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History of Rock and Roll :: Blog

The Roots and Definition of Rock and Roll

Friday, October 18: 11:15 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Tracing the roots of and defining rock and roll music at the Museum.

How do you define rock and roll?

Each year, with the announcement of the next class of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a debate swirls as to what music is considered "rock and roll." The announcement of the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees – the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Kiss, LL Cool J, the Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., the Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies – brought with it passionate discussions as to not only who should be inducted, but also how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and people all over the world interpret and define rock and roll. 

Visitors to the Museum in Cleveland will find a large type-and-graphics treatment featured in the Main Exhibit Hall, just before the Roots of Rock exhibit. It marks the unofficial start to a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and explains the roots of rock and roll, and how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes rock and roll today. It reads as follows:

Rock and roll is a form of ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exhibit

Inside the Collection of Art Collins: A Backstage Pass to the Rolling Stones

Monday, October 21: 5 p.m.
Posted by Anastasia Karel
Art Collins' tour notes on the Rolling Stones used as in-house Atlantic Records bulletin.

For as long as there's been an entertainment industry, an “insider’s scoop” has been a reliable way to gain media attention. Over the years, however, many of those rare glimpses, unique perspectives and behind-the-scenes stories have been lost – or perhaps they were never shared. As we discover almost daily at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library and Archives, many such stories are hidden within the boxes of an archives, waiting to be discovered by researchers. Art Collins has one such story. 

Collins began his career at the age of 22 in the Atlantic Records promotion department, and two years later, in 1977, he joined Rolling Stones Records as the Stones’ tour manager. For the Rolling Stones’ 1978 U.S. tour, Collins traveled with the band from show to show, and he took notes about each stop on a yellow legal pad. These notes were later condensed into a report for the in-house Atlantic Records bulletin. Both versions can be found in Collins’ files, but, for a researcher, the handwritten draft tends to be the more valuable of the two, because it may contain extra information that does not make it into the final ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rolling Stones, Inductee, American Music Masters, Library and Archives

Interview with Bill Janovitz, author of "Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones"

Tuesday, October 22: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Tonight, Bill Janovitz will discuss his recent book Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of The Rolling Stones at Cuyahoga Community College’s Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts in the Black Box Theater (adjacent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives, 2809 Woodland Avenue, Cleveland). The event is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 18th annual Music Masters series, honoring the music of the Rolling Stones. For the complete schedule of Music Masters events, including Saturday's Rolling Stones tribute concert, click here.

In Rocks Off, Janovitz – also singer, guitarist, and songwriter in the band Buffalo Tom – shares the story of the Rolling Stones as told through 50 of their most representative songs. Janovitz is also the author of Exile on Main Street (from the critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series) about the iconic Stones album. 

In advance of tonight's event, Janovitz toured the Museum in Cleveland, including Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction. He sat down with the Rock Hall to discuss how he came up with Rocks Off concept, how he narrowed down the Rolling Stones' catalog to just 50 songs and why ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Rolling Stones, Hall of Fame, American Music Masters, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Remembering Maxine Powell and Motown's Finishing School

Wednesday, October 23: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Maxine Powell and Rock Hall director of community programs Ruthie Brown at Rock Hall in 1997.

Although her official title was as a director of Motown's artist development department, Maxine Powell was much more than her role suggested. "Motown owes a great debt to Maxine," says Ruthie Brown, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's director of community programs and friend of Powell. "The artists knew what she was trying to do, and deep down, they wanted her refinement. They mimicked the image of the average American teenager – white, black, it didn't matter. The crossover was extremely successful. Motown was 'the sound of young America," and Maxine helped Berry Gordy get that image across." Powell passed away on October 14, 2013. She was 98.

Powell worked with Motown artist during a pivotal period in Motown's meteoric rise, from 1964 to 1969, when she helped shaped the public – and often private – personalities of the Detroit label's biggest names. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown Records, said that Powell “brought something to Motown that no other record company had,” adding of his artists, “She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional and very thankful.”

