The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


exhibit :: Blog

Interview with Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart

Tuesday, September 11: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Mickey Hart shares the story of how he joined the Grateful Dead

In 2012, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart sat for an interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was on hand to perform and help open the Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip exhibit. In this clip, Hart shares the story of when he first saw the Grateful Dead perform, before he was a member, and how an invitation from founding drummer Bill Kreutzmann to come by a practice session eventually led to Hart's first live performance with the band at the Straight Theater in San Francisco. "I had never heard their music," says Hart. "And then we started playing and hours later it stopped ...  And Jerry [Garcia] said, 'We could take this around the world. This is the Grateful Dead.'"


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Moves to the Streets of Philadelphia

Monday, February 20: 1 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke talks Springsteen

From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen opened at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this past weekend. The Rock Hall curated the exhibit, and it was the major temporary exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from April 2009 to February 2011.

The Springsteen exhibit was not originally intended to travel, but after representatives from the Constitution Center came to Cleveland to see it, they thought it would be a great fit for their museum. We had several discussions with them, and we worked with Springsteen’s management to see whether moving it was a possibility. In the end, we all agreed that it made sense to take the exhibit to the Constitution Center. After all, Springsteen’s roots go back to the Jersey Shore, an area not that far from Philadelphia. Moreover, Springsteen is a truly American musician and songwriter, someone who has given voice to the restlessness, hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans. Millions of listeners have found their experience of the American dream reflected in his songs about the lonely, the lost, the unemployed, immigrants and military veterans. The City of Brotherly Love was ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Spotlight Exhibit: The Band

Wednesday, January 18: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Robbie Robertson of the Band visits the Rock Hall and checks out the new Band exhibit.

Recently, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a new Spotlight Exhibit devoted to the Band. Located in the Museum’s main gallery, the exhibit features an extremely rare electric guitar/mandolin that was manufactured by Gibson back in 1961. Band guitarist Robbie Robertson played the instrument when the group performed “The Weight” at the Last Waltz. The exhibit also includes a mandolin that was played by Levon Helm, the original handwritten lyric manuscript to “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” the original artwork for the cover of the group’s Cahoots album, Martin Scorsese’s shooting script for The Last Waltz and a jacket that Robertson wore onstage during a 1971 New Year’s Eve concert in New York City. That concert was recorded and released on the album Rock of Ages. Robbie Robertson got to check the exhibit out when he made a visit to the Museum on January 17.

Watch Robertson playing the 1961 Gibson electric guitar/mandolin in The Last Waltz:


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit, Hall of Fame

The Lost Photographs of Cleveland Deejay Tommy Edwards

Thursday, January 12: 4 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Tommy Edwards (center) with the Everly Brothers

Many know that rock and roll was christened in Cleveland, Ohio, when DJ Alan Freed coined the phrase to describe the up-tempo R&B music he was beaming out on his popular radio show. Freed opened the doors for countless artists, and for years was the de facto king of rock and roll. But fewer know about the cadre of revolutionary Cleveland disc jockeys who shared the airwaves with Freed. Among them was Tommy Edwards. 

Edwards, who owned a prominent record store, pressed records and was a disc jockey at WERE 1300 AM, was instrumental in bringing Elvis Presley to Cleveland in 1955 for his first performance north of the Mason-Dixon line. Pat Boone headlined the concert, and the supporting bill included Bill Haley and the Comets, the Four Lads, Priscilla Wright and a largely unknown Presley. It was there that Edwards snapped the famous photograph of Presley with Haley, one of the few times the two met. The show was not held in a grand concert hall or big-ticket venue, but in a suburb of Cleveland at Brooklyn High School. The now mythical performance is rumored to have been captured in vivid Technicolor, and dubbed The Pied Piper ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Rock Hall Redesign

Wednesday, November 9: 5:14 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's main exhibit hall gets an exciting redesign

About 14 months ago the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame began working on a redesign of the museum’s galleries. It was a project that we had talked about for quite a few years, and in September 2010 it finally got underway. The project had a couple of main goals: upgrading all of the audio, video and interactive elements, improving wayfinding  and – most importantly – reorganizing the exhibits so they tell the story of rock and roll in a more chronological way. The Museum’s exhibits have always covered the entire history of rock and roll, from the roots of rock up to the present, but they were never in any particular order. The roots exhibits were in one section of the main gallery, while the Fifties exhibit was way on the other side of the gallery. We wanted to correct that.

