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songs that shaped rock and roll :: Blog

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Jim Dandy"

Wednesday, February 8: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
LaVern Baker's "Jim Dandy" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Employing more aliases than a con artist, 1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee LaVern Baker was born Delores Williams in 1929. The niece of blues great Memphis Minnie, she took the name of Little Miss Sharecropper for her first professional engagements in 1946. The early Fifties found her cutting tracks as Bea Baker; finally, joining the Todd Rhodes Orchestra in 1952, she began calling herself LaVern Baker. It wasn't until the next year, however, when she joined Atlantic Records, that this exuberant belter hit her stride. Working with master Atlantic producers Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, and backed by killer players like saxophonists Sam Taylor and King Curtis, guitarists Mickey Baker and Bucky Pizzarelli, drummer Connie Kay and pianist Hank Jones, she reeled off a string of sexy, high-spirited hits: "Tweedle Dee," "Bop-Ting-a-Ling," "I Cried A Tear" and her signature song "Jim Dandy." The latter tale of a gentleman given to helping ladies in trouble was penned by Lincoln Chase and given an energetic R&B punch by Baker in 1956. Initially released as a single, the song also appeared on Baker's second LP, LaVern Baker (1957). "Jim Dandy" was given a Southern rock re-working ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Louie Louie"

Wednesday, December 14: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

The most notorious song in rock and roll history has been recorded hundreds of times: by surfers (the Beach Boys, the Pyramids), punks (the Stooges, Black Flag), British rockers (the Kinks, the Troggs) and marching bands (U.S.C. Trojans, Rice University Marching Owls). During the first half of the 1960s, it was probably played at more live events than the National Anthem. R&B artist Richard Berry (who sang lead on The Coasters' "Riot In Cell Block No. 9") wrote and recorded "Louie Louie" in 1956.The record came out a year later, was a West Coast hit, and died a natural death. A few years later after the Tacoma, Washington-based Wailers recorded it, "Louie Louie" entered the set lists of various Northwest bands. One was Portland, Oregon's Kingsmen, who recorded the song in 1963. What the Kingsmen thought was a rehearsal run-through was the performance issued on 45. That might explain singer Jack Ely's garbled reading. People heard in the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" what they wanted to hear – a song that just had to be dirty. Radio stations banned it, and sweaty- palmed juveniles made up their own lewd lyrics. Even the U.S. government ...

continue Categories: Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Only Better

Friday, June 24: 3:10 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke

Last fall, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum began undertaking the first major re-design of its galleries since the Museum opened back in 1995. We’ve just finished the first phase of the project, and I have to say it looks incredible!

We had a couple of major goals for the project. One was to upgrade all of our audio, video and interactive installations. The other was to tell the story of rock and roll in a more chronological way. We’ve always had the complete history of rock and roll, from its roots in the blues, rhythm & blues, gospel, country, folk and bluegrass up to the present, but it was not presented in any particular order. Well, we’ve changed that. In the Ahmet Ertegun Gallery, for example, we’ve kept the Mystery Train theater, which contains a film about the roots of rock and roll up to Elvis. But we got rid of the second theater, which had a film about the Beatles up to some more contemporary artists. In its place, we’ve created a new exhibit about our Early Influence inductees and a whole new roots of rock section. The area features beautiful ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Foster Theatre

Watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame featured on American Idol tonight and tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6: 12:33 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

For the second time, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will be featured on American Idol. For this week's episodes, the contestants will perform music from our Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll interactive exhibit.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Idol judge Steven Tyler will have some of his collection items from the Museum's Aerosmith exhibit featured on the show as well. (Photo: Steven Tyler and Joey Kramer of Aerosmith in front of their exhibit at the Rock Hall on October 28, 2010)

WATCH! Tonight, April 6 and tomorrow, April 7 at 8 p.m. EST on Fox!

Coming Soon:
Download the Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll app for iPad and iPhone! Click here for details.


continue Categories: Other, Inductee, Exhibit
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