Four artists who have died in the last 18 months were saluted: Dr. John (his 1973 album In the Right Place), Ric Ocasek of The Cars (their 1978 debut album), Kenny Rogers (“The Gambler”) and Betty Wright (“Clean Up Woman”).
Billie Holiday’s “Solitude” is her ninth recording to be inducted, which puts her in a tie with Ella Fitzgerald for the most entries in the Hall by a female artist. Another long-standing Hall of Fame favorite was honored again. Leonard Bernstein’s Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major (a collab with The Philharmonia Orchestra of London) is his seventh recording to be inducted.
Two decidedly populist choices were Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” (1978) and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981). “Y.M.C.A.” is the latest of several disco recordings to be inducted. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” were already honored.
USA for Africa’s “We Are the World,” which won 1985 Grammys for record and song of the year, was inducted. Three other recordings that were nominated for top-tier Grammys in their day were honored – Rogers' “The Gambler” (a 1979 record of the year nominee), Peter Gabriel’s So (a 1986 album of the year nominee) and the Ronstadt-Parton-Harris collab Trio (a 1987 album of the year nominee).
Two live albums were saluted: Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen (1970) and the Cannonball Adderley Quintet’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: Live at “the Club” (1966).
Two 1991 albums were honored: Pearl Jam’s Ten and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory. They are the newest recordings to be honored this year.
Édouard-Léon Scott De Martinville’s “Au Clair De La Lune,” which dates to 1860, is the oldest recording ever to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Scott De Martinville, a Frenchman, invented the earliest known sound recording device, the phonautograph, which was patented in France in 1857. Scott De Martinville died in 1879. The previous oldest recording in the Hall was Thomas Alva Edison’s “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (1878), which was inducted in 2018.
Here’s a complete list of the 2021 Grammy Hall Of Fame inductees
"Au Clair De La Lune"
Édouard-Léon Scott De Martinville
John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton
Canciones De Mi Padre
"Clean Up Woman"
Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
"Don't Stop Believin'"
Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
Hot Buttered Soul
In The Right Place
Licensed To Ill
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live At "The Club"
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Ravel: Piano Concerto In G Major
Leonard Bernstein With The Philharmonia Orchestra Of London
Schoenberg: The Four String Quartets
Kolisch String Quartet
Album, circa 1940
Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble
The Low End Theory
A Tribe Called Quest
"Time Is On My Side"
Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris
"We Are The World"
USA For Africa
"When The Levee Breaks"
Kansas Joe And Memphis Minnie
"Wreck Of The Old 97"