Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | September 28, 2009
Home : Entertainment
Cliff advocate thrilled with HOF nomination
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

Cliff - File

Charles Earle, the American music buff who launched a Cyber petition to get reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (HOF), says he is "absolutely thrilled" that the singer has been finally nominated.

"I hope the voters see fit to give Mr Cliff his much-deserved place in the Hall of Fame. He is close now, and it is just a matter of the voters acknowledging his enormous influence," Earle told The Gleaner last Friday from his home in Birmingham, Alabama.

The latest nominees for the HOF were announced last Wednesday by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Twelve acts, including glam rockers KISS, progressive rock band Genesis, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, disco queen Donna Summer, Swedish dance group ABBA, and rap pioneer LL Cool J, were also nominated.

Biggest hits

Cliff is best known for his appearance as Ivan in the 1972 hit movie, The Harder They Come. The soundtrack for that film contains some of his biggest hits, including the title track, Sitting In Limbo and You Can Get It If You Really Want.

Only one Jamaican performer, Bob Marley, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame. That was in 1994.

Earle, a journalist by profession, said he discovered Cliff through The Harder They Come, while he was a student at the University of Alabama in the 1980s.

In April, he launched the jimmycliffforthehall blog to draw attention to Cliff's work as a singer/songwriter and actor. He is not prepared to say it was his efforts that gave the HOF judges a nudge.


"It's hard to say how much my blog has helped ... kind of a difficult thing to measure ... but I'm thrilled for whatever it has done towards this cause," Earle said.

Jimmycliffforthehall contains Cliff trivia, including information on superstars, like Bruce Springsteen, who have covered his songs.

Inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are selected by a nominating committee made up of music historians. They send their list to an international voting body of more than 500 experts who choose the persons getting the most votes.

As many as seven performers are inducted into the 'Hall' each year.

Performers are eligible for nomination 25 years after recording their first album. The selection committee also looks at the "influence and significance of their contribution to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll".

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