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Muddy Waters Live at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival

Tuesday, March 11: 7 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

With rare exception, blues and blues musicians entertained exclusively black audiences in the 50s. George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals, gave Muddy Waters a platform to reveal the majesty and power of the blues to an entirely new audience. The record album of this show became essential listening to a new generation. Music was never the same again.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience to immerse yourself in this story.

Get even more of the story at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives!


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Rolling Stones, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances

Johnny Cash Performs with Louis Armstrong in Rare TV Performance

Wednesday, February 26: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Hall of Fame Inductees Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash perform together on Cash's TV show in 1970.

What happens when two musical giants collide, when two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees defying genres and generations share the stage? On October 28, 1970 just that happened on Johnny Cash's TV variety show, when he welcomed "the great Louis Armstrong." Cash opened the introduction, remarking: "This country has given the world three original art forms – country music, jazz and Louis Armstrong."

Promoting his 1970 collection of country and western standards (fittingly titled Country & Western) and sporting an oversized cowboy hat, Armstrong sang "Crystal Chandeliers," the country classic originally sung by Charley Pride; and "Ramblin' Rose," a song made popular by Nat King Cole.

With the performance wrapped, Armstrong took a seat beside Cash, both musicians holding their instruments of choice: a trumpet and a guitar, respectively. "You've been at it a long time," Cash said to Armstrong. "I know that. We did a little research on some of your recordings; we find that on July 16, 1930, you played trumpet on a session with the late Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music. That was in Hollywood, right?"

Armstrong explained the ostensibly unlikely pairing: "We had a meeting one morning and Jimmie said, 'Man, I ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash

Rare Photo Collection of Grammy Award-winning Harmonica Player Sugar Blue Unveiled

Friday, February 14: 4:44 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rare rock moments: Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger with Sugar Blue

This week, the Rock Hall's Library and Archives unveiled a new collection of rare and candid photographs donated by Grammy Award-winning harmonica player Sugar Blue.

Perhaps best known for his signature riff and solo on the Rolling Stones' hit "Miss You," harmonica virtuoso Sugar Blue (born James Whiting) made his first recordings in 1975 with legendary bluesmen Brownie McGhee and Roosevelt Sykes. Blue can be heard on the Rolling Stones' Some Girls, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. He received a 1985 Grammy Award for his work on the compilation album, Blues Explosion, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Blue has performed and recorded with musicians ranging from Willie Dixon to Stan Getz to Frank Zappa to Bob Dylan. Blue was among the featured performers at the 18th Annual Music Masters concert, honoring the music of the Rolling Stones

Visit the Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction feature exhibit before it closes on March 2, 2014.

Sugar Blue, Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy perform live rare photo

(l-r) Eric Clapton, Sugar Blue and Buddy Guy.

The Sugar Blue Photographs collection at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives includes seven digital images of the award-winning harmonica player performing with various collaborators and contemporaries, including Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Lee ...


continue Categories: Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Rolling Stones, American Music Masters, Education, Library and Archives

Etta James Sings "At Last" and Hits the Charts

Friday, January 24: 8 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Etta James

At the end of the 1960s, traditional R&B was moving in different directions: toward Motown and its pop-ready "Sound of Young America," and the grittier Southern soul of Stax/Volt and Fame Recording Studio. Etta James sided with the latter. Born January 25, 1938, as Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California, she had moved from a gospel choir to a girl trio to the Johnny Otis Revue by the time she had her first R&B hit at 17. “I might have been a little church girl singing gospel, but I loved all the music – soaked it up like a sponge," said James. "I remember Charles Brown, who killed me with 'Drifting Blues.' I’d hear that good time music floating out onto the street, whether it was some smooth blues like T-Bone Walker or sophisticated jazz….[I’d] poke my head into a joint, amazed by the men in their stingy-brim hats and them gators on their feet, chicks poured into skintight dresses, laughing and flirting and carrying on.” 

In the spring of 1961, “At Last” became a Number Two R&B hit and remains ...


continue Categories: Black History Month, Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Hall of Fame, Today in Rock, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Celebrating the Songs and Life of Doc Pomus with Director William Hechter

Monday, January 13: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Doc Pomus singing in the late 1940s

Remembered not only as a peerless songwriter but also as a formidable personality and cheerful raconteur, 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Doc Pomus was one of the real characters from rock and roll’s golden era. Atlantic Records producer and co-owner Jerry Wexler succinctly described his sphere of influence: "If the music industry has a heart, it would be Doc Pomus." 

