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JoJo Interview: Love, Songwriting, the Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson

Wednesday, November 4: 3:22 p.m.
Posted by JoJo

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, JoJo will perform as part of the Rock Hall's Music Masters tribute to Smokey Robinson presented by Klipsch audio. Get your tickets before they're all gone!

Video interview with singer JoJo talking love and Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson and Motown

I didn't even realize the impact that Smokey Robinson had on me until a few years ago, but his influence is so far-reaching. You can't listen to music - particularly American music - without being touched by Smokey.

I think my first introduction to him was through the Jackson 5, through [the Jackson 5 song] "Who's Lovin' You."

And I was just a huge Jackson 5 fan. I knew all the songs. I loved the Motown sound and just music that was coming up from that time.

I didn't know until a few years ago that Smokey Robinson had written ["Who's Lovin' You"].
So, the fact that I'm going get to sing it to honor him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is really trippy.

It's such an incredible song. The way he writes about love is unparalleled. He is the original person to sing, to write about, to really capture the feeling of longing, and being in love, and ...


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What is the Smokey Robinson aesthetic?

Tuesday, October 20: 12 p.m.
Posted by David Ritz

Get details on the Rock Hall's weeklong Music Masters Tribute to Smokey Robinson!

Smokey Robinson Tribute Concert Rock Hall 2015 Music Masters event

Smokey Robinson is celebrated for two great and distinct contributions: his work as producer/composer and as a performer. Put these two elements together and you have the Smokey Robinson aesthetic, one of the most lyrical in the history of American pop music.

So, what is the Smokey Robinson aesthetic?

Its salient characteristics are sensitivity, sweetness and poetic invention. Both as writer and singer, Smokey is an unapologetic romantic, a man who trades in extravagant emotional expression. The signature Smokey sound carries a mesmerizing mixture of heartache and hunger, sensual pleasure and erotic longing.

Since he burst on the scene with his Miracles in 1957, he has elevated the art of R&B with a high soaring tenor that is an instrument of rare flexibility, a delicate reed of quiet beauty.

His impact was felt immediately on the artists he produced at Motown in the 60s – among others, Mary Wells, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes and Brenda Holloway. 

Smokey Robinson Tribute Concert Rock Hall 2015 Music Masters event Michael Jackson

Looking back at his pre-teen work, Michael Jackson said: “Smokey was one of the artists who influenced me most deeply. I studied his singing group, the Miracles ...


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Interview: Why Graham Nash left the Hollies and the Start of CSN

Friday, October 16: 10:32 a.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

On October 17, 2015, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland opens its latest exhibit, Graham Nash: Touching the Flame. Pieces from Nash's heroes and inspirations – the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Buddy Holly and Duane Allman – and treasures from his time with the Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash come to life as the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee reflects on the visceral and profound impact of the music and world events on him and those around him.

 Graham Nash Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland Inductee new exhibits 2015

In this interview, Graham Nash shares the story of how he left the Hollies and followed his heart to form CSN.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: What were your feelings were about The Hollies and how you had changed over the years? What informed your decision to leave?

Graham Nash:One of them was that I didn't feel that they trusted my need for direction. Every Hollie single that we had made, apart from the first couple made it to the top 10, and that's where we were used to being. We'd bring out a single, it would go into the top 10, that's what we ...


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Johnny Cash's Daughter Shares Rarely Seen Side of Man in Black

Tuesday, October 6: 1 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

rare images of Johnny Cash from daughter Tara Cash new book about father Recollections

In 1995, Hall of Fame Inductee Johnny Cash’s youngest daughter Tara gave her famous father a book – Dad, Share Your Life With Me by Kathleen Lashier – containing 365 questions. One year later, on her birthday, he returned the book to her with answers to all the questions.

"This book helps to really paint a picture of what life was like for my Dad, what his interests were, his family traditions, his feelings about so many things... this book is one of my personal treasures, and it gives me great pleasure to share it with his fans," explains Tara.  "I was very proud of my father for not only what he accomplished, but who he was as a person and father."

Those questions and answers form the basis of Recollections, a new book based on the original Tara sent her father, though reformatted with personal notes and photos – a unique story in Cash's own handwriting.

"The main reason I wanted to share this book, is to let my father's fans see a more playful, fun and candid side of him," says Tara.

