In March, five new performers will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s an eclectic group of selections, ranging from New Orleans funk giant Dr. John to gravel-voiced skid-row balladeer Tom Waits. But in spite of their differences, each of these singers adopted a special identity or image to stand out from the rest of the pack. Over the next several weeks, Morning Edition will look behind the stage personas of this year’s inductees.
Darlene Love’s vocal fingerprints are all over the pop music of the early to mid-1960s. As a member of the Blossoms, her “Doo, doo, doo-wahs,” “Sha-la-las” and “Ah-woos” provided texture to dozens of songs. The Blossoms, however, never had a hit song under their own name. Love says record companies didn’t know what to do with a black girl group that didn’t sound black.
“Back in those days, it was the Top 40 and rhythm and blues, and never were the two to meet,” she says.
But the group discovered that it was able to establish an identity with record producers by not having an identity…