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The Byrds' Eulogy for John F. Kennedy: "He Was a Friend of Mine"

Friday, November 22: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Folk rock pioneers and 1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees the Byrds

In the early Sixties, Roger McGuinn had been playing with David Crosby and Gene Clark, billing themselves as the Beefeaters. When Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke joined that group in December 1964, they changed their name to the Byrds. Folk rock pioneers, the Byrds were once described by McGuinn as "Dylan meets the Beatles.” Fittingly, the group's first single, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” was written by Bob Dylan and reached Number One. They'd score another Number One hit in 1966 with "Turn! Turn! Turn!," based on a Bible passage set to music by Pete Seeger, but it was McGuinn's inspired reframing of a traditional folk song that made a poignant statement on 1965's Turn! Turn! Turn! album, transforming "He Was a Friend of Mine" into a eulogy for John F. Kennedy, two years after he was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

In 1965, the Byrds were charging forward, building their sound around the three-part harmonies of McGuinn, Clark and Crosby, and McGuinn's shimmering, jangling 12-string Rickenbacker guitar. Their album Turn! Turn! Turn! was released at the end of the year and its title track would go to Number One, but “He Was a Friend of Mine ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll

Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones Pay Tribute to the Everly Brothers on "Foreverly"

Tuesday, November 19: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Everly Brothers circa 1958

The Everly Brothers' sound borrowed from Appalachian folk, bluegrass and country to form a dreamy, innocent style of rock and roll. Over the decades – particuarly in the Fifties and Sixties – the Everlys’ close-harmony style influenced the likes of the Hollies, Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds and the Beatles, with Paul McCartney noting “They were and still are the very best.” Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, 1986, the Everly Brothers are featured in the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit, in the Rave On section. There, visitors to the Museum will find the outfits worn by the brothers on the cover of The Fabulous Style of the Everly Brothers, as well as a 1963 Gibson Everly Brothers model featuring a split pick guard surrounding the sound hole that was meant to represent the brothers’ familial resemblance.

Watch + Listen: Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones "Silver Haired Daddy of Mine"

While best-known for such hits as "Cathy's Clown," "Bye Bye Love,""Wake Up Little Susie," and "All I Have to Do Is Dream," in 1958, Don and Phil Everly surprised fans when they shifted tack, paying homage to their Tennessee roots. On Songs ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, The Beatles, Inductee, Hall of Fame

10 Things You Might Not Have Known About The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers"

Wednesday, October 9: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The fans voted, and we listened: the Rolling Stones album to be highlighted during tonight's special listening party in the Museum's Foster Theater will be the group's 1971 classic recording Sticky Fingers. After asking fans to decide what Rolling Stones album the Rock Hall should highlight, the votes were tallied and Sticky Fingers rose to the top. Tonight, visitors can listen to the entire album through the Museum's state-of-the-art Foster Theater sound system and take part in an in-depth look at the record led by the Rock Hall's education department. Tune in to the live stream at 8 pm EST here! The Rock Hall will honor the Rolling Stones as the 2013 Music Masters during the week of October 21

Released in 1971, Sticky Fingers captured the sound of the Rolling Stones' inimitable, insouciant style. The album was released less than a year after the group launched its own record label – aptly named Rolling Stones Records – for which they signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records. The initial releases on the new label were Sticky Fingers and its raunchy, rocking first single, “Brown Sugar.” Musically, the album showcased the band's versatility, from the country ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Rolling Stones, Hall of Fame, Education, Foster Theatre, Rock and Roll Night School

Interview with Singer/Songwriter Ani DiFranco

Monday, September 30: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Ani DiFranco / photo by Shervin Lainez

Despite her frequent identification as a "folk singer," Ani DiFranco has culled from an eclectic songbook on more than 20 albums. Perhaps grounded in folk, two decades into her career, DiFranco's expansive catalog has been peppered with soul, funk, jazz, electronic music, spoken word and more. Along the way, she's crossed paths with the likes of Chuck D., Dr. John, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and many more, while espousing "to use her voice and her guitar as honestly and unflinchingly as she could."

Ani DiFranco's current tour, in support of her latest ¿Which Side Are You On?, included a stop in Cleveland, where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame caught up with her to learn more about what's inspired and influenced DiFranco over the last 20-plus years.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and do you still listen to it? 

