Although many women performers came to prominence in the 1950s, women are not typically remembered as the instigators of rock and roll’s “big bang.” While women performers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were some of the most successful recording artists in the era before rock and roll, the early days of rock and roll are typically characterized by the rebellious exploits of male artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. This class will explore the many women who were crucial to the rise of rock and roll including Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin, The Chantels, Etta James, and Big Mama Thornton – and consider how their musical sounds and performances contributed to the formation of rock and roll.
This event is free and reservations are not required. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Rock and Roll Night School will also be streamed LIVE on rockhall.com. Click here to view the live stream.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s education department presents Rock and Roll Night School, a monthly series of educational, discussion-based evening classes offered free of charge from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The award-winning education department leads the classes, which are geared towards adults interested in gaining more knowledge about rock and roll history. The program explores the history of rock and roll from its roots to its current incarnations.
Special attention is given to the music’s impact on society, its reception by fans, and its most innovative practitioners. Each class includes a presentation, music and video clips, and group discussions.
Unless otherwise noted, RSVPs are not needed to attend Rock and Roll Night School.