The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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Pop music critic Ann Powers searches for the language of rock and roll

Monday, September 19: 1:45 p.m.
Posted by Ann Powers
Ann Powers. (Photo credit: Mito Habe-Evans)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will introduce the annual Jane Scott Memorial Lecture Honoring Excellence in Rock Journalism with a talk by pop music critic Ann Powers titled “Rock and Roll Started with the Shimmy: The Erotic Engine of American Pop” on Wednesday, September 21 at 7 p.m. in the Museum’s Foster Theater. Click here for more information and details on how to attend this free event.

As a music critic, I am preoccupied with sex. I’m human, and happen to be heterosexual, so I have noticed the charms of certain rock and soul seducers from Robert Plant to Maxwell, over the years. But that kind of desire only goes so deep. What I’m talking about is more serious: the quest to understand how rock and roll, and really most of American music, became the main metaphorical space where we pursue ideas about sexuality, and flesh out our emotions.

American popular music has been “dirty” pretty much since its beginnings in the illicit vulgarity of the minstrel show, described so well by Eric Lott in his classic book on the subject, Love and Theft. Yet as it moved through the decades, American ...

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Guest blog: Ann Wilson of Heart

Monday, August 22: 12:15 p.m.
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart will participate in a Legends Series interview Aug 23.

Earlier this summer, Ann Wilson, lead singer and co-songwriter for Heart, shared some of her influences and what it means to be a woman who rocks -exclusively here on our blog!  Read below for her interview, and don't forget to check out Ann and Nancy Wilson here at the Rock Hall for a special Legends Series interview and performance on Tuesday, August 23rd. The event is full, but you can still watch online here.

Rock Hall: Who are some of the artists that have influenced you the most and why?
Ann Wilson: My influences have always been artists who have great lyrics. Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, McCartney/Lennon, the Glimmer Twins, Elton and Bernie, Robert Plant, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams.  All those people taught me , and are still teaching me how to write and how to sing. How to pronounce words inside a groove. How to bring passion to the mind of a song's body. Lyrics are incredibly important to me, and it's always a bit of a head scratcher when I hear people say they don't really listen to them. Sh*tty words can turn a great groove into a throwaway. Great words can turn ...

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Dreams Can Come True in Cleveland

Thursday, June 30: 11:50 a.m.
Posted by Bernie Howitt

Guest blog courtesy of 2011 Summer Teacher Institute participant Bernie Howitt of Australia.

Rock and roll has a proud and rich history which celebrates a major American cultural achievement. To the rest of the world, rock and roll was often their first and most meaningful point of contact with “America.” When Chuck Berry sang, “I’m so glad I’m livin’ in the USA” in 1959, he was echoing the aspirations of everyone who wasn’t.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is deservedly the centre point of the celebration and commemoration of rock history. Equally impressive is the commitment to education embodied in the Summer Teacher Institute. To gather teachers together and share the resources and expertise of the Museum and its staff is an incredible opportunity. As an Australian history teacher passionate about the role rock music can play in enthusing and inspiring students, the chance to attend STI represented a dream.

Amazingly dreams can occasionally come true. I was supposed to visit the Hall of Fame and Museum in September 2001, when fate tragically intervened. For years I thought I’d missed my chance, but I kept checking the website, envious of the resources ...

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