America's Pop Music Hall of Fame: Meet the Freshman Class

You voted. See if your favorite made it into the freshman class.

It's an impressive list.

Frank Sinatra.

Elvis Presley.

The Beatles.

And of course, Canonsburg's own Perry Como and Bobby Vinton.

They are among the 14 pop acts selected by public vote for induction in America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame in the borough.

Johnny Tillotson—an early ‘60s pop icon—revealed the first 14 inductees at a press conference Friday at the Canonsburg McDonald’s, home to a collection of Vinton and Como memorabilia.

Those artists from Canonsburg—a borough of 8,900 people—have placed nearly 200 songs on the Billboard pop charts, Manager Terry Hazlett said.

Inductees, who had to have a hit prior to 1970 to be considered, were selected from 40 nominees chosen on the breadth, depth and influence of their recordings.

These, alphabetically, are the first inductees into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame.

  • They brought surf music and “Pet Sounds” to America—The Beach Boys.
  • Even today, pop music is defined as what came before and after this band—The Beatles.
  • He is known as “The Man in Black"—Johnny Cash.
  • He is credited with creating the first soul record—Ray Charles.
  • An ‘unforgettable’ artist of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s—Nat King Cole.
  • The singing barber from Canonsburg—Perry Como.
  • He hit the charts with pop, rock, country and Broadway tunes—Bobby Darin.
  • A stellar singer and songwriter from the Brill Building days—Neil Diamond.
  • She’s forever known as Little Miss Dynamite—Brenda Lee.
  • The king of the romance, he’s “Wonderful Wonderful”—Johnny Mathis.
  • The King of Rock 'n Roll had plenty of pop hits, too—Elvis Presley.
  • He’s the chairman of the board—Frank Sinatra.
  • The Polish Prince (and he’s from Canonsburg)—Bobby Vinton.
  • The eighth wonder of the world—Stevie Wonder.

These artists will be formally inducted into the Pop Music Hall of Fame on July 3 with a banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe.

The temporary home of America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame is expected to open this fall on Pike Street in Canonsburg. Fund-raising for a permanent home is currently underway.

Mayor David H. Rhome said the announcement was momentous, and that the Pop Music Hall of Fame will be an asset for not only Canonsburg, but western Pennsylvania.

"As we know, tourism is probably the number one industry in Washington County, and we want Canonsburg to part of that also," he said. "With Sarris, the Perry Como statue and now the Pop Music Hall of Fame, we want to get people to come to Canonsburg and stay more than 20 or 30 minutes."

And he said the hall of fame could help stimulate the economy.

"It might entice a new restaurant or mom-and-pop store," the mayor said.

Gerald W. Wion March 23, 2013 at 09:17 PM
It seems to me that this is all a sham! In the voting Como and Vinton were always way behind yet they are being inducted! Sure you didn't bend to local pressure? And Brenda Lee? She wasn't even one of the nominees! You should have stuck to only those original nominees!! And the Beatles? I thought this was the AMERICAN pop music hall of fame not American and British Hall of Fame


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