For the first time, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place at the home of the Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio.
The largest band yet inducted -- Parliament-Funkadelic, with sixteen of the group's members -- crowded onstage. Exotic costumes were in festive display as the ensemble kicked off the night with a montage of funk's greatest hits, including "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)."
The night was a family affair of sorts. Gathered together were all of the Jackson 5, plus their parents, ditto the Bee Gees, along with Mama Gibb and the Gibb brothers' various children.
Joni Mitchell was inducted by Shawn Colvin and Mitchell's former paramour, Graham Nash (a.k.a. "Willy"), accepted for her.
The Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe died just a few months before his induction. An emotional Ricky Scaggs inducted him, with Emmylou Harris also paying tribute to the music pioneer.
One of the night's most comedic moments came when (Young) Rascal presenter Little Steven Van Zandt shook off his black cloak to reveal that, underneath, his attire matched that of the Rascals during their sixties prime: schoolboy knickers and all. Van Zandt's amusing speech was so Jersey-centric that when it was seen by the casting director of the new HBO drama in preproduction called The Sopranos, Van Zandt got himself an alternative guise as Silvio Dante.
The Bee Gees were inducted by Brian Wilson and Tony!Toni! Tone!'s Raphael Saadia. All eyes were on the stage when Michael Jackson bounded up next to Diana Ross before she had the chance to give her induction speech. The other four Jacksons joined them for a kind of family reunion, soon added to by Motown chief Berry Gordy.
All members of Crosby, Stills and Nash and Buffalo Springfield appeared except Neil Young. David Crosby, whose life was saved by a liver transplant three years earlier, was filled with gratitude: "For a guy who was supposed to be dead a couple years ago, I'm doing quite well."