Though no one knew it at the time, this would be Ahmet Ertegun's last Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Looking back to this evening, his opening words celebrating jazz pioneer and inductee Miles Davis seem particularly moving -- since jazz was Ertegun's first love and entree into the music business. Said Ertegun, "There was a marvelous article today in the New York Times about the induction of the great jazz artist Miles Davis. Among the great rock & roll artists who have been inducted here, and who are here tonight, it's important to point out that there's a gray area where jazz and rock & roll overlap. And there's also an area where rock & roll overlaps with country music, and where rock & roll overlaps with rhythm & blues, and where rock & roll overlaps with mainstream pop music, and where rock & roll overlaps with hip-hop and rap music, and that's what makes rock & roll a very, very special kind of music that envelopes the styles of so many different kinds of music. It's this diversity, which is evidenced by the great diversity of artists inducted so far."
As Ertegun pointed out, inductees for 2006 ranged from heavy-metal progenitors Black Sabbath to new wavers Blondie to Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd to punks the Sex Pistols.