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funk :: Blog

Sly and the Family Stone Live at 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair

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

Sly and the Family Stone were the virtual embodiment of the Woodstock Nation: integrated, soulful and funky. Even with several hit records behind them, the audience wasn’t prepared for the funk-driven soul revue laid down by the Family Stone. Few, if any, white audience members had ever experienced anything like their showmanship. Sly and the Family Stone rewrote the book on performance.

Sly and the Family Stone Live at Woodstock 1969The 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 more of the story at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives!


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances

New at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: A Jackson 5-era Outfit Worn by Michael Jackson

Friday, September 13: 4 p.m.
Michael Jackson sports outfit from his Jackson 5 days, now on exhibit

Starting this week, visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, will be able to see a new addition to the Rock Hall's Michael Jackson collection: an outfit worn by the King of Pop early in his Jackson 5 days.

I clearly remember the first time I saw this newest addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection. I got an extreme close-up look at Michael’s orange, yellow and red ensemble, with my nose inches from the television screen. I was watching the Jackson 5’s second television special, which aired on November 5, 1972. Michael and his brothers wore a succession of colorful, fashionable, individualized yet coordinated outfits on the television special.

The warm, saturated colors, double-knit fabric, turtleneck and bellbottom design of this particular outfit were the apogee of early 1970s hip fashion, seen on fashion runways from couturiers like Halston and Yves St. Laurent, accessible and readily adaptable for the ready-to-wear market.

The stylish turtleneck top of the outfit with the heart-embellished “J5” logo is actually a body suit – clearly a necessity to accommodate Michael’s athletic dancing. Michael was growing up fast, but ...


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

War's Lonnie Jordan Talks Music, Playing with Eric Burdon and Jimi Hendrix's Final Performance

Friday, May 10: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Interview with Lonnie Jordan of War (pictured front, center), who performs live on Saturday, May 11

The six founding members of War – the late Papa Dee Allen and Charles Miller, survivors Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan and Howard Scott – were gigging around L.A. for nearly a decade before hooking up with Eric Burdon (ex-Animals) and Danish harmonica player Lee Oskar in 1969. Burdon and producer Jerry Goldstein named them War, and they backed it up with a steamy Afro-Latin R&B groove that rocked their debut hit “Spill The Wine.”  Less than two years later, Burdon dropped out and War went their own way in 1971.  A long string of Top 10 pop/R&B crossover hits established War’s status through the Seventies, always with a social message grounded by their distinctively breezy Southern California vibe. In this interview with War founding member Lonnie Jordan, he shares his first memories of playing, how War first connected with Eric Burdon and jamming with Jimi Hendrix during what would be his last public performance. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: How did you first become interested in playing music?

Lonnie Jordan: As a kid, I used to watch old black-and-white movies. Now keep in mind I'll be 65 this year, so when ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Concert Radar: Bootsy Collins

Tuesday, April 3: 12:20 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Bootsy Collins

This weekend, on Friday, April 6, don't miss a uniquely funky opportunity as 1997 Hall of Fame Inductee Bootsy Collins plays an intimate show at one of Cleveland's great music venues, the Beachland Ballroom. This is the first of many musical performances during the Rock Hall's 11 days of events surrounding this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony on Saturday, April 14. 

The charismatic Collins – easily identified by his singular fashion sense: star-shaped glasses, colorful suits and top hats, and  glittery "space bass" – was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Parliament-Funkadelic, alongside his mentor George Clinton (who'll headline the Free Concert for Cleveland with Kid Cudi and Kids These Days at the Q.)

Over the years, the bassist, singer, songwriter and Cincinnati, Ohio, native has released more than a dozen albums, including 2011's Tha Funk Capital Of The World, a deeply grooving history of funk as only Collins and his collaborators could curate. The musicians joining Collins at the Beachland Ballroom include P-Funk alumni and fellow Hall of Famers drummer extraordinaire Frankie "Kash" Waddy and Bernie Worrell, long recognized as a keyboard wizard ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Event

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)"

Wednesday, February 22: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Parliament's "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock

