It was the blues - and a little bit of folk, country and soul - that got this year's crop of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The new members, inducted Wednesday night, included blues great John Lee Hooker, rhythm and blues artists LaVern Baker, Ike and Tina Turner and the late Jimmy Reed, soulful Wilson Pickett, the Impressions and country-folk-rock pioneers the Byrds.Also inducted during ceremonies subdued by the outbreak of war in the Persian Gulf was the late blues legend Howlin' Wolf, who was honored as an early influence on rock 'n' roll. The late record producer Nesuhi Ertegun was cited for lifetime achievement.
Ahmet Ertegun, the hall's chairman, began the evening with the announcement that "America and its allies have gone to war."
A long moment of silence followed. Before the ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel began, President Bush's speech to the nation was broadcast on a large screen set up to show clips of the performers being honored.
Like some past ceremonies, the sixth annual event had its controversy, this time over which members of the Impressions were being inducted.
Only the original members of the Byrds - Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke - were inducted. That left out the late Gram Parsons, whose pioneering country-rock sound has been widely hailed as among rock's most inventive styles.
It wasn't clear if only the original members of the Impressions - Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, Richard Brooks, Arthur Brooks and Sam Gooden - were included. But Fred Cash, who replaced Butler early on, felt he was being left out.
"I'm mad about it," he told reporters before the ceremony.
Butler, the Brooks brothers, Gooden and Cash walked on stage when only the name the Impressions was called. The Byrds were introduced individually.