Making these changes meant we had to have a lot of new cases built, and we also added a few new exhibits. For example, we used to have an exhibit on Ohio music; now we have an exhibit on Cleveland’s music and one on the music of the Midwest. We also added a heavy metal exhibit, and ...


continue Categories: Exhibit, Event

Pioneers of Rock

Monday, September 19: 1 p.m.
Ruth Brown topped the R&B chart with “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" in 1953

"Pioneers of Rock" is the second installment in a special series that highlights the evolution of women in music by placing their accomplishments, inspirations and influence in the context of the eras that shaped their sounds and messages. "America's Foremothers" introduced the series.

As World War II ended in 1945 and G.I.s returned home, the proportion of women on assembly lines fell from 25 percent to 7.5 percent. Women who had – out of necessity – taken an unprecedented place in the work force were urged back into the home by books like 1947’s Modern Woman: The Lost Sex. The book argued that only a return to traditional values and gender roles could restore “women’s inner balance.”

Female rock and roll pioneers were less interested in restoring “women’s inner balance” than they were seeking an even playing field. Taking cues from Jackie Robinson’s and Larry Doby’s breaking the color line in baseball in 1947, and from President Truman’s desegregating the U.S. Armed Forces with the signing of Executive Order 9981 in 1948, American culture and the music business was at the birth of a new age. As with the birth of ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Education

Rock Hall will honor Otis Redding's 70th birthday with a spotlight exhibit and film screening

Tuesday, August 30: 3:16 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Otis Redding

Though his career was relatively brief, Otis Redding was a singer of such commanding stature that to this day he embodies the essence of soul music in its purist form. His name is synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying up until his death in 1967. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the life and music of Redding, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee, with an exhibit and film screening. Redding would have been 70 on September 9. That day, the Hall of Fame will unveil a spotlight exhibit with more than 20 artifacts in the Ahmet M. Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall. On Wednesday, September 7, the Museum will screen the film Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding.

In honor of Otis Redding’s legacy and to support the Rock Hall’s mission, his widow Zelma Redding will donate a portion of her husband’s papers to the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives. These will include contracts, correspondence, photographs, receipts and sheet music.  The Library and Archives will ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Today in Rock: The Beatles' record-breaking 1965 Shea Stadium show

Monday, August 15: 1:32 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
The second Beatles Shea Stadium show concert poster, on display at the Rock Hall.

The Beatles played Shea Stadium in New York City on August 15, 1965. They were the first rock group to play an outdoor sports stadium, and the show attracted 55,600 fans - the most attended show of the time. The promoter of the show, Sid Bernstein, said that the concert grossed $304,000, the largest gross from any event in show business up to that point.  “It was the biggest crowd we ever played to anywhere in the world,” John Lennon said of the  Shea show. “I heard a jet taking off, and I thought one of our amplifiers had blown up. We couldn’t hear ourselves sing.” The noise was so deafening that at the end of the show, during “I’m Down,” Lennon began playing a keyboard with his elbows while the whole group laughed hysterically. A documentary about the show, The Beatles at Shea Stadium, was produced by Ed Sullivan and was broadcast on ABC-TV the following year.  The Beatles played a second show at Shea on August 23, 1966. It was one of their final live performances.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s newly revamped Beatles exhibit includes the jacket that Paul ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Today in Rock
previous Page 2 of 4. next