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The Boss, McCartney, Joel Inducted

March 16, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Three singers who dominated radio in the 1970s _ Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Billy Joel _ joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday along with Dusty Springfield, who died two weeks ago.

Elton John inducted Springfield, recalling how he joined her fan club and stuck her pictures on his bedroom wall.

``Every song she sang, she claimed as her own,″ said John.

Joel gave a long hug to fellow piano man Ray Charles, who inducted him. Joel said he learned his music from Charles, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett.

``I know I’ve been referred to as derivative,″ Joel said. ``I’m damn guilty. I’m derivative as hell. If everyone who is derivative was excluded from this institution, there wouldn’t be any white people here.″

The ceremony at the elegant Waldorf Astoria Hotel was to feature the first live reunion of Springsteen and his E Street Band in a decade, even though the band itself wasn’t being inducted.

McCartney, who didn’t attend when the Beatles were inducted in 1988, was expected to make his first major public appearance since the death of his wife, Linda, last spring.

Other inductees included ``Superfly″ singer Curtis Mayfield, already in the hall as a member of the Impressions; Del Shannon, who made ``Runaway″ a hit in 1961; and the gospel group The Staples Singers.

Blues artist Charles Brown and the Western swing band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys were honored as early influences. Beatles producer George Martin was saluted in the nonperforming category.

Springsteen was judged rock ‘n’ roll’s savior upon the release of ``Born to Run″ in 1975 and hit his commercial peak with ``Born in the USA″ in 1984. Following a turn toward Woody Guthrie-inspired folk, he is poised to return to rock with a summer tour with the E Street Band.

But the E Street Band won’t join Springsteen as inductees. Under Hall of Fame rules, artists aren’t eligible until 25 years after their first record, and the E Street Band didn’t receive billing on a Springsteen record until 1985.

``It’s a misguided policy,″ said E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg.

McCartney was the most commercially successful ex-Beatle, with hits like ``Silly Love Songs,″ ``My Love″ and ``Band on the Run.″ Linda McCartney was a member of his post-Beatles band, Wings.

``Piano Man″ Joel burst out of Long Island with a rocker’s swagger and Tin Pan Alley songwriting skill. The wedding standard ``Just the Way You Are,″ ``Uptown Girl″ and ``We Didn’t Start the Fire″ are among his hits.

Although he continues to perform, Joel hasn’t written a pop song in more than five years while he concentrates on classical composing.

British singer Springfield lost her long battle with breast cancer just before her induction. Her hits included ``You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.″ Her critical reputation deepened when she traveled to Memphis to record ``Son of a Preacher Man″ in 1968.

The names of Hall of Fame honorees are on permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, which opened in 1995.

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