The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Posts by Shelby Morrison

30 Years Later: Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual"

Thursday, November 14: 4 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
2013 marks the 30-year anniversary of Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual" album.

The year 1983 was a year of firsts for Cyndi Lauper – and the music industry. That year, Lauper released her first solo album, She's So Unusual, which became the first debut album by a female artist to score four Top Five singles: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop” and “All Through the Night." She won two American Music Awards, the Grammy for Best New Artist and went on to become the most nominated artist at the MTV Video Music Awards with nine nominations for the album She’s So Unusual, winning the Best Female Video Moonman. Because of her music, influence and artistic contributions, Lauper is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Women Who Rock exhibit, which illustrates the important roles that women have played in rock and roll history, from roots to today. Cyndi Lauper was instrumental in the creation of the exhibit, as she visited the museum during the inception of the exhibit and advocated about how important the inclusion of women is to the story of rock and roll. She also played a major role as a spokeswoman for the exhibit. Women Who Rock: Vision ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll

Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones

Thursday, April 4: 7:30 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Muddy Waters' passport photo, on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In the history of rock and roll, Muddy Waters represented the tide that brought the Southern blues traditions to the north and amplified them. Along the way, he inspired the name of among the biggest rock and roll bands of all time – the Rolling Stones – and countless other artists who emerged in his wake.

Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield on April 4, 1913, in Issaquena County, Mississippi. Following his mother’s death in 1918, McKinley, the son of a farmer, was raised by his grandmother who lovingly gave him the nickname “Muddy” after his fondness for fishing and playing in a muddy creek. Being a pioneer of the Delta blues, Waters eventually took his talents on the road and landed at Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois. Many of the songs that Waters recorded have become blues landmarks, including “Honey Bee,” “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You” and “Got My Mojo Working.” 

In the Sixties, Waters played a large role in the blues revival that took American blues “across the pond.” A youthful group of Brits  who formed a band in 1962 – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart and ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Exclusive Interviews

50 Years Later: The Legacy of Patsy Cline

Tuesday, March 5: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Patsy Cline "Walkin' After Midnight"/"A Poor Man's Roses" 1961 single, on exhibit at the Rock Hall

Best known for her bold, rich and unparalleled emotionally expressive voice, Patsy Cline is one of the most inspirational, influential and impactful female vocalists of the 20th century. As a country music industry pioneer, Cline helped to blaze a trail for women to become headline performers in the genre. As a pillar of talent, Cline often encouraged and helped to support a number of female artists in country music, including Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Brenda Lee and Dottie West. Cline also befriended her male counterparts, including Roger Miller, Faron Young, Harlan Howard and Carl Perkins – possessing the rare ability to be “one of the boys.” Cline could belly-up to the bar and tell a raunchier joke than any man. Her moxie and spunky attitude garnered the respect of the “good ole’ boy” Nashville network and allowed her to take charge of her own career in a way that other women at the time simply couldn’t do. Cline never backed down when it came to the business – “No dough, no show” was often her mantra and according to friend and fellow perfomer West, “It was common knowledge around town that you didn’t mess with ‘The Cline!’” 


continue Categories: Exhibit, Today in Rock

Top of the Charts: Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

Tuesday, February 26: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" remains among the biggest albums of all time.

On February 26, 1983, Michael Jackson’s Thriller hit Number One on the Billboard 200 chart. The 1982 release was revolutionary, a watershed moment in the history of rock and roll. It earned a record-breaking number of Grammy awards, sold in record numbers, resulted in music videos that changed promotional possibilities, broke down racial barriers and left a legacy of influence that continues to this day. 

