The members of the Beatles fell under the spell of rock and roll early on. When the new sound first broke in 1955 and 1956, it caught the attention of Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The lads bought rock and roll records and went to movies where they could see rock and roll stars perform.
As a band, the Beatles are often regarded as being second-generation rock and rollers, but as kids and as players, they were very much inspired by rock's first generation. They fell in love with rock's “big bang” moment; artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and other artists that would be key to their sound and genesis as a band. As the formative Beatles coalesced, they covered songs by the artists they liked, adding early rock and roll cuts to the set lists as they honed their group dynamic.
Sometimes the Beatles are said to have saved rock and roll. However, at the time the group landed stateside in 1964, Motown had already been cranking out hits ...
By December 1963, England had enjoyed nearly a year of Beatlemania. The Fab Four – George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – had sold millions of records for EMI's Parlophone imprint. The group’s first single, “Love Me Do”/”P.S. I Love You,” briefly dented the U.K. Top 20 in October 1962, but their next 45, “Please Please Me,” formally ignited Beatlemania in their homeland, reaching the Number Two spot. It was followed in 1963 by three consecutive chart-topping British singles: “From Me to You” “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They conquered the U.K., even inducing a classical music critic from the Sunday Times to declare them “the greatest composers since Beethoven.” Moreover, they were the greatest rockers since the composer of “Roll Over Beethoven” – Chuck Berry. Still, success in America remained elusive for manager Brian Epstein and his young charges, as Capitol – EMI's American label – refused to release the Beatles' first four British singles, one label executive noting, "We don't think the Beatles will do anything in this market." Everything would change with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
The Beatles first arrived in America on February 7, 1964, at New York's Kennedy Airport. Two days later, on February 9, the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast from New York City, reaching an audience of more than 70 million people. The Fab Four would perform again on Ed Sullivan on February 16, in Miami. Those landmark performances are well documented, but one performance on February 12, 1964 has an element of great mystery: missing Beatles concert footage that would be of interest to any Beatles fan!
The Beatles made their Carnegie Hall debut on February 12, 1964. The show was typical of the nascent days of Beatlemania – screaming fans, confused adults, rock and roll. But behind the Beatles, sitting on the Carnegie Hall stage sat a group of individuals, including a woman with a film camera. Who is that woman and what did she capture from that momentous performance? And where is that footage?
With the help from our friends at the Carnegie Hall Archives, we are enlisting Beatles fans from all over the world to assist Carnegie Hall’s ...
It was star-studded night at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. With artists – new and old – coming together, and a handful of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees taking to the stage. The night included rememberances of Hall of Fame Inductees Lou Reed and Phil Everly, as well as 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Grohl taking honors for best rock song for “Cut Me Some Slack,” a collaboration from his Sound City soundtrack that features Paul McCartney, former Nirvana bandmate and fellow 2014 Inductee Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Madonna to Stevie Wonder, there were numerous Inductees getting into the live act at the Grammy Awards.
Dozens of couples, representing all demographics: gay, straight, interracial, young and old said “I do” during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert and Rock Hall Inductee and seven-time Grammy Award–winner Madonna. Lewis, the group’s producer, told The New York Times, the wedding “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”
The year 1983 was a year of firsts for Cyndi Lauper – and the music industry. That year, Lauper released her first solo album, She's So Unusual, which became the first debut album by a female artist to score four Top Five singles: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop” and “All Through the Night." She won two American Music Awards, the Grammy for Best New Artist and went on to become the most nominated artist at the MTV Video Music Awards with nine nominations for the album She’s So Unusual, winning the Best Female Video Moonman. Because of her music, influence and artistic contributions, Lauper is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Women Who Rock exhibit, which illustrates the important roles that women have played in rock and roll history, from roots to today. Cyndi Lauper was instrumental in the creation of the exhibit, as she visited the museum during the inception of the exhibit and advocated about how important the inclusion of women is to the story of rock and roll. She also played a major role as a spokeswoman for the exhibit. Women Who Rock: Vision ...
A commanding stage presence is an essential element of the rock and roll spectacle. Beyond captivating audiences with their music, artists from Abba to ZZ Top have projected their quirks, singular identities and personas via unique stage costumes. Some artists' costume choices are icons to themselves – think Michael Jackson’s gilded glove or Elvis Presley’s bejeweled jumpsuit. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to many of these iconic costumes and ground-breaking designs. Here are some of our favorites, which you can see when visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum!
David Bowie's Suit, 1972 / Design by Freddie Burretti
David Bowie’s breakthrough came with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), a thoroughly modern album that promulgated the notion of rock star as space alien. Bowie melded rock with theater, creating the provocative character and alter ego “Ziggy Stardust." Bowie wore his lightning-bolt emblazoned suit onstage during his tour to support the album.
The Supremes' Dresses, 1969 / Design by Bob Mackie
The Supremes rose from the poverty of ...
It's not every day that the Rock Hall gets a serious request to borrow Janis Joplin's iconic Porsche 356C cabriolet from our collection. Almost daily, visitors and fans from around the world ask questions like "Can I take it for a test drive?" But this time was different. We agreed to hand over the keys – though it wasn't quite that simple.
The Rock Hall’s collections department receives regular requests from museums, galleries, schools, event organizers and even television shows to borrow an artifact or two for their projects. They come from all over the United States, but more and more are streaming in from overseas. Just within the last year we have had inquiries from Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, Hungary, Russia, Dubai and Canada. Many are compelling, interesting and hard to pass up, while some are downright quirky.
One of the more exciting inquiries we have received this year is from the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. They asked to borrow Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet to include in their exhibition entitled Porsche By Design: Seducing Speed, a 22-car display of rare Porsche automobiles owned by such personalities as Steve McQueen and ...
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 ...