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Free Download: "Smokey Robinson in Song" Infographic

Friday, November 6: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Click the image below to downland the FREE full-size Smokey Robinson infographic!

free Smokey Robinson infographic Motown and Smokey Robinson history biggest songs and career highlights illustrated Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

What songs define the career of Smokey Robinson? What are Smokey Robinson's most important tracks? From one of Smokey Robinson's first songwriting collaborations with Motown impresario Berry Gordy in 1959 to the Number Two 1981 pop hit "Being With You," this illustrated history and timeline of key musical moments in Smokey Robinson's career showcases the enduring impact of his music.

As part of its Digital Classroom, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's education department provides an introduction to rock history as told through the songs that shaped rock and roll.  Students and teachers can explore and find tools, strategies and resources including lesson plans, listening guides and exclusive multimedia content, including infographics like the one featured above.


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education

Singer/Songwriter Eric Roberson's Touching Open Letter to Smokey Robinson

Wednesday, November 4: 6:13 p.m.
Posted by Eric Roberson

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, Eric Roberson will perform as part of the Rock Hall's Music Masters tribute to Smokey Robinson presented by Klipsch audio. Get your tickets before they're all gone!

singer songwriter Eric Roberson Rock Hall 2015 Music Masters tribute to Smokey Robinson concert

Motown was like the soundtrack of my household. That's pretty much all we played, so I was enormously familiar with Smokey Robinson, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, as well as all the Motown stuff that Smokey wrote.

He was my first example of a songwriter. Period. Not only was he an artist that wrote for himself, but he wrote for all these other artists. And there were all these hits, and it was like, man, this guy is like really working towards the betterment of music, and the betterment of like lyrics.

So as I grew and got into poetry, got into music, I was very much a student of Smokey Robinson, very much a big fan of a lot of his songs that he created, and just all the things he was doing.

It really helped me when I got into the industry and became a songwriter and was pretty well-known and was trying to become an artist as well, most of the labels ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews

What is the Smokey Robinson aesthetic?

Tuesday, October 20: 12 p.m.
Posted by David Ritz

Get details on the Rock Hall's weeklong Music Masters Tribute to Smokey Robinson!

Smokey Robinson Tribute Concert Rock Hall 2015 Music Masters event

Smokey Robinson is celebrated for two great and distinct contributions: his work as producer/composer and as a performer. Put these two elements together and you have the Smokey Robinson aesthetic, one of the most lyrical in the history of American pop music.

So, what is the Smokey Robinson aesthetic?

Its salient characteristics are sensitivity, sweetness and poetic invention. Both as writer and singer, Smokey is an unapologetic romantic, a man who trades in extravagant emotional expression. The signature Smokey sound carries a mesmerizing mixture of heartache and hunger, sensual pleasure and erotic longing.

Since he burst on the scene with his Miracles in 1957, he has elevated the art of R&B with a high soaring tenor that is an instrument of rare flexibility, a delicate reed of quiet beauty.

His impact was felt immediately on the artists he produced at Motown in the 60s – among others, Mary Wells, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes and Brenda Holloway. 

Smokey Robinson Tribute Concert Rock Hall 2015 Music Masters event Michael Jackson

Looking back at his pre-teen work, Michael Jackson said: “Smokey was one of the artists who influenced me most deeply. I studied his singing group, the Miracles ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Hall of Fame, American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews

Interview: Why Graham Nash left the Hollies and the Start of CSN

Friday, October 16: 10:32 a.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

On October 17, 2015, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland opens its latest exhibit, Graham Nash: Touching the Flame. Pieces from Nash's heroes and inspirations – the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Buddy Holly and Duane Allman – and treasures from his time with the Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash come to life as the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee reflects on the visceral and profound impact of the music and world events on him and those around him.

 Graham Nash Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland Inductee new exhibits 2015

In this interview, Graham Nash shares the story of how he left the Hollies and followed his heart to form CSN.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: What were your feelings were about The Hollies and how you had changed over the years? What informed your decision to leave?

