Music By Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard and More Entering Grammy Hall of Fame
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Raitt and the Everly Brothers are among a diverse group of musicians who will be honored by the Recording Academy in 2017. The four iconic country acts will have recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame — “Jailhouse Rock,” Okie From Muskogee, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Wake Up, Little Susie,” respectively — at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
“The Grammy Hall of Fame represents all genres of music, acknowledging the diversity of musical expression for which the Academy has become renowned,” says President and CEO Neil Portnow in a press release. “Memorable and inspiring, these recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog and are an integral part of our musical, social and cultural history.”
When Presley recorded “Jailhouse Rock” in 1957, the song quickly became his 10th No. 1 hit, soaring up the charts and causing Presley pandemonium to reach even greater heights. As the years have passed, the song has remained a classic, listed at No. 67 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll ranking.
Haggard wrote his quintessential country classic “Okie From Muskogee” with Roy Edward Burris in response to the Vietnam War, and released the track in 1969, as part of his live album of the same name, to great commercial and critical acclaim. The album hit No. 1 on the country charts, while its titular song has since been covered by artists from a wide range of genres, including the Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys and Phil Ochs. “Okie From Muskogee” was also named Song of the Year at the 1970 CMA Awards, while Okie From Muskogee earned Album of the Year at both the CMA Awards and the ACM Awards.
First cut in 1991, Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” has become an iconic ballad for broken hearts everywhere. The track has been named to a number of lists of the greatest songs of all time and has been covered by just about every artist imaginable, including Adele, Boyz II Men and, in 2014, Kacey Musgraves, who performed the song with Katy Perry during an episode of CMT Crossroads.
“Wake Up, Little Susie” by the Everly Brothers was originally recorded in 1957, spent seven weeks at No. 1 and has been named to Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list (No. 318). Simon & Garfunkel cited the Everlys as a major influence in their own music, and their 1982 cover of the song became the folk duo’s last Top 40 hit together.
In 2017, a total of 25 new recordings will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, bringing the initiative’s collection of songs to 1,038. Additional 2017 inductees include Arlo Guthrie’s “The City of New Orleans,” Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues” and Mississippi John Hurt’s “Stack O’Lee Blues,” as well as work from the Beach Boys, Prince, David Bowie, Billie Holiday and Nirvana.
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