lee, was also inducted.
And the group regarded by many as the soul of the '60s and '70s, Gladys Knight and the Pips, is also on the inductee list. Knight credits the honor to "the standard and the quality of music that we've tried to project and bring to the general public."
From the San Francisco "psychedelic '60s," Jefferson Airplane lands in the Hall. Only original members Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden and Jorma Kaukonen were inducted. "Here was a band with all of these different influences," Kaukonen says. "I was basically a blues-folky kind of guy, Jack came from various R&B things in D.C., everybody was coming from a different place. And Grace didn't sound like anybody else."
Pink Floyd, the band of British blues rockers who picked up the psychedelic baton, also joins rock's elite.
David Bowie, who in the past has spoken disparagingly of the whole notion of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was not present for his induction. He's on tour in Scandinavia.
This year's induction ceremony was the first since the Hall of Fame and Museum opened last September in Cleveland, and it honored one of the most diverse collection of performers yet.
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