K-EARTH 101 is celebrating its 40th anniversary of spinning the “greatest hits on Earth” this year, and to celebrate, we’re counting down the top 101 artists that made this station great for our very own K-EARTH 101 Hall Of Fame.
Every Friday beginning today, we’ll unveil ten artists at a time (with the exception of today’s first 11 artists) starting at #101 until we reach the top! Take a look at numbers 101-91 to see which artists kick off our Hall of Fame!
101. The Kingsmen
The five-member rock ‘n roll royalty from Portland, OR pioneered the garage band genre with their raucous party anthem “Louie Louie” in 1963. Jack Ely (lead singer and guitar), Lynn Easton (drums), Mike Mitchell (lead guitar), Bob Nordby (bass), and Don Galucci (piano) recorded their notable version of the Richard Berry hit for just $36, and features Ely screaming the lyrics into the overhead mic that gives the song that raw rock ‘n roll sound.
That one big hit was all it took to forever cement them in rock history and remain one of the best rock songs of all time.
Hall of Fame hit: “Louie Louie”
100. The Crystals
Considered one of the definitive all-girl singing groups of the early ’60s, this Phil Spector produced group. Originally made up of Barbara Alston, Dee Dee Kennibrew, Mary Thomas, Patricia Wright, and Myrna Gerrard, The Crystals released numerous chart hits including “Uptown,” “Then He Kissed Me,” and “He’s A Rebel” that have become a cherished part of music history.
Hall of Fame hit: “He’s A Rebel”
99. Hall & Oates
There are very few rock acts that have had the staying power and mass appeal as Hall & Oates. The Philly duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates launched the genre of “rock and soul” in the mid ’70s with their unique blend of soul, jazz, blues and rock along with catchy hooks and melodies.
With a total of seven platinum albums, six gold albums and six No.1 hits during their career, it’s not surprising that Hall & Oates’ music continues to endure through generations of fans.
Hall of Fame hit: “Rich Girl”
98. The Archies
Starting out as a fictional band for the animated series The Archie Show, The Archies achieved real-life success with their breakout bubblegum pop hit, “Sugar, Sugar” in 1969. As far as cartoon bands go, no one can hold a candle to the catchy pop hits of The Archies.
Hall of Fame hit: “Sugar, Sugar”
97. Don McLean
Most well known for his classic ode “American Pie” about the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), Don McLean created an everlasting hit that defined his career. We spoke to Don last year where he explained the true meaning by his personally coined term “American Pie” surrounding “the day the music died.”
Hall of Fame hit: “American Pie”
The gritty L.A. based rock band defined the cool rock star image in the ’60s consisting of members John Kay, guitarist Michael Monarch, bassist Rushton Moreve, keyboardist Goldy McJohn and drummer Jerry Edmonton. Selling over 12 million albums and scoring three top ten hits, maybe nothing is more notable than Steppenwolf’s heavy biker anthem “Born To Be Wild.”
Hall of Fame hit: “Born To Be Wild”
95. Blood, Sweat and Tears
Innovating the “jazz-rock” genre with jazz improvisation, melodic arrangements and a powerful orchestral sound, Blood Sweat & Tears were an act of their own. Even though the group went numerous line-up changes over the years, their music continues to hold up to this day.
Hall of Fame hit: “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy”
94. The Kinks
Part of the British Invasion in the early ’60s, The Kinks founded by brother Ray and Dave Davies helped pioneer the punk sound with their “in your face” style of rhythm and blues rock. Credited as “the original punks,” The Kinks broke out in the U.S. with heavy hits like “All Day and All Night” and their signature song, “You Really Got Me.”
Hall of Fame hit: “You Really Got Me”
93. Van Morrison
“Van The Man” is no doubt one of the greatest artists in history. With six Grammy awards and several accolades including being inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Van Morrison helped popularize the soul/R&B inspired sound with his feel-good hits like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Wild Night” and “Moondance.”
Hall of Fame hit: “Brown Eyed Girl”
92. Bill Haley and the Comets
One of the earliest rock bands in America, Bill Haley and His Comets brought rockabilly to the masses during the ’50s and beyond.
Hall of Fame hit: “Rock Around The Clock”
91. The Box Tops
Founded in Memphis, The Box Tops blended rich soul and southern rock to create such lasting hits as “The Letter” and “Cry Like A Baby.” Though The Box Tops’ success was brief, it launched the breakout career of lead vocalist Alex Chilton, who became one of the most influential cult figures in music with the power pop group Big Star.
Hall of Fame hit: “The Letter”