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Davies, Donovan inducted Checker to Rock Hall of Fame: Let me in!

NEW YORK, June 13, (AP): A death in Ray Davies’ family kept the singer from attending the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday, but Jon Bon Jovi closed the three-hour event by performing Kinks hits such as “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.” Davies, who was dealing with his sister’s death, accepted the honor in a video, saying he was proud to be part of the 2014 class that included Donovan as well as songwriters Jim Weatherly, Graham Gouldman and Mark James. Rosanne Cash played double duty at the ceremony in New York City. She sang her father’s “I Still Miss Someone” to honor BMI President Del Bryant — where she grew emotional — and she performed “Catch the Wind” with Donovan following his induction. “American Idol” champ Candice Glover sang an impressive version of “Midnight Train to Georgia,” one of many songs written by Weatherly, a former quarterback for the University of Mississippi. “I always assumed I’d be a football coach,” he told the crowd.

A Great Big World, the duo behind the recent Christina Aguilera-assisted hit “Say Something,” performed 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” to pay tribute to Gouldman, the English songwriter who wrote the Yardbirds’ “For Your Love” and the Hollies’ “Bus Stop.” Martina McBride performed “Suspicious Minds,” a No 1 Elvis Presley hit which James wrote. Grammy-winning R&B singer Miguel gave a show-stopping performance of “Me and Mrs. Jones,” written by Gamble & Huff, who received the Johnny Mercer award, the night’s top prize. The Philadelphia duo, inducted into the Songwriters Hall in 1995, earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

“What’s next, an Oscar?” Kenneth Gamble said to laughs. Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds received the Hal David Starlight award and performed a slow, piano version of the Grammy-winning “Radioactive,” which he wrote along with his bandmates. The 26-year-old musician said songwriting strengthened his relationship with his father, who Reynolds said worked a lot because he was raising nine children. “Every song I write I play it for him,” the singer said. “It’s bonded us in a way that sometimes time wasn’t able do.” Reynolds added that music also is bringing him closer to his nearly 2-year-old daughter Arrow, who he named after Harry Nilsson’s song “Me And My Arrow.”

The show featured rousing performances from Chita Rivera, Chubby Checker and Jackie Evancho.
Meanwhile, Chubby Checker wants the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to know it’s time to induct him. “I don’t want to get in there when I’m 85 years old. I’ll tell them to drop dead, so you better do it quick while I’m still smiling,” Checker said on Thursday. Checker’s recording of “The Twist,” followed by “Let’s Twist Again,” are considered among the most popular songs in the history of Rock and Roll. “‘Let’s Twist Again’ was the first rock ‘n’ roll song that received a Grammy (in 1962),” Checker pointed out.

The 72-year-old recording artist equates a place in the Cleveland, Ohio-based hall to the ability to sustain his career. “If you put me in when I’m too old to make a living, then it’s no good for me to be in there.”
He added: “The Rolling Stones, they’re in there. The Beastie Boys are in there, they’re young. Hall and Oates were just in there and they’re still making money.” He made the comments on the red carpet for the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York where Checker performed “Let’s Twist Again” for the ASCAP Centennial celebration. At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, Daryl Hall mentioned that Hall and Oates was the first Philadelphia-based band to be inducted. And after mentioning Chubby Checker, he responded: “Why isn’t he in?”

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