1997 Hall of Fame inductee George Clinton, the mad genius of funk, launched his assault on music business-as-usual late in the 1960s with a short-lived but seminal R&B quintet called the Parliaments. As writer and producer, Clinton bent the group's post-Motown sound in a direction as smart as it was quirky. The Parliaments officially dissolved after one 1970 album and a major contractual problem; but Clinton, with an eye to the freak flags flown by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, recreated the group as a band of outsiders complete with their own lingo, costumes, myths, and philosophy ("Free your mind… and your ass will follow"). Transforming himself into Dr. Funkenstein, Clinton cooked up a funk feast that spiked James Brown's gritty gumbo (much of it provided by original Brown musicians like Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker) with heavy doses of psychedelia, and a dash of rock and roll.  No one sounded like Parliament except Funkadelic, a virtually identical group Clinton signed to another label and encouraged to be even more eccentric. Touring "together" with up to 40 members as "A Parliafunkadelicment Thang," the bands became one of the most successful black concert acts of ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Concert Radar

Tuesday, November 15: 10 a.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Paul Simon / Photo by Mark Seliger

The next few weeks include three don't-miss concerts: 

Paul Simon

2001 Hall of Fame inductee Paul Simon will be at the University of Akron's EJ Thomas Hall on Wednesday, November 23. Simon's latest album, So Beautiful Or So What, is his first album since Surprise in 2006, and has earned expansive critical acclaim. The album continues a tradition of delivering original songs that reflect the veteran songwriter's eclectic influences. Note that Cleveland's own award-winning world percussionist and drummer, Jamey Haddad, will be on stage in his long running role as percussionist in Simon's band, helping negotiate the varied rhythms found on So Beautiful – and beyond – for a live audience.

Paul Simon - "Getting Ready For Christmas Day" (from So Beautiful Or So What)

Cameo 

Falling close on the heels of Simon's show is an incredible funk lineup at PlayhouseSquare's State Theatre on Saturday, November 26: The Mary Jane Girls featuring Val Young, "Mister Cool" Morris Day and the Time ("Girl," "Jungle Love") and Cameo, whose 1986 album Word Up! produced two certified funk hits in the title track and ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Event

Remembering the Creole Beethoven: Wardell Quezergue

Wednesday, September 7: 1 p.m.
Wardell Quezergue

We were saddened to learn about the passing of the “Creole Beethoven,” Wardell Quezergue, yesterday in New Orleans. Quezergue, 81,  was one of the giants of New Orleans music – one of those folks who is responsible for so many great, funky records that define the city’s distinctive rhythm and blues. He arranged countless classics: Professor Longhair’s “Big Chief,” The Dixie Cups’ “Iko Iko,” King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff,” and Dorothy Moore’s “Misty Blue,” to name just a few. In 1992, he did the arrangements for Dr. John’s “little history of New Orleans music,” Goin’ Back to New Orleans. He also co-wrote “It Ain’t My Fault,” a staple of New Orleans’ brass bands. In 2000, he released the extraordinary A Creole Mass, a “prayer of Thanksgiving” that he began writing while stationed in Korea. He had been pulled from the front line to work as an arranger for the army band. His replacement was killed in action. He finally completed the work, a masterpiece for orchestra, chorus, brass band and vocals.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Education Director Jason Hanley and I had the honor of meeting ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters

Knee-Deep in Funk with George Clinton

Monday, August 22: 1 p.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
He's got the funk: George Clinton

On July 30, I hosted a Hall of Fame Series interview with George Clinton, founder and leading light behind Parliament and Funkadelic, who treated a sold-out audience in the Museum's Foster Theater to stories and insights he's gathered during his singular career.

One of the most creative individuals in music, Clinton was very generous in talking about his youth in New Jersey, his move to Detroit and the long gestation of Parliament and the birth of Funkadelic.

Clinton likened his role in Parliament-Funkadelic to that of a jazz bandleader working with different musicians from session to session, though recording under a single moniker. For decades, Clinton has been an innovative maestro, the visionary leading a rotating cast of musicians that is the Parliament-Funkadelic family.

Each time The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has an Inductee share his or her story as part of the live Hall of Fame Series, there are moments that really take the event to another level – and this event was no exception. The conversation got deep when we were joined on stage by several members of the group, including Lige Curry, Michael “Clip” Payne, and inductees “Billy Bass” Nelson and Michael ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exclusive Interviews, Foster Theatre, Event
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