In 1987, the largest number of inductees in Hall of Fame history -- twenty-two -- was inducted, voted on from an original list of forty nominees. When inducting B.B. King, just days after the second-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sting made a disparaging reference to Arizona's refusal to recognize the holiday. Chuck Berry gave a heartfelt induction to his fellow road warrior Bill Haley. Carl Perkins wore his blue suede shoes, and Berry a blue sequined jacket. Keith Richards, who duckwalked with Berry, inducted Aretha Franklin, "The first lady to be inducted into the Hall of Fame." Brian Wilson, who'd barely been seen in public for years, showed up looking fit and alert when he inducted songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Just over a year after his death in a plane crash, inductee Ricky Nelson was represented by his daughter, Tracy, and twin sons, Gunnar and Matthew, then rising teen idol stars. And when Smokey Robinson approached the podium, the audience spontaneously serenaded him with "ooh, baby, baby," a line from and the title of one of his greatest songs.
The jam was another explosive, unplanned event, featuring Robinson, Berry, blues harpist Paul Butterfield, Foreigner's Mick Jones, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Keith Richards, Bo Diddley, Ben E. King, and members of the Coasters. After giving a stirring induction of Orbison, Bruce Springsteen played guitar and shared the mic on several songs during the jam. Sting and Daryl Hall split a piano bench, and two members of the Coasters sang along with Leiber and Stoller, the men who'd written their biggest hits.
Just before the jam, Bill Graham urged the artists to gather onstage for a group portrait. "We must have a picture of all of you together!" he shouted. "Please, all of you, B.B., Ben, Chuck, Sting, Bruce, Keith, everybody ... please come on up! Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow!"