Thriller was recorded with a production budget of $750,000 in 1982 and was produced by 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee Quincy Jones. Jackson and Jones combed through more than 700 demos – some Jackson had committed to a voice recorder – to find songs for his new album, eventually settling on a handful of tracks that included Jackson originals “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “The Girl is Mine,” “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” All four of the songs that Jackson composed were reflections of both personal and social issues surrounding the "King of Pop": In “Billie Jean,” Jackson speaks about an obsessive fan who alleges that Jackson has fathered a child with her; “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” was a rebuttal against gossip surrounding his life and the media; “The Girl is Mine,”was a song ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Black History Month

Buddy Holly's Final Recordings

Thursday, January 31: 9 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Buddy Holly fan club card, circa 1958

In June 1958, Buddy Holly met and fell in love with Maria Elena Santiago, a receptionist at Peer-Southern Music, Holly’s music publisher, in New York City. After proposing marriage on their first date, the two were married in Lubbock, Texas, in August. After their wedding, Buddy and Maria Elena Holly moved into an apartment at the Brevoort building, at 11 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, on the site of a house once occupied by Mark Twain and just two blocks from Greenwich Village’s “beatnik” culture, which was in full swing by the late 1950s. 

Living in the Village, Holly and Maria Elena would spend hours wandering around the streets, frequenting intellectual hangouts such as the Bitter End and Café Bizarre. “Buddy loved those places,” Maria Elena remembered. “The strange clothes the people wore, the poetry readings, the way they talked to one another. He loved the freedom, the way everyone was allowed to do their thing.” More than anything, Holly was attracted to the music that would literally drift down the street – blues, jazz, folk, even flamenco music.  

Visit Buddy Holly exhibit at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to see rare Buddy Holly original suitBy the time the young couple had settled into their Manhattan apartment, Holly had set up a recording and publishing ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Rare Performances: Cream in 1993 – "Sunshine of Your Love"

Friday, January 11: 3 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Eric Clapton on stage with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Cream, performing "Sunshine of Your Love"

“It was a group of talented musicians that made up – three guys that expressed, power…creating a sound that everybody in this room can relate to and certainly set the stage for our outfit.” – Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top inducting Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Formed in July 1966 and widely regarded as being the first successful supergroup, Cream was a British rock outfit made up of guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. By the time the trio came together, they were far from rock and roll neophytes, as each member of the group had found success in other acts during the 1960s. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were members of Blues Incorporated until the band broke up in 1963, while Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965. The same year Clapton exited the Yardbirds, Bruce joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (which also featured Clapton on guitar). By 1966, Bruce was a member of Manfred Mann and continued to collaborate with Clapton as a member of Powerhouse, which included Hall of Fame inductee Steve Winwood

In their short 28-month run, Cream became a commercial success ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances

Rare Performances: Jimi Hendrix Experience All-Star Tribute Jam

Tuesday, November 27: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992

“You can play or you can transcend. You can go as far, there’s no boundaries how far you can go in your own body and how far your mind can expand while you are playing and Jimi showed me that... I learned that from Jimi.” -  Neil Young, inducting the Jimi Hendrix Experience into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1992

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix, was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942 in Seattle Washington. Hendrix’s first studio recording was in March 1964, on the Isley Brothers' track “Testify.” From 1964 to 1966, Hendrix recorded and toured with a number of artists from Arthur Lee of Love to Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner and King Curtis. In September of 1966, Hendrix went to London with Chas Chandler of the Animals, who was instrumental in forming the Experience.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience formed in London in October 1966, and was composed of singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

The Experience didn’t come into prominence in the United States until their 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where the band’s performance ended with Hendrix ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Rare Performances, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Rare Performances: Simon and Garfunkel Live in 1990

Monday, November 12: 10 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Simon and Garfunkel performed "The Boxer" live at the 1990 Hall of Fame Inductions

In 1990, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were inducted as Simon and Garfunkel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by James Taylor. During their acceptance, Garfunkel noted, "And I want to thank, most of all, the person who has most enriched my life by putting these great songs through me, my friend Paul here." Simon was quick to remark, "Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it's true, I have enriched his life quite a bit, now that I think about it."

At the ceremony, they performed “The Boxer,” a song penned by Paul Simon in 1968. The song was released as a follow-up single to their Number One hit, “Mrs. Robinson,” and reached Number Seven on the U.S. charts. The b-side of the single was “Baby Driver,” and the song appeared on their last studio album Bridge Over Troubled Water.  

Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water albumThe lyrics focus on a person struggling to overcome loneliness and poverty in New York City. It is written in the first-person until the final verse, where it switches to a third-person idea of a boxer, who, despite the effects of “every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances
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