The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


August 2013 | Blog Archives

50 Years Later: Mahalia Jackson and the Voices of the March on Washington

Wednesday, August 28: 10:39 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Mahalia Jackson was among the singers at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, when more than a quarter million people converged in the then largest demonstration in the United States capital. It was a triumph of unity and a moment – like many revolutionary episodes – that seized on the power of song to help make sense of its gravitas. The diverse cast of voices on August 28, 1963 included Marian Anderson, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul and Mary. However, it was gospel legend Mahalia Jackson who, at the request of Martin Luther King Jr., helped set the stage for among the world's greatest recordings: the "I Have a Dream" speech. 

"If [Martin Luther] King gave the movement a vision, Mahalia Jackson gave it a voice," wrote history and culture scholar Craig Werner in A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America.

The inimitable voice of 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Mahalia Jackson resonated far and wide, her bracing soprano and interpretation of gospel making her a familiar name among black and white audiences. She found stardom without making secular songs, becoming the first gospel artist to sing at Carnegie Hall in ...


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Stories behind the Guitars of Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

Tuesday, August 20: 12:21 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Picture of Keith Richards' 1959 Gibson ES-355 electric guitar

In 1975, Ronnie Wood replaced Mick Taylor as guitarist for the Rolling Stones. It was another turning point for the band: “Ronnie was damn good glue for the band. He was a breath of fresh air,” said Richards. He and Richards went back to the band’s default rhythmic style, playing together to create the sound of a single intricate guitar. This compositional style had not been played consistently since Brian Jones’ tenure in the band. Wood helped to revitalize the band’s music and spirit, and it proved to be exactly what the Stones needed.

“’Beast of Burden’ is a good example of the two of us twinkling felicitously together,” said Richards. Wood’s slide guitar and pedal steel work made a big impact when recording and also on stage, and the chemistry between Wood and Richards can be heard when listening to Rolling Stones songs such as "It's Only Rock and Roll," "Hey Negrita," "Miss You," "Far Away Eyes" and "Start Me Up." 

These two Rolling Stones video clips go behind the scenes, highlighting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's latest major exhibit Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, on view through March ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame

Interview with Coliseum Singer and Guitarist Ryan Patterson

Monday, August 12: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Coliseum band (l-r): Kayhan Vaziri (bass), Carter Wilson (drums), Ryan Patterson (vocals/guitar)

After a decade of delivering their own riff-heavy brand of metallic rock harkening back to the punk, hardcore and post-hardcore sounds of their predecessors, Coliseum – vocalist and guitarist Ryan Patterson, bassist Kayhan Vaziri and drummer Carter Wilson – will perform live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Summer in the City concert on August 14, 2013. 

The group recently released their fourth full-length, Sister Faith, a 13-track blast of galvanized melodies at the collision point between punk and noise-rock. "Though punk rock may have been the template (and paradigms do shift), songwriting and emotional content have become Coliseum's focus," noted John Baizley of metal contemporaries Baroness. "And to that end, they have gracefully transitioned from the unrelenting anger, rage and rawness of youth to a more thought-provoking, yet no-less-powerful or insightful sound that is entirely their own."

The Rock Hall caught up with Ryan Patterson of Coliseum to talk rock and roll – everyone from Tom Petty, Run DMC, Les Paul and Bad Brains to the Beatles, the Who, Sex Pistols and Public Enemy.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: What artists did you listen to when you were growing up and what about them appealed to you ...


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Yes Talks About Future of Progressive Rock, Performing in China, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tour

Friday, August 9: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Founded in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, Grammy-award winning recording artists Yes have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history. Throughout their career, Yes has been known for their esoteric lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and expansive songs, such as “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – to name a few. Having sold millions of records over a four-decade career, the band has overcome a generational shift in its audience, and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. They are currently on a world tour, playing three albums of their classic albums The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One in their entirety.

Recently, members of Yes – singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes – were interviewed by education director Jason Hanley before a live audience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Following the interview, the group surprised the crowd with a short set ...


continue Categories: Education, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Interview with Silversun Pickups' Brian Aubert on Tour Stop in Cleveland

Thursday, August 8: 5:41 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Silversun Pickups visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum during tour stop in Cleveland.

Silversun Pickups – guitarist and vocalist Brian Aubert, bassist Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboardist Joe Lester – emerged on the LA music scene in the early 2000s alongside their 2005 debut, Pikul. The group's following grew dramatically in 2006 with the release of Carnavas, featuring the breakthrough single "Lazy Eye." That album and subsequent releases, including 2009's Swoon and 2012's Neck of the Woods, have showcased the band's gift for electrifying soundscapes, textured arrangements and male-female vocal harmonies. 

The Grammy-nominated quartet visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on August 8, 2013, touring the Museum before a gig at Cleveland's famous Agora Theater. Silversun Pickups singer/guitarist Brian Aubert sat down for an interview with the Rock Hall.

Rock Hall: What was the first record/CD you ever bought and do you still listen to it?

Brian Aubert: The first album I remember buying was Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual. I was really little, and I was on a family trip to Anchorage, Alaska. I found it in a mall and the purchase made me feel like an adult. Yes, I do listen to it here and there.

RH: What ...


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Members of Rise Against, the MC5, Rage Against the Machine and Gaslight Anthem Cover Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad"

Wednesday, August 7: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
RATM guitarist Tom Morello with Lead Belly's guitar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Released in November 1995, The Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen was a far cry from the celebratory rock and roll marathons of Born in the USA, sharing more in common with the sheer production and pointed commentary of his masterpiece, Nebraska. A largely acoustic album of spectral songs about marginalized characters struggling to survive in an increasingly troubled America, The Ghost of Tom Joad – and its gripping title track – recently found a new rock and roll audience. 

Nearly 17 years after its release, in September 2012, the Chicago punk quartet Rise Against breathed new life into the powerful narratives and blunt political commentary of Springsteen's "Joad" at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Joined on stage by Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, the MC5's Wayne Kramer and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, the members of Rise Against delivered a bold recasting of "The Ghost of Tom Joad." The song will appear on the forthcoming Rise Against rarities compilation, Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013 (scheduled release date is September 10, 2013). 

"I remember watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th-anniversary special where Tom Morello played this song with Springsteen himself and ...


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