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Sound Observations: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2019 class includes The Zombies

Sound Observations: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2019 class includes The Zombies

Sound Observations: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2019 class includes The Zombies
December 22
09:54 2018

Last week, the 2019 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced.

Most of the headlines were about Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and Def Leppard being inducted while Radiohead, The Cure and Roxy Music also received a good bit of attention for their respective nods.

While all of those artists are certainly worthy selections, the one that excited me most on a personal level was the long-overdue induction of The Zombies.

I’ve long been a fan of the legendary British Invasion rock band, which is best known for such classic 1960s hits as “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season,” and one of the highlights of my journalistic career was getting to interview founding member and lead vocalist Colin Blunstone by phone prior to a Zombies’ concert at The Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C., in April 2014.

I also attended that show and had the opportunity to meet Blunstone and fellow founding member Rod Argent in person before they took the stage for what proved to be a dynamic performance.

When I learned that The Zombies had finally been chosen for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I was immediately reminded of the phone conversation Blunstone and I had.

One of the things I asked Blunstone was what he remembered about a 1964 appearance by George Harrison on a British television show called “Juke Box Jury,” in which The Beatles icon contributed his thoughts on a handful of then-contemporary singles, including “She’s Not There” by The Zombies.

“I always remember (Harrison) saying how much he liked it,” Blunstone told me. “He said, ‘well done, Zombies.’ And that was it.

“If George Harrison said, ‘well done, Zombies,’ not only were we absolutely blown away, but it pretty much meant it was going to be a hit record.”

Indeed, “She’s Not There,” a jazz-tinged pop tune driven by composer Rod Argent’s dazzling keyboard work and the group’s distinctive vocal harmonies, became a major hit in the U.K. almost instantaneously and by year’s end reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S., where it also hit No. 1 on the Cashbox chart.

Although The Zombies never reached the exalted status of such universally recognized British Invasion artists as the Rolling Stones or The Who, that isn’t to say the band doesn’t deserved to be enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Zombies’ influence spreads far and wide with many artists continuing to praise the band’s work, especially its 1968 masterpiece, “Odessey & Oracle,” an album that Rolling Stone magazine placed at No. 100 on its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

I certainly love that album, which includes “Time of the Season” as the final track, but I also dig The Zombies’ entire catalog. There’s something hauntingly beautiful and almost otherworldly about the band’s use of minor keys to produce a unique sound that’s pop-friendly yet tinged with an undercurrent of sadness.

So, yes, I’m very happy to see one of my favorite bands of all-time earn induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, to put it in the words of George Harrison more than a half-century ago, “Well done, Zombies.”

A closer look at some of this week’s area shows:

Howl in the Valley will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Frank’s Coffee and Music Hall in Inman. Composed of Spartanburg musicians J. Stephens, Janeen Scott and Michael Krell, the band delivers a high-spirted brand of folk-rock that’s inspired by such nationally-renowned artists as Shovels & Rope and The Lone Bellow.

Nathan Angelo will perform, along with Kylie Odetta, at 8 p.m. Friday at The Radio Room in Greenville. The performance is one of a handful of Christmas shows for the Greenville-based singer-songwriter whose music draws from a wide array of classic R&B and piano-pop influences that include Stevie Wonder and Elton John.

The Coconut Groove Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Peddler in Spartanburg. The veteran group, which plays an assortment of vintage blues, rock ‘n’ roll, funk and beach music favorites, always plays to a packed house at The Peddler and this one promises to be extra special given that it’s set to be the final music performance at the venue’s current location.

Sydney McMath will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at New Groove Artisan Brewery in Boiling Springs and at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Brickhouse Fresh Pizzeria and Grill in Spartanburg. The gigs represent a holiday homecoming for the New Orleans-based singer-songwriter who used to call Spartanburg home and whose music is inspired by such 1970s legends as Carole King and Joni Mitchell.

Looking ahead:

Motown legends The Temptations and the Four Tops will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 29 at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $38-$78 and on sale now. For more information, call 800-745-3000 or visit

Source: Sound Observations: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2019 class includes The Zombies

About Author

Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

Martin A Nethercutt is a writer, singer, producer and loves music. Creative Director at McCartney Studios Editor-in-Chief at McCartney Times Creator-in-Chief at Geist Musik President (title) at McCartney Multimedia, Inc. Went to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel Lives in Playa del Rey From Kassel, Germany Married to Ruth McCartney

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