Friday, January 16, 2009

RUN DMC & Bobby Womack to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Run-DMC, the Queens trio that led the charge for rap's successful crossover into the cultural mainstream, has received the ultimate honor: enshrinement in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

"It's unbelievable," Darryl "DMC" McDaniels told the New York Post. "This is great news." McDaniels, Joseph "DJ Run" Simmons and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell came together in Hollis, Queens, under the mentorship of Simmons' older brother Russell, who would go on to found the seminal rap label Def Jam Recordings.

The group released their first single in 1983, "It's Like That/Sucker MCs," ushering in a new sound for rap music featuring rock guitar riffs and hard drumbeats. They would go on to become the first act in rap history to crack the Top 10 on the pop album charts and the first to go platinum.

They reached super-stardom when they joined forces with Aerosmith to re-record the rockers' classic, "Walk This Way." A mixture of Run-DMC's beats and hard rhyming style with Joe Perry's ripping guitar riff and Steven Tyler's howling vocals made it an irresistible piece of head-bouncing pop.

Tragically, Mizell was killed while working early in the morning of October 30, 2002, in his Queens recording studio. His murder remains unsolved.

Sixties soul star Bobby Womack says he is extremely happy to learn he’ll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the 2009 class (Metallica, Jeff Beck, Run-DMC and Little Anthony and the Imperials). “My very first thought was — I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him,” Womack said in a statement. “This is just about as exciting to me as being able to see Barack Obama become the first black President of the United States of America! It proves that, if you’re blessed to be able to wait on what’s important to you, a lot of things will change in life.”

Making the honor even more special to Womack is that this year’s ceremony will take place in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. “Being able to work, perform and make people happy is where it’s at. I haven’t been home in almost 30 years, so having this happen in my hometown is really icing on the cake,” Womack said. “I’m looking forward to going home.”

The April 4th induction ceremony will be the Hall’s first in its hometown since 1997, and will feature Run-DMC’s first performance since the death of Jam Master Jay seven years ago. Joining the band's surviving members in Cleveland on April 4 for the induction will be metal gods Metallica, guitar legend Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials, rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson, Spooner Oldham and two members of Elvis Presley's band: drummer D.J. Fontana and bassist Bill Black.

Wow, this one is a long time coming (and most deservedly) for Bobby Womack (one of the most underrated vocalists in R&B) and Little Anthony & The Imperials. Congrats to all!

"Formula for Success... and then some. The top people do what's expected of them, and then some. They are thoughtful and considerate of others, and then some. They meet their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely, and then some. They are good friends to their friends, and then some. They can be counted on in an emergency, and then some. And so it is when we do what is assigned to us in our lives and in the church, and then some; then the Lord pays in full, and then some." - Unknown

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