Working in the Education Department at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has its perks. For example, I have access to some of the best experts in the field, whether they are academics, journalists or musicians themselves. Fortunately, the Rock Hall has worked hard over the years to chronicle exhibits, interviews and other opportunities that function not only as archival evidence, but also as fascinating windows into the thrilling culture of American popular music.
Recently, we went through tens of videos that Director of Education Jason Hanley worked with our curatorial staff to create a few years ago and found that they would complement our education courses, providing supplemental material for teachers and fans alike. We found an exciting sneak peek into the marketing strategy of Elvis, which we posted to our Rockin’ the Schools class site for 'Takin’ Care of Business: A Rock Band Finance Simulation.' We unearthed a great video showcasing rhythm and blues pioneer Big Joe Turner that we now feature on our distance learning On the Road class page for 'The Big Bang: The Birth of Rock and Roll.' We’re lucky to have our Vice President of Curatorial Affairs Jim Henke talking about the invention of the 45rpm and 33 1/3rd records and their corresponding record player in the 1940s; we’ve shared this gem on several of our on-site class pages and on our distance learning pages.
Ultimately, any teacher, parent or fan would likely find these treasures very useful for exploring American historical, technological, economic and cultural innovations and their ties to rock and roll. I’ve loved watching them all, and I suspect that you will as well.