Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Dionne Warwick

Rarely is there a case where it seems that the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has a particular family that they have failed to recognize but that is definitely the case with Dionne Warwick, who is a cousin of the late Whitney Houston [1], herself a very worthy candidate for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.  When one looks at the career of Dionne Warwick over time, it is astonishing that she has not yet been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  And there is no good reason why not.  Warwick’s career began in the 1960’s and she continued making hit music well into the 1980’s, giving her a solid career length of 20 years or so in the limelight before becoming a well-regarded legacy pick.  And the fact that her younger cousin Whitney Houston was able to have a lasting career as well suggests her massive influence on music through providing at least some of the connections that helped make her relative a success even when one does not count her own massively successful and influential body of work.  How is it that someone of Dionne Warwick’s poise and skill as a vocalist and interpreter of music can get overlooked or underappreciated?  Whether one is looking for massively popular songs or immensely skilled and critically appreciated material, she has both of them.  What she doesn’t have (yet) is a spot in Cleveland.

The Influence Of Dionne Warwick

As has already been said, there is undeniable influence that Dionne Warwick has as a trailblazer for her cousin Whitney Houston.  Being the leader in a family of talented musicians is one of the more impressive ways to show one’s influence, whether it is Pat Boone providing the Christian basis of Debbie Boone’s career, or Julian Lennon giving influence to John Lennon or Rockwell and LMFAO showing the complexity of the Gordy family legacy or the Jackson 5 and Michael and Janet Jackson’s careers as solo musicians, family power is vitally important in the history of music in the Rock & Roll era.  But other than that, Dionne has as lot of influence from being an amazing singer who has made some wonderful recordings and who has been able to consistently work well with a lot of musicians over the course of her career.  Her biggest hit was credited to Dionne and Friends and showed the sort of friends she was able to pull together for a massive hit single, including Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder.  And that is not even including her successful duets with such acts as Isaac Hayes, Jeffrey Osbourne, Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, The Spinners, and even Billy Ray Cyrus.  That kind of influence speaks to a career of excellence.

Why Dionne Warwick Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Beyond her ability to work with others and pave the way for other artists, Dionne’s music has stood the test of time.  In an age where album certifications are more rare than they are today, she had 5 studio albums as well as a live album and compilation album that have been certified gold or above [2], and there is no telling how many more should be.  Beyond that, she has an immense track record for songs, including “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “Walk On By,” “Message To Michael,” “Trains And Boats And Planes,” “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” “Promises, Promises,” “This Girl’s In Love With You,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “Then Came You,” “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” “Deja Vu,” “Heartbreaker,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” and “Love Power.”  Few artists have had as many songs that are as iconic in pop and R&B and that have been covered or appeared in soundtracks or sampled by later generations.

Why Dionne Warwick Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

It is admittedly a bit of a mystery.  If one does not want to accuse the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame of being sexist or racist when it comes to their inductions, it is probably easiest to assume that they aren’t familiar with how wide of a scope she has in terms of her success and skill and they are probably holding it against her that she sang the songs that others had written.  Indeed, a great many of her songs were written by such professional songwriters as Burt Bacharach and Hal David, as well as Carole Bayer Sager, the Bee Gees, Richard Kerr, Will Jennings, among others.  Does that matter?  No.  She was a great singer and a wonderful song interpreter, and that ought to be enough.

Verdict:  Put her in.  It’s been long enough already.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-whitney-houston/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionne_Warwick_discography

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.

2 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Dionne Warwick

  1. mothfire says:

    Like I said before, there should be a special RRHOF where they induct all of the women they’ve snubbed over the years. Including Dionne.

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