“See, if I were to write Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are,’ I’d wreck it,” he said, explaining why his instincts run contrary to pop music. “I’d have written ‘I love you just the way you are, you stupid little bitch.’ Which really isn’t as good.”
Of course, he’s joking. But he’s also serious. And it’s that’s precise blend of humor and gravity that has distinguished the songs of Randy Newman from the start. He’s both one of the most hilarious and most serious of all songwriters. A compositional genius, he’s the only great American songwriter to become an accomplished film composer (with some 26 films to date, each with a fully orchestral score he wrote and conducted himself). But he’s also a lyrical genius who has done more than created a style; he’s created his own school of songwriting.
Newman’s songs use the novelistic technique of the untrustworthy narrator, a sometimes funny, often dark, always effective way of shaping a song.
Asked why he chose this indirect method of songwriting, he said: “Maybe it’s a psychological defect. I don’t want to stand up ...
The consistency with which John Mayer combines word craft and melody has earned him rarefied status as a respected songwriter and musician. As one of few musicians to achieve both critical acclaim and popular appeal, the seven-time Grammy Award winner has earned accolades for each album release while selling more than 17 million albums worldwide.
Known as a musician who defies genre boundaries, Mayer is well known for collaborations with a range of artists. From rock to blues, hip-hop to jazz to country, Mayer has performed and/or recorded with Hall of Fame inductees Eric Clapton, BB King and Buddy Guy, as well as T-Bone Burnett, Herbie Hancock, Dixie Chicks, Jay Z and Alicia Keys.
On April 18, 2013, John Mayer will induct legendary blues man Albert King into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 28th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Mayer will also perform a tribute to Albert King with Gary Clark Jr.
In this interview with John Mayer, the musician reflects on the lasting influence of Albert King, including how King's music first resonated with him and why King belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rock Hall: What's your ...
2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Rev Run of Run-DMC recently visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, where he sat down with the Rock Hall to discuss what it was like to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his impressions of 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Public Enemy.
Public Enemy will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 18, 2013, in Los Angeles. The 2013 Hall of Fame inductee exhibit opens at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 16, 2013!
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 ...
Today the Rolling Stones announced their 2013 tour schedule (see below). Between that Rolling Stones news and the work the Curatorial, Exhibitions and Collections staff have been doing to get ready for Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, a feature exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opening May 24, I've been immersed in the "world's greatest rock and roll band" for several months. Among other things, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit will highlight the Rolling Stones touring during the last half century, years of concerts that have made them one of the best – if not the best – live rock and roll acts in history.
I was lucky to grow up in Detroit, Michigan, at a time when music was everywhere and radio was vibrant and meaningful. That city produced so many extraordinary musicians – Hank Ballard, Jackie Wilson, the MC5, the Stooges, Bob Seger, the entire Motown roster – it’s nearly impossible to comprehend. Detroit gave rise to some of the genre's best. It was there I became captivated by the Rolling Stones.
"Clichéd as it might be, we've always been a good, hard rock and roll band," Angus Young has said of his group, 2003 Hall of Fame inductees AC/DC. More than simply "good," AC/DC has reigned as one of the best-loved and hardest-rocking bands in the world for decades.
In this Gallery Talk clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the story behind the iconic schoolboy outfit worn by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young. This outfit – along with other items from AC/DC's lengthy career – is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, in the heavy metal section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit.
Tommy Clarke is a native New Yorker and was a first-responder at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His experience at the tragedy profoundly changed his life. Clarke felt a duty to keep alive the memory of those who died that day, as well as the survivors who still suffer effects from the attacks and the collapse of the towers.
Clarke enlisted his longtime friend and three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Eric Clapton to create something to honor the three services of first responders – the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Clapton brought in master luthier Todd Krause from the Fender Guitar Custom Shop and legendary graffiti artist Lee Quinones to design and build three guitars.
Quinones interviewed many 9/11 survivors to get their thoughts and impressions about the events. With their stories as inspiration, Quinones and Clarke conceptualized the renderings that Quinones then painted on the back of each guitar. Clarke secured authentic badges and commendation bars, and Krause installed them on the instruments he built himself. Clapton brought these guitars on tour with him in 2011 and played ...
Aretha Franklin was only 24 years old when she signed with Atlantic Records in November 1966, but she had already been making records for much of her life, first as a child gospel singer, then as a pop singer of only modest success.
Born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit. Her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was the charismatic pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church, which he turned into a large and thriving institution. From an early age, Aretha sang at her father’s behest during services at New Bethel. Her first recordings turned up on an album called Spirituals, recorded at the church when she was only 14. Although she was firmly rooted in gospel, Franklin also drew from such blues and jazz legends as Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughn as she developed her singing style. On the male side, she was inspired by Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke (both with and without the Soul Stirrers). From the emerging world of youthful doo-wop groups and early soul, Aretha enjoyed the likes of LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, Little Willie John, the Falcons (featuring Wilson Pickett) and Frankie Lymon ...