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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Summertime Blues"

Friday, August 3: 1:14 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

A lot of rock and roll, and especially Sun-label rockabilly, has liquor on its breath. Eddie Cochran – born in Minnesota, a California transplant at age 12 and a teenager until almost the end of the 1950s – never got ruder than a soda-pop belch, musically speaking. His recordings convey youthful good times without the dark undertow of his southern contemporaries. "Summertime Blues" was a B-side, but not for long. Written by Cochran and manager Jerry Capeheart, it's a concise masterpiece: a protest song without rancor, pointedly funny and propulsive. Cochran's teenage frustration will never be out of date. Ten years after being the biggest hit of a tragically short career, "Summertime Blues" survived a lysergic distortion by Blue Cheer to enter the Top 20 all over again. Two years after that, in 1970, the Who was almost as successful with their version, a longtime concert favorite. Eddie Cochran released only one album during his lifetime, which was abruptly cut short when the taxi in which he was a passenger crashed en route to a London airport at the end of a British tour. Also injured in the accident were rocker Gene Vincent and Cochran’s fiancée, songwriter Shari ...


continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players

In the Museum: The Who's Roger Daltrey

Saturday, March 1: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Who's Roger Daltrey celebrates his 70th birthday on March 1, 2014

Born on March 1, 1944, Roger Daltrey injected the Who's songs with expressive muscularity and passion. Daltrey made a natural rock and roll frontman, theatrically swinging the microphone and proving the ideal, angst-projecting foil to Who songwriter/guitarist Pete Townshend's "windmill" strumming and instrument destroying antics and drummer Keith Moon's  explosive – sometimes literally – playing. With rock-steady bass virtuoso John Entwistle, the four evolved from purveyors of Mod-era "maximum R&B" to visionary, literary creators of concept album narratives and singular rock opera productions. Simply put: the Who created some of rock and roll's most enduring and powerful anthems. 

In mid-1965, Daltrey and the Who were unflagging devotees of R&B, though their reverence ultimately started to stifle creativity. Hoping to shake things up on the compositional front, manager Kit Lambert demanded a new anthem to go with the image they didn't have yet. Pete Townshend responded with a primitive home demo of "My Generation." Arranged as a talking blues number, it didn't sound much like his generation. With a terse order to make it beefier, Townshend returned with a version deemed chunky enough to warrant a group whack at a demo session, which Lambert ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Jim Morrison Says to Millions: "Girl, We Couldn't Get Much Higher"

Tuesday, September 17: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Fan photo of the Doors collection at the Rock Hall, shared using hashtag #rockhallsatisfaction

In addition to the Jim Morrison–led call to arms “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” the Doors self-titled debut album included “Light My Fire.” Penned by guitarist Robby Krieger in his first songwriting attempt, the song catapulted the group to stardom, topping the charts for three weeks during the Summer of Love. For purposes of AM-radio airplay, the single version of “Light My Fire” was edited from its nearly seven-minute album sprawl to just under three minutes. With the Doors quickly gaining a loyal following – and notoriety owing largely to the charismatic if untrammeled personality of Morrison – the group were booked as a musical guest on The Ed Sullivan Show airing September 17, 1967. It didn't go as the producers had hoped, as the resulting episode followed keyboardist Ray Manzarek's assessment of the mid Sixties: "the battle was between the hip and the non- hip, the heads and the straights, the psychedelics and the squares – and that was basically the battle – the establishment against the hippies." 

Scheduled to perform their Number One hit "Light My Fire" before millions on the same show that had helped make the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles household names ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll

From AC/DC to Van Halen: Rock Photographer Janet Macoska's Visual Tour

Friday, September 20: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Geddy Lee of Rush live in Cleveland, in 1982 / photo in new exhibit at Cleveland Hopkins airport

This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in partnership with Cleveland Hopkins International airport unveiled a new exhibit showcasing the work of celebrated rock and roll photographer and Cleveland native Janet Macoska. Travelers will experience the new “Live from Cleveland, Ohio!” exhibit  in the Public Art Gallery at the entrance to Concourse A  – a welcome to travelers befitting Cleveland's status as a true rock and roll city. 

Macoska has been capturing some of rock’s greatest moments regularly since 1974.  Her photos have been published in Rolling Stone, People, US, Vogue, American Photo, Creem, 16 Magazine, The New York Times and The London Times as well as appearing on VH1 and other film productions.

“Growing up in Cleveland provided the perfect stage to build my career as a photographer in love with rock music,” says Macoska.  “In 2014, I will have been working this mission for 40 years.  The images you will see in this exhibition are favorites of mine, captured during the coolest concerts to come through Cleveland along with some of the best moments I've experienced as house photographer for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.”  

