Memphis Music Hall of Fame Inducts Aretha, Box Tops

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The Memphis Music Hall of Fame, established six years ago to honor the city’s artists, has announced its 2018 inductees. The Hall, associated with the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum, will have inducted 70 artists with the addition of this year’s class.

Leading the pack is Aretha Franklin, who died on Aug. 16. Although the Queen of Soul is associated primarily with Detroit, where she grew up, found her fame and spent most of her life, she was born in Memphis in 1942. The Hall of Fame will pay special tribute to Franklin at its induction ceremony, which is scheduled for November.

Related: Legendary talent scout John Hammond on signing Aretha

Also in the soul category is Eddie Floyd, a prime proponent of the Stax Records sound. Best known for his first hit for the label, 1966’s “Knock on Wood,” Floyd, who is 81 years old, placed 16 singles in all on the Billboard chart into the early ’70s.

As far as classic rock, the Box Tops are among this year’s honorees. The group scored a huge #1 hit in 1967 with “The Letter,” which stayed in the position for four weeks and has since been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Box Tops also reached #2 with their 1968 single “Cry Like a Baby.” The band’s induction into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame marks the second time that lead vocalist Alex Chilton will make his way into the Hall, having been previously inducted as a member of the power pop group Big Star.

Watch the induction of Sam and Dave’s Sam Moore at a previous ceremony

Although not as successful commercially as the Box Tops, the Rock and Roll Trio, a pioneering rockabilly group led by brothers Johnny and Dorsey Burnette and featuring guitarist Paul Burlison, will also be recognized this year. The group’s music was enormously influential on aspiring rockers from Jimmy Page to the Stray Cats. Johnny Burnette’s “You’re Sixteen” was later a hit for Ringo Starr.

Also slated for induction are disc jockey George Klein, hip-hoppers 8Ball & MJG, and gospel singer O’Landa Draper.

Watch the Box Tops perform “The Letter” in 1967

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