How do you define rock and roll?
Each year, with the announcement of the next class of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a debate swirls as to what music is considered "rock and roll." The announcement of the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees – the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Kiss, LL Cool J, the Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., the Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies – brought with it passionate discussions as to not only who should be inducted, but also how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and people all over the world interpret and define rock and roll.
Visitors to the Museum in Cleveland will find a large type-and-graphics treatment featured in the Main Exhibit Hall, just before the Roots of Rock exhibit. It marks the unofficial start to a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and explains the roots of rock and roll, and how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes rock and roll today. It reads as follows:
Rock and roll is a form of ...
On October 26, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, musician and producer Steve Jordan lead an all-star band during a tribute concert honoring the music of the Rolling Stones. The event is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 18th Annual Music Masters series. Also in the band are Hall of Fame Inductees Chuck D. of Public Enemy and Ian McLagan of the Small Faces/Faces, as well as Sugar Blue, Merry Clayton, Sarah Dash, Lee Fields, Bernard Fowler, Patterson Hood, Cyril Jordan, Bobby Keys, Trevor Lawrence, Nils Lofgren, Steve Madaio, Dave Pirner, Earl Slick, Waddy Wachtel, Willie Weeks and Chris Wilson.
In this interview, Steve Jordan and saxophonist Bobby Keys talk about putting together the Rolling Stones tribute concert, what it's like recording and performing with the Rolling Stones, favorite Rolling Stones' songs and more.
Remembered not only as a peerless songwriter but also as a formidable personality and cheerful raconteur, 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Doc Pomus was one of the real characters from rock and roll’s golden era. Atlantic Records producer and co-owner Jerry Wexler succinctly described his sphere of influence: "If the music industry has a heart, it would be Doc Pomus."
Pomus authored among the greatest songs in rock and roll history: "This Magic Moment" (recorded by the Drifters), "A Teenager in Love" (recorded by Dion and the Belmonts) and "Save the Last Dance for Me" (recorded by Ben E. King). Elvis Presley recorded at least 20 Pomus originals. In Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's collection includes the hand-written lyrics to "Save the Last Dance for Me," which Pomus wrote at his wedding, while watching his new bride, Wilma Burke, dancing (pictured below).
Born Jerome Solon Felder in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on June 27, 1925, he adopted the name Doc Pomus to hide his singing from his parents. Stricken with polio as a child, Pomus was confined to crutches and a wheelchair, though it never slowed him down. For ...
In a decade marred by tumult, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr had emerged as the charismatic voice of the civil rights movement, advancing the cause with a resonant message of nonviolence and peaceful civil disobedience. He was the loudspeaker for thousands crying out, the channel through which the civil rights movement found unity. With King's assassination on April 4, 1968, the world lost among its most fearless leaders.
News of King's assassination sent shockwaves across the country and people took to the streets in frustration. As day broke in Boston on Friday, April 5, government officials nervously anticipated another night of unrest, yet an unlikely keeper of the peace came forward and helped unite a community: James Brown.
Variously dubbed "the Godfather of Soul," "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business" and "Mr. Dynamite" among other monikers, Brown had been scheduled to perform in the city's center, at the Boston Garden. Amid great civil strife, Mayor Kevin White faced a quandary: aggravate a tense situation by canceling the event for overtly racial fears or dismiss concerns expressed by law enforcement. His decision came ...
At the end of the 1960s, traditional R&B was moving in different directions: toward Motown and its pop-ready "Sound of Young America," and the grittier Southern soul of Stax/Volt and Fame Recording Studio. Etta James sided with the latter. Born January 25, 1938, as Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California, she had moved from a gospel choir to a girl trio to the Johnny Otis Revue by the time she had her first R&B hit at 17. “I might have been a little church girl singing gospel, but I loved all the music – soaked it up like a sponge," said James. "I remember Charles Brown, who killed me with 'Drifting Blues.' I’d hear that good time music floating out onto the street, whether it was some smooth blues like T-Bone Walker or sophisticated jazz….[I’d] poke my head into a joint, amazed by the men in their stingy-brim hats and them gators on their feet, chicks poured into skintight dresses, laughing and flirting and carrying on.”
In the spring of 1961, “At Last” became a Number Two R&B hit and remains ...
This week, the Rock Hall's Library and Archives unveiled a new collection of rare and candid photographs donated by Grammy Award-winning harmonica player Sugar Blue.
Perhaps best known for his signature riff and solo on the Rolling Stones' hit "Miss You," harmonica virtuoso Sugar Blue (born James Whiting) made his first recordings in 1975 with legendary bluesmen Brownie McGhee and Roosevelt Sykes. Blue can be heard on the Rolling Stones' Some Girls, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. He received a 1985 Grammy Award for his work on the compilation album, Blues Explosion, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Blue has performed and recorded with musicians ranging from Willie Dixon to Stan Getz to Frank Zappa to Bob Dylan. Blue was among the featured performers at the 18th Annual Music Masters concert, honoring the music of the Rolling Stones.
The Sugar Blue Photographs collection at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives includes seven digital images of the award-winning harmonica player performing with various collaborators and contemporaries, including Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Lee ...
What happens when two musical giants collide, when two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees defying genres and generations share the stage? On October 28, 1970 just that happened on Johnny Cash's TV variety show, when he welcomed "the great Louis Armstrong." Cash opened the introduction, remarking: "This country has given the world three original art forms – country music, jazz and Louis Armstrong."
Promoting his 1970 collection of country and western standards (fittingly titled Country & Western) and sporting an oversized cowboy hat, Armstrong sang "Crystal Chandeliers," the country classic originally sung by Charley Pride; and "Ramblin' Rose," a song made popular by Nat King Cole.
With the performance wrapped, Armstrong took a seat beside Cash, both musicians holding their instruments of choice: a trumpet and a guitar, respectively. "You've been at it a long time," Cash said to Armstrong. "I know that. We did a little research on some of your recordings; we find that on July 16, 1930, you played trumpet on a session with the late Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music. That was in Hollywood, right?"
Armstrong explained the ostensibly unlikely pairing: "We had a meeting one morning and Jimmie said, 'Man, I ...