Graham Nash:One of them was that I didn't feel that they trusted my need for direction. Every Hollie single that we had made, apart from the first couple made it to the top 10, and that's where we were used to being. We'd bring out a single, it would go into the top 10, that's what we ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Graham Nash, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, History of Rock and Roll

Julian Bond: "The Power of Rock and Roll brought Blacks and Whites Together"

Monday, August 17: 3:55 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Julian Bond speech, race and the history of rock and roll, 2010 Music Masters Cleveland, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In 2010, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honored Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew as part of its annual Music Masters series saluting pioneering figures from the past half century. Among the many who took part in that weeklong celebration, in Cleveland, was Julian Bond.

An influential Civil Rights leader, politician, writer and professor, Bond, who passed away on August 15, 2015, provided among the more poignant remarks at the tribute to Domino and Bartholomew. He spoke of rock and roll's power to unite and the courage it required to deliver.

This is the full transcript of Bond's speech from the November 13, 2010 Music Masters tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, including a poem he wrote when he was in college and published in first Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee newsletter.

"While [Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew] records were storming the charts, major challenges were being mounted against the forces of racial segregation and discrimination — the segregation that kept black and white rock and roll fans from listening to music or dancing together, that kept Domino and Bartholomew and their bands from restaurants and hotels on the road, the segregation that kept African Americans from voting ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews

The E Street Band's Nils Lofgren: "what Chuck Berry was to Keith Richards, Keith Richards is to me"

Tuesday, August 4: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Nils Lofgren

During a recent tour stop in Cleveland, Ohio, we caught up with 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee, much-lauded solo artist, E Street Band guitarist and incredible storyteller Nils Lofgren who shared how he first became interested in playing the guitar, a faithful night seeing both the Who and Jimi Hendrix in concert, the influence of Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones, the Beatles; and the "god awful" music he and Bruce Springsteen made while backing Chuck Berry in Cleveland at the Rock Hall's opening concert.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Your first instrument as a child was the classical accordion. How did that come about? 

Nils Lofgren: Well, I spent eight years on the South Side of Chicago, where I was born. When I was five, every kid played accordion. I asked to take lessons, and I did. After the waltzes and polkas, you move in to classical or jazz. My teacher sent me in to classical accordion. It was an enormous musical study and backdrop, and, as a young teenager, I fell in love with the Beatles and Stones. Through them, I discovered the British invasion, the American counterpart of great rock bands in the 60s; Stax ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Event, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Exclusive Interviews

Yoko Ono and U2 Unveil Moving John Lennon Tribute

Thursday, July 30: 5:18 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

This week marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon's deportation order being overturned by the United States government. To mark the occasion, Yoko Ono, Bono and the Edge of U2 were on hand for a ceremony on Ellis Island, where a giant tapestry depicting the island of Manhattan as a yellow submarine with a waving Lennon was unveiled. July 29 was declared John Lennon Day in NYC.

John Lennon United States Green Card 1976 New York City

“They let him stay, and he is still here. Yoko, he is still here,” said Bono during a series of remarks.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono moved to New York in September 1971. When his temporary visa expired in February 1972, the Nixon administration sought to have him deported, using a 1968 conviction for marijuana possession as ammunition. After a years-long battle, Lennon finally won the right to stay in the United States in 1975, receiving his green card in 1976. That green card, pictured above, is among the items featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Beatles exhibit.

"He didn’t sail across the Atlantic in an ocean liner or a yellow submarine. He didn’t come in on a third-class ticket looking for a job in Hell ...


continue Categories: The Beatles, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll

Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco talks Weezer, Springsteen, Journey, Nirvana and AP

Friday, July 24: 12:59 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco interivew APMAS Alternative Press Exhibit Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland, Ohio

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Tell us about some of the artists, bands who really influenced you…

Brendon Urie: Weezer… huge influence on me. I learned to play drums to the blue album [Weezer]. When I got that… I took it from my sister; I just had the cassette, and I remember just popping it in my boom box (that was still a thing, kids) and… I would just put on my really shitty headphones, and just kind of try to like… I had to tape them up, just so that they didn’t move, and just playing along for six hours. I would just listen to that album constantly. So, I mean every one of those songs… I wanted to start surfing, because of [“Surf Wax America”]… I wanted to live how they were describing their songs… how Rivers was, you know… and then later I would learn like, he’s this English major, went to college for literature and stuff… just a super smart guy. So, everything he’s singing about is a personal experience that’s true, and that really, truly affected me and songwriting as I got older. I wanted to do that, I wanted ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews
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