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Steve Jordan and Bobby Keys Talk about History with the Rolling Stones

Friday, October 25: 5:01 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

On October 26, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, musician and producer Steve Jordan lead an all-star band during a tribute concert honoring the music of the Rolling Stones. The event is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 18th Annual Music Masters series. Also in the band are Hall of Fame Inductees Chuck D. of Public Enemy and Ian McLagan of the Small Faces/Faces, as well as Sugar Blue, Merry Clayton, Sarah Dash, Lee Fields, Bernard Fowler, Patterson Hood, Cyril Jordan, Bobby Keys, Trevor Lawrence, Nils Lofgren, Steve Madaio, Dave Pirner, Earl Slick, Waddy Wachtel, Willie Weeks and Chris Wilson. 

In this interview, Steve Jordan and saxophonist Bobby Keys talk about putting together the Rolling Stones tribute concert, what it's like recording and performing with the Rolling Stones, favorite Rolling Stones' songs and more.

continue Categories: Inductee, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Event, Rolling Stones, American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews

Remembering Maxine Powell and Motown's Finishing School

Wednesday, October 23: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Maxine Powell and Rock Hall director of community programs Ruthie Brown at Rock Hall in 1997.

Although her official title was as a director of Motown's artist development department, Maxine Powell was much more than her role suggested. "Motown owes a great debt to Maxine," says Ruthie Brown, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's director of community programs and friend of Powell. "The artists knew what she was trying to do, and deep down, they wanted her refinement. They mimicked the image of the average American teenager – white, black, it didn't matter. The crossover was extremely successful. Motown was 'the sound of young America," and Maxine helped Berry Gordy get that image across." Powell passed away on October 14, 2013. She was 98.

Powell worked with Motown artist during a pivotal period in Motown's meteoric rise, from 1964 to 1969, when she helped shaped the public – and often private – personalities of the Detroit label's biggest names. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown Records, said that Powell “brought something to Motown that no other record company had,” adding of his artists, “She was tough, but when she got through with them, they were poised, professional and very thankful.”

Born in Texarkana, Texas ...

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

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

Remembering Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby "Blue" Bland

Monday, June 24: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bobby Bland, who passed away on June 23, 2013, pictured here accepting Hall of Fame award in 1992.

After a singing career that spanned more than five decades, soul-blues vocalist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby "Blue" Bland passed away on June 23, 2013, in his home state of Tennessee. He was 83. Bland was one of soul music's greatest singers. His vocals were grainy, but, at the same time, warm and intimate. He played a major role in transforming the blues and gospel into a sound that became soul music.

"To me, there is no better singer that sings any kind of song than Bobby Bland," said B.B. King during his induction of Bland at the 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. "Bobby Bland is one of a kind." As a young man, Bland served as a chauffeur for King and Roscoe Gordon, and as a valet for Junior Parker. He eventually became part of a loose-knit group called the Beale Streeters – so named for the Memphis street where they congregated – which included King, Gordon, Parker, Johnny Ace, Billy Duncan and Earl Forrest.

In the latter half of the Fifties, after returning to Memphis following military duty, Bland matured into a masterful singer and assured entertainer. His hallmark was ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Today in Rock, Exclusive Interviews

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

Remembering Bobby Rogers of the Miracles

Tuesday, March 12: 1:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bobby Rogers – 2/19/40 – 3/3/13

For someone who wasn’t a star in the Motown stable of artists, Bobby Rogers was a recognizable figure among fans and commanded the respect of his peers. Tall, strapping and bespectacled, Rogers was a founding member of the Miracles, who distinguished himself through his role as a foil to his better-known band mate, Smokey Robinson, and as a collaborator in the only group on Motown that wrote and produced the bulk of its own material.

Bobby Rogers and Smokey Robinson were fated to be friends and musical partners. They were born on the same day – February 19, 1940 – at the same hospital in Detroit, and grew up together singing. Their first musical group, the Five Chimes, formed in the basement of Rogers’ cousin Claudette’s home. With her, Pete Moore and Ronnie White, they became the Matadors. Eventually taking the name the Miracles, they were spotted at a local talent show by Berry Gordy Jr., then a fledgling songwriter with dreams of his own record label. He saw potential in the suave nature of the group. Gordy produced their debut single, “Got a Job,” an answer record to the Silhouettes “Get a Job,” and licensed it to United ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Through the Lens of Jimmy Baynes: Cleveland Rock and Roll History

Friday, February 8: 4:40 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Photographer Jimmy Baynes' images provide a candid look at African-American life, music and culture.

Cleveland has been a hive of live music for decades. The city experienced tremendous growth in the years following World War II and, with it, an explosion of live music venues. The core of this activity took place on the east side of the city, home to Cleveland’s African-American population. Clubs like the Music Box, the Tia Juana, Leo’s Casino and Gleason’s hosted the best jazz, blues and R&B performers the era had to offer. The economic prosperity of the time was mirrored in the pulsing entertainment scene. 

Following this lively scene was postal worker Jimmy H. Baynes (July 12, 1922 – September 9, 2010), who supplemented his weekly paycheck through Baynes Foto Service at 2220 East 87th Street, primarily photographing local events in the African-American community. Though Baynes was not a trained photographer, the images he created over  three decades, from the 1950s into the 1980s – whether they are of weddings, beauty competitions, burlesque shows or live music performances  – provide an authentic and candid glimpse into African-American life, music and culture. Throughout the years, Baynes’ photographs appeared in Cleveland magazines and newspapers, such as the Call and Post.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Library and Archives, Education, Black History Month

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "That's All Right"

Monday, January 7: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Elvis Presley's That's All Right is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 would have been Elvis Presley's 78th birthday. Presley was among the first ever inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, an honor befitting his standing as the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. Presely rose from humble beginnings to launch a musical revolution, helping guide the trajectory of the rock and roll genre for deacades. But is "That's All Right" where the legend of Elvis began? What's certain is that "That's All Right" was Elvis Presley's first commercially released recording. He had previously made two private recordings, whose four songs give absolutely no hint of what was to come. Neither did two additional songs Presley tried before "That's All Right" during a faithful July 5, 1954, recording session. That Presley was recording at all is a tribute to Sam Phillips. Phillips' Memphis Recording Service was where Presley had cut his private acetate records and where he would sometimes hang out, trying to find an opening in the music business. Phillips contacted Presley after receiving a song demo he thought might suit the shy teenager. It didn't, but Phillips persevered. He called for the July 5 ...

continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Event
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