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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Heart of Gold"

Monday, November 12: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Born on November 12, 1945, Neil Young is one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers. In a career that extends back to his mid-Sixties roots as a coffeehouse folkie in his native Canada, this principled and unpredictable maverick has pursued an often winding course across the rock and roll landscape. He’s been a cult hero, a chart-topping rock star, and all things in-between, remaining true to his restless muse all the while.

Neil Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and again as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997. After being inducted by Eddie Vedder at the 1995 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, Young performed blistering versions of "Act of Love" and "F*!#in Up." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibits in Cleveland, Ohio, are home to a number of artifacts from Young's lengthy career, including the earliest known manuscript of his classic tune "Heart of Gold," with lyrics he wrote between December 1970 and January 1971. (pictured below)

Neil Young exhibit at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumIn the liner notes of his career retrospective Decade, Young said of "Heart of Gold": "This song ...


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Rare Performances: Simon and Garfunkel Live in 1990

Monday, November 12: 10 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Simon and Garfunkel performed "The Boxer" live at the 1990 Hall of Fame Inductions

In 1990, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were inducted as Simon and Garfunkel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by James Taylor. During their acceptance, Garfunkel noted, "And I want to thank, most of all, the person who has most enriched my life by putting these great songs through me, my friend Paul here." Simon was quick to remark, "Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it's true, I have enriched his life quite a bit, now that I think about it."

At the ceremony, they performed “The Boxer,” a song penned by Paul Simon in 1968. The song was released as a follow-up single to their Number One hit, “Mrs. Robinson,” and reached Number Seven on the U.S. charts. The b-side of the single was “Baby Driver,” and the song appeared on their last studio album Bridge Over Troubled Water.  

Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water albumThe lyrics focus on a person struggling to overcome loneliness and poverty in New York City. It is written in the first-person until the final verse, where it switches to a third-person idea of a boxer, who, despite the effects of “every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances

Spotlight Exhibit: Chuck Berry's Handwritten Lyrics

Wednesday, October 17: 10:31 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
The Rock Hall will celebrate Chuck Berry's 86th birthday with two special exhibits

Among the first artists ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Chuck Berry is often referred to as the "Father of Rock and Roll" – a well deserved title, according to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer. In this clip, Kramer shares the handwritten lyrics to two of Chuck Berry's famous recordings: "Carol" and "School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)." The Rock Hall will celebrate Chuck Berry's 86th birthday on October 18 with two special exhibits: a Chuck Berry Spotlight Exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, and a special Chuck Berry exhibit at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives. Berry is the 2012 American Music Masters honoree, and his life and work will be celebrated with a weeklong series of events beginning on October 22, 2012 and culminating in a Chuck Berry–tribute concert on October 27, 2012.


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

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "The Message"

Wednesday, January 25: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) didn't want to make "The Message." His emcees, the Furious Five, apart from Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), thought it was a bad idea. But when this grim slice of urban journalism hit in the summer of 1982, it was as inevitable as Woody Guthrie once had been: It was politics taken to the streets. Until "The Message," rap had been largely celebratory music, reflecting its block-party roots. When Sugar Hill Records eminence Sylvia Robinson pushed for "The Message" – ultimately a collaboration between Glover and studio percussionist Duke Bootee (Ed Fletcher) – the others balked: who wanted to take their problems to the dance floor? Still, the song took off, reaching an audience that had once dismissed rap as idle boasting, countering such notions with lead rapper Melle Mel's repeated, weary conclusion: It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under. For all its success, though, the song had its detractors. While many considered it the greatest rap statement of all time, others called it a sop for white people. However, like most groundbreaking records, "The Message" transcended the rhetoric. It cleared the way for a new kind ...


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