Rock Hall of Fame readies to induct Springsteen, McCartney, more
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CLEVELAND (CNN) -- In a group of musicians whose lengthy careers have already showered them with Grammys and gold records, what other honor is there to eagerly anticipate? Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, of course -- a privilege that Monday will be bestowed on Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.The three singers, who dominated radio in the 1970s, were set to join the Hall of Fame on Monday along with Dusty Springfield, who died two weeks ago.
While McCartney is already in the hall for his work with the Beatles, this year he is inducted for his solo work. Interestingly, in 1988, when the Beatles were inducted, McCartney was a no-show. He is expected to attend his own induction, making his first major public appearance since his wife Linda died last spring.
Joel, the piano man from Long Island, was overlooked by Hall of Fame voters last year, his first year of eligibility. A leaked report of his induction in 1998 proved to be wrong.
Does Joel feel a particular resonance with any of this year's other nominees? Sure, he says -- Paul McCartney, because of the Beatles. "The Beatles were the band that made me realize it was possible to make a living as a musician," Joel told CNN Showbiz Today's Mark Scheerer. "When I heard the Beatles, I said, 'That's what I want to do!'"
Although he continues to perform, Joel hasn't written a pop song in more than five years while he concentrates on classical composing.
Springsteen, E Street to perform
Springsteen powered his way into the Hall of Fame with draining four-hour concerts and ringing rock anthems. The evening ceremony at New York's elegant Waldorf Astoria Hotel was to feature the first live performance of Springsteen and his E Street Band in a decade, although the band itself wasn't being inducted; bandmembers weren't credited on early Springsteen albums.
Artists aren't eligible until 25 years after their first record, and the E Street Band didn't receive billing on a Springsteen record until 1985. "It's a misguided policy," said E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg.
Rock Hall voters also consider the influence and significance of an artistís contribution to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll.
Honored posthumously is "Son of a Preacher Man" singer Springfield, who died March 2 at her home west of London after a long battle with breast cancer. In addition to her '60s radio hits, music from her landmark album "Dusty in Memphis," used in the movie "Pulp Fiction," introduced her to a whole new generation of fans.
Other 1999 inductees included "Superfly" singer Curtis Mayfield, already in the hall as the co-founder of the Impressions; Del Shannon, who made "Runaway" a hit in 1961; and the gospel group The Staple Singers.
Mayfield was paralyzed in an onstage accident in 1990, but rebounded in 1996 with his 25th solo album, "New World Order."
Recalling rock's gospel, blues roots
Reflecting the fact that the roots of rock and roll include gospel music, the Staple Singers were to be honored for songs like "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There."
"They thought we were singing rock 'n' roll," says Pervis Staples. "People thought we were singing folk songs, too. And we were. We were singing everything that was contemporary, and everything with a message."
Blues artist Charles Brown and the Western swing band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys were honored as early influences. Beatles producer George Martin was saluted in the nonperforming category.
Del Shannon was also honored posthumously. His '60s hits "Runaway" and "Hats Off to Larry" influenced many a younger singer-songwriter.
The names of Hall of Fame honorees are on permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, which opened in 1995.
Correspondent Mark Scheerer contributed to this report.
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