Vinton, Como, Cash in Pop Music HOF inaugural class

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The inaugural class of America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame was announced Friday at McDonald’s in Canonsburg.

The 14 acts were narrowed down from 40 and chosen based on the breadth, depth and influence of their recordings with a worldwide online vote, with the criteria including that they must have had a hit prior to 1970.

Johnny Tillotson, an early 1960s pop icon who stopped in town on his way to Wheeling, W.Va., to perform, announced the inductees.

“I can’t tell you how nice it is to be here and make this announcement,” he said. “These are artists who have had a great impact on the American people.”

Members of the Class of 2013 are: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Canonsburg’s own Perry Como, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Brenda Lee, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Canonsburg native Bobby Vinton and Stevie Wonder.

“This is a momentous day for Canonsburg – the process was not an easy one,” said Canonsburg Mayor David Rhome. “These 14 are what a hall of fame is about.”

The artists will be formally inducted during a ceremony July 3 with a banquet at the Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn. The temporary home of America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame is set to open this fall on West Pike Street.

“The community has worked very hard and still has a lot to do,” Rhome said.

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