Pomus authored among the greatest songs in rock and roll history: "This Magic Moment" (recorded by the Drifters), "A Teenager in Love" (recorded by Dion and the Belmonts) and "Save the Last Dance for Me" (recorded by Ben E. King). Elvis Presley recorded at least 20 Pomus originals. In Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's collection includes the hand-written lyrics to "Save the Last Dance for Me," which Pomus wrote at his wedding, while watching his new bride, Wilma Burke, dancing (pictured below).

Born Jerome Solon Felder in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on June 27, 1925, he adopted the name Doc Pomus to hide his singing from his parents. Stricken with polio as a child, Pomus was confined to crutches and a wheelchair, though it never slowed him down. For ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Event, Exclusive Interviews, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Education, Foster Theatre

Exclusive Interview with Robby Krieger of the Doors: Remembering Ray Manzarek, reconnecting with John Densmore and the Doors' Greatest Moments

Saturday, December 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Robby Krieger

Over the course of a short career that only lasted a little more than five years, the Doors had a tremendous impact on rock and roll. They were a truly unique group, with a singer, Jim Morrison, who was a genuine poet with an almost mythical persona. Unlike most bands at the time, the Doors did not have a bass player. Ray Manzarek played the bass lines on his keyboards. John Densmore was a solid, steady drummer. And Robby Krieger was an elegant guitarist with a distinctive style unlike the blues-based guitar leanings favored by most his six-string peers. 20 years after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Robby Krieger sits down for an exclusive interview with the Rock Hall, reflecting on the passing of friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek, patching up differences with John Densmore, the Doors' greatest moments, where the Doors would've gone had Jim Morrison lived, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, what he's listening to now and more.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: First, let’s talk about Ray Manzarek’s death…. Did you see that coming? Had he been sick for a while?

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarak

Robby Krieger: Not really ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Today in Rock

Jerry Fuller and the Amazing True Story of Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man"

Friday, November 22: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
American singer, songwriter and record producer Jerry Fuller wrote "Travelin' Man"

In 1960s Los Angeles, California, an elite group of studio session musicians came together and played on hits for the Beach Boys, the ByrdsRicky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Simon and GarfunkelPhil Spector's "Wall of Sound," Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, the Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, 5th Dimension, Tijuana Brass and Johnny Rivers among others. From "Be My Baby" to "California Girls;" "Strangers in the Night" and "Mrs. Robinson;" "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" and "Up, Up and Away;""Viva Las Vegas" to "Mr. Tambourine Man," the group dubbed "The Wrecking Crew" played on some of rock and roll's most-beloved songs. “The musicians really are the unsung heroes of all these hit records,” noted Nancy Sinatra. And now the world will know their story – if all goes to plan.

Watch + Listen: American singer, songwriter and record producer Jerry Fuller tells the story of how he wrote "Travelin' Man" for Sam Cooke, recorded it with Glen Campbell, and how the demo went in the garbage before finding its way to Ricky Nelson. (From The Wrecking Crew: The Untold Story of Rock & Roll Heroes)

Among the musicians in the "Crew" was guitarist Tommy ...


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

Rolling Stone's First Issue: "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss"

Saturday, November 9: 9:01 a.m.
Posted by Alexandra Fagan
John Lennon as Private Gripeweed on the cover of Rolling Stone's first-ever issue.

You're probably wondering what we are trying to do. It's hard to say: sort of a magazine and sort of a newspaper. The name of it is Rolling Stone, which comes from an old saying: "A Rolling Stone gathers no moss." Muddy Waters used the name for a song he wrote; The Rolling Stones took their name from Muddy's song, and "Like A Rolling Stone" was the title of Bob Dylan's first rock and roll record.

We have begun a new publication reflecting what we see are the changes in rock and roll and the changes related to rock and roll. Because the trade papers have become so inaccurate and irrelevant, and because the fan magazines are an anachronism, fashioned in the mold of myth and nonsense, we hope that we have something here for the artists and the industry, and every person who "believes in the magic that can set you free."

Rolling Stone is not just about music, but also about the things and attitudes that the music embraces. We've been working quite hard on it and we hope you can dig it. To describe it any further would be difficult without sounding ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, Today in Rock, The Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Inductee, Hall of Fame, History of Rock and Roll
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