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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Work With Me Annie"

Monday, November 18: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Hank Ballard and the Midnighters

Born on November 18, 1927 (some sources note 1936), Hank Ballard wasn't the first to write smutty songs, but he was one of the more determinedly single-minded to exploit what he called the "raunch groove." His "Get It" was about, well, getting it. The title was startling coming after "The Shrine of St. Cecillia," the previous release by the Royals (as Ballard and the Midnighters were known prior to being labelmates with a "5" Royales). Its success, however, pointed the way. Ballard hit his stride with "Work With Me Annie," which is not about working. Reportedly toned down from its first draft, "Annie" still didn't leave much to the imagination: “Annie, please don’t cheat/ Give me all my meat / Oooo-weee / So good to me /Work with me, Annie / Let’s get it while the getting is good.” Needless to say, it went to the top of the R&B record charts in early 1954 despite being banned by the FCC. In a 1987 interview, Ballard recalled: "But [controversy] made the record hot. All that carryin’ on. 'What is this record about?' 'You can’t hear it on the radio – banned!' I tell you, in the Boston area ...


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

The Rolling Stones Spend "Some Time" Together with Ed Sullivan

Thursday, October 24: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Rolling Stones' get risqué and suggest "Let's Spend the Night Together"

Tonight as part of the 18th Music Masters series of events, Alan Light will present a keynote lecture at Case Western Reserve University's Ford Auditorium that will look at the triumphs and challenges of the Rolling Stones' longevity. Light is the former Editor-in-Chief of Spin and Vibe magazines, a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Rolling Stone, and the author of The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah.” This event is free and reservations are not required.  Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will be live streamed here.

Although Ed Sullivan vowed never again to have the Rolling Stones on his show after their first appearance in 1964 – the same year the impressionable group of twenty somethings first landed on American shores, making a pilgrimage of sorts to Chess Records in Chicago – the popular TV host knew a ratings boom when he saw and heard it. Putting aside his resentment for the "unkempt" appearance of the Stones and the raucous audiences they attracted, Sullivan would welcome the Stones on his program five more times in the Sixties, where they'd perform 17 of their ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock

Gallery Talk: Beggars Banquet and the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park

Friday, July 12: 1:05 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
From pie fights to Hyde Park in 1969, the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet promo wall has seen a lot.

This month, the Rolling Stones returned to Hyde Park for two concerts, 44 years after the group's 1969 performance at the landmark venue. Delivering a set on July 6 that echoed that fabled show with performances of such classics as "Sympathy for the Devil" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," Mick Jagger reportedly asked: "Anybody here that was here in 1969?"

On July 5, 1969, the Rolling Stones took to a stage at London's Hyde Park, dedicating the show to founding member Brian Jones who had died just two days earlier. The performance in front of more than half a million people marked the first appearance of guitarist Mick Taylor with the group.

Jagger quoted poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in tribute to their departed bandmate, and two large panels promoting 1968's Beggars Banquet that pictured Jones were placed on the stage. The panels were enlarged from the original gatefold sleeve of Beggars Banquet, with its medieval-menagerie scene of the band. The promo panels were first used during the album's infamous press launch – an event that quite literally left the Rolling Stones and the heads of Decca Records with pie on their faces.

In the above ...


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock

Love Rocks: A Special Tour of the Rock Hall

Thursday, February 14: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and roll lovebirds Les Paul and Mary Ford.

For decades, love, in all its permutations, has proven among rock and roll's most powerful tonics. From blissful to bawdy, artists have regaled listeners with memorable tales of romance that have inspired and infuriated, giving the language of love a bold voice in the process.

Through February 17, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is sharing the love with a special self-guided tour highlighting artifacts that relate rock's more romantic side. Visitors to the Rock Hall on February 14 will be treated to a special curator-led version of the tour, which covers the Beatles, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Sex Pistols, U2 and more.

Among the artifacts featured are the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," written by Tony Asher and Brian Wilson, and appearing on 1966's Pet Sounds. Wilson originally disliked the opening line of the song, “I may not always love you,” feeling it was “too negative." After hearing the rest of Asher's lyrics, however, he changed his mind. “God Only Knows” was one of the first pop songs to use the word “god” in its title, and though he feared the worst, Wilson decided ...


