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Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll: "Like a Rolling Stone"

Monday, July 20: 9:45 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

After his grueling 1965 British tour, Bob Dylan rented a Woodstock cottage from Peter Yarrow's mother and "vomited" what would become "Like a Rolling Stone":  "It was ten pages long.... just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred.... In the end it wasn't hatred.... Revenge, that's a better word. I had never thought of it as a song, until one day I was at the piano, and on the paper it was singing 'How does it feel?' in a slow motion pace, in the utmost of slow motion. It was like swimming in lava. In your eyesight you see your victim swimming in lava. Hanging by their arms from a birch tree.... Seeing someone in the pain they were bound to meet up with. I wrote it. I didn't fail. It was straight."  

Dylan first attempted the song in waltz time. But the 4/4 version cut on June 15, 1965 was as straightforward as the song's motive.

The recording also featured the debut of Al Kooper on organ. As Kooper recalled, "If the other guy hadn't left the damn thing on, my career as an organ player would have ended ...

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The Rock Hall's 19th Annual Music Masters series will Honor 1986 Inductees The Everly Brothers

Thursday, July 10: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University will honor rock and roll pioneers the Everly Brothers during the 19th Annual Music Masters® series this October. Don and Phil Everly were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of the first class of inductees in 1986.  Two-time Grammy Award winner Rodney Crowell will serve as musical director for the tribute concert, which will take place on Saturday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theatre. Tribute concert artists will be announced in the coming months.

“I’m honored and proud as I know Phil would be for the recognition being given to the Everly Brothers,” said Don Everly. “I’d like to thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and fans for keeping the Everly Brothers alive and accept with great appreciation this special celebration. I wish Phil were here to share this honor with me. It has cost many tears and taken many miles and several decades to arrive at this point.”

Phil Everly passed away in January of this year, shortly before his 75th birthday. His family shared their thoughts on the ...

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20 Essential Rock and Roll Holiday Songs

Friday, December 21: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The best rock and roll holiday songs as chosen by former Rock Hall CEO Terry Stewart

Below you’ll find a list – presented in no particular order – of my favorite rock and roll holiday songs. This was not an easy list to whittle down to a Top 20, so I encourage you to share the holiday songs that resonate most with you.  

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Come to Cleveland and visit us at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum!

20. Bobby Vee - "A Not So Merry Christmas"


19. Jack Scott - "There's Trouble Brewin'"


18. Canned Heat and the Chipmunks - "Chipmunk Song" 


17. The Penguins - "Jingle Jangle"


16. Brenda Lee - "Papa Noel"


15. Elvis Presley - "Santa Claus Is Back In Town"


14. The Hepsters - "Rockin' And Rollin' With Santa Claus"


13. The Drifters - "White Christmas"


12. Mabel Scott - "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus"


11. The Cameos - "Merry Christmas"


10. The Moonglows - "Hey Santa Claus"


9. Louis Armstrong - "Zat You, Santa Claus?"


8. The Orioles - "(It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas / What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"


7. The Valentines - "Christmas Prayer"


6. Babs Gonzalez - "The Be Bop Santa"


5. Ray Stevens - "Santa Claus Is Watching You"


4. Charles Brown - "Merry Christmas Baby"


3. Charles Brown - "Please Come Home ...

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Interview with Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead

Saturday, October 27: 9 a.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame interview with Lemmy Kilmister Tribute Concert salute to Chuck Berry

Over four decades, Motörhead frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister has registered an immeasurable impact on music history. He remains the living embodiment of the rock and roll lifestyle. Kilmister was born in England and got hooked on rock and roll at a young age. After playing guitar in many bands as a teenager, he moved to London in 1967 and worked as a roadie for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1971, he joined the band Hawkwind and switched to bass guitar, recording several classic albums including Space Ritual and Hall of the Mountain Grill. In 1975, he formed the groundbreaking metal band, Motörhead. They played with speed and volume unheard before in rock and roll. On albums like Bomber from 1979, and 1980's Ace of Spades, they established a model for what became thrash metal. Still, Kilmister has always kept classic first-generation rock and roll at the heart of his sound. In his work with rockabilly band the Head Cat, he has explored his rock and roll roots in fantastic versions of songs by Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Motörhead is still going strong, relasing The World is Yours in 2010 and touring in ...

continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Interview with Singer-Songwriter JD McPherson

Friday, October 26: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
JD McPherson will perform at the 2012 American Music Masters concert honoring to Chuck Berry

