The move wiped out more than half of the Hall's Early Rock and R&B Influencers subcommittee.
Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cutting ties with its roots? Or is the Hall looking for a new approach in appreciating the founders of rock 'n' roll? Industry pundits fear the worst but hope for the best.
On Thursday, Jon Landau -- the head of the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- emailed an undisclosed number of committee members telling them their services are no longer needed. Sources suggest that as many as 16 of the 42 nominating committee have been given their walking papers. But what's got some worried is that the move has wiped out more than half of the Hall's Early Rock and R&B Influencers subcommittee, as at least four of the seven subcommittee members were among those given the heave-ho. They are veteran A&R executive Joe McEwen, a blues and R&B expert; Greg Geller, a label executive specializing in reissues; Arthur Levy, a senior writer at a number of major record labels; and Bob Merlis, one of the industry's most renowned publicists who is now independent but was at Warner Bros. Records from the early 1970s through the 1990s.