CLEVELAND (June 23, 2010) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will host a Hall of Fame Series with inductee Dion on Wednesday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Foster Theater. The evening will begin with a special hour-long film done in conjunction with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President Terry Stewart about Dion’s memories of the Winter Dance Party tour of 1959 with Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.
The film will be followed with a live interview with Dion by Dave Marsh and the Rock Hall’s Vice President of Education and Public Programs, Dr. Lauren Onkey. Questions will be taken from the audience at the end of the interview. This event is FREE with a reservation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (216) 515-8426 to RSVP.
Dave Marsh wrote the liner notes to Dion’s box set King of the New York Streets and has this to say of Dion’s work:“If you really know Dion, you know this: Rock'n'roll didn't grow up into the music that conquered the world just because it was easy and fun and got you the girls. There was something deeper there, and like Dion's country soul, it was there right from the start.”
During his vast career, Dion created some of the most vital and exciting rock and roll music on the American scene. He formed Dion and The Belmonts in 1957, and their first hit “I Wonder Why” topped the charts that same year. He turned to a solo career in 1960. He found success as a solo artist with such hits as “Runaround Sue,” “Lovers Who Wander” and “The Wanderer.” Dion is the first rock and roll artist ever signed to Columbia Records and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has FREE educational offerings year round. Additional education programs include Rock and Roll Night School, which gives interested adults the opportunity to expand their rock and roll-related knowledge and Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits which gives the audience a look at the talented people who work with the artists and bands we have come to know and love. For more information about these and other Rock Hall educational programs, visit www.rockhall.com.
About Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dion
Singer Dion DiMucci, better known simply as Dion, epitomized the indigenous music of the Bronx streets where he grew up. In 1957, he teamed with three neighborhood pals to form a vocal group that earned a reputation as the best street corner singers for miles. Dion and the Belmonts (named for Belmont Avenue, in the Bronx) perfected four-part harmonies while falling under the spell of rock and roll. The quartet combined the doo-wop sound of their home turf with a raft of rock and roll and R&B influences that included Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. With the encouragement of Dion’s parents, the budding singer got signed to the New York-based Mohawk label (later Laurie Records) and was initially groomed as a solo singer. Soon after his debut single, “The Chosen Few,” Dion brought the Belmonts on board. In early 1958, Dion and the Belmonts recorded their first Top Forty hit, “I Wonder Why.” A year later, they cracked the Top Ten with “A Teenager in Love,” written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman."
That winter, as the single moved up the charts, Dion and the Belmonts joined the Winter Dance Party, a package tour. Because he balked at paying the $35 it would have cost him, Dion declined an invitation to fly on the chartered plane that went down on February 3rd, 1959, killing fellow musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson. Dion and the Belmonts scored their biggest hit, “Where or When,” in 1960, but the group found itself being steered in a polished, adult-pop direction and Dion left to reclaim his rock and roll roots. In 1961, he hit upon a loose, swaggering style that he could call his own with the songs “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer.” At this time, Dion was nearly alone among all the “teen idols” in attempting to equal the sultry charge that Elvis Presley had brought to rock and roll. Other hits in the same swinging, spontaneous vein followed: “Lovers Who Wander,” “Little Diane,” “Ruby Baby,” “Donna the Prima Donna.
Dion’s star subsequently dimmed in the wake of the British Invasion however, he re-emerged in 1968 with a more introspective, folk-based style that earned him his tenth Top Ten song, a thoughtful ode to slain martyrs entitled “Abraham, Martin and John.” In 1973, he reunited with the Belmonts for a concert at Madison Square Garden that resulted in a well-received live album, Reunion. Subsequently, the ever-versatile Dion added Christian music to a stylistic canon that includes folk, doo-wop, rhythm & blues, and rock and roll.
About Dave Marsh
Dave Marsh, rock critic, historian, anticensorship activist, and talk show host, has written more than 20 books about rock and popular music, as well as editing that many more. He co-founded and for four years edited Creem, the legendary rock and roll magazine that helped launch heavy metal, glam and punk, and spent five years as an associate and contributing editor of Rolling Stone, where he was chief music critic, columnist and feature writer. From 1985-2002, he served as music critic for Playboy.
For the past 25 years, Marsh has written and edited the monthly music and politics newsletter, Rock and Rap Confidential. He has lectured widely on music, politics, and censorship. As a book editor, he compiled 50 Ways to Fight Censorship (Thunder’s Mouth, 1990), and was coeditor with Don Henley of Heaven Is Under Our Feet: A Book for Walden Woods (Longmeadow Press, 1991), essays in honor of Walden Woods and Henry David Thoreau. Marsh also edited the first two editions of The Rolling Stone Record Guide, and Pastures of Plenty, the papers of folksinger Woody Guthrie.
In 2004, Marsh began hosting Kick Out the Jams, a weekly two hour radio talk show about music and social and political issues on the Sirius Satellite Network. In 2008, he began hosting Live from the Land of Hopes and Dreams, a politically based call-in show on Sirius. The following year, he added Live from E Street Nation, a weekly live dialogue with Springsteen fans.
About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.
The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays (and Saturdays through Labor Day), the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216. 515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit www.rockhall.com. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.