The small Pittsburgh suburb of Canonsburg, Pa., – population of roughly 10,000 – wants to open its doors to the biggest pop artists of all-time by constructing the first-ever Pop Music Hall of Fame. With acts like The Beatles, Elvis Presley and The Beach Boys on the inaugural docket, Canonsburg looks to live up to its self-proclaimed title of “America’s Small Town Music Capital.”
The list of 20 nominees for the class of 2013 is below, with voting open to the public on the organization’s website starting Sept. 20. Those that make the cut will be announced in May and have their names emblazoned on a plaque called the Perry, resembling the microphone used by Canonsburg’s native son, Perry Como. (Crooner Bobby Vinton’s also calls Canonsburg home.)
According to a local Patch news site, the Pop Music Hall of Fame is set to open July 4 and take residence in a temporary (and tiny) location, a former cafe. The committee behind the Hall of Fame are aiming to move into more a spacious permanent residence within two years.
Unlike the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was co-founded by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, the Pop Hall of Fame is being founded by the local government, not music industry elite.The Rock Hall’s location of Cleveland – current population circling 400,000, according to the Census Bureau – was a complicated process, and involved the city pledging $65 million to fund its construction. Of course, the city’s role in rock’n’roll history made it a contender in the first place; Cleveland DJ Alan Freed is attributed as coining the term “rock’n’roll” and helped popularize early artists. Though it’s called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, many artists classified as pop have been inducted, including many on the Pop Music Hall of Fame’s inaugural nominee list. Canonsburg and Cleveland are a mere 150 miles apart.
2013 Pop Music Hall of Fame Nominees:
The Beach Boys
The Bee Gees
The Dave Clark Five
Nat King Cole
The Everly Brothers
The Four Seasons
Les Paul & Mary Ford
Simon & Garfunkel
Smokey & Miracles
Three Dog Night
– Jillian Mapes & E.J. Judge, CBS Local