In February, the Museum focuses its attention on a specific African-American root or offshoot of rock and roll. Events include free performances by local and national groups, film screenings, lectures, and intimate evenings of conversation, all celebrating the traditions of blues, soul, rhythm & blues and gospel. Since 1996, performers have included Robert Lockwood, Jr., The Temptations, Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Mavis Staples, Take 6, Al Green, the Ohio Players and the Manhattans.
Cleveland earned its place on the rock and roll map in the early Fifties when local deejay Alan Freed was the first to call the R&B music he was playing on his nightly radio show “rock and roll.” From the 1950s to the 1970s, Clevelanders produced powerful soul and rhythm and blues music in a rich network of clubs, recording studios and record labels. This February, as part of Black History Month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate Cleveland’s rich musical legacy, highlighting great moments in the city’s rhythm and blues and soul music history. Fans are encouraged to share their knowledge, memories, and photos through the Rock Hall’s Facebook and Twitter page.
In addition to the public programs held in February (see schedule below), the month will also include:
· A special class in the Rock Hall’s K-12 program Rockin’ the Schools, offered through the month of February
· A new photo exhibit at the Library and Archives spotlighting the Jimmy Baynes photo collection
· An online subject guide highlighting Black History Month resources at the Library and Archives
· The installation of the Rock Hall’s newest artifact - Robert Lockwood Jr.’s guitar