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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Inspired Message and Gift to Rock and Roll

Monday, January 21: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
Rock Hall salutes the pioneering spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lasting inspiration

Today, January 21, 2013, we welcome visitors to the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an event that celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King. There are performances, speakers and admission to the Museum is free. 

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance is a time for people to reflect on the accomplishments of the African-American people, including the art form known today as rock and roll. If not for the struggles and sacrifices that Dr. King and his contemporaries made, the voices and musical talents of many African-American artists may not have come to be respected and recognized at the level they are today. 

Naturally, the Rock Hall salutes those visionary musicians who were the genesis of rock and roll – not just on Martin Luther King Day, but every day. King's pioneering spirit is echoed in the music that is the foundation of rock and roll, the foundation of all the Rock Hall celebrates. 

rare Lead Belly acoustic guitar and blues exhibitThe Rock Hall's "Roots of Rock" exhibit highlights the importance of recognizing rock's origins – those true pioneers – including gospel, blues, jazz and R&B, soul, country and folk music ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Rare Performances: Cream in 1993 – "Sunshine of Your Love"

Friday, January 11: 3 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Eric Clapton on stage with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Cream, performing "Sunshine of Your Love"

“It was a group of talented musicians that made up – three guys that expressed, power…creating a sound that everybody in this room can relate to and certainly set the stage for our outfit.” – Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top inducting Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Formed in July 1966 and widely regarded as being the first successful supergroup, Cream was a British rock outfit made up of guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. By the time the trio came together, they were far from rock and roll neophytes, as each member of the group had found success in other acts during the 1960s. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were members of Blues Incorporated until the band broke up in 1963, while Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965. The same year Clapton exited the Yardbirds, Bruce joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (which also featured Clapton on guitar). By 1966, Bruce was a member of Manfred Mann and continued to collaborate with Clapton as a member of Powerhouse, which included Hall of Fame inductee Steve Winwood

In their short 28-month run, Cream became a commercial success ...


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Scotty Moore Papers and Elvis Presley at the Library and Archives

Tuesday, January 8: 4 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Image of Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana from the Scotty Moore Papers

To celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 78th birthday on January 8, 2013, the Library and Archives is highlighting some of its collections related to the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. These collections include books; magazines, journals, and fanzines; article clippings; handbills, album flats, and posters; photographs and slides; correspondence; record executive artist files; financial records; and commercial audio and video recordings. Of particular note among these is the Scotty Moore Papers.

Scotty Moore participated in the historic early sessions at Sun Records that arguably marked the birth of rock and roll. Moore led a group called the Starlite Wranglers before Sun founder Sam Phillips teamed him up with Elvis Presley – a relationship that would continue from 1954 to 1958. Moore’s early background was in jazz and country, and he put these influences to use by counterpointing Presley’s vocals with melodic guitar solos that helped launch the rockabilly revolution. In addition to working as an engineer and session musician, he played on many of Presley’s Nashville sessions at RCA’s Studio B. Moore, bassist Bill Black and drummer D.J. Fontana served as Presley’s band onstage and on record until March 1958, when ...


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Explore the Legacy of Jimi Hendrix at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Tuesday, November 27: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
A rare photograph of Jimi Hendrix performing with Curtis Knight and the Squires

Jimi Hendrix was born 70 years ago today, on November 27, 1942. The Library and Archives’ collections showcase Hendrix as much as – if not more than – most inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His great rock and roll legacy is the basis for expansive collections that include books, magazine and journal articles, commercial and bootleg audio and video recordings; concert handbills, postcards and posters; record executive artist, business and subject files; promotional and concert photographs, and handwritten lyrics – all related to Hendrix’s meteoric career.

Library and Archives collections focused on Hendrix include those donated by Michael Goldstein, Ed Chalpin, and Jeff Gold. Goldstein is a New York City publicist who served as Hendrix's press manager and publicist from 1967 until Hendrix's death in 1970, and  his collection contains clippings, printed ephemera, photographs and press releases related to Hendrix and other artists with whom Goldstein worked.

Ed Chalpin, an entrepreneur and record producer, signed a three-year recording contract with Hendrix and his New York-based R&B band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, in October of 1965. The contract gave Hendrix only one percent of any royalties that his recordings earned and the sum of ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, Exhibit
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