Any kid that grew up in the 1970s with dreams of becoming the next guitar hero had to start somewhere – usually playing a cheap acoustic model and trying to master the Mel Bay chord chart. The exciting part came when your slightly more advanced friends – and fellow budding guitarists – passed along a few iconic rock and roll licks: the opening riff to Chuck Berry’s "Johnny B. Goode," the bassline to Deep Purple’s "Smoke on the Water" and that ringing D chord hammer-on flourish in David Bowie’s "Ziggy Stardust." These were the ones that you played endlessly, and especially enthusiastically if the song happened to come on the radio.
David Bowie, who opened his first U.S. tour in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 22, 1972, marks another milestone today with his first new release in a decade, "Where are We Now?," as he also celebrates his 66th birthday. The song's title gave me pause, prompting me to wonder where rock and roll would be without David Bowie.
For decades, Bowie's music has challenged and captivated fans and critics alike. Sending bold messages ...
To celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 78th birthday on January 8, 2013, the Library and Archives is highlighting some of its collections related to the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. These collections include books; magazines, journals, and fanzines; article clippings; handbills, album flats, and posters; photographs and slides; correspondence; record executive artist files; financial records; and commercial audio and video recordings. Of particular note among these is the Scotty Moore Papers.
Scotty Moore participated in the historic early sessions at Sun Records that arguably marked the birth of rock and roll. Moore led a group called the Starlite Wranglers before Sun founder Sam Phillips teamed him up with Elvis Presley – a relationship that would continue from 1954 to 1958. Moore’s early background was in jazz and country, and he put these influences to use by counterpointing Presley’s vocals with melodic guitar solos that helped launch the rockabilly revolution. In addition to working as an engineer and session musician, he played on many of Presley’s Nashville sessions at RCA’s Studio B. Moore, bassist Bill Black and drummer D.J. Fontana served as Presley’s band onstage and on record until March 1958, when ...
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 would have been Elvis Presley's 78th birthday. Presley was among the first ever inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, an honor befitting his standing as the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. Presely rose from humble beginnings to launch a musical revolution, helping guide the trajectory of the rock and roll genre for deacades. But is "That's All Right" where the legend of Elvis began? What's certain is that "That's All Right" was Elvis Presley's first commercially released recording. He had previously made two private recordings, whose four songs give absolutely no hint of what was to come. Neither did two additional songs Presley tried before "That's All Right" during a faithful July 5, 1954, recording session. That Presley was recording at all is a tribute to Sam Phillips. Phillips' Memphis Recording Service was where Presley had cut his private acetate records and where he would sometimes hang out, trying to find an opening in the music business. Phillips contacted Presley after receiving a song demo he thought might suit the shy teenager. It didn't, but Phillips persevered. He called for the July 5 ...
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!
While in Cleveland to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 17th annual American Music Masters tribute to Chuck Berry, Rosie Flores talked backstage about her first introduction to the guitar and the artists who've influenced her as a guitarist and songwriter. Flores, a fixture in the Austin, Texas music scene who helped reintroduce rockabilly pioneers Wanda Jackson and Janis Martin on her aptly titled 1995 album Rockabilly Filly and released Working Girls Guitar in 2012, shares how various Rock Hall inductees – from Chuck Berry to Jeff Beck – and other artists influenced her playing and songwriting.
The 2013 class of Hall of Fame inductees was announced at a press conference on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Among the inductees on hand during the conference were Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, who sat down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to share what it was like learning they were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, their influences – including Hall of Fame inductees Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Elton John, Aretha Franklin and Paul Simon – and the importance of preserving this music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
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.
Although guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Devon Allman shares a surname that will ring familiar to rock and roll fans, Devon has cultivated a sound all his own. He's mindful of his family's storied musical legacy and the contributions of other venerable rock pioneers, but also has an ear for what's next. The son of Allman Brothers Band founding member, vocalist and key player Gregg Allman, and nephew of virtuoso guitarist Duane Allman, Devon records and performs in blues-rock outfits Honeytribe and Royal Southern Brotherhood. Earlier this year, Devon wrapped recording sessions for his solo debut, Turquoise, scheduled for release in February 2013, and is currently on tour in the United States. Recently, Devon visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, and took time to share his thoughts on being an Allman, his influences both old and new (and familial), making music on his own terms, highlights of the Museum's collection and seeing the instruments played by Gregg and Duane Allman.
Rock Hall: What was your first memory of rock and roll music and what about it resonated with you?
Devon Allman: Driving to the south Texas beaches, age 5 ...