Macoska's catalog ...


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

What do Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Syd Barrett and Mad Magazine have in Common?

Wednesday, October 2: 3 p.m.
Posted by Amanda Pecsenye
A collector like no other: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.

On October 9, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its latest exhibit: Collecting the Counterculture: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. in the Museum’s Patty, Jay and Kizzie Baker Gallery. It's an exhibit that all started two years ago, in Geneva, Switzerland.

My job as the registrar  at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has afforded me many opportunities to travel.  One of those trips brought me to Geneva, where in November 2011 I assisted Rock Hall curators Craig Inciardi and Howard Kramer as they pored over the unique and vast collection of the late Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.  

When my colleagues and I arrived at the sprawling, discreet office space housing the Santo Domingo collection, I was immediately impressed and overwhelmed – there seemed to be treasures everywhere. The complex of rooms was filled with big rolls of movie and band posters, pinball machines, miscellaneous pop culture artifacts, floor-to-ceiling shelves of music and art books, and an expansive array of counterculture and drug-related paraphernalia and literature. As an Andy Warhol buff, I was particularly pleased to see one of Warhol’s small art prints, propped against a reading chair ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rolling Stones, History of Rock and Roll, Exhibit

Interview with Curt and Cris Kirkwood of The Meat Puppets: Influences, Live, Playing with Nirvana, 20th anniversary of In Utero

Friday, October 4: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Meat Puppets / Photo by Jaime Butler

For more than three decades, brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood have been at the helm of the Meat Puppets. They got their start as a punk act in the Eighties, signing with Greg Ginn of Black Flag's SST Records and releasing a series of albums that quickly distinguished them from their punk and hardcore peers. While those and subsequent recordings – such as Meat Puppets II and Up On the Sun – delivered on the Puppets' knack for brash punk blasts, they also found the group cultivating a singular sound that embraced folk, country, psychedelia and blues-rock elements without skipping a beat. By the close of the Eighties, the Meat Puppets had found a cult following, thanks in part to popularity on college radio and the American underground scene.

After moving to major label London in the Nineties, the Meat Puppets were named as the opening act on Nirvana's In Utero tour beginning in 1993. That November, at the request of Kurt Cobain, Cris and Curt Kirkwood appeared on the taping of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged, performing three Meat Puppets' songs. By the summer of 1994, the Meat Puppets single "Backwater" (from Too High to Die) had become a hit ...


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

Stories from the Birth of Rock and Roll with Sun Records’ The Miller Sisters

Monday, October 7: 5 p.m.
Posted by Hank Davis
The Miller Sisters: (l-r) Millie and Jo reunited after decades.

When Colin Escott, Martin Hawkins and I produced the three Bear Family Sun box sets that came out earlier this year, we were dealing with music history – and some pretty special history at that. For us, little was more important than Memphis music in the mid 1950s: the birth of rock & roll with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and a host of seminal artists who cut their teeth at Sun Records.

We were faced with selecting the 250-plus tracks for each box set,choosing the photos and writing the liner notes. We were delving deep into rock and roll history, but there were also some opportunities to deal in the present tense. We could use the gala release event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to bring out of the shadows some of the less famous artists who were actually there when Sam Phillips was busy making music history in his tiny storefront studio on Union Avenue in Memphis.

There weren’t many chances. Most of the artists who had recorded for Sun during its Golden era were gone. But not all. The Miller Sisters recorded about a dozen titles ...


continue Categories: Elvis Presley, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll

10 Things You Might Not Have Known About The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers"

Wednesday, October 9: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The fans voted, and we listened: the Rolling Stones album to be highlighted during tonight's special listening party in the Museum's Foster Theater will be the group's 1971 classic recording Sticky Fingers. After asking fans to decide what Rolling Stones album the Rock Hall should highlight, the votes were tallied and Sticky Fingers rose to the top. Tonight, visitors can listen to the entire album through the Museum's state-of-the-art Foster Theater sound system and take part in an in-depth look at the record led by the Rock Hall's education department. Tune in to the live stream at 8 pm EST here! The Rock Hall will honor the Rolling Stones as the 2013 Music Masters during the week of October 21

Released in 1971, Sticky Fingers captured the sound of the Rolling Stones' inimitable, insouciant style. The album was released less than a year after the group launched its own record label – aptly named Rolling Stones Records – for which they signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records. The initial releases on the new label were Sticky Fingers and its raunchy, rocking first single, “Brown Sugar.” Musically, the album showcased the band's versatility, from the country ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, Rolling Stones, Hall of Fame, Education, Foster Theatre, Rock and Roll Night School
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