The Kingtones, a pop-flavored rock band which became one of the Grand Rapids area's most popular performing acts in the 1960s, led all voting online
for this year's induction into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends
Grand Rapids' "original garage band" became the first of six acts from
the Great Lakes State to earn induction over the weekend into the
online hall of fame, founded in 2005 by rock historian and devotee Gary
"Dr. J" Johnson of Essexville.
Four other bands -- Hank Ballard & the Midnighters (Detroit), The
Funk Brothers (Detroit), The Rationals (Detroit/Ann Arbor), SCR
(Detroit/Ann Arbor) -- rounded out the top five in earning entry as
Legends, along with honorary induction of Motown's famous songwriting
team of Holland-Dozier-Holland.
They join 42 others previously inducted into the hall, distinguished
company that includes Bob Seger, Del Shannon, Aretha Franklin, The Four
Tops, Ted Nugent, Stevie Wonder, Alice Cooper and others with a
"The Kingtones feel truly honored," acknowledged keyboard player Bruce
Snoap of Grand Rapids, who along with guitarist Phil Roberts, are the
longest-serving members of the band that scored its first regional hit
"Wish for an Angel" in 1961. "To be voted into the Michigan Rock and
Roll Legends by our fans is one of the highlights of The Kingtones' 50
years of service. We loved playing music and entertaining people. (It)
makes us feel humble and blessed."
Fans obviously responded because The Kingtones led the way in 2010 by
being named on nearly 32 percent of online ballots submitted by voters.
Hank Ballard came in second by being selected on 29.7 percent of
A few significant others fell just short of induction this year,
including The Eschelons (from Grand Rapids), Frijid Pink, The
Romantics, Edwin Starr, Barbara Lewis, Suzie Quatro and Marshall
Johnson called The
Kingtones' first-place finish "somewhat of a surprise," with Snoap
suggesting a recent "Sound Check" blog item about the band's nomination
helped get the word out.
Johnson's website also added 10 Michigan songs to its "legendary" list:
"Mystery Man" by The Frost, "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & The All
Stars, "Against The Wind" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band,
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder, "In The Midnight Hour" by Wilson
Pickett, "Crimson & Clover" by Tommy James & The Shondells,
"Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes, "Heat Wave" by Martha &
The Vandellas, "Chain Of Fools" by Aretha Franklin, and "The Way I
Walk" by Jack Scott. Classic tunes all and deserving of legendary
status, I must say.
E-mail John Sinkevics: firstname.lastname@example.org