Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Alison Krauss & Union Station

Admittedly, in the long list of snubs for the Roll Hall of Fame, the name Alison Krauss is not the sort of name that comes most easily to mind.  The casual fan of rock & roll might not find this bluegrass singer or her band to be truly “rock,” and those who do not listen to country music or know her collaborations with other singers and bands like Kenny Rogers and Shenandoah would be hard-pressed to think of a single song of hers other than either her cover of Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At All” or her Grammy-winning song “Please Read The Letter,” if they even remember those songs.  Yet the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame proved a long time ago that they are looking to honor those with influence and those who have achieved notable critical and commercial success during the rock era, and on both of those levels Alison Krauss & Union Station have achieved notable and worthwhile success that is worth considering and honoring not least because it comes from an unexpected genre that normally does not get a great deal of attention among fans of rock & roll.

The Influence Of Alison Krauss & Union Station

Given that Alison Krauss has not had a lot of hit singles, how are we to appreciate her influence on others?  Perhaps most importantly, her career led to a revival of bluegrass within the mainstream consciousness through her work with Union Station, her collaborations with artists like Robert Plant [1], and her well-regarded performances on such soundtracks as O Brother, Where Art Thou and Cold Mountain.  She is one of the most decorated artists in Grammy Award history, with 28 award wins [2].  Besides these undeniable statistics, the influence of Alison Krauss can be felt in more subtle ways.  For example, her cover of “When You Say Nothing At All” deservedly became the standard version of the song, leading it to be covered by UK singer Roman Keating several years later.  Does Grammy-winning work, consistent album success, excellent collaborations, and credit for reviving interest in a little-regarded traditional genre of music make one worthy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame consideration?  That would appear to be a fairly obvious case.

Why Alison Krauss & Union Station Belong In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Despite being a bluegrass band, Alison Krauss, in her work with Union Station as well as her solo work and her collaboration with Robert Plant, has racked up a serious amount of successful albums.  She has two double platinum albums, one of them a live album, her collaboration “Raising Sand” with Robert Plant went platinum, and she has five gold albums in the United States and has also achieved success overseas in Canada and Great Britain.  That is not even including her contributions to the immensely successful soundtracks for Cold Mountain and O Brother, Where Art Thou that helped to show the breakthrough of traditional bluegrass on the mainstream album charts.  Her skills at collaboration have given her hit singles like “Whiskey Lullaby” (with Brad Paisley), “Buy Me A Rose” (with Kenny Rogers and Billy Dean), and “Somewhere In The Vicinity Of The Heart” (with Shenandoah) [3].  All of these are worthy accomplishments for any act, particularly one that comes out of left field to the level of Alison Krauss & Union Station.

Why Alison Krauss & Union Station Aren’t In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

They’re a bluegrass act, not a genre that has gotten a lot of attention from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame [4].  That and the fact that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame might not be aware that the act is eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame given that their success at bringing bluegrass into mainstream attention and critical appeal started in the mid 1990’s.

Verdict:  Put them in, even if it as some sort of “early influence” because of their traditional genre.  Of course, there is a long line of worthy acts, so it would likely be a surprise if they were even nominated.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-robert-plant/

[2] Leopold, Ted (February 9, 2009). “Plant, Krauss rise with Raising Sand at Grammys”. CNN. RetrievedOctober 13, 2010.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alison_Krauss_discography

[4] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-dan-fogelberg/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-the-doobie-brothers/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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