The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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From Breaking Ground to Ground Breaking: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Thursday, September 1: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Pete Townshend at June, 7, 1993 groundbreaking ceremony.

In September 1995, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in Cleveland. It was a dream more than a decade in the making and one that continues to grow as the Hall prepares to open its Library and Archives in 2012, advancing its mission to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music.

The Hall of Fame and Museum was the brainchild of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, the nonprofit organization launched in 1983 and led by Atlantic Records Founder and Chairman Ahmet Ertegun, along with Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner, attorney Allen Grubman, manager Jon Landau, record executives Seymour Stein and Bob Krasnow, and attorney Suzan Evans. The group sought to establish an organization that recognized "the people who have created this music which has become the most popular music of our time.”

Officials from Cleveland and the State of Ohio approached the Foundation in 1985 and suggested the construction of a major museum. For more than a year, the Foundation considered Cleveland and numerous other cities, including New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Memphis and Chicago ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee

Rock Hall will honor Otis Redding's 70th birthday with a spotlight exhibit and film screening

Tuesday, August 30: 3:16 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Otis Redding

Though his career was relatively brief, Otis Redding was a singer of such commanding stature that to this day he embodies the essence of soul music in its purist form. His name is synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying up until his death in 1967. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the life and music of Redding, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee, with an exhibit and film screening. Redding would have been 70 on September 9. That day, the Hall of Fame will unveil a spotlight exhibit with more than 20 artifacts in the Ahmet M. Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall. On Wednesday, September 7, the Museum will screen the film Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding.

In honor of Otis Redding’s legacy and to support the Rock Hall’s mission, his widow Zelma Redding will donate a portion of her husband’s papers to the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives. These will include contracts, correspondence, photographs, receipts and sheet music.  The Library and Archives will ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Five Minutes With Fame: Robyn

Wednesday, August 24: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bookmark our blog for a new video from a different artist each week!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with Microsoft Zune for Five Minutes with Fame, an exclusive video series on the Zune Marketplace featuring singers, songwriters and bands at the forefront of today's music. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum, we sit down to talk with each artist about their music, their road to success, inspirations, being on tour and of course, some of their favorite artists and artifacts highlighted in the Museum. This week's featured artist is Robyn.

Much like her Swedish pop-loving brethren, Scandinavian singer-songwriter Robyn has a gift for crafting indelible melodies, though it's not all sunshine and bubblegum. Her songs often favor a R&B groove and she sings with soulful conviction, a style cultivated by listening to her parent's American soul records. Her latest releases reflect an ambitious rethinking of what a pop song can be – and spotlight a woman who rocks.

Prompted by continued frustrations with record labels after more than a decade of making music, Robyn returned in 2005 on her own terms, releasing a self-titled album on her newly formed Konichiwa imprint. The album featured collaborations with a host of fellow ...


continue Categories: Five Minutes with Fame, Exclusive Interviews

Rock Hall opens one of the most comprehensive Beatles exhibits in the world as part of the Museum's redesign

Wednesday, June 8: 9:11 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke

As part of our re-design of the Museum’s galleries, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has just opened a fantastic new Beatles exhibit. It features all new casework, a video element and – best of all – several great new artifacts. The Museum has had a great relationship with Yoko Ono since day one. As a result, we have always had numerous artifacts representing John Lennon, including his Sgt. Pepper uniform, the guitar he played during the bed-ins for peace that he and Yoko held in 1969, several lyric manuscripts and a black leather jacket from the Beatles’ days in Hamburg.  This time around, as we revamped our Beatles exhibit, both Olivia Harrison and Ringo Starr also contributed artifacts. George Harrison’s widow loaned us a striped suit that he wore during the Beatles’ 1966 tour of the U.S. and an orange jacket that he wore to the premiere of Yellow Submarine. Ringo loaned us a red jacket that he wore in the “Strawberry Fields Forever” promo film. In addition, the exhibit includes Lennon’s collarless jacket that he wore in 1963 and 1964, the Beatles logo drumhead from the band’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in ...


continue Categories: Exhibit

Rock Hall President & CEO Terry Stewart honors Record Store Day with a discount on vinyl at the Rock Hall's museum store

Friday, April 15: 3:42 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Record Store Day is Saturday, April 16, 2011.

