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Spotlight Exhibit: Chuck Berry Collection at the Library + Archives

Wednesday, October 17: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Chuck Berry UK tour program circa 1964 at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University will honor rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry during the 17th annual American Music Masters® (AMM) series this October. Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry, a weeklong celebration beginning October 22 and culminating with a special tribute concert on October 27, will tell the story of one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

 As part of the celebration, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives has created a spotlight exhibit illustrating both essential and lesser known details about Berry’s life and career through materials such as concert posters, photographs, books, and audio and video of live performances – from his start with Johnnie “B. Goode” Johnson in the Sir John Trio in 1952 to his resurgence in the 1970s.

Chuck Berry performance invoice Ohio the Raspberries bandThe exhibit contains 14 items from the Museum’s permanent collections, including sheet music to his 1955 hit song “Maybellene” that helped ignite the rock and roll revolution; a promotional photograph for “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)” from his first album After School ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event, Hall of Fame, American Music Masters, Library and Archives, Spotlight Exhibit

Chuck Berry at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Tuesday, November 6: 5:21 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Chuck Berry and his wife Themetta visit the Rock Hall's Library and Archives on October 27, 2012

On Saturday, October 27, we were truly honored when Hall of Fame Inductee and 2012 American Music Masters honoree Chuck Berry – along with his family, band members, and friends – paid a visit to the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives. After I gave them a brief overview of the Library and Archives and a quick tour of our Library Reading Room, Berry and his group spent time viewing the materials in our Chuck Berry archival exhibit, which was curated by our head archivist Jennie Thomas. Next, the Rock Hall's curatorial director Howard Kramer and I led the group into our Archives Reading Room, where I had pulled out a number of materials from our collections in advance of the group’s visit.

These materials included posters from 1950s rock and roll shows featuring Berry himself, as well as legendary performers such as Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, and Elmore James; photographs of Louis Jordan from various archival collections; recording session logs from the Milt Gabler Papers; our collection of Big Joe Turner’s personal papers, which includes letters, passports and photographs; 78-rpm records of the Nat King Cole Trio and the Benny Goodman Sextet (the latter featuring one ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Library and Archives, Education, Exhibit

Explore the Legacy of Jimi Hendrix at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Tuesday, November 27: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
A rare photograph of Jimi Hendrix performing with Curtis Knight and the Squires

Jimi Hendrix was born 70 years ago today, on November 27, 1942. The Library and Archives’ collections showcase Hendrix as much as – if not more than – most inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His great rock and roll legacy is the basis for expansive collections that include books, magazine and journal articles, commercial and bootleg audio and video recordings; concert handbills, postcards and posters; record executive artist, business and subject files; promotional and concert photographs, and handwritten lyrics – all related to Hendrix’s meteoric career.

Library and Archives collections focused on Hendrix include those donated by Michael Goldstein, Ed Chalpin, and Jeff Gold. Goldstein is a New York City publicist who served as Hendrix's press manager and publicist from 1967 until Hendrix's death in 1970, and  his collection contains clippings, printed ephemera, photographs and press releases related to Hendrix and other artists with whom Goldstein worked.

Ed Chalpin, an entrepreneur and record producer, signed a three-year recording contract with Hendrix and his New York-based R&B band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, in October of 1965. The contract gave Hendrix only one percent of any royalties that his recordings earned and the sum of ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, Exhibit

Video: Interview with Bruce Springsteen Biographer Peter Ames Carlin

Tuesday, December 18: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Author and Journalist Peter Ames Carlin discusses his Bruce Springsteen biography, "Bruce."

The first biography of Bruce Springsteen in 25 years to be written with his cooperation, Bruce covers four decades of the musician and Hall of Fame inductee's career in intimate detail. With unprecedented access, biographer and journalist Peter Ames Carlin collected candid interviews with Springsteen, his family and inner circle to weave a rich narrative chronicling the life and times of the Jersey-born rock luminary. 

This month, Carlin spoke at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Library and Archives, part of the Author Series, which brings journalists, critics and scholars to the Library and Archives for free readings and discuss sessions. In this interview, Carlin shares the art of being a biographer, separating objectivity from fandom, how he gained Springsteen's trust, the incredible stories he gathered while researching the book and more.

