Gutarist James Burton Due For Hall Of Fame Induction

Chris Blackwell and Steely Dan make the cut too

In addition to Johnnie Johnson, the piano man who, with Chuck Berry, helped create rock 'n' roll in the mid-'50s, guitarist extraordinaire James Burton will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the "Sideman" category this coming March. Burton added his trademark country-rock riffs to classic records by Elvis, Merle Haggard, Ricky Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis, and played on both of Gram Parsons' amazing solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel. Also worth noting is the coming induction of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, the man who brought reggae (including Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals) and African music to America. While Blackwell is known for the hitmakers he discovered, including U2 and Traffic, as well as for releasing some of Tom Waits' best work, I think he should also be applauded for signing both Nick Drake (all the late British singer/songwriter's work was done for Island) and John Martyn, whose Solid Air remains a truly amazing work — 27 years after it was first released. Nice also to see the still-subversive Steely Dan being inducted. [Thursday, December 14, 2000]

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