Wynonie Harris

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1970 (The 1971 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2006 (ranked #8 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Good Rockin' Tonight (1948)
All She Wants To Do Is Rock (1949)

Wynonie Harris @ Wikipedia

Wynonie Harris Videos

Will Wynonie Harris be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


10 comments so far (post your own)


Wynonie Harris

Other than Louis Jordan no other Early Influence on Rock was as MUCH of an influence on rock's birth as Harris was. The prototypical rock frontman - dashing in appearance, exuding sexuality on stage and a hellraiser off it - his work in the 40's and early 50's literally made rock possible. In "Good Rockin' Tonight" he popularized the term itself and followed that up with "All She Wants To Do Is Rock", another #1 hit that only solidified the expression in the public consciousness. His failure to be voted in as an Early Influence while pop crooner Nat Cole makes it in under that designation is the equivalent of inducting Perry Como to the Rock Hall before Elvis Presley. By far the most important artist in any category not yet in.

Qualifications: 10 - The Immortals

Posted by Roy on Friday, 12.25.09 @ 09:16am

Wynonie Harris is a man, not a woman!

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 05.9.10 @ 12:04pm

Wynonie Harris is a man, not a woman!

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 05.9.10 @ 12:04pm

Did anyone think otherwise?

Posted by Stefan on Monday, 05.24.10 @ 07:58am

Not to be confused with Wynonna Judd.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 01.26.11 @ 08:27am

I have been reading up a lot on this guy recently and it is absolutely shocking he is still not in as an Early Influence. I consider him and Rosetta Tharpe (who seems like she has a very high chance of getting in this year) to be the most egregious snubs in this category. The man basically invented the rock and roll style (along with Louis Jordan) and it seems a little embarassing that Nat King Cole much as I love him and think he's great is in the Hall, when stylistically he was (apart from his brief time with the trio) pretty far removed from rock and roll.

I really hope they can do a Roots of Rock exhibition soon (a la women who rock), so that Wynonie and other rock progenitors can be spotlighted. Hopefully if Sister Rosetta is indeed inducted this year it can bring focus back to the dormant Early Influences category and Wynonie can eventually get his due.

Posted by rockstar23 on Saturday, 10.15.11 @ 08:22am



It's fckng hopeless with voters like this.

I've been emailing back and forth with Terry Stewart, the CEO of the hall of fame. He buys records from me. He says that the commitee to assess the older artists nominate Roy Brown and Wynonie Harris every year, but they never get put on the ballot by the main nominating committee. He is personally pushing every year for the Mills Brothers and Ravens as early infleunces, but that's going nowhere either. Then there's the Clovers and the Dominoes who are still waiting.

Then there's sht like the whole Dave Clark 5 fiasco a few years ago, and stories of doo wop groups being voted in, but not getting inducted because they want a more modern act that will draw some people to the dinner instead.

The biggest problem with things is that there is no transparency. They don't tell the public who is on these nominating commitees, and they don't tell the public how many votes each nominee got, or anything like that.

The whole thing has just become one big farce.

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 12.4.11 @ 05:15am

More from Bruce

They get recommended for nomination by a special commitee every year. The commitee is supposed to evaluate old time artists who may have been overlooked, 50s and earlier artists. But every year the main nominating committee refuses to do anything with Wynonie and Roy. The way Terry Stewart was talking they have no chance of getting in under the current system.

Part of the problem is that unlike Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson, Wynonie and Roy were not big influences on any white guitar rock and rollers of the 60s. Their influences was directly to other black artists, like Jackie Wilson, who sings very similarly to Roy Brown, and James Brown, who recorded a couple Wynonie songs. Both were also influences on Elvis, but because none of their precious Eric Claptons or Keith Richards ever mentions Roy or Wynonie, these hippie schmucks who run the HOF are not really aware of their influence.

These 60s British guys were mainly guitar players, so they were not very influenced by 1940s R&B stars who were just frontmen. Elvis of course was influenced by those guys, but since their influence did not extend to 60s white rockers, it is discounted by these schmucks.

From "Fever," Susan Whitall's recently-published biography of Little Willie John.

Posted by Roy on Monday, 12.5.11 @ 13:21pm

Roy, you should invite Bruce to come post here. I've read his posts on Digital Dream Door, and I must say I'm impressed with his knowledge of R&B, blues, and rockabilly. He sure seems like he'd be a welcome addition to the discussions here.

BTW, I wholeheartedly support Wynonie Harris as an Early Influence. You can listen to Fats Domino, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and countless others and hear the influence of Mr. Blues himself.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 04.23.12 @ 14:41pm

The most important Early Influence who has not yet been inducted. Elvis Presley saw Harris frequently in concert in Memphis and had the chance to watch him from the balcony after being permitted to by Harris's manager, Jimmy Evans.

You can also hear Wynonie's influence in Fats Domino (both were contemporaries in the late 1940s/early 1950s). The similarity in their vocals is unmistakable. Just listen to these two songs side-by side:

Good Rockin' Tonight (Wynonie Harris): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo9auUfitVA

I'm In Love Again (Fats Domino): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uORo2CMUUsk

Posted by Zach on Sunday, 08.19.12 @ 22:11pm

Actually very shocked that he hasn't been inducted. An ASAP and long overdue case for Early Influence.

Posted by DarinRG on Friday, 10.18.13 @ 15:27pm

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