Mauldin’s health will prevent Crickets from attending Hall of Fame ceremony
By William Kerns | A-J ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
A health issue will stop drummer Jerry (J.I.) Allison, 72; guitarist and lead vocalist Sonny Curtis, 74; and standup bass player Joe B. Mauldin, 71, from being in Cleveland tonight.
The Crickets, including the late Nicki Sullivan, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at 8 p.m. in Cleveland, at long last placing them on equal status with band leader Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly, a member of the inaugural class of musicians voted into the hall of fame a quarter-century ago.
(Guitar picker Nicki Sullivan left the band at the end of 1957 and was 66 when he died from a heart attack in 2004.)
Mauldin is dealing with a health issue and wants his privacy respected.
On Thursday, Curtis said in an email, “He is having surgery in a few days and cannot go to Cleveland. J.I. and I decided that, if Joe B. can’t go, we won’t go. That’s the main reason.”
Mauldin’s friends already have made serious plans for tonight.
In Cleveland, Smokey Robinson will induct the musicians with six bands who only saw their front men granted hall of fame membership in earlier years.
Robinson will officially induct:
■ The Crickets (front man Buddy Holly).
■ The Blue Caps (front man Gene Vincent).
■ The Comets (front man Bill Haley).
■ The Famous Flames (front man James Brown).
■ The Midnighters (front man Hank Ballard), and,
■ The Miracles (front man Robinson).
“As I have told you before, this still is a great honor and we all are very appreciative,” Curtis said. “On Saturday night, we are all going to gather at J.I.’s house, sip some champagne and celebrate being friends and rock ’n’ roll buddies since the 1950s. We’ll drink a toast to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have a good ol’ time.”
When the Crickets were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame on Oct. 28, 2008, in Nashville, Paul McCartney sent a special bottle of champagne.
“We have been waiting for a very special occasion to pop the cork, and Saturday night’s it,” Curtis said.
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