Induct James Kirkland into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sign now

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104

We, the undersigned, as fans of Ricky Nelson, call for the induction of his first bass player, the legendary James Kirkland, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kirkland is a true pioneer of the Rock & Roll era. As sideman for Ricky Nelson, he along with guitarist James Burton, drummer Richie Frost, and pianist Gene Garth created the Nelson sound. He played on all of the Imperial recordings from November 1957 until January 1960, including the Top 40 hits Stood Up, Believe What You Say, Its Late, and Just a Little Too Much. Besides recording and touring with Nelson, James Kirkland also provided musical backing on his familys hit television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

Before backing Ricky Nelson, he started his career as a staff musician at the world famous Louisiana Hayride playing alongside David Houston and Bob Luman. In 1956, he worked the nightclub circuit with Dale Hawkins. In 1957, he moved to California and began recording with Bob Luman at Imperial Records. One can hear Kirklands unmistakable bass playing on Lumans Red Hot, Black Days, Blue Nights, Lets Fall in Love, and All Night Long. It was at a session of Lumans that Ricky Nelson would hear him and James Burtons playing and decide that he wanted to have them be a part of his new rockabilly band. Also included on Kirklands recording resume are singles One Woman Man and Honky Tonk Man with Johnny Horton, Sugar Sweet with David Houston, Shirley Lee/I Sure Do Love You Baby with Bobby Lee Trammell, and the album Tall Tales and Short Tempers with Jim Reeves. He was one of the original Blue Boys, having worked with Gentleman Jim Reeves from 1960 until 1963.

As part of the Shadows with Bob Luman, James Kirkland helped to make the B movie Carnival Rock a cult classic amongst rockabilly and rock and roll enthusiasts. He appeared a few times on the television show Town Hall Party as well as making several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, having played the first electric bass on the Opry.

James Kirklands style of playing known as the triple slap has influenced legions of fans and musicians alike. He is one of the musicians who helped to pioneer the triple slap, and few bassists are able to play in that style, especially throughout an entire song.

He was recently inducted into both the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Southern Legends Hall of Fame.

On March 19, 2001 James Burton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now it is time for James Kirkland to take his rightful seat.

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Latest Signatures

  • 29 December 2015350. Nancy D
    I support this petition
  • 19 December 2015349. Jeffrey H
    I support this petition
  • 14 December 2015348. Richard Mp
    Let him in you fools! City, Zip Code 38301
  • 28 November 2015347. Michelle Y
    I support this petition
  • 27 November 2015346. Dr F
    I support this petition
  • 20 November 2015345. Dominique Imperiala
    Sound of the 50's City, Zip Code France
  • 10 November 2015344. Nancy M
    I support this petition
  • 09 November 2015343. Pauline M
    I support this petition
  • 09 November 2015342. Dominic Jorgem
    Induct Him! He is a Rockabilly/Rock and Roll Legend! City, Zip Code Nampa ID, 83686
  • 23 October 2015341. Max E
    I support this petition
  • 15 October 2015340. Rosalie O
    I support this petition
  • 28 September 2015339. Georgia O
    His triple slap bass technique just made Ricky Nelson's rockabilly, even better! City, Zip Code Seven Points, 75143
  • 26 September 2015338. Ollie Wilkins
    I support this petition
  • 22 August 2015337. Mike G
    It's overdue City, Zip Code Daingerfield 75638
  • 14 August 2015336. Buddy D
    This cat really deserves this honor, he is a true rocknroll pioneer!!! City, Zip Code Santa Ana, Ca. 92701
  • 11 August 2015335. Billie L
    I support this petition
  • 07 August 2015334. Al G
    He's why i learned to play stand up Bass!
  • 05 August 2015333. Jane D
    I support this petition
  • 19 July 2015332. Martin T
    Overdue!!! City, Zip Code OL9 9AT UK
  • 20 June 2015331. Laverna S
    I support this petition
  • 17 June 2015330. Gary E
    I support this petition
  • 15 June 2015329. Pat H
    they were the wind beneath the wings City, Zip Code TYLER, TX 75701
  • 17 May 2015328. Melissa L
    James Kirkland is a bass playing legend and deserves the honor! City, Zip Code Bellflower, 90706
  • 24 April 2015327. Ellen Stevensf
    I support this petition
  • 21 April 2015326. Dan M
    I support this petition
  • 20 April 2015325. Charlotte H
    Great addition to the Hall City, Zip Code Boyd, TX 76023
  • 19 April 2015324. Adam B
    I support this petition

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Martin ValentineBy:
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Petition target:
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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