The work of visual artist, singer-songwriter, guitarist and Oklahoma-native JD McPherson channels his eclectic interests and creative gusto in a singular musical collage that takes a reverence for the past and wraps it in a decidedly forward-thinking motif. The art teacher turned rocker writes songs that reference 40s R&B and the sounds of 50s American rock and roll, pulling from the aesthetic of such record labels as Specialty, Vee-Jay and Del-Fi. Having played in a punk outfit and embracing a penchant for hip-hop, McPherson's retro melange bridges the divide among ostensibly disparate artists, from Ruth Brown to the Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis Presley to the Smiths, Jackie Wilson to Stiff Little Fingers. In 2010, McPherson released his solo debut, Signs & Signifiers, produced by Jimmy Sutton. Originally released on indie imprint Hi-Style Records, the album was re-released to a wider audience on Rounder Records in 2012. "Although I grew up wanting to be a visual artist, I'll tell you what: the most satisfaction I've ever had as an artist is right now," says McPherson. "Because as much as I love artists like Joseph Beuys, I love David Bowie and Little Richard more."

In this interview, JD McPherson ...

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Interview with Musician David Johansen

Friday, October 26: 11 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
David Johansen will perform at the 2012 American Music Masters concert honoring to Chuck Berry

Born in Staten Island, David Johansen logged some of his earliest stage experiences while singing in rock and roll dance bands during his high school years, yet his first exposure to the music of Chuck Berry – the Rock Hall's 2012 American Music Masters honoree – came at an early age. "My older brother had a lot of great records, so I guess I was about six when I first heard him," recalled Johansen by email days before the Chuck Berry tribute concert where he'll be performing. "It sounded to me the way things were supposed to be: fun and swinging."

Johansen moved to the East Village after graduating high school, performing with Charles Ludlum's Ridiculous Theater as a spear carrier before joining the fledgling New York Dolls. The Dolls cut two iconic rock and roll records, New York Dolls and Too Much, Too Soon, before disbanding in the mid-seventies. Johansen went on to record six highly acclaimed albums and toured incessantly for the next 10 years. It was during this period, Johansen began singing jump blues, calypso and “Pre-Hayes code rock and roll” under the name Buster Poindexter, in a small saloon in his Gramercy Park neighborhood ...

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Rare Performances: Chuck Berry's 1986 Hall of Fame Induction Jam Session

Monday, October 22: 3 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Chuck Berry led an all-star live jam session when he was inducted into the RRHOF in 1986

“To me, Chuck Berry always was the epitome of rhythm and blues playing, rock and roll playing. It was beautiful, effortless, and his timing was perfection. He is rhythm supreme.” – Keith Richards

The very first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony got under way on January 23, 1986, in New York City, with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones ripping off his tuxedo jacket, revealing a flashy leopard-print jacket underneath, in true rock and roll style. That inaugural evening, Richards – Chuck Berry’s biggest fan – inducted his long-time idol, noting, “…this is the gentleman who started it all!” The ceremony itself was a melting pot of all that created rock and roll – country, gospel, the blues, rockabilly and rhythm & blues – with several of the initial inductees on stage, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, who stood beside Lewis’ piano bopping and clapping his hands, and Chuck Berry.

With a who's who of rock and roll pioneers on the same stage as contemporary legends and Berry acting as bandleader, encouraging his progenies, all-star jams ensued. Inductees Keith Richards (1989), John Fogerty (1993), Neil Young (1995), Billy Joel (1999) and Steve Winwood (2004) make ...

continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances

Chuck Berry and Keith Richards Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll

Monday, October 22: 2:05 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan
Chuck Berry and Keith Richards trade licks in "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll"

The concert held on October 16, 1986, to celebrate Chuck Berry's 60th birthday and later released as the rock documentary Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, directed by Taylor Hackford, featured a spellbinding lineup of musicians, including Eric Clapton, Etta James, original Berry keys man and blues-piano virtuoso Johnnie Johnson, sax extraordinaire Bobby Keys and Julian Lennon. It was a powerful show of reverence for rock and roll's poet laureate, a tribute as could only be orchestrated by the film's musical director and Berry fan: Keith Richards.

In his 2010 autobiography, Life, Richards shared a letter from April 1962 to his aunt Patty that recounts his introduction to Mick Jagger, writing: "You know I was keen on Chuck Berry and I thought I was the only fan for miles but one mornin' on Dartford Stn. … I was holding one of Chuck's records when a guy I knew at primary school 7-11 yrs [sic] y'know came up to me. He's got every record Chuck Berry ever made and all his mates have too, they are all rhythm and blues fans, real R&B I mean… he is called Mick Jagger." The letter goes on to explain ...

continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education, Foster Theatre, Event
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