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aretha franklin :: Blog

2011 American Music Masters Honoree: Aretha Franklin

Tuesday, August 23: 7 a.m.
Honoring the "Queen of Soul"

In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – a fitting tribute to the "Queen of Soul," the woman who for more than 50 years has been the expressive, passionate voice of soul music. More than 20 years later, Franklin continues to be a driving force in the world of music, and I am thrilled to announce her as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 2011 American Music Masters honoree. 

 

The American Music Masters series will honor Ms. Franklin with a weeklong celebration beginning on October 31, featuring special events presented by the Rock Hall and series partner Case Western Reserve University.

 

Aretha Franklin is a masterful singer, pianist, performer and arranger, whose catalog of recordings highlights a brilliant versatility that spans myriad genres: gospel, jazz, blues, pop standards, rock, funk – the list goes on. She constantly breaks down boundaries between styles of American music, revealing the connections between them, across generations. In the words of Princeton University professor Daphne Brooks, she has “reinvented the fabric of our musical culture.” In the process, she has inspired millions of people around the world to sing, to speak, to climb ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Education, Event

Clarence, you are dearly missed

Monday, June 20: 7:45 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Clarence Clemons with Bruce Springsteen.

The music world lost one of its finest artists over the weekend. Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons died on Saturday at a hospital in Palm Beach, Florida. His death was caused by complications from a stroke he had suffered on June 12th at his home in Florida. Best-known as the saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Clemons was a great musician and a dramatic stage performer. In addition to being a member of the E Street Band, Clemons played with numerous other artists, including Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne and, most recently, Lady Gaga.

Clemons was born on January 11, 1942, in Norfolk, Virginia. He began playing sax as a child, after his father gave him an alto saxophone for Christmas. His father made him practice in a room at his fish store, annoying Clarence, who wanted to  be out playing with the other kids. Then, when he was a teenager, he got turned onto the music of King Curtis and other R&B musicians and he switched to tenor sax. He got a music and football scholarship to Maryland State College. In the mid-Sixties, he was going to try out for the Cleveland Browns, but an ...


continue Categories: Exhibit, Education

Girls on Film: 40 Years of Women in Rock (and the challenges overcome)

Wednesday, January 19: 11:37 a.m.
Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane, Grant Park, Chicago: May 1969 (photo by Anastasia Pantsios)

I’m excited to be opening my photo show, Girls on Film: 40 Years of Women in Rock, at the Rock Hall on February 14. Going over my negatives, and picking and printing the images, gave me the chance to reflect on my own trajectory as a photographer and a music fan. I’ve also been mulling over why, after a couple of years of thinking about such a show and vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs Jim Henke saying “Anytime you’re ready, let’s talk,” this particular theme and selection of work is important to me.

The earliest image in the show was taken at a free daytime concert in Grant Park in Chicago (where I grew up) in 1969. I was new to both photography and rock music. I borrowed a camera from my father — he was a serious amateur photographer whose taste in subjects ran to scenery and flowers — and brought it with me to take pictures of Jefferson Airplane, the band that had recently sparked my interest in rock and roll, largely due to its distinctive singer, Grace Slick, who was neither the ethereal Joni Mitchell-style folk girl or the bad-ass blues mama ...


continue Categories: Exhibit
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