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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "That'll Be the Day"

Monday, August 11: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Buddy Holly "That'll Be the Day" original recording and Buddy Holly exhibit at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Buddy Holly embodied the well-mannered, first-generation rock and roll star. He aroused hysteria among teenagers, charting seven Top 10 singles in 1957 and 1958, but with his horn-rimmed glasses, bow tie, conservative haircut and winning smile, he wasn’t reviled by disapproving parents. He changed the definition of exactly who could become a rock star. Holly melded his love of country music and rockabilly into likable, catchy rock and roll tunes that stand as classics. Yet success wasn't just handed to Buddy Holly.

"That'll Be the Day," his first hit, was a chart-topping million seller. But it was slow to catch on, and Holly had been struggling professionally for well over a year beforehand. The unlikely inspiration for the song was actor John Wayne, who used the title phrase repeatedly in the 1956 western The Searchers. Holly and drummer Jerry Allison wrote the tune with producer Norman Petty, and then recorded it in Nashville during Holly's aborted stint as a Decca recording artist. Decca released two Holly singles, neither of them were "That'll Be the Day."

Seven months later Holly and Allison recorded the song again, as members of the newly formed Crickets. This time the ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Hall of Fame, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

2014 Hall of Fame Inductions: 5 Essential Peter Gabriel Songs

Wednesday, April 9: 8 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Peter Gabriel’s influence is so widespread we may take it for granted. When the rest of rock was simplifying in the new wave days, the former Genesis frontman blended synthesizers and a signature gated drum sound with an emotional honesty learned from soul music to create a sensibility that would influence artists from U2 to Arcade Fire to Depeche Mode. With extraordinary ambition, Gabriel transitioned from cult artist to multimedia pop star to global rock icon. His WOMAD festival has been a 33-year laboratory for musical cross-pollination. His brilliant stage shows inspired U2’s and Flaming Lips’ and expanded the visual vocabulary of music videos with clips such as “Sledgehammer,” “Shock The Monkey” and “Big Time.” In addition, he wrote songs like “Don’t Give Up,” “Red Rain” and “In Your Eyes” that put heart and soul on the radio at a time when those values were in short supply. Four decades on as a solo artist, Gabriel continues to push the boundaries of popular music and challenge audiences across the globe.

Here are 5 essential Peter Gabriel songs:

"Solsbury Hill" (1977)

"Solsbury Hill" captured the emotions of Peter Garbiel's departure from Genesis. As tension built during Genesis ...


continue Categories: Inductee

Jerry Fuller and the Amazing True Story of Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man"

Friday, November 22: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
American singer, songwriter and record producer Jerry Fuller wrote "Travelin' Man"

In 1960s Los Angeles, California, an elite group of studio session musicians came together and played on hits for the Beach Boys, the ByrdsRicky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Simon and GarfunkelPhil Spector's "Wall of Sound," Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, the Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, 5th Dimension, Tijuana Brass and Johnny Rivers among others. From "Be My Baby" to "California Girls;" "Strangers in the Night" and "Mrs. Robinson;" "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" and "Up, Up and Away;""Viva Las Vegas" to "Mr. Tambourine Man," the group dubbed "The Wrecking Crew" played on some of rock and roll's most-beloved songs. “The musicians really are the unsung heroes of all these hit records,” noted Nancy Sinatra. And now the world will know their story – if all goes to plan.

Watch + Listen: American singer, songwriter and record producer Jerry Fuller tells the story of how he wrote "Travelin' Man" for Sam Cooke, recorded it with Glen Campbell, and how the demo went in the garbage before finding its way to Ricky Nelson. (From The Wrecking Crew: The Untold Story of Rock & Roll Heroes)

Among the musicians in the "Crew" was guitarist Tommy ...


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

Yes Talks About Future of Progressive Rock, Performing in China, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tour

Friday, August 9: 4 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Founded in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, Grammy-award winning recording artists Yes have created some of the most important and influential music in rock history. Throughout their career, Yes has been known for their esoteric lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and expansive songs, such as “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – to name a few. Having sold millions of records over a four-decade career, the band has overcome a generational shift in its audience, and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. They are currently on a world tour, playing three albums of their classic albums The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One in their entirety.

