The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


March 2012 | Blog Archives

Finding The Pied Piper of Cleveland

Monday, March 19: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Chris Kennedy
Bill Haley and Elvis Presley

On Thursday, October 20, 1955, at approximately 1:45 pm, 20-year-old Elvis Presley’s rebel yell of “Wellll, I heard the news, there’s good rockin’ tonight!” smacked off the auditorium walls of Brooklyn (Ohio) High School, as cameras from Universal – International Pictures filmed, in color, the flashpoint of the birth of rock and roll.

This unseen footage, know today as The Pied Piper of Cleveland, remains the lost, Holy Grail of rock and roll. But not necessarily because of Presley’s performance, one of his first out of the South, which by most eyewitness accounts wasn’t so spectacularly mind-blowing, or by the appearances of the other, more established acts on the bill. The Pied Piper of Cleveland retains its mystery and allure simply because it has eluded capture for so many years, and because its producer and star, Cleveland top jock Bill Randle, made sure never to answer questions about the film's fate candidly, never letting its tantalizing specter fade from the rock and roll consciousness. 

For the last eight years, I've dedicated a considerable amount of time peering through nearly 60 years of Randle's smoke and mirrors, attempting to discern exactly what transpired ...


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The Rock Hall in Graceland

Wednesday, March 14: 1 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
ICON: The Influence of Elvis Presley is a new exhibit at Graceland

One of the strongest and most enduring relationships the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has enjoyed is the one we have with Elvis Presley Enterprises/Graceland. As the Museum was being developed, Graceland was on board from the beginning to loan items for exhibition. They’ve always strongly felt that Elvis Presley should have a prominent presence in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and we’re grateful for it.

Every few years, I meet with Angie Marchese, Graceland’s director of archives, in Memphis, to update and gather new items for the Rock Hall's Presley exhibit. Few people in the world are as knowledgeable about Presley’s life and career as Marchese, and she’s been instrumental in helping the Museum curate our exhibit dedicated to “the King of Rock and Roll.”

Two years ago, Marchese reached out to the Rock Hall with an idea for an exhibit that examined Presley’s influence on other artists – and she wanted our help. She didn’t have to ask twice, as it was a fantastic idea and a perfect opportunity for our respective institutions to collaborate. It is Graceland's mission to tell ...


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Women Who Rock: 10 Essential Punk Songs

Thursday, March 8: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Siouxsie Sioux punk rock women in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Many women found a new voice and musical identity during the punk-rock explosion of the 70s. The anti-establishment philosophy of the punk rock movement was the perfect fit for those female musicians who still felt like outsiders in the male-dominated music industry. Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth said, “I think women are natural anarchists, because you're always operating in a male framework.” Patti Smith paved the way at legendary punk venue CBGB in New York City with her fusion of experimental poetry and garage rock. British female punk rockers, such as the Slits, Raincoats, Siouxsie and the Banshees and X-Ray Spex responded to working-class discontent and racial division in Britain. Across the Atlantic, in the United States, musicians including Deborah Harry of Blondie, Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and Poison Ivy of the Cramps added new sounds and ideas to the punk rock formula. “That was the beauty of the punk thing: [sexual] discrimination didn’t exist in that scene,” once noted Chrissie Hynde. Here the Rock Hall presents Women Who Rock: 10 Essential Punk Songs. 

1. Patti Smith – "Piss Factory"

Patti Smith was dubbed the "godmother of punk," a moniker with merit. Smith's debut single was "Hey ...


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