The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Announces Two New Spotlight Exhibits in Honor of Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry

Opening to Coincide with Music Legend’s 86th Birthday on October 18

CLEVELAND (October 12, 2012) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and its Library and Archives are proud to present two special spotlight exhibitions devoted to rock and roll pioneer, Chuck Berry.  The exhibits will open to the public on Thursday, October 18 to coincide with Berry’s 86th birthday and kick-off the 17th annual American Music Masters® series, Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry, beginning Monday, October 22 through Saturday, October 27. 

See Chuck Berry’s stage clothes, a guitar and more at the museum at 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd. Highlights include:
·    Vest worn at the Toronto Rock and Roll Festival in 1969
·    An original photograph of three-year-old Chuck Berry in his St. Louis neighborhood called “The Ville” (c. 1929)
·    Chuck Berry/Chess Records recording contract (1958)
·    Handbill from a performance in Jamaica in 1961

See additional photographs, handbills and handwritten lyrics of Berry’s at the Library and Archives located at 2809 Woodland Avenue (five minutes from the museum). Highlights include:
·    1964 United Kingdom Tour program
·    Handbill for Chuck Berry with the Grateful Dead at the Carousel Ballroom 1968
·    Letter to Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone about an interview of Chuck Berry (1972)

The spotlight exhibits at the museum and the Library and Archives tell the story of the first artist to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 by Rolling Stone icon Keith Richards. Berry has had a lifetime of brilliant musicianship and has inspired nearly every rock artist to date.  The spotlight exhibits reveal nearly 40 exclusive artifacts from Berry’s life such as sheet music to his 1955 hit song “Maybellene” that helped ignite the rock and roll revolution and his 1998 Samick San 450 guitar that features his trademark double-string, semi-hollow electric acoustic style. 

The spotlight exhibit at the museum will be open indefinitely and the exhibit at the Library and Archives will be open through the end of 2012.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives is located just five minutes from the museum on the campus of Cuyahoga Community College in the LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, 2809 Woodland Avenue. Hours of operation are: Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday and Monday: closed.  Admission is FREE.

For more information visit

About Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry is the poet laureate of rock and roll. In the mid-Fifties, he took a fledgling idiom, born out of rhythm & blues and country & western, and gave it form and identity. A true original, Berry crafted many of rock and roll's greatest riffs and married them to lyrics that shaped the rock and roll vernacular for generations. He has written numerous rock and roll classics that have been covered by multitudes of artists and stood the test of time. In all essential ways, he understood the power of rock and roll - how it worked, what it was about and who it was for.

While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Berry arguably did more than anyone else to put the pieces together. For the complete Chuck Berry biography written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, visit:

For pictures and video clips of his Induction (for which, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, did the honors in 1986) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame visit:

Each year, the American Music Masters® series explores the legacy of a pioneering rock and roll figure in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall's education programs. Drawing together experts, artists, fans and friends, these events provide new perspectives on the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.

The tribute concert brings together a diverse mix of artists and musical styles, and as a result, many magical moments have taken place over the years. In 2004, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss performed onstage together for the first time to honor Lead Belly. The pair was awarded the highest honors of Album of the Year for Raising Sand and Record of the Year for "Please Read the Letter" at the 51st annual Grammy awards. Honoree Jerry Lee Lewis, who was not scheduled to perform at the 2007 concert, was moved to take the stage at the end of the show. Lewis tenderly played the piano and sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  At the first American Music Masters® tribute concert, Bruce Springsteen set the bar high and performed in honor of Woody Guthrie. The most star-studded and unique performance by a trio was Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Elvis Costello paying tribute to Sam Cooke in 2005. In 2008, a 93-year-old Les Paul took the stage with his trio and then led an epic jam with some of rock and roll's greatest guitarists, from Jennifer Batten to Slash. Janis Joplin was honored in 2009 by Grammy winner Lucinda Williams with a song she composed especially for the occasion, and in 2010, Dave Bartholomew brought down the house with a performance in tribute of honorees Fats Domino and Bartholomew himself. In 2011, Aretha Franklin was not planning to perform, but at the last minute she requested a piano and took the stage to perform Leon Russell's "A Song for You," with fellow Inductees Jerry Butler, Dennis Edwards, and Ronald Isley, along with Cissy Houston.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment of all Ohioans.

About the American Music Masters® Series

The American Music Masters® series, a co-production of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, celebrates the lives and careers of artists who changed the shape and sound of American culture.

The American Music Masters® series began in 1996 when the museum paid tribute to Woody Guthrie with a 10-day celebration of his life and legacy. American Music Masters series honorees have included: Jimmie Rodgers in 1997, Robert Johnson in 1998, Louis Jordan in 1999, Muddy Waters in 2000, Bessie Smith in 2001, Hank Williams in 2002, Buddy Holly in 2003, Lead Belly in 2004, Sam Cooke in 2005, Roy Orbison in 2006, Jerry Lee Lewis in 2007, Les Paul in 2008, Janis Joplin in 2009, Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew in 2010, and Aretha Franklin in 2011. Artists who have performed at American Music Masters include Solomon Burke, Elvis Costello, Aretha Franklin, Chrissie Hynde, Dr. John, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, Richie Sambora, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and The Ventures.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.
The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays (and Saturdays through Labor Day), the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12). Children under eight (8) and museum members always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216. 515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit  The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.