Ani Difranco: The first records I ever bought were cassette tapes. I remember driving across the country with a mere handful of them, which I listened to repeatedly. I had a Robert Johnson recording, I had Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy, I had Prince's Purple ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews

At the Library and Archives: Roy Orbison’s Final Interview

Friday, May 31: 12 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Roy Orbison's last performance on December 4, 1988 / photo by Janet Macoska

For the past year and a half, the staff of the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives has been working to digitally preserve and catalog thousands of hours of footage of performances, interviews, education programs, oral histories and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that have taken place over the past few decades. Making this footage and other resources available to researchers and music fans for the first time is one of the things that already makes our jobs exciting, but one recent donation really captured my interest.

It was the original VHS cassette containing the very last interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Roy Orbison ever recorded. The interview was done at the Front Row Theater in Highland Heights, Ohio, after Orbison’s final show on December 4, 1988, and this was the tape that was there in the room while the interview took place. It was recently donated by Tony Weber, who conducted the interview for his public access television show that ran from 1987 to 1989. Some low-quality dubs of the footage (likely captured from the television broadcast) can be seen on YouTube, but this is the original tape, so it is ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, Exclusive Interviews

10 Essential Irish Rockers

Friday, March 15: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
East German Trabant cars from U2's Zoo TV tour, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

From the Northern Ireland counties to the southern cities of the Republic, Ireland has been – and continues to be – home to some of the world's best known and most-beloved musicians. With a diverse cast of voices and music, Ireland's contributions to rock and roll have expanded the boundaries of the genre. Artists have acted as a force for change and forward thinking, while providing a record of tradition. Songwriters have delivered uniquely Irish narratives, though rich with universal themes and the human experience.

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum shares its 10 essential Irish rockers.

10 Essential Irish Rockers

Them – "Gloria"

Released in 1964 as the b-side to "Baby, Please Don't Go" (itself a smoldering cover of the Big Joe Williams' song), the Van Morrison–penned "Gloria" became a garage-rock classic, with artists such as the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Patti Smith later covering it. Its three chords, speak-sing vocal delivery and indelible "G-L-O-R-I-A" chorus inspired legions of budding musicians and, along with "Here Comes the Night," gave the Belfast group among its first tastes of success. 

Horslips – "Dearg Doom"

Innovators steeped in tradition, Horslips emerged ...


continue Categories: Inductee, 10 Essential Songs

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Inspired Message and Gift to Rock and Roll

Monday, January 21: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
Rock Hall salutes the pioneering spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lasting inspiration

Today, January 21, 2013, we welcome visitors to the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an event that celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King. There are performances, speakers and admission to the Museum is free. 

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance is a time for people to reflect on the accomplishments of the African-American people, including the art form known today as rock and roll. If not for the struggles and sacrifices that Dr. King and his contemporaries made, the voices and musical talents of many African-American artists may not have come to be respected and recognized at the level they are today. 

Naturally, the Rock Hall salutes those visionary musicians who were the genesis of rock and roll – not just on Martin Luther King Day, but every day. King's pioneering spirit is echoed in the music that is the foundation of rock and roll, the foundation of all the Rock Hall celebrates. 

rare Lead Belly acoustic guitar and blues exhibitThe Rock Hall's "Roots of Rock" exhibit highlights the importance of recognizing rock's origins – those true pioneers – including gospel, blues, jazz and R&B, soul, country and folk music ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Video: Interview with Bruce Springsteen Biographer Peter Ames Carlin

Tuesday, December 18: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Author and Journalist Peter Ames Carlin discusses his Bruce Springsteen biography, "Bruce."

The first biography of Bruce Springsteen in 25 years to be written with his cooperation, Bruce covers four decades of the musician and Hall of Fame inductee's career in intimate detail. With unprecedented access, biographer and journalist Peter Ames Carlin collected candid interviews with Springsteen, his family and inner circle to weave a rich narrative chronicling the life and times of the Jersey-born rock luminary. 

This month, Carlin spoke at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Library and Archives, part of the Author Series, which brings journalists, critics and scholars to the Library and Archives for free readings and discuss sessions. In this interview, Carlin shares the art of being a biographer, separating objectivity from fandom, how he gained Springsteen's trust, the incredible stories he gathered while researching the book and more.

Learn more about the Rock Hall Library and Archives' collection of Bruce Springsteen materials here.


continue Categories: Inductee, Library and Archives, Education, Exclusive Interviews
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