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.
Born on March 4, 1944, Cleveland-native Bobby Womack grew into a soul and gospel legend whose contributions as a songwriter, singer and guitarist have kept him and his music relevant for decades.
The son of a steelworker, Womack and his siblings got their start as a gospel group. On tour with the Soul Stirrers, the Womack brothers – Bobby, Cecil, Curtis, Harris and Friendly Jr. – were introduced to the Stirrer's lead singer, Sam Cooke. With a move from gospel to secular soul, Cooke asked the Womack brothers to join him in California, and 16-year-old Bobby Womack made the trip.
Billed as the Valentinos, Bobby and his brothers cut two R&B classics: “Looking for a Love” (later covered by the J. Geils Band) and “It’s All Over Now.” The Rolling Stones’ cover of the latter song beat the Valentinos’ own version onto the charts, giving the Stones their second Top 40 hit in the States and first Number One hit in the U.K.
In the years following his work with Cooke, Womack would write songs recorded by Wilson Pickett (“I’m a Midnight Mover”), George Benson (“Breezin’”), Janis Joplin (“Trust Me”) and others. Pickett alone recorded 17 ...
On Friday, February 22, 2013, Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Womack will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Joined on stage by his full band, including horn section and backup singers, Cleveland native Womack promises a setlist brimming with fiery classics from his storied recording career, as well as cuts from his 2012 release, The Bravest Man in the Universe.
In advance of Womack's concert and interview in the Museum's Foster Theater, the Rock Hall looks at six brilliant Womack songs covering the period of 1964 to 2012.
The Valentinos – “It’s All Over Now”
Bobby Womack sings lead on this 1964 song he wrote with Shirley Womack, and recorded with his brothers Friendly, Jr., Curtis, Harry and Cecil. Within a month of its release, the Rolling Stones had their first Number One hit in the UK with a cover of this song. Womack continued to make the song his own in later years as a solo artist.
Bobby Womack – “That’s the Way I Feel About ‘Cha” from Communication (1971)
This song was ...
In 1974, Elvis Presley returned to his adopted hometown and the city that gave him his start: Memphis, Tennessee. More than two decades after his first recordings at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service, Presley performed five sold-out shows, the fifth and last of which was recorded and released as Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis by RCA. In this video, curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the stories behind some of the artifacts in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Elvis Presley exhibit in Cleveland, Ohio, including the "King of Spades" jumpsuit Presley wore and the handwritten setlist he penned for that memorable performance.
To learn more, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 – what would've been Elvis Presley's 78th birthday – when curatorial director Howard Kramer will lead a special "Gallery Talk," sharing stories behind some of the rare Presley artifacts on exhibit at the Museum. Click here for more info!
The Grateful Dead's "Wall of Sound" was among the band's greatest gifts to fans and a remarkable technical achievement. Powered by McIntosh amps, the Dead's "Wall of Sound" quite literally helped set the stage for some of the group's most triumphant live performances. In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer tells the story of its creation. Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, through 2012. Speakers and amplifiers from the Grateful Dead's "Wall of Sound" are among the objects featured in the exhibit.
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 ...
At the 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Chuck Berry paid tribute to his Chess Records label mate and frequent collaborator Willie Dixon with a moving induction speech and stirring performance of “Roll Over Beethoven.” Dixon contributed his robust and propulsive bass playing to numerous Berry hits, including “Maybellene” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” Berry’s performance that evening reflects the sheer joy that he brings to every performance. Berry’s generosity as a performer is also evident, as he leaves plenty of room for members of Paul Shaffer’s Induction Ceremony house band the opportunity to shine, along with Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby and Blues Traveler’s John Popper. The Rock and Roll Hall Fame and Museum is delighted to honor Chuck Berry as this year’s American Music Masters honoree.
WATCH: Chuck Berry performs "Roll Over Beethoven" live
“No, I didn't attend his funeral. I dedicated a song to him from the stage of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – I wanted his name to be heard on TV and to the crowds watching the show. I wanted to play "Sweet Jane" for him one last time.” – Lou Reed, quoted in The Austin Chronicle, 2000
On September 2, 1995, Lou Reed performed “Sweet Jane” onstage at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, in front of a crowd of more than 63,000 and millions more around the world watching the concert broadcast on HBO. The occasion was the Concert for the Hall of Fame, celebrating the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Reed’s fellow guitarist and Velvet Underground bandmate, Sterling Morrison, had passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma just three days before. Reed’s performance, dedicated to Morrison, gently reminded the world of Velvet Underground’s impact, and Morrison’s unique contributions to the band. The surviving members of the Velvets would pay tribute to Morrison once more upon their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on January 17, 1996, with a poignant performance of a song especially written for ...