Here’s yet another reason to love Dolly Parton: she requested that her name be removed from this year’s nominees for the “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame. Dolly was at #4 out of five open slots on the fan vote board and feared she might beat out someone who actually belongs there. She’s one of the greatest country singer/songwriters of all time, but she’s not a rock musician and she and everyone else (except the Rock Hall of Fame board, apparently) knows it.
Her request was humble and generous toward other artists, as is typical of Dolly, but it could also be read as subtly chiding the Hall of Fame for its notorious habit of nominating people who don’t belong there while snubbing those who obviously do (I’ve previously noted the long list of those who’ve been inexplicably snubbed, including Jethro Tull, the Guess Who, the Monkees, Blue Oyster Cult, the Jam and Meat Loaf, while the Sugar Hill Gang, Tupac Shakur, Laura Nyro, Janet Jackson, Madonna and Jay-Z are all in.) Dolly nicely wrote that her husband has always wanted her to cut a rock album, and she hopes they’ll consider her again if she ever does that.
Not-nice subtext: “I’ve NEVER made a rock album, Einsteins!”
Now, let’s hope Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick and Eminem follow suit. Nothing against any of these artists, but like Dolly, they don’t make rock music and they know it.
I’m also sad to have to report that Willie Nelson’s sister, Bobbie Nelson, has died at 91.
She was his first band member and the pianist for his iconic band for decades. She could play whatever style Willie’s songs required, from old time gospel to rollicking honky-tonk to Great American Songbook. Willie recently wrote of how she always looked after her little brother, and that she was a “genuine piano prodigy,” far more of a musical prodigy than he was. Check out that story from the Dallas public TV station KERA to learn more about this remarkable lady who contributed so much to Willie’s musical legacy from just outside the spotlight, and to see a rare sample of her performing all on her own.