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September 17, 2021 12 mins

In 1999, Billy Joel was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by fellow piano man, the great Ray Charles, who also happened to be one of Joel’s heroes. Ray Charles arrives on stage to thunderous applause and shares his admiration as he inducts a dear friend. 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M. Welcome to Induction Vault, a production of I Heart
Radio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame M.

Billy Joel broke into the mainstream with his signature piano
ballads followed by some of rock and roll's biggest anthems.
He exhibited stylistic, daring, and impeccable musicianship while assembling one
of the great catalogs of popular songs in this century.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame by fellow piano man, the great Ray Charles, who

also happened to be one of Billy Joel's heroes. Ray
Charles steps up to the podium the thunderous applause to
share his admiration into Inductive dear friend. When Billy Joel
steps up to accept them, he calls the moment a
dream of his being inducted by one of rock and
roll's all time greats. Joel thanks his band and crew

for the many years of making great music and tells
the audience that his wonderful life is all thanks to
the power of rock and roll. Joel then gives a
heartfelt thanks to the many black artists whom he praises
as the true pioneers and the original soul of rock
and roll. H God, that's nice. Thank you. Oh that's you.

You know you you you show know how to make
an old man feel good. I'll tell you, ladies and gentlemen,
I'm really I must be honest with you. I'm totally
out of place. I don't speak too much, and I
don't know anything about talking. And you know, Shay, and
it's my business, so you will know whether thank you.

But but but I'm here to say something to you
that sincerely from from my heart. You know, my friend,
Biddy Joel. I want you to know, first of all,
I genuinely love and respect this man. He's he's ultra taloged.

That's number one. Now some of you are gonna say, well,
wait a minute, now, where where where did you come?
Why do you feel like that? Ray? Well, I'll give
you just a little insight into my brain. First of all,

if you think about a man that has maybe thirty
seven thirty huge hits, thirteen of them went in the
top ten. Three of them were number one. That gives
you what we said. The proof of the pudding is
in the eating. And you know vills you old said,

you know he said, uh, I want to I want
to play my music from my experience, you know, which
said to me. He wanted to play his music according
to the life that he saw around him and what
was important. Beautiful man, piano man, they called him. I

like that, Yeah, just the way you are. Yeah, okay man,
I hear that, you know, and you know, I don't

want to bring myself too much into this, but I
have to say to me, this is just to me.
He wrote one of the most beautiful songs that we
sung together, called Me and My Baby grand No. And

I guess I'll leave you with this thought because he
said it himself. He said, yeah, but it's still rock
and roll to me. After the break, we'll get to

hear from a piano man himself, Billy Joel on the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction volt Oh dad
did it? You did? Put the dog. This is a

total tax pamer. I just want you to have that. Okay, Okay,
do you believe this is that's the Washington Monument, you know? Uh,
thank you very much for Ray Ray Charles. There's a
dream of mine. I'm gonna wake up. Oh that was

an amazing dream, uh I have There's so many people
who have worked with me for so long. I have
a band. They don't have a name, but the guys
in the band have names. A drummer, Liberty has been
with me going on twenty five years. Sax player Marc

Vera has been with me since you're earlier eighties. Crystal
tell you Ferris been with me for like six tours already.
I have a wonderful road crew, Bobby Thrasher as our
production manager, and our tour is gonna end in April.

I'm gonna be I'm gonna be passing these guys over
to Bruce. Bruce for taking them. Well, these guys are
the best, so that's why we want to work with them. Um.
All the other people in the band, thank you so much. UM.
And Mike sound Man has been with me. Brian Ruggles
has been with me for thirty freaking years. I don't

know how you can stand still listening to this stuff,
because I got troubles myself some nights. UM. My production
designer and lighting designer Steve Cambo me twenty eight years.
There are three women at my table. I have to
mentioned my mom, uh who gave me life, Thank you mom. Here,

my daughter who changed my life. Thank you, Alexa and
my girlfriend Carol and who taught me how to dream again. Anyway,

this has been a great life. I've had the most
amazing life, and it's mostly because of rock and roll music.
And I love all kinds of music. And I'm right
now writing what would be considered the romantic mid nineteen
cent shari classical music like Tommy's thrilled with this anyways.

You know, Donny's going, how do we mock at this stuff?
And the you know, he won't even record it, He's
just writing. You know, I'm like, what am I gonna do?
That's what I'm I'm going right now. But this music
has made such a wonderful life for me, and I
want to thank you so much for doing the great
job that you've done at Columbia Records. Thank you so much.
It's a great company. D That's why I say this now.

I grew up in Levittown, Okay, now not exactly the
epicenter of soul in America, you know, and my my
parents they were young people starting out. My dad was
an x g I and they got a house for
forty bucks down whatever the hell it was, quarter Raker

and they thought they were moving to the country. You know,
they were getting out of the city. And we kids
were growing up with this kind of sucks. You know,
there's gotta be something better than this. Then we you know,
it was nice to be out on Long Island. But
we didn't know this at the time. They would not
sell Levitt homes to African American families. We found this

out later, they would not sell homes to them. So
where were we gonna get soul? You know, we're gonna
find the soul of American You know, we got it.
We got it from the radio. We got it from
rock and roll music. That's where we got it from.
And I'm not talking about Pat Boone and I'm not

talking about Fabian and I'm not talking about Frankie Avalon.
I'm talking about Ray Charles and Little Richard and Chuck
Berry and Fats Domino and Wilson Pickett and James Brown
don't notice reading and Little Anthony and the Imperials and
Frankie Lyman and the teenagers. Okay, that's where we got it.

That's where we got it. So I want to thank
those people because they were the real pioneers. And I
know I've been referred to as derivative. Well, I'm damn guilty.
I'm derivative as hell. Now let me just suggest this,
anyone who was derivative like I'm derivative, who should be

automatically excluded from this institution would mean that there wouldn't
be any white people here. I know, we're on TV.

We we gotta get some outrage of ship started here,
you know what I mean? Anyway, Thank you very much,
Thank you. Thanks for joining us on this week's episode

of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault. For
more on your favorite inductees, to shop inductee merch or
to plan your trip to the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame, visit rock Hall dot com. Plus view Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Special on demand on
HBO Max. Our executive producers are Noel Brown, Shelby Morrison,
and Lisa Gurkey. Supervising producer is Taylor Shakog. Research and

archival assistants from Isabelle Keeper and Shannon Herb. Thanks again
for joining us on this week's episode of Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault. Induction Ball is a
production of I Heart Radio in the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame. Yeah. For more podcasts from I heart Radio,

visit the I heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever
you get your favorite podcasts.
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