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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

The Roots and Definition of Rock and Roll

Friday, October 18: 11:15 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Tracing the roots of and defining rock and roll music at the Museum.

How do you define rock and roll?

Each year, with the announcement of the next class of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a debate swirls as to what music is considered "rock and roll." The announcement of the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees – the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Kiss, LL Cool J, the Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., the Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies – brought with it passionate discussions as to not only who should be inducted, but also how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and people all over the world interpret and define rock and roll. 

Visitors to the Museum in Cleveland will find a large type-and-graphics treatment featured in the Main Exhibit Hall, just before the Roots of Rock exhibit. It marks the unofficial start to a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and explains the roots of rock and roll, and how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes rock and roll today. It reads as follows:

Rock and roll is a form of ...


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

Stories from the Birth of Rock and Roll with Sun Records’ The Miller Sisters

Monday, October 7: 5 p.m.
Posted by Hank Davis
The Miller Sisters: (l-r) Millie and Jo reunited after decades.

When Colin Escott, Martin Hawkins and I produced the three Bear Family Sun box sets that came out earlier this year, we were dealing with music history – and some pretty special history at that. For us, little was more important than Memphis music in the mid 1950s: the birth of rock & roll with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and a host of seminal artists who cut their teeth at Sun Records.

We were faced with selecting the 250-plus tracks for each box set,choosing the photos and writing the liner notes. We were delving deep into rock and roll history, but there were also some opportunities to deal in the present tense. We could use the gala release event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to bring out of the shadows some of the less famous artists who were actually there when Sam Phillips was busy making music history in his tiny storefront studio on Union Avenue in Memphis.

There weren’t many chances. Most of the artists who had recorded for Sun during its Golden era were gone. But not all. The Miller Sisters recorded about a dozen titles ...


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

What do Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Syd Barrett and Mad Magazine have in Common?

Wednesday, October 2: 3 p.m.
Posted by Amanda Pecsenye
A collector like no other: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.

On October 9, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its latest exhibit: Collecting the Counterculture: Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. in the Museum’s Patty, Jay and Kizzie Baker Gallery. It's an exhibit that all started two years ago, in Geneva, Switzerland.

My job as the registrar  at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has afforded me many opportunities to travel.  One of those trips brought me to Geneva, where in November 2011 I assisted Rock Hall curators Craig Inciardi and Howard Kramer as they pored over the unique and vast collection of the late Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.  

When my colleagues and I arrived at the sprawling, discreet office space housing the Santo Domingo collection, I was immediately impressed and overwhelmed – there seemed to be treasures everywhere. The complex of rooms was filled with big rolls of movie and band posters, pinball machines, miscellaneous pop culture artifacts, floor-to-ceiling shelves of music and art books, and an expansive array of counterculture and drug-related paraphernalia and literature. As an Andy Warhol buff, I was particularly pleased to see one of Warhol’s small art prints, propped against a reading chair ...


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

50 Years Later: Mahalia Jackson and the Voices of the March on Washington

Wednesday, August 28: 10:39 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Mahalia Jackson was among the singers at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, when more than a quarter million people converged in the then largest demonstration in the United States capital. It was a triumph of unity and a moment – like many revolutionary episodes – that seized on the power of song to help make sense of its gravitas. The diverse cast of voices on August 28, 1963 included Marian Anderson, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul and Mary. However, it was gospel legend Mahalia Jackson who, at the request of Martin Luther King Jr., helped set the stage for among the world's greatest recordings: the "I Have a Dream" speech. 

"If [Martin Luther] King gave the movement a vision, Mahalia Jackson gave it a voice," wrote history and culture scholar Craig Werner in A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America.

The inimitable voice of 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Mahalia Jackson resonated far and wide, her bracing soprano and interpretation of gospel making her a familiar name among black and white audiences. She found stardom without making secular songs, becoming the first gospel artist to sing at Carnegie Hall in ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock, Event

Collection Highlights at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Monday, July 22: 2 p.m.
Posted by Ned Denby
Recordings for the "underground" from the KQRS collection includes early interview with Patti Smith

Since beginning my internship at the Library and Archives this summer, I've had the unique opportunity to process a number of collections, digitizing analog audio and video materials and organizing paper-based collections. Along the way, I've uncovered some real treasures. Here are some of my favorites:

The first collection I processed was the Jay Ruby Rock ‘n’ Roll Conference Lecture, an audio recording of the lecture, “'You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here': The Social Implications of Rock 'n' Roll,” given by the donor, Jay W. Ruby, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Conference at Mills College in 1967. I really enjoyed this lecture, because Ruby focuses on describing the musical communities of the time to an academic audience that may or may not have been familiar with them, going into detail about the connection between rock music and hallucinogenic drugs and religion.

I also processed the KQRS Collection, donated by Shel Danielson, a long-time disc jockey at the KQRS radio station in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The bulk of the collection consists of reel-to-reel recordings of commercials for concerts and albums that the station broadcasted from 1973 to 1976.  Some commercials exist in two versions: one that was broadcast ...


continue Categories: Library and Archives

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

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Interviews Oliver Stone

Tuesday, May 7: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Interview with film director Oliver Stone

Interview with award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, who visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, and sat down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after his visit to share his impressions of the Museum, learning more about the roots of rock and roll, the history of rock and roll and the films featured in the exhibits; as well as hearing Motown for the first time in Vietnam; a time when rock and roll was "trashed," the importance of preserving pop culture, how "music is supposed to transcend" and more. Click here to plan your visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum this summer!


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews
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