Born in Texarkana, Texas ...


continue Categories: History of Rock and Roll, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive Interviews Backstage at Rock Hall's 2013 Rolling Stones Tribute Concert

Saturday, October 26: 1:36 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Guitarist Earl Slick talks backstage with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

On October 26, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of its annual Music Masters program honored the music of the Rolling Stones at a special tribute concert. In this clip, the Rock Hall goes backstage for exclusive interviews with guitarist Earl Slick ("Everything about Keith [Richards] – musically, fashion-wise, his attitude –  it just rang a bell with me right from day one… and it still does today."), singer Lee Fields ("Mick Jagger is the most unique singer I've ever seen. He brings so much life to what he sings."), guitarist and Drive-by Truckers co-founder Patterson Hood ("Many of my lifelong idols are up there."), guitarist and Soul Asylum founding member Dave Pirner ("All through my life, I've been a Rolling Stones fan.") and Hall of Fame Inductee Chuck D. of Public Enemy ("It's about being true: The Rolling Stones have always been true and paid homage to where they came from. I mean, they named their group after a Muddy Waters' Record [which] is a bold statement.") to discover what the Rolling Stones' music has meant to them, why they're paying tribute to the Stones, including Mick Jagger ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Rolling Stones, American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews

Steve Jordan and Bobby Keys Talk about History with the Rolling Stones

Friday, October 25: 5:01 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

On October 26, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, musician and producer Steve Jordan lead an all-star band during a tribute concert honoring the music of the Rolling Stones. The event is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 18th Annual Music Masters series. Also in the band are Hall of Fame Inductees Chuck D. of Public Enemy and Ian McLagan of the Small Faces/Faces, as well as Sugar Blue, Merry Clayton, Sarah Dash, Lee Fields, Bernard Fowler, Patterson Hood, Cyril Jordan, Bobby Keys, Trevor Lawrence, Nils Lofgren, Steve Madaio, Dave Pirner, Earl Slick, Waddy Wachtel, Willie Weeks and Chris Wilson. 

In this interview, Steve Jordan and saxophonist Bobby Keys talk about putting together the Rolling Stones tribute concert, what it's like recording and performing with the Rolling Stones, favorite Rolling Stones' songs and more.


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Event, Rolling Stones, American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews

10 Amazing Costumes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Thursday, October 31: 7:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Jimi Hendrix wore this outfit during his final concert performance.

A commanding stage presence is an essential element of the rock and roll spectacle. Beyond captivating audiences with their music, artists from Abba to ZZ Top have projected their quirks, singular identities and personas via unique stage costumes. Some artists' costume choices are icons to themselves – think Michael Jackson’s gilded glove or Elvis Presley’s bejeweled jumpsuit. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to many of these iconic costumes and ground-breaking designs. Here are some of our favorites, which you can see when visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum!

10 Amazing Costumes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

David Bowie's Suit, 1972 / Design by Freddie Burretti

David Bowie’s breakthrough came with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), a thoroughly modern album that promulgated the notion of rock star as space alien. Bowie melded rock with theater, creating the provocative character and alter ego “Ziggy Stardust."  Bowie wore his lightning-bolt emblazoned suit onstage during his tour to support the album.

The Supremes' Dresses, 1969 / Design by Bob Mackie

The Supremes rose from the poverty of ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame

Interview with Peter Asher, half of legendary duo Peter & Gordon

Monday, November 4: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Peter Asher in 2011 / photo by Michael Weintrob

Peter Asher’s legendary music career began in 1964 with the formation of Peter & Gordon. In 1968, Asher became head of A&R for the Beatles newly formed record company, Apple Records. Three years later, Asher decided to literally head in a different direction and moved to the U.S., where he founded Peter Asher Management. Peter Asher Management became one of the most successful artist management companies in America, handling artists such as Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Carole King. Asher has produced 12 Grammy Award-winning recordings, and in 1977 and 1989 was honored individually with the Grammy Award for “Producer of the Year.” Playing select dates now, Asher stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, to talk about his recent projects, keeping current, and being among the first people to ever hear the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" when Paul McCartney was staying at his house.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Tell us about the dates you're playing now...

Peter Asher: It's not really a tour it's just occasional dates. I have so much fun doing it. To be honest, I ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews
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