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ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME :: Blog

Rock Hall Inductee Jerry Wexler’s Life and Legacy Celebrated

Thursday, November 5: 2:56 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
The Rock Hall's Atlantic Records exhibition case in the Main Exhibit Hall.

While the Rock Hall team was in New York for the 25th Anniversary Concerts, a celebration of the late Jerry Wexler’s life and his legacy was held at the Director’s Guild.  This tribute was a lively event meant to rejoice in all of the music that Hall of Fame Inductee Jerry was responsible for or had touched in his inimitable way.

Jerry’s daughter and son, Lisa and Paul, got it started with a few words about their Dad. Both discussed how much he meant to each of them and what a powerful influence he had been on their lives as well as so many others in the music industry.

The program was divided into two parts: first, speakers who gave personal remembrances; and second, a group of performers doing renditions of songs that Jerry produced and/or loved…..or both.

Many of the speakers gave testimony as to what Jerry had meant to their lives.  Several talked of his being a “rabbi” of sorts.  David Ritz,  who co-authored Jerry’s autobiography and is the dean of musical biographers, even provided the audience with some very specific legal advice that Jerry had proffered in response to one of ...


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New 3-D Theater Dedicated; U2 3D Now Showing at the Rock Hall

Wednesday, October 28: 4:12 p.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
The Rock Hall's new Foster Theater is now open!

On Monday night we dedicated the new state-of the art Foster Theater at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It is one of the most technologically advanced theaters in the country and it was made possible by the generous support of Gregg and Madelyn Foster. Designed by Oscar-winning architect Jeff Cooper, it features Dolby 3D, remote control video cameras, an incredible sound system and the capability to stream events and video conference.

At the dedication we recognized the Fosters for their support—and screened the U2 3D concert film. It was a fantastic event attended by many board members, and local luminaries—including Cleveland Cavaliers players and front office. They were in town because the season opener was the next night against the Lakers.

The theater is an important component of a major initiative to upgrade the Museum and construct and operate the Rock and Roll

U2 3D will screen in the Foster Theater until January 2.

photo caption: U2 3D will screen in the Foster Theater until January 2.

Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives.  The theater hosts the Museum’s educational and public programs serving hundreds of thousands of students and visitors each year. The renovation prepares the Museum for live-streaming content to enhance its award-winning distance ...


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Janis Jolts and Holds ‘em in Cleveland

Tuesday, October 27: 4:14 p.m.

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Were you there?  Do you remember when?  As we gear up for our 2009 American Music Masters celebration, Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin, a few friends and colleagues reminded us that the master herself graced different stages in Cleveland in 1968 and 1969, and her performances still resonate with attendees.  Jane Scott remembered that Janis exploded onstage at Public Hall in October of 1968.  Advertisements of Janis’ May gig at the same place were splashed across the pages of the Plain Dealer.  Pat Garling described her August 30, 1969 Blossom show as “musical magnificence.”  Whether you attended one of the Public Hall performances or the gigs at Blossom, what do you remember about them?  Did you “revel in psychedelic brainwash?”  Were you jolted and held?  What stayed with you?  Feel free to reminisce here, and share your unforgettable memories.

  • October 4, 1968:  Big Brother and the Holding Company at Public Hall
  • May 9, 1969:  Kozmic Blues at Public Hall
  • August 29, 1969: Janis ...

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Big Brother and the Holding Company Kick Off 14th Annual American Music Masters Honoring Janis Joplin

Monday, October 26: 4:17 p.m.
Big Brother and the Holding Company perform in the Rock Hall's Foster Theater.

Last Thursday, Big Brother and the Holding Company kicked off the 2009 American Music Masters celebration, Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin. Sam Andrew, Dave Getz, and Peter Albin, three original members of the band, spent the day in Cleveland to help us tell the full story of Janis Joplin’s career. They filmed interviews for our Library and Archives, did an interview and performed in our new Foster Theater, and capped the night with a packed show at the Beachland Ballroom. Clevelanders Mary Bridget Davies and Ben Nieves joined them on vocals and guitar.

Big Brother played their first gig in January of 1966, six months before Janis Joplin joined them. When they decided that they wanted another vocalist in the band, Chet Helms suggested his friend from Austin, Texas, Janis Joplin. On paper, it seems like an odd match: Big Brother was known for their energy and power—in retrospect, they seem like a punk band—but Joplin had never sung with a rock band before. Yet they found common ground in their love of blues and folk music, and they quickly discovered that Joplin could “bring it,” as Dave Getz said last week in ...