"I also wanted to give the public an inside look into another facet of my father ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews, Johnny Cash

Rose Maddox Sings and Swings as Rockabilly Original in the 1940s

Wednesday, September 16: 11:18 a.m.

history of rockabilly music rose maddox sings

The California music scene took off during World War II when it became the home of some of the most prominent western swing bands, including Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and Spade Cooley and his Orchestra. They played primarily to an Okie audience — men and women who had migrated from the southern plains to work in the wartime production plants in places like Los Angeles and San Diego.

A large number of those wartime workers were women, dancing to the music of Bob Wills and Spade Cooley. So how did female musicians really stake a claim in this scene? Enter Rose Maddox.

Rose Maddox, the lead singer of the Maddox Brothers and Rose, developed a unique singing style — a belting voice that could be heard in the raucous roadhouses and dancehalls of California. Her resonating chest voice clearly projected over the din of dancing, drinking and socializing. Patrons had to take notice.

The Maddoxes were part of the Okie migration, leaving the depressed South for California in the 1930s. They worked as farmhands in the Central Valley until they formed the band The Maddox Brothers and Rose in the late 1930s. They came to the forefront of California’s ...


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The Stars Come Out For Darlene Love in New Music Video and Album

Thursday, August 27: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

Darlene Love 2015 New Music Video with Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett, Bill Murray, David Letterman

The New York Times once declared that Darlene Love's “thunderbolt voice is as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton's guitar or Bob Dylan's lyrics.” A bold statement, but fitting for popular music's greatest sessions vocalist and backup singer – and among the most recognizable voices in rock and roll history. “I never pushed to be a star,” she told writer David Hinckley in 1992. “I didn’t want to. I had my home, my family. Session work let you do the music and leave.”

Among rock cognoscenti, Love is best known for “He’s a Rebel,” a song credited to the Crystals that was in actuality sung by Love and her vocal group, the Blossoms. That's a story unto itself. With the Blossoms, Love sang with the likes of Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Mamas and the Papas, Duane Eddy, Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Luther Vandross and Dionne Warwick. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

“One time I had to make a list of all the people I’ve worked for,” Love recalled in a 1985 Goldmine interview. “The ...


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Blood, Punk and The Curse of The Damned

Friday, August 21: 12 p.m.
Posted by Wes Orshoski

English punk rockers the Damned in 1977 in front of Stiff Records office photo by Ian Dickson

“Wanna die today? Wanna die today?” The Damned’s Captain Sensible and I are standing on a secluded stretch of sidewalk in Croydon, South London, just a stone’s throw from his childhood home, and we’re being mugged.

All in the span of two, maybe three seconds, someone’s unsuccessfully attempted to yank the Canon 5D camera off my shoulder, and now we’ve both spun around and are being barked at by a man gesturing to his left pocket, where he appears to be concealing a blade. “Wanna die today? Wanna die today?” he says as his eyes scan for passersby. 

It only takes Captain Sensible a half-second to realize that, actually, no, today isn’t a good day to die. And he bolts off down the road, disappearing around the corner, all six-plus-feet of him. I quickly realize I’m not going to be able to outrun this guy, so I make a beeline for my rental car parked about 100 yards away. Best I can hope for is to beat him to the car, toss the camera in the back and get the fuck out of there.

We’re told from an early age that if ...


continue Categories: History of Punk, History of Rock and Roll, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Paul McCartney Shares Behind-the-Scenes Video From 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Tuesday, July 14: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Paul McCartney Behind the Scenes VIDEO 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Cleveland

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Sir Paul McCartney surprised Beatles fans by sharing exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage from the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where he inducted longtime friend and bandmate Ringo Starr.

The four-minute video, which was shared on McCartney's YouTube channel, begins with McCartney arriving at Cleveland’s Public Hall, later delivering a rousing: “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, baby. Cleveland. Oh yea!” 

Several inductees are featured in the video, including Stevie Wonder, who embraces McCartney and congratulates Starr. The two Beatles joke with Wonder, saying: “We’re reforming the group, man. You want to join?” We're sure the world would love to see that happen.

After a quick photo-op with 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, McCartney joins nearly all of the 2015 inductees, performers and presenters onstage to rehearse the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends,” from their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Then, McCartney, Ringo and Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Walsh run through Starr’s 1971 single, “It Don’t Come Easy.” 

After a clip of McCartney and Walsh reliving their glory ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Event, The Beatles, Hall of Fame, Exclusive Interviews
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