The powerful rhythm and blues act of Ike and Tina Turner and the Byrds, who pioneered the hybrid folk-rock and country-rock sounds, are part of the sixth class of inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The 1991 class announced this week also includes 1950s and '60s rhythm and blues star LaVern Baker, blues guitarist John Lee Hooker, the Impressions, soul singer Wilson Pickett and guitar and harmonica blues artist Jimmy Reed.Inducted during the Jan. 16 ceremonies in New York City for the "early influence" category will be blues master Howlin' Wolf, and producers Ralph Bass and Dave Bartholomew will be inducted in the non-performing category.
Members of the latest class join such names as Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, Bo Diddley, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Four Tops among the 71 artists inducted since 1986. Construction on the hall of fame building is expected to begin next year in Cleveland.
Paul Shaffer, for the sixth straight year, will put together the muscial show for the induction ceremony, which in past years has lasted until the early morning hours with some of the greatest names in rock 'n' roll participating a jam session.
Shaffer was particularly pleased with the choice of Ike Turner, 59, and Tina Turner, 52. The team is no longer together. Ike Turner was sentenced Feb. 16 to four years in state prison in California on drug abuse charges.
"Nobody does it live like Ike and Tina Turner," said Shaffer, who was in Cleveland to make the announcement of the inductees. "They defined an R and B act . . . put together in a revue to kill people."
Shaffer said he considered the Turners' 1970 remake of "Proud Mary" a classic.
The Byrds are credited with introducing the music of Bob Dylan to a mass audience before going on to develop their own distinctive style.
Members of the Byrds were Roger "Jim" McGuinn, 48; David Crosby, 49; Chris Hillman, 47; Gene Clark, 45, and Michael Clarke, 47.
"All of them went on to solo careers and remain popular today," Shaffer noted.