Learn more about the Rock Hall Library and Archives' collection of Bruce Springsteen materials here.


continue Categories: Inductee, Library and Archives, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Scotty Moore Papers and Elvis Presley at the Library and Archives

Tuesday, January 8: 4 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Image of Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana from the Scotty Moore Papers

To celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 78th birthday on January 8, 2013, the Library and Archives is highlighting some of its collections related to the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. These collections include books; magazines, journals, and fanzines; article clippings; handbills, album flats, and posters; photographs and slides; correspondence; record executive artist files; financial records; and commercial audio and video recordings. Of particular note among these is the Scotty Moore Papers.

Scotty Moore participated in the historic early sessions at Sun Records that arguably marked the birth of rock and roll. Moore led a group called the Starlite Wranglers before Sun founder Sam Phillips teamed him up with Elvis Presley – a relationship that would continue from 1954 to 1958. Moore’s early background was in jazz and country, and he put these influences to use by counterpointing Presley’s vocals with melodic guitar solos that helped launch the rockabilly revolution. In addition to working as an engineer and session musician, he played on many of Presley’s Nashville sessions at RCA’s Studio B. Moore, bassist Bill Black and drummer D.J. Fontana served as Presley’s band onstage and on record until March 1958, when ...


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The Rock Hall's Library and Archives: Our First Year

Friday, February 1: 3 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Rock Hall director of Library and Archives Andy Leach at the L&A's information desk

It’s hard to believe the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives has already been open for a year. Ever since we first opened our doors to the public in January 2012, visitors of all kinds have been steadily flowing in to use our resources for their research and to expand their knowledge of rock and roll and its history.

During 2012, the Library and Archives welcomed nearly 4,000 visitors, many of whom conducted research using one-of-a-kind archival materials in our Archives Reading Room. Our visitors included scholars from around the country, students and teachers from local colleges and universities, authors, documentarians and music fans. The Library and Archives staff also handled more than 800 reference queries, most of which arrived via phone and e-mail.

Many notable people visited the Library and Archives during our first year, including Hall of Fame Inductees Ron Wood, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan of the Faces, Chuck Berry, Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), and Glyn Johns; music writer Peter Guralnick; scholars Craig Werner, David Brackett, and Andy Flory; former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman John Frohnmeyer; Govinda Gallery founder and director Chris Murray; Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux; and Hank LoConti, owner ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Event, Hall of Fame, Education, Austin City Limits, Library and Archives

Through the Lens of Jimmy Baynes: Cleveland Rock and Roll History

Friday, February 8: 4:40 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Photographer Jimmy Baynes' images provide a candid look at African-American life, music and culture.

Cleveland has been a hive of live music for decades. The city experienced tremendous growth in the years following World War II and, with it, an explosion of live music venues. The core of this activity took place on the east side of the city, home to Cleveland’s African-American population. Clubs like the Music Box, the Tia Juana, Leo’s Casino and Gleason’s hosted the best jazz, blues and R&B performers the era had to offer. The economic prosperity of the time was mirrored in the pulsing entertainment scene. 

Following this lively scene was postal worker Jimmy H. Baynes (July 12, 1922 – September 9, 2010), who supplemented his weekly paycheck through Baynes Foto Service at 2220 East 87th Street, primarily photographing local events in the African-American community. Though Baynes was not a trained photographer, the images he created over  three decades, from the 1950s into the 1980s – whether they are of weddings, beauty competitions, burlesque shows or live music performances  – provide an authentic and candid glimpse into African-American life, music and culture. Throughout the years, Baynes’ photographs appeared in Cleveland magazines and newspapers, such as the Call and Post.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Library and Archives, Education, Black History Month

At the Library and Archives: The Smith Tapes 1969-1972

Tuesday, April 23: 10 a.m.
Posted by Amanda Raab
(l-r) John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Howard Smith

Howard Smith was a man both on the scene and of the scene in late-1960s New York. As a photographer, columnist and broadcaster, Smith immersed himself in the emerging subculture of music and art while maintaining a keen journalist’s eye on the revolution happening around him. The interviews that comprise the set, The Smith Tapes 1969-1972, recently acquired by the Library and Archives, are raw, unedited recordings with those at the forefront of the hippie subculture as well as the era’s rock superstars, including John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman, Lou Reed, the authors of Hair, and Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper talking about their new film Easy Rider

Within this compelling collection there are some true gems. A USB flash drive – cleverly housed in a replica audio cassette with faux-stained labels – contains a collection of reports from the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, where Smith describes both the serenity of the fans and the struggle of organizers amidst the rain and near-overwhelming crowds. On one of the final discs in the collection is a brief phone interview with Janis Joplin who, when questioned about the burgeoning women’s liberation movement, initially dismisses it but encourages women not to settle ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Library and Archives
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