115. Chuck Willis

Each year during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination process only a handful of artists are selected. Because of this, many artists only have to be nominated once or maybe twice before they get inducted. Chuck Willis was nominated five consecutive years from 1986 and 1990 yet never got inducted. Willis has not been nominated since.   As what was becoming Rock and Roll moved its way across racial boundaries, Chuck Willis was among the few whose songs reached white audiences. Willis scored hits that showed a progression from Jump Blues to Soul all the while proving to be the “everyman” of the new genre. Willis died at in 1958 at the tender age of thirty where he left behind a string of music that was covered by legends and amateurs ever since. If Willis was a little flashier he might have left more of a visual legacy that could have catapulted him into the Hall already. As it stands now, his best shot could be an induction in the Early Influences category which is possible considering he did have hits (pre-Elvis). The Bullet Points:   Eligible Since: 1982   Country of Origin: U.S.A. (Atlanta, GA)   Why He Will Get In: Five previous nominations indicate a desire to put him in.   Why He Won’t Get In: Those five nominations were all before 1991, and he has not been nominated since.   Nominated In: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 Class   Essential Albums: Stroll On: The Chuck Willis Collection (Released in 1994)   Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee: My Story (Single, 1952) It’s Too Late (Single, 1956) Juanita (Single, 1956) C.C. Rider (Single, 1957) What I Am I Living For? (Single, 1958) {acepolls 134}

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