Recently, members of Yes – singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White and keyboardist Geoff Downes – were interviewed by education director Jason Hanley before a live audience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Following the interview, the group surprised the crowd with a short set ...


continue Categories: Education, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Celebrating Record Store Day In Cleveland – and Beyond

Friday, April 19: 4 p.m.
Record Store Day is on April 20, 2013

I’m a native Clevelander, and have always been a keen record shopper. I bought my first record with my own money, Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love,” at the Disc record store in Severance Center mall, across  from the cinema where my Mom and I had just seen the movie starring Sidney Poitier. As a kid I shopped ‘em all: Record Revolution and the Record Exchange on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights; Tommy Edward’s Record Heaven in the Memphis-Fulton Shopping Center in Cleveland and the venerable Record Rendezvous in downtown Cleveland, among others. 

When I moved to New York City in the late Seventies, my record jones sent me out on regular excursions around Greenwich Village, both east and west. Sounds on St. Mark’s Place was my East Village haunt, while Bleeker Bob’s, closer to the West Side, was a little more out of the way. It took awhile for me to warm up to Bleeker's – or rather – for the store to warm up to me. I experienced my own ...


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30 Years After New Order's "Blue Monday": Interview with Peter Hook

Thursday, March 7: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Peter Hook shares the story of New Order's "Blue Monday" in interview with Rock Hall

Released on March 7, 1983, New Order's "Blue Monday" was a smash. Designed by Factory Records' Peter Saville, the original 12-inch sleeve packaging cleverly replicated a floppy computer disk and included little information about New Order (neither the name of the group nor the single title appeared). Although rumored that the cost of producing the complex die-cut sleeve represented a loss on each single sold by Factory, the seven-minute-plus track would become among the best-selling 12-inch singles of all time. The original single is part of a special Joy Division/New Order exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 

New Order Blue Monday original single 30-year anniversary"Blue Monday," which took nearly four months to record, was driven by a host of sequencer and synthesizer effects, including the throbbing synth bass line (overlayed with Peter Hook's lead bass stylings), and drum machine beat. The song contained no chorus, instead revolving around a series of verses. "It does come down to songwriting," said Hook of "Blue Monday" during a 2010 interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio . "Whilst everyone may have the equipment in their little box, not everybody [has] the ability to write a ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Exhibit, Education, Foster Theatre, Event

Today in Rock: The Beatles hit Number One with "Come Together/Something"

Tuesday, November 29: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen perform the Beatles' "Come Together" at the '94 Rock Hall Inductions

On November 29, 1969, the Beatles were at the top of Billboard's Hot 100, earning their first two-sided Number One single with "Come Together/Something." It became the Fab Four's 18th Number One single – one more than Elvis Presley's 17, which he reached on November 1 that year with "Suspicious Minds." On the week of November 29, Billboard changed the way it calculated its charts, ranking both sides of double-sided singles in the same position rather than separately. This was key to the Beatles' Number One climb, as the previous week saw "Come Together" fall to Number Seven and "Something" hold strong at Number 3.

"Come Together" and "Something" appeared on Abbey Road, the Beatles' 11th studio album, released in the United States on October 1, 1969. George Harrison's "Something" was the first of his musical compositions to be released as an A-side to a Beatles' single. In Harrison's partial autobiography, I, Me, Mine, he explained of "Something": "This I suppose is my most successful song with over 150 cover versions. My favorite cover version is the one by James Brown – that was excellent." Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Shirley Bassey, and Booker T. and the ...


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

Today in Rock: John Lennon is Born

Friday, October 7: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
John Lennon (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

As the most daring and outspoken of the four Beatles, John Lennon helped shape the agenda of the Sixties - socially and politically, no less than musically. As a solo artist, he made music that alternately disturbed and soothed, provoked and sought community. As a human being, he served as an exemplar of honesty in his art and life. Lennon didn’t invent rock and roll, nor did he embody it as toweringly as figures like Elvis Presley and Little Richard, but he did more than anyone else to shake it up, move it forward and instill it with a conscience. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

As Jann Wenner wrote in the foreword to a collection of writings entitled The Ballad of John and Yoko, “Of the many things that will be long remembered about John Lennon - his genius as a musician and singer, his wit and literary swiftness, his social intuition and leadership - among the most haunting was the stark, unembarrassed commitment of his life, his work and his undernourished frame to truth, to peace and to humanity.”

Born on October 9, 1940, during the Nazi bombing of Britain, Lennon was given ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit
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