Thursday, August 16: 11:30 a.m.
Wanda Jackson talks about her conversations with Elvis Presley
In February 2009, a who's who from the world of rock and roll convened in Clear Lake, Iowa, for the Fifty Winters Later series of events honoring the anniversary of the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, whose plane crashed in Clear Lake on February 3, 1959. As part of the weeklong celebration of those pioneering rockers, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's education department led a number of interviews and panel discussions, featuring the likes of Maria Elena Holly, Graham Nash, Sir Tim Rice, Geezer Butler, the Crickets and more.
On February 2, Rock Hall VP of education and public programs Lauren Onkey interviewed Wanda Jackson in Clear Lake as part of the Rock Hall's Hall of Fame Series. "I was just doing straight country, and that's all I had ever planned on doing," explained Jackson of her early days performing. "[Elvis] started talking to me about his kind of music – we didn't really have a name for it at that point. I said look, I love it of course, but you're a guy, you can sing it, and I just don't think ...
Monday, January 10: 1:27 p.m.
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 ...
Thursday, January 28: 12 p.m.
Guest blogger Caryn Rose shares her thoughts with us about her visit to see the Rock Hall’s special exhibit From Asbury Park to the Promised Land and her first tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It’s a funny thing to have watched Bruce Springsteen sitting at the Kennedy Center, with his rainbow ribbon award around his neck, and find yourself standing in front of that very award just a few weeks later, in his exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s even odder that that ribbon is in a room along with the legendary Esquire, and that you can get close enough to the guitar (inside its case, of course!) that you can see that the legend is true, that there’s more glue than wood in some places. It’s in a room with the very jeans that adorned the very ass that graced the cover of Born In The USA, the original handwritten lyrics to “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (with the “freeze out” written in wriggly letters I assume was meant to convey ice), the very flannel shirt that was on the cover of The River (the cuffs so ...
Wednesday, January 6: 8:28 p.m.
Photo of Elvis’ Jukebox currently on display at the Rock Hall courtesy of the Rock Hall/Design Photo
We’re approaching another landmark rock and roll anniversary. This Friday marks the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth. It’s one of those moments that make you wonder what would have happened had he not died so young. Several of Elvis’s contemporaries are alive and still working. What would he have done in the last three decades? Would he have finally toured outside the U.S.? Would he have gone back to making films? Would he have told his story in his own words? I mention that last one because Elvis never sat for an in-depth interview in his life.
There’s a lot of myth surrounding Elvis Presley. So much of it tends to dwell on sensationalism and the myth of myth itself. If you have any interest in finding out more I about him, I strongly urge you to read the books Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, Peter Guralnick’s extraordinary two-volume biography of Presley. Better yet, listen again to what made Elvis the legend he is, the music. Pick up a copy of Elvis at Sun, the 2004 compilation of his seminal recordings done with Sam Phillips in Memphis between July ...