The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

August 2012 | Blog Archives

Interview with 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Wanda Jackson

Thursday, August 16: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Wanda Jackson talks about her conversations with Elvis Presley

In February 2009, a who's who from the world of rock and roll convened in Clear Lake, Iowa, for the Fifty Winters Later series of events honoring the anniversary of the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, whose plane crashed in Clear Lake on February 3, 1959. As part of the weeklong celebration of those pioneering rockers, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's education department led a number of interviews and panel discussions, featuring the likes of Maria Elena Holly, Graham Nash, Sir Tim Rice, Geezer Butler, the Crickets and more. 

On February 2, Rock Hall VP of education and public programs Lauren Onkey interviewed Wanda Jackson in Clear Lake as part of the Rock Hall's Hall of Fame Series. "I was just doing straight country, and that's all I had ever planned on doing," explained Jackson of her early days performing. "[Elvis] started talking to me about his kind of music – we didn't really have a name for it at that point. I said look, I love it of course, but you're a guy, you can sing it, and I just don't think ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Interview with Little Milton Campbell

Wednesday, August 15: 3:05 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Little Milton Campbell talks about Elvis Presley in a rare 2005 interview

"Back then, people weren't saying this is a new thing, rock and roll," said blues guitarist and vocalist Little Milton Campbell in Memphis, Tennessee, during a March 2005 interview with members of the Rock Hall's education staff. "I think what brought that to focus was the fact that Elvis [Presley] did it. He was the only white boy at that time that had the guts to do what he felt, the movements. A lot of folks don't realize that this man caused pure hell doing the kind of music that he was doing." Campbell, who was first noticed by talent scout Ike Turner as a teen and launched his recording career under the direction of Sam Phillips at Sun Records in the early 1950s, had a profound understanding of the blues and unique perspective and insights on the evolution of rock and roll. At the time of the interview, the Rock Hall's education department had started recording interviews with artists and seminal figures in the history of rock and roll as part of an oral histories project to help develop the Museum's distance learning program in order to bring rock and roll education to ...

continue Categories: Education, Exclusive Interviews

Rare Performances: Pink Floyd and Billy Corgan Live in 1996

Saturday, August 11: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
David Gilmour performs Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" live with Richard Wright and Billy Corgan

In the fall of 1995, Smashing Pumpkins, the Chicago-based alternative band who cracked the Billboard 200 Top 10 in August 1993 with Siamese Dream, released the anticipated studio follow up, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The sprawling 26-song double album Corgan then referred to as The Wall for Generation X highlighted the lead songwriter's penchant for abstract lyricism and expansive, evocative instrumental arrangements that owed much to the psychedelic rockers who came decades before him.

At the 1996 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a twentysomething Corgan inducted Pink Floyd, with David Gilmour, Nick Mason and the late Richard Wright on hand to accept their awards. "The first album I heard was Dark Side of the Moon, which as we all know is probably one of the best albums of all time," said Corgan, a self-professed "fan" of the band. "I first heard this album in The Wall era, which to me, at my tender age of 14, was too creepy, too intense, too nihilistic – of course, these are all the things I believe in now." 

Hunched over, arms and elbows leaning against the podium to meet the microphone, Corgan spoke candidly about the personal connection he had ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances

Jane Scott Collection Arrives at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Thursday, August 9: 5 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Beginning to sort the Jane Scott papers at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Recently, the Library and Archives acquired the collection of Cleveland’s own Jane Scott, which includes items accumulated over the course of Scott’s long career as the first rock critic at a daily newspaper: interview notebooks, autographs, personal and promotional photographs, handbills, tour books, concert programs, sheet music, scrapbooks, posters, set lists, press passes, buttons, books, magazines, newspapers, fanzines, LPs, 45s, audiocassettes, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs, correspondence, artist press kits and newspaper clippings.

Packing up all the materials from her apartment and moving them to the Library and Archives took nearly five hours, with the guidance of Scott’s estate attorney and myself, and the assistance of four professionals from local Wood-Lee International Art Handler. The estate attorney had much of the material sorted by type of material in advance of our visit, which made the entire enterprise go more smoothly.

Often when archivists are asked to do this type of work, there are few bodies to assist and even less organization, so it was refreshing to come into this environment where not only had some level of organization been accomplished for us — filing cabinets emptied into cartons and a closet full of clippings and other documents sorted and ...

continue Categories: Library and Archives

Highlights From Lollapalooza 2012

Wednesday, August 8: 4:19 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Gary Clark Jr at Lollapalooza 2012

Ever since Perry Farrell moved his Lollapalooza festival to Chicago, I have managed to attend it every year. In fact, it’s become something of an annual ritual for my older son, Arthur, and me. Like me, Arthur is consumed by music. I have been taking him to concerts since he was a young boy, and I took him to see many established artists, including U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Then as he got more into music, he introduced me to younger up-and-coming artists, and we would go to local clubs together. Arthur now has his own electronic dance music group called Busted Bass, and they have been playing clubs around Cleveland. 

Unlike a lot of other festivals, Lollapalooza features a wide mix of music. This year’s lineup included everyone from 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Black Sabbath to Ohio’s hugely popular Black Keys, from such hot electronic dance music artists as Bassnector and Kaskade to the hot British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, from the folksy young band Dawes to the soulful young band Alabama Shakes.

One of my favorite artists at this year’s festival was the singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr. The Austin, Texas ...

continue Categories: Event

Spotlight Exhibit: Bonnie Raitt's Jacket and Fender Stratocaster

Monday, August 6: 12 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Bonnie Raitt's signature Fender Stratocaster

From her self-titled debut album in 1971, Bonnie Raitt has established herself as a virtuoso blues musician who sings blues with gritty passion and plays slide guitar with authority, as if the genre’s fundamentals had been etched in her soul. With mentors that included Sippie Wallace, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House, Raitt has demonstrated a studied reverence for old-school country-blues tempered with a contemporary outlook and willingness to experiment. She recorded eight albums for Warner Bros. Records from 1971 to 1986, progressively moving from straight blues into more pop-oriented areas without losing sight of her roots. Raitt's move to Capitol Records was followed by her 1989 breakthrough Nick of Time, which netted four Grammy Awards in 1990 and prompted her to note: “It means so much for the kind of music that we do. It means that those of us who do rhythm & blues are going to get a chance again.”

In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke shares the story behind the development and impact of Bonnie Raitt's signature Fender Stratocaster and the jacket she was wearing on one of the most rewarding ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Summertime Blues"

Friday, August 3: 1:14 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

A lot of rock and roll, and especially Sun-label rockabilly, has liquor on its breath. Eddie Cochran – born in Minnesota, a California transplant at age 12 and a teenager until almost the end of the 1950s – never got ruder than a soda-pop belch, musically speaking. His recordings convey youthful good times without the dark undertow of his southern contemporaries. "Summertime Blues" was a B-side, but not for long. Written by Cochran and manager Jerry Capeheart, it's a concise masterpiece: a protest song without rancor, pointedly funny and propulsive. Cochran's teenage frustration will never be out of date. Ten years after being the biggest hit of a tragically short career, "Summertime Blues" survived a lysergic distortion by Blue Cheer to enter the Top 20 all over again. Two years after that, in 1970, the Who was almost as successful with their version, a longtime concert favorite. Eddie Cochran released only one album during his lifetime, which was abruptly cut short when the taxi in which he was a passenger crashed en route to a London airport at the end of a British tour. Also injured in the accident were rocker Gene Vincent and Cochran’s fiancée, songwriter Shari ...

continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players
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