Just off the top of your head, name the ten most important people in the History of Rock and Roll (individuals, not groups, though group members, including your favorite Beatle, are eligible). Not your favorites or who you think was the greatest, just the most important to the history of Rock and Roll America, however you define it. Here’s mine, in chronological order, by year of their first major impact (crazy game, so feel free to argue/substitute/debate in the comments. Just remember if you add somebody, you have to take somebody out!):
1) Fats Domino (1950) The Originator
2) Elvis Presley (1954) The Driver of the Narrative
3) Chuck Berry (1955) Rock and Roll America’s First Poet Laureate
4) James Brown (1956) The Visionary
5) Berry Gordy, Jr. (1960) Master of the Game
6) Bob Dylan (1962) Rock and Roll America’s Poet Laureate Redux
7) Jimi Hendrix (1967) Traveler through Time and Space
8) Aretha Franklin (1967) The Definer of Soul
9) John Lydon/Kurt Cobain (1976/1989) The Twinned Spirits of Destruction….neither complete without the other…and no, they didn’t need their particular groups the way John Lennon, Brian Wilson and Mick Jagger needed theirs.
10) Madonna (1982) The Solvent.