I can’t believe I forgot again….

Tomorrow is National Record Store Day!  As you can guess, this should be my favorite holiday right behind Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Seeing as how I have hundreds of thousands of records and I buy vinyl every day on-line...what was I thinking…..or not thinking?

This is a long winded way of getting to the fact that the Museum has one of the best record stores in the mid-west.  Our selection of vinyl is prodigious and includes 45s and LPs, reissues and new, picture discs, etc.  And I’ll bet that a lot of you did not know that.  Of course, our selection of CDs is also unparalleled in this part of the world.

All that said, I urge you to stop in tomorrow at the Museum….see some of the new exhibits that are a result of our renovation and purchase some music….in either digital (CD) or analog (records) format.

And not that you need any more incentive other than the new stuff in the Museum, let me offer up a 10% discount for all vinyl purchases*.

If I don’t see you at some of my favorite places like Blue ...


continue Categories: Other, Event

Fashion Meets Rock and Roll

Friday, February 12: 12 p.m.

Assistant Curator Meredith Rutledge discusses late fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s influence on the look of rock and roll

When talking about rock and roll’s relationship to the world of fashion, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chief curator Jim Henke said, “virtually every artist defines (themselves) as much by the way they look as by the music they play.”

It’s been said that fashion and style are the natural visual counterparts to creative musical expression. Rock and roll artists have had a long relationship with the world of high fashion — picture Elvis Presley’s iconic gold lamé suit designed by Nudie, then fast forward to Madonna’s equally iconic gold bustier designed by Jean Paul Gaultier.  Fashion designers like Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and  Gianni Versace have all become synonymous with the branding of rock stars like Madonna, Mick Jagger and Elton John. That’s why the tragic death of clothing designer Alexander McQueen, whom Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour called “one of the greatest talents of his generation,” has especially resonated here at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. McQueen was a favorite designer of the rock world, creating red carpet, stage and album cover looks ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event

The Frankie Sardo Story

Thursday, February 11: 1:45 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison

Frankie Sardo is not a rock and roll star. He never sold a million albums or reached the top of the charts. He is not a household name. However, he is a vital character in one of the most important chapters of rock and roll history. Frankie Sardo was the opening act for the 1959 Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, which was the last concert performance for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The three music legends were killed when their plane crashed following their performance at the Surf Ballroom on February 3, 1959. A little over 51 years after that fateful night, Frankie Sardo returned to the Surf Ballroom for the first time.

In a continuing partnership with the Surf Ballroom, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum co-sponsored a luncheon with the Surf as part of the Winter Dance Party event on February 6, 2010, in Clear Lake. The luncheon featured a one-on-one interview with Frankie Sardo. This interview was the first time Sardo has publicly spoken about his memories and stories surrounding the tour.

Sardo never wanted to be a rock and roll star. He was invited ...


continue Categories: Event, Education

The Story Behind Inductee Pete Seeger's Donation to the Museum

Friday, February 5: 4:35 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
Pete Seeger's banjo head arrived at the Rock Hall yesterday.

Curatorial Director Howard Kramer shares insight on his conversation with Seeger and why he decided to put his infamous banjo head in the Museum instead of on auction.

On Monday, my co-worker in the membership department, Linda Worden, called me to say that she had Pete Seeger on the line and he wanted to speak with me about donating something. I could hear the excitement in her voice about having a conversation with a legend like Pete. It’s a wonderful perk of working at the Rock Hall. She transferred the call to me and there was Pete, spry and warm as usual. Last fall he celebrated his 90th birthday with a sold-out all-star show in his honor at Madison Square Garden. He has been a part of our lives for so long you could easily take for granted his contributions to music and society. Pete has been a leading force in American folk music long before there was any sort of folk revival. His tireless work for social justice and environmental causes is virtually unparalleled.

Back to the phone call. Pete explains to me that he ...


continue Categories: Exhibit
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