Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Paul Revere And The Raiders

If most people remember Paul Revere And The Raiders at all, it is for their #1 hit “Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian).”  Admittedly, the band did not write the song, and was in fact the third group to perform this song which appears to have been destined to a culturally sensitive song about the oppression of the Cherokee people thanks to being dispossessed from their ancestral homelands in the Appalachian south due to the rapacious land-grabbing of Southern slaveowners.  As someone descended from this tribe, the song is one I remember well [1].  Yet it should be noted that there is a lot more to the career of the band than that one well-remembered song.  Let us take a look into music history and see what more we can discover about the career of Paul
Revere and the Raiders, to determine how they fit within the overall context of the music of the 1960’s and 1970’s when they performed.

The Influence Of Paul Revere And The Raiders

Although they did not write the song, the fact that they did manage to take a protest song about the plight of the Cherokee to #1 on the pop charts did help bring their history to the consciousness of the general public.  Later artists who performed about similar subjects, like John Anderson’s hit “Seminole Wind,” can thank the success of Paul Revere and the Raiders in helping to pave the way for their own success.  Yet their career was about more than this one song, even if it was a popular one.  Additionally, the band was noted for their influence of punk and new wave acts for their song “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone,” covered first by the Monkees (where it became a hit) [2] and then by such acts as Minor Threat and the Sex Pistols while their song “Just Like Me” was covered by Joan Jett and Pat Benatar [3] and David Bowie covered “Louis, Go Home,” among others.  As songwriters covered by others, the band clearly demonstrated that they had plenty of influence in terms of helping others through their excellent material [4].  That should be enough influence to give them the credit they deserve as a major band.

Why Paul Revere & The Raiders Deserve To Be In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

They have a signature song that has held up over the last four and a half decades in Cherokee Reservation.  They have plenty of songs covered by major musicians, some of whom have or should be inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and they had a major career during a difficult era of music for American bands out of the Pacific Northwest.  Here’s how their career breaks down–three gold studio albums from 1966 as well as a gold compilation album and the following top 40 hits:  “Like, Long Hair,” “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “The Great Airplane Strike,” “Good Thing,” “Ups And Downs,” “Him Or Me, What’s It Going To Be,” “I Had A Dream,” “Too Much Talk,” “Let Me,” and “Birds Of A Feather” besides their #1 hit.  Of their other top 40 hits, four of them managed to hit the top 10.  This is a career with the longevity and the sustained success to be worthy of a Hall of Fame induction, especially as their music had a great deal of attitude and certainly was a solid reflection of their times.  Like some other bands, this is music that would sound great on a jukebox in Cleveland, and the history of the band and its complexities with the label and the desire for artistic control and the band’s political influence are worthy of being remembered and honored.

Why Aren’t Paul Revere & The Raiders In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

There was a bit of drama in the band about its membership, as before the recording of the band’s biggest hit some of the original members had left over a creative difficulties involving the label and a feeling of a lack of egalitarian spirit, and later on other members like singer Mark Lindsay also went solo.  Perhaps the band is thought of as a bit of a one-hit wonder and their other work and influence on other genres is simply not brought to mind.  Having their original membership and at least some of their second incarnation (like lead singer Mark Lindsay) inducted would be an obvious solution.

Verdict:  Put them in.  Maybe this case belongs to a sort of “Veteran’s committee” like the NFL Hall of Fame has to deal with neglected acts from previous generations.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/07/10/book-review-the-cherokee-nation-a-history/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/04/30/semper-vigilante/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/03/11/you-never-once-talked-turkey-to-me/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/11/16/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-the-monkees/

[3] https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/02/19/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-pat-benatar/

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Revere_%26_the_Raiders

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Paul Revere And The Raiders

  1. Mike schreffler says:

    Hall is empty without there influence!e

  2. Betty Confere says:

    They was my first concert… Great

  3. Jeffrey Johnson says:

    Not much of a Hall of Fame without them. And some others that should be in.

  4. Virginia Ferraro says:

    As long as Jann Werner (sp?) doesn’t like a band, they won’t be inducted. And the Raiders were often in the teen magazines, so I feel that’s a point against them.When INDIAN RESERVATION was released they were just THE RAIDERS and no longer wearing the colonial outfits..people remember that and their goofy antics on WHERE THE ACTION IS. But there are many fans, myself included, who feel they should be inducted.

    • Ah yes, being in the teen magazines being something against one’s credibility is a problem that many popular bands can approach. That said, “Indian Reservation” is a tremendous song that hints at the depth that the band had as a whole.

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