The April 18 induction ceremony will be held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, moving to the West Coast for the first time since 1993. The event will be open to the ticket-buying public, and will air as an HBO special on May 18. The honorees this year are Donna Summer, Heart, Rush, Albert King, Public Enemy and a trio of very large figures in the Los Angeles music industry: Quincy Jones, Lou Adler and Randy Newman.
Quincy Jones was born in Chicago on March 14, 1933. He began his career as a trumpet player, performing with Lionel Hampton. While on the road with Hampton, Jones began showing talent as a song arranger. He wound up working as an arranger for several artists, including Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Tommy Dorsey. During the mid-Fifties, Jones served as musical director for Dizzy Gillespie. He also began recording with his own band. Later in the Fifties and into the Sixties, he began working on recording sessions by several singers, including Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Brook Benton, Johnny Mathis and Ray Charles. By this point, Jones had become a major force in American popular music. Over the years, he has written nearly 40 major-motion-picture scores, including The Pawnbroker (1965), In Cold Blood (1967) and In the Heat of the Night (1967). He has also composed music for hundreds of television shows, including the long-running Ironside series and Sanford and Son. Jones continued arranging and producing records throughout the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, working with such artists as Leslie Gore, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, the Brothers Johnson and others. His Jackson credits include Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. Thriller has sold more than 110 million copies and is the best-selling album of all time. In 1985, Jones convinced most of the major American recording artists of the day to record the song "We Are the World" to raise money for the victims of Ethiopia's famine. In 1990, a major film documentary, Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones, was released, and in 2001, his autobiography, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones, was published. Now 79 years old, Jones continues to work and make frequent appearances on TV shows and in documentaries about popular music.
After moving to Los Angeles as a child, Lou Adler began his career as co-manager, with Herb Alpert, of the California surf group Jan and Dean. He and Alpert then formed a songwriting partnership, and, under the name “Barbara Campbell,” they wrote the song “Only Sixteen,” which became a hit for Sam Cooke in 1959. Then, while working the Colpix and Dimension record labels, Adler came into contact with several staff songwriters, including Carole King, Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan. The latter two formed a songwriting partnership and began working with Adler’s publishing company, Trousdale. In 1964, Adler founded Dunhill Records. Utilizing his songwriting team of Barri and Sloan, Dunhill scored a major hit with Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction,” which reached Number One in 1965. He then signed the Mamas and the Papas, and they scored six Top Five hits in 1966 and 1967, including “California Dreamin’.” After selling Dunhill to ABC Records, Adler formed a new label, Ode Records. The company had a mammoth international hit with Scott McKenzie’s summer-of-love anthem “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair).” That same year, 1967, Adler was one of the producers of the Monterey International Pop Festival. He also was one of the producers of the film version, Monterey Pop. Adler went on to sign Spirit, Cheech and Chong and Carole King to Ode. In 1971, King’s Adler-produced album Tapestry became one of the decade’s biggest-selling albums, and Adler won Grammys for Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Though Adler went on to produce several more of King’s albums, he began focusing more of his attention on movies. In 1975, he produced The Rocky Horror Picture Show and, in 1981, its follow-up, Shock Treatment. In 1978, he directed Cheech and Chong’s film Up in Smoke. Adler has lessened his involvement with the music world in the last several years, though he still owns the Roxy Theatre, a key Los Angeles music venue. And his impact, particularly on the development of West Coast rock, is undeniable.
Cynical romantic, subversive political satirist, social commentator, champion of the underdog – and brilliant one-man medicine show in the bargain – Randy Newman has been one of pop music’s secret hidden weapons for more than four decades. Raised in Los Angeles, the summers he spent in New Orleans as a youngster had a profound influence on both his piano style and his songwriting, which in later years skewered Southern stereotypes in an ironic fashion that only an insider could get away with. A songwriter since his teens, his earliest songs were covered by artists ranging from Gene Pitney and Alan Price, to Judy Collins, Dusty Springfield and Three Dog Night, highlighted by the 1970 ‘tribute’ LP, Nilsson Sings Newman. His sardonic wit and unabashed sentimentality have inspired a myriad of American and British songwriters to stretch the envelope and in so doing, expand the boundaries of rock, pop, folk, country, R&B and (since the ’80s) film music. A six-time Grammy winner, two-time Oscar winner, three-time Emmy winner (the list goes on), Randy Newman is an American treasure.