Crickets, rock pioneers in Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Guitarist Duane Eddy picked his rumbling “Peter Gunn” instrumental and Rolling Stone Keith Richards jammed with The Crickets on “Not Fade Away” as a host of musicians and producers were honored during the Musicians Hall of Fame induction ceremony Tuesday.

Richards, who formally inducted The Crickets, best known as Buddy Holly’s band, said that without them “you probably wouldn’t have The Beatles, and you wouldn’t have the Stones.”

“Here was a unit that could operate together, and it turned us all on,” said Richards, who also sat-in with the group for “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day.” “Without them we would be nowhere. The whole idea of any of us anywhere else sprung from this idea of these guys we loved.”

Joining Eddy and the Crickets as new inductees were the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Booker T. and the MGs, the Memphis Horns, rock producer/musician Al Kooper and Nashville producer Billy Sherrill.

“There simply wouldn’t be a music business or hit records without them,” said Barbara Mandrell, who hosted part of the ceremony.

Eddy, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, called his induction an “honor above honor” and joked, “All of the wives of the musicians are happy because now they have a place to put their old junk.”

Formed in 1967, the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section played on hundreds of recordings by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers and Bob Seger.

Kid Rock joined them for Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” while former “American Idol” contestant Melinda Doolittle sang Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

Earlier, George Jones sang his Sherrill-produced hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and received a standing ovation.

This year’s additions have a strong Memphis connection with Booker T. and the MGs and the Memphis Horns.

Kix Brooks of the country duo Brooks &Dunn said Booker T. and the MGs “listened and could create something on the spot. They were really great because in a time of racial segregation they were black and white.”

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