Public Enemy, Neil Diamond & More Inducted into Grammy Hall of Fame

Public Enemy photographed in 1987
Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Public Enemy photographed in 1987. 

Counting these 25 titles, the Hall, now in its 47th year, encompasses 1,113 recordings.

The Recording Academy has inducted 25 more recordings into its Grammy Hall of Fame. The roster includes recordings that were celebrated in the annual Grammy Awards as well as recordings that either pre-date the 1958 launch of the Grammy Awards or were passed over in the Grammy process at the time.

Recordings in the latter category include Public Enemy's incendiary 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, which failed to receive a single Grammy nomination, but is now widely viewed as a classic, and Neil Diamond's 1969 smash "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)," which likewise was (inexplicably) passed over in the nominations, but has long been a singalong favorite.

Recordings that were celebrated in their time that were honored include Peter Frampton's blockbuster 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive!, a nominee that year for album of the year, and Eurythmics' 1983 synth-pop smash "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," which clinched the duo a best new artist nomination that year.

Several of this year's inducted recordings were boosted by being spotlighted in feature films. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones' 1962 hit "Miserlou" was featured in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 classic Pulp Fiction. The Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Boys' "I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow" was revived in the 2000 Coen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which won the 2001 Grammy for album of the year). Elton John's 1972 hit "Tiny Dancer" was memorably spotlighted in Cameron Crowe's 2000 film Almost Famous.

Nancy Sinatra's 1966 smash "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" -- one of the first songs with a strong feminist edge to become a mainstream pop hit -- was also inducted. It's the first induction for Sinatra, whose father, Frank Sinatra, has 14 recordings in the Hall.

Several artists who are favorites of Hall of Fame voters added to their tallies of inducted recordings. Nat "King" Cole landed his eighth induction (this time as part of the King Cole Trio). Willie Nelson got his sixth, followed by Elton John (his fourth); Patsy Cline, Bo Diddley, Merle Haggard and Joni Mitchell (their third); and the Allman Brothers Band and Public Enemy (their second).

James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout" (1921) is the oldest recording that was inducted this year. The Public Enemy album is the newest.

Recordings are voted on each year by a special member committee, with final approval by the academy's national board of trustees. Counting these 25 titles, the Hall, now in its 47th year, encompasses 1,113 recordings. Recordings become eligible 25 years after their release.

Here's the complete list of 2020 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees:


"Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite"


Mercury (1950)



Capitol Presents the King Cole Trio 

The King Cole Trio

Capitol (1944)



"Carolina Shout"

James P. Johnson

Okeh (1921)




Joni Mitchell

Reprise (1969)



"Devil Got My Woman"

Skip James

Paramount (1931)




Eat a Peach 

The Allman Brothers Band

Capricorn (1972)



Frampton Comes Alive!

Peter Frampton

A&M (1976)



"How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live"

Blind Alfred Reed

Victor (1930)



"I'll Fly Away"

The Chuck Wagon Gang

Columbia (1949)



"I'm a Man"

Bo Diddley

Checker (1955)




"I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow"

The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys

Columbia (1951)



It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 

Public Enemy

Def Jam (1988)




Dick Dale And The Del-Tones

Deltone (1962)



"Oh Mary Don't You Weep"

Swan Silvertones

Vee-Jay (1959)



"Pancho and Lefty"

Willie Nelson And Merle Haggard

Epic (1982)



Piano Rags by Scott Joplin 

Joshua Rifkin

Nonesuch (1970)



Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!


Warner Bros. (1978)



"Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)"

Neil Diamond

Uni (1969)



"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"


RCA (1983)



Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Columbia (1968)




"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"

Nancy Sinatra

Reprise (1965)



"Tiny Dancer"

Elton John

Uni (1972)



"Walkin' After Midnight"

Patsy Cline

Decca (1957)



"Wipe Out"

The Surfaris

Dot (1963)



Zodiac Suite

Mary Lou Williams

Asch (1945)


Editor's Note: The Recording Academy announced on Jan. 14 that the Police's 1983 classic "Every Breath You Take" was among this year's inductions into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Later that day, the academy announced that the track was not eligible because it had previously been inducted as part of the trio's Synchronicity album.