My review of Roy Orbison's Black & White Night 30 (audio portion), his legendary 1987 concert, expanded and upgraded, out on CD/DVD February 24th.
Joan Baez's just-announced induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will likely raise both debate and questions. She was, after all, a product of the folk revival who unlike onetime paramour Bob Dylan and others, did not make any overt attempts to move into the rock field. In an interview with Scott Mervis, Rock Hall President and Pittsburgh native Joel Peresman's explanation of her induction lacked real clarity.
Yes, she was close to Dylan. It's true she played Woodstock. She introduced the song "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" to the world on her 1962 Joan Baez Live In Concert, Volume 1 album. That was where Led Zeppelin, who made the song immortal, first heard it. Zeppelin, of course later had to settle with the song's composer. Anne Bredon. Since 1990, composer credits are shared by the band and Bredon. Those would qualify Baez under the RRHOF's Influence category.
Bobby Bland's death at age 81 after a period of failing health ends the career of another of the great postwar blues singers. His smoky, passionate vocals inspired blues and rock acts the same way many of the great blues guitarists did. Bland wasn't a guitarist himself, but Wayne Bennett, his longtime guitarist, was influential in his own right.