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The Lost Photographs of Cleveland Deejay Tommy Edwards

Thursday, January 12: 4 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Tommy Edwards (center) with the Everly Brothers

Many know that rock and roll was christened in Cleveland, Ohio, when DJ Alan Freed coined the phrase to describe the up-tempo R&B music he was beaming out on his popular radio show. Freed opened the doors for countless artists, and for years was the de facto king of rock and roll. But fewer know about the cadre of revolutionary Cleveland disc jockeys who shared the airwaves with Freed. Among them was Tommy Edwards. 

Edwards, who owned a prominent record store, pressed records and was a disc jockey at WERE 1300 AM, was instrumental in bringing Elvis Presley to Cleveland in 1955 for his first performance north of the Mason-Dixon line. Pat Boone headlined the concert, and the supporting bill included Bill Haley and the Comets, the Four Lads, Priscilla Wright and a largely unknown Presley. It was there that Edwards snapped the famous photograph of Presley with Haley, one of the few times the two met. The show was not held in a grand concert hall or big-ticket venue, but in a suburb of Cleveland at Brooklyn High School. The now mythical performance is rumored to have been captured in vivid Technicolor, and dubbed The Pied Piper ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Today In Rock: Alan Freed is Born

Thursday, December 15: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Alan Freed

On December 15, 1921, Albert James Freed – the man who famously christened a radical new form of music as "rock 'n' roll" - was born near Johnston, Pennsylvania. Moving to Salem, Ohio, with his family at age 12, Alan (as he was better known) Freed spent his formative years in the Buckeye State, eventually attending Ohio State, where the campus radio station piqued a fascination with radio that would stay with him through all his days. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

By the early 1950s, Freed had settled in to a new DJ position in Cleveland, playing R&B records during a segment sponsored by friend and local record shop owner Leo Mintz, whose inner city store, Record Rendezvous, was selling many records by burgeoning R&B artists. "I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950, '51, '52," said noted DJ and rock and roll historian Norm N. Nite during the first Hall of Fame Inductions in 1986. "I listened to Alan Freed playing those records on the Moondog show. I knew at that particular time that  it was something special that was going on." It was during this time that Freed first ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Today in Rock

The Universal Sound of Protest

Thursday, October 13: 9:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
"World Have Your Say" host Ros Atkins asks, "Has protest music disappeared?"

This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was honored to host an international discussion when BBC World Service's World Have Your Say broadcast live from the Museum's Alan Freed Studio. The program brought together a diverse panel of guests, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Terry Stewart and Rock Hall Vice President of Education and Public Programs Lauren Onkey, who traded insights with remote guests English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, Egyptian rapper and poet Mohamed El Deeb, Yoko Ono and more. Host Ros Atkins posed the question that fueled the program's discussion: Has protest music disappeared?

"We had a spirited discussion about whether music can bring about social change," says Onkey. "It's a difficult thing to measure. The easy thing to do is to pull out a topical song, like an anti-war or anti-apartheid song, and measure it against whether or not something changed about that specific issue. But I think that change is harder to measure, and much broader and sometimes more subtle than that. 

"Songs can educate us about an issue or a point of view from the past – The Specials' "Ghost Town," Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Event

World Have Your Say Live at the Rock Hall

Monday, October 10: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
BBC World Service's "World Have Your Say" broadcasting live at the Rock Hall

On Tuesday, October 11, BBC World Service's award-winning program World Have Your Say will broadcast live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The popular program is moderated by host Ros Atkins, leading a panel of guests and an international audience who actively participate in daily discussions of global issues. Listeners help dictate the conversation by calling in, emailing and leaving comments on the WHYS blog and the show's social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

"We've been to Cleveland many times, and it's always been a great experience," says Atkins. "Each time, we're told that we must visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, but we've never had the time. To get the opportunity to broadcast World Have Your Say from the home of rock and roll was too good to miss. However, as we're a current affairs talk show, we can't play the hits that I'd like!"

The hour-long broadcast begins tomorrow at 1 pm EST in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Alan Freed Studio. The Museum is a fitting location for a show that harnesses ...


continue Categories: Event

Rockin' the Schools on the Radio

Wednesday, December 22: 1:03 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Students learn about financial literacy in Rock Hall Education programs

A few weeks ago, local NPR station Ideastream®’s reporter Michelle Kanu visited the Rock Hall to sit-in on a couple of our popular Rockin’ the Schools classes.  Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, Rockin’ the Schools brings approximately twenty thousand students and teachers from Northeast Ohio and beyond into the Museum’s state-of-the-art Foster Theater to learn about the history and significance of rock and roll music.  All of the classes are designed so that while students are enjoying the music they are also learning about key concepts in Fine Arts, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Technology.  As a teacher in the program for the last seven years I always love watching students as they begin to understand the important part rock and roll played in the Civil Rights movements of the 1950s and 60s, or when they start to understand how hip-hop artists like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five related “The Message” of what life was like in the Bronx, NYC in the late 1970s to an audience around the world.  Each of the programs is supported with materials for teachers to use in their classroom so that the lessons can begin in the classroom before the ...


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