Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
New Orleans funk music icons The Meters are among this year's nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for the first time fans can vote online for who should make the final cut.
The nominees were announced Thursday morning and include singer/songwriter Randy Newman, who grew up in New Orleans and whose rendition of "Louisiana 1927" remains a classic, as well as Public Enemy, N.W.A., Donna Summer, Deep Purple, Albert King and the Marvelettes.
From now through Dec. 5 fans can cast votes for this year's Hall of Fame class. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2013 inductees, the Hall said.
"James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic all coasted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yet one of the true cornerstones of funk is still waiting for induction," says the Hall of Fame in its nomination.
"The Meters were not only the leading instrumental unit to emerge from the great musical gumbo of New Orleans, they were also one of the tightest and hardest-grooving ensembles R&B has ever seen."
Formed in 1965, the band included original members Art Neville (keyboards and vocals), Leo Nocentelli (guitar), George Porter Jr. (bass) and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (drums). Later Cyril Neville joined the band on percussion and vocals.
In its nomination, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acknowledges the band's legendary status as house band for Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint's recording label, and then its own releases, including the classic "Cissy Strut."
They also became known for their session work with Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer and LaBelle and recordings with Dr. John (also a recent Hall of Fame inductee).
"With the explosion of hip-hop, the group became familiar to a new audience when its records were sampled countless times by the likes of Run-D.M.C., N.W.A., Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys," the Hall said. "Meters songs have been covered by everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Grateful Dead illustrating the far-reaching influence of these masters of funk."
If inducted, the Meters would join a long list of other New Orleans and Louisiana honorees: Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Lloyd Price, Earl Palmer, Dave Bartholomew, Mahalia Jackson, Professor Longhair and Jelly Roll Morton. Just last year, legendary recording engineer Cosimo Matassa was also honored with a special Hall of Fame award.