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Rock Hall’s Library Director Talks about the New Library and Archives

Thursday, October 22: 4:18 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
The Library and Archives will open in downtown Cleveland in 2010.

The Rock Hall's Library Director Andy Leach

 

We’re happy to report that construction of the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives is complete!  Once our shelving, furniture, and workstations are installed in the next month or so, we’ll move our small but growing staff into the new 22,500-square-foot facility.  Soon thereafter, we’ll also transfer our existing library and archival collections from offsite storage and begin the hard work of cataloging, processing, and preserving these materials for future generations.

Our plan is that the Library and Archives will be the world’s preeminent research collection of written and audiovisual materials relating to the history of rock and roll.  Its collections will include books, dissertations, periodicals, sound and video recordings, and thousands of boxes of archival materials (including personal papers, correspondence, photographs, song manuscripts, business records, contracts, press kits, posters, flyers, and clippings).  Eventually, we’ll also establish in-house labs for the digital preservation and conservation of these materials.

We plan to open the doors of the Library and Archives in late 2010, and we’ll provide access to our materials for scholars, educators, students, journalists, and the general public.  We hope to see you then!  In the meantime, stay tuned here for further ...


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Rock Hall Will Unveil New Foster Theater with U23D Film

Thursday, October 15: 4:22 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
The first U2 shirt can be found in the Rock Hall's permanent U2 exhibit. Photo: Rock Hall/Design Pho

In about 10 days, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil its new, state-of-the-art theater. The Foster Theater was made possible by a generous donation from Gregg and Madolyn Foster, and it features a fantastic 3-D viewing experience and enhanced audio.

To inaugurate the theater, the Museum will be presenting U2 3D, the brilliant 3-D concert film featuring the Hall of Fame inductees. The movie was filmed in South America during the final leg of U2’s Vertigo tour in 2006. The movie captures all of the excitement and energy of a U2 stadium show. And the 3-D effects and awesome sound make the audience members feel as if they are right in front of the stage. It’s as if Bono, Larry, Edge and Adam are right there in the room with you.

I have had a long relationship with U2, dating back to 1980, when I became the first American journalist to write about the band. I was the Music Editor at Rolling Stone at the time, and the headline on that first story was “U2: Here Comes the ‘Next Big Thing’.” I proceeded to write several other stories about the band during my ...


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Rock Hall Designates Austin City Limits as an Official Rock and Roll Landmark

Thursday, October 8: 4:24 p.m.
Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs at the Rock Hall

second photo caption: ACL was designated a rock and roll landmark on October 1, 2009.

The Rock Hall’s Landmark Series designates historic rock and roll landmarks around the United States that are essential to tell the story of rock and roll music.

There are currently nine sites including the Whisky-a-Go-Go in Los Angeles where the Doors were resident performers; King Records in Cincinnati, a prominent American record label started in the 40s, The Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi and the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa . Five sites are located in the Cleveland area and include Brooklyn High School, the location Elvis played his first concert north of the Mason-Dixon line and WJW Radio, home to Deejay Alan Freed who popularized the term “rock and roll.”

On Friday, October 2nd, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum made its 10th Landmark dedication at the studio of Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas. Now in its 35th year, the show is the longest-running music program on television. A number of Rock Hall staff traveled to Austin for the dedication.

You can see footage of the landmark dedication by clicking here.

ACL has presented a diverse and original array of ...


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Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands Finals 2009

Wednesday, October 7: 4:27 p.m.

Executives Jam to Be Crowned Best Corporate Band at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before Celebrity Judges Tommy Lee of Motley Crüe, Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special, and Antoinette Follett of Making Music Magazine


Year after year, the FORTUNE Battle event is indicative of how passionate people are about music. A lot of talent exists in the world. Not all of it makes it to a record label or an internet site. These people have chosen some path other than rock and roll, but still have talent and passion for the music.

On Friday and Saturday, October 2nd and 3rd, 8 qualifying bands and their fans from the two regional competitions in Los Angeles and Nashville converged on Cleveland to participate in the 9th annual Fortune Corporate Battle of the Bands event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  The bands this year traveled from Kansas, Utah, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Tennessee and Mississippi in hopes to win the crown.

The weekend began with the Gibson Tune Up Party at the House of Blues on Friday night featuring Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special and Lee Roy Parnell playing with Dixie Peach.  The band played their ...


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