Nobody does it better — confirmed

Carly Simon inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Carly Simon will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. -Matt Cosby

On these shores, Carly Simon needs no introduction. 

Well, there may be a couple of young wash-ashores who never heard her iconic voice, but there are lots of other folks on the Island who know her well. They had one question on Wednesday when news broke that she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

What took so long?

“This is the reaction I’ve gotten from everybody. It’s about time,” Simon said in a conversation with The Times. “The perception was I was already a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and people couldn’t believe this was my first nomination.”

Simon said she made up a story so she “didn’t get too hurt by the slight” about why she had been previously snubbed. Simon said she made a cameo appearance with Jann Wenner in the John Travolta movie “Perfect,” where she was supposed to throw a bloody mary in Travolta’s face for writing a bad review about her. Wenner, who is a founder of the Hall of Fame and publisher of Rolling Stone, flubbed his line several times, leading to Travolta having to change his shirt over and over again.

“I think Jann was embarrassed by that. At least that’s the story I made up for myself — and therefore his embarrassment leapt to me,” Simon said.

Simon enters with a class that includes Dolly Parton, Eminem, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, and Eurythmics. 

“Her confessional balladry, gorgeous melodies, and catchy choruses made her a captivating voice among a new generation of singer-songwriters,” her online bio at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame states.

There’s no mention of her ties to the Vineyard.

Simon is known for her hits “You’re So Vain,” “Anticipation,” and the James Bond classic “Nobody Does It Better.” She was the first performer to ever win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy for a song composed and performed by a single artist, according to the site. That song was “Let the River Run” from the film “Working Girl.”

Her favorite songs aren’t the big hits, but the songs influenced by her home Island — Martha’s Vineyard. “There are certain songs that really resonate. One song that’s a Martha’s Vineyard song is called, ‘We Just Got Here.’ It’s about Labor Day on Martha’s Vineyard,” she said. “That’s on the album ‘Have You Seen Me Lately.’ Another song, ‘Raining,’ which never appeared on an album until it appeared on a boxed set called ‘Clouds in My Coffee.’ It’s all about being a kid on Martha’s Vineyard. The lyrics about it raining and being stuck in a house for two weeks when you hoped your vacation was going to include sunshine and riding the waves, but instead it just kept raining. Those are two songs that are lesser-known songs.”

The Island has always been an inspiration: “The majority of the songs I’ve written were written while I was on the Vineyard.”
According to the biography, Simon has influenced other artists, including Taylor Swift, who invited her onstage in 2013 to perform a duet of “You’re So Vain.”

Simon told The Times that’s gratifying. “What a huge compliment,” she said. “In the case of Taylor, she asked me to come and sing with her at Foxwoods … and it was so much fun. I’ve never sung for so many people except when I sang at Madison Square Garden.”

In making the case that Simon should be inducted, Stephanie Hernandez of Rock & Roll Globe wrote, “Carly Simon, the siren of Martha’s Vineyard, belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for helping shape popular music with her originality, making rock & roll that is uniquely feminine and universal, and providing the soundtrack to people’s lives.” 

The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 5 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

When she was inducted as ASCAP Person of the Year, the late Bill Withers made her introduction. “It was such a funny speech that I would have wanted him to do it again,” she said. “The two people who would be the most appropriate would be Cat Stevens or Robbie Robertson,” she said, noting that Robertson was the first person to produce her music as a solo artist. She opened for Stevens at the Troubadour.

16 COMMENTS

  1. being such a lifelong fan and follower of Carly Simon, she is truly one of the greatest singers and artists of our time.
    I have grown up with her music and loved every moment of it.
    this was a long time coming and congratulations to Carly.
    i have seen Carly in concert, meet her multiple times in person at book signings.

  2. Over the years Carly helped raise huge amounts of money for M.V. Community Services at the Possible Dreams Auction. Thank you Carly and congratulations on a well deserved honor.

  3. Congratulations, Carly! This is a well deserved, and long overdue honor for your magnificent career. Nobody does it better. Let’s celebrate this great accomplishment all year long.

  4. THANK CARLY AND JAMES FOR THE BEST CONCERT MARTHAS VINEYARD HAS EVER SEEN. EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT FUNDRAISING GREAT EVENTS THE NEW AG HALL COMES TO MIND …on you go Carly……thanks again and again…trip

  5. “Rainin” was also on the Vineyard Sound Volume 3. I bought my copy of the CD from Peter Simon when he had his gallery in Chilmark.

  6. I am certain this comment will not be allowed. But I will enter it anyway.
    The Rock Hall of Fame is a joke, and this proves it.This woman’s recordings represent all that went wrong with 70s music.
    Contrary to a common stereotype, not every boomer who lives on MV is a fan of the dreck she makes.

      • I’m no fan of Ms. Simon or her music, but gotta tell you George, that was the perfect response to Mr. Ventry’s comment. The only thing he is correct about is that not everyone on the island is a fan.

    • Dreck is not a word I’ve used before but will certainly use going forward. Thanks for introducing me to it and I totally agree!

  7. Imagine the grandiosity and arrogance of saying Carly’s tunes represent ‘Everything that went wrong with ‘70s music.’ You came on this site to say that? Why? It’s simply trollish behavior. How would you change the entire decade? The Rock part of The Hall Of Fame is used loosely, in order to incorporate the music of my generation. To say that HOF is a joke and besides Carly Simon does not belong in it is some kind of weird paradox or double negative. She’s not The New York Dolls or Mott. But it’s not her fault that those artists haven’t been inducted. She’s a really good and influential songwriter. That should be enough. Troll person

  8. This woman’s music was not only multi generational but was the soundtrack of many of our lives ..
    The music that she made with James Tayler and about the island,
    Was what drew me and my wife to get married here and return every year since ..we Will always be “bound for the island until” until death do us part .. no regrets about loving ms Simons Music or the island that her music drew us to ..
    only regret is hearing ignorant comments like above .
    Dave S .

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