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Rod Argent of the Zombies Delivers Letter to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Monday, July 22: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rod Argent
(l-r) Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent of the Zombies in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

On a rare day off on our recent U.S. tour, both The Zombies and the band supporting us, Et Tu Brucé had the honour of being given a fantastic V.I.P. tour of Cleveland's superb Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

We have actually visited before – as far as we can recall, though, not for eight years or so – but were absolutely stunned by the way the place has grown in that time, both in a physical sense and also the nature of what it has to offer. In actual fact, we stayed about three hours, and only managed to wander around about a third of it! It's an absolutely fascinating place, and one that now definitely demands to be visited several times – there's just too much to be packed in on one visit.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Zombies Tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

We started off by being given a kind and warm welcome by Greg Harris, who is, I believe, the head of the whole operation. Then we were shown around the vaults, to get glimpses of some of the stuff not presently available to be shown to the ...


continue Categories: Celebrity Sighting, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Rock Hall Members Vote for Madonna in Museum

Saturday, July 20: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Jewelry worn by Madonna live during "Like A Virgin" era on exhibit through July 2014 at Rock Hall

Each year, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum members play a role in determining a new artifact to be exhibited at the Museum, the Members Choice artifact. Hundreds of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members voted from a list of artifacts including Joan Jett’s jewelry, belt, and jacket she wore in the “I Hate Myself for Loving You” video and Peter Buck of R.E.M.’s 1989 Rickenbacker guitar. When all the votes were counted, the 2013 nod went to the Material Girl, the Queen of Pop and Hall of Fame Inductee: Madonna.

As a woman who has lived life on her own terms, Madonna has been an icon to many since bursting on the scene in 1981.

No one in the pop realm has manipulated the media with such a savvy sense of self-promotion. Madonna’s appearance on the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards broadcast live on September 14, 1984 is a case in point. Wearing a white lingerie-cum-wedding dress ensemble, she writhed across the stage at Radio City Music Hall while performing her hit “Like A Virgin,” shocking sensibilities and setting the stage for her reputation as one of the most uninhibited and ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Paul McCartney Celebrates 71st Birthday

Tuesday, June 18: 4:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Paul McCartney celebrates 71st birthday

Fresh off a headlining, nearly three-hour set at the 2013 Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Paul McCartney celebrated his 71st birthday on June 18.

As one of the principal songwriters in the Beatles, McCartney helped the band rack up more than four dozen Top 40 US singles, while his prolific solo output – more than 20 studio albums since the Fab Four parted ways – has netted Macca more than 50 Top 10 singles. Given that, McCartney stands among the most successful pop-music composers ever and one of the greatest hitmakers – trailing behind Elvis Presley. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has major exhibits devoted to both Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

His songs often celebrate the mundane pleasures of everyday life. As a songwriter who delights in the quotidian, as opposed to edgier rock and rollers steeped in mystique and risk-taking, McCartney has rarely been a favorite of rock critics. However, his body of work – some of it admittedly lightweight, much of it unjustly dismissed – has given boundless pleasure to the music loving public. Having been the primary melodist within the Beatles, it is not surprising that McCartney’s knack for ...


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

Johnny Cash Now on Stamp and Exhibit

Wednesday, June 5: 4:20 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The United States Postal Service's new Johnny Cash stamp.

Today, the United States Postal Service officially made available a new Johnny Cash stamp, honoring the American music legend and 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee as part of the Postal Service's Music Icons series. The stamp features a portrait of Cash taken by famed photographer Frank Bez, who captured the image of  "the Man in Black" during photo sessions for 1963's Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash

Although present at the genesis of rock and roll as one of the earliest signings to Sam Phillips' Sun Records in 1955, Cash recorded for nearly three decades with Columbia Records, a fruitful period that produced an estimated 1,400 songs. Cash's 16th album, Ring of Fire did, in fact, feature some of his best material, and on the week of January 11, 1964, it became the Number One album on Billboard's new Country Album chart. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's collection features a number of Johnny Cash items in the Memphis section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit. Among the featured items are a suit worn by Cash and a 1943 Martin acoustic guitar he played ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

At the Library and Archives: Roy Orbison’s Final Interview

Friday, May 31: 12 p.m.
Posted by Andy Leach
Roy Orbison's last performance on December 4, 1988 / photo by Janet Macoska

For the past year and a half, the staff of the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives has been working to digitally preserve and catalog thousands of hours of footage of performances, interviews, education programs, oral histories and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that have taken place over the past few decades. Making this footage and other resources available to researchers and music fans for the first time is one of the things that already makes our jobs exciting, but one recent donation really captured my interest.

It was the original VHS cassette containing the very last interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Roy Orbison ever recorded. The interview was done at the Front Row Theater in Highland Heights, Ohio, after Orbison’s final show on December 4, 1988, and this was the tape that was there in the room while the interview took place. It was recently donated by Tony Weber, who conducted the interview for his public access television show that ran from 1987 to 1989. Some low-quality dubs of the footage (likely captured from the television broadcast) can be seen on YouTube, but this is the original tape, so it is ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, 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

Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Thursday, April 18: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees exhibit is now open!

On April 18, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially ushers the 2013 class of inductees into the Hall of Fame during the 28th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The class – Lou Adler, Heart, Quincy Jones, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush and Donna Summer – are represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland's newest exhibit. In the series of clips below, get a behind the scenes look at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees exhibit. Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to see the new exhibit!

Lou Adler

Heart

Quincy Jones

Albert King

Randy Newman

Public Enemy

Rush

Donna Summer


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Inductee, Exhibit, Event

American Treasure: 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Randy Newman

Monday, April 15: 3 p.m.
Posted by Paul Zollo
“Randy Newman. There aren’t many in Randy’s league. He knows music.” – Bob Dylan

“See, if I were to write Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are,’ I’d wreck it,” he said, explaining why his instincts run contrary to pop music. “I’d have written ‘I love you just the way you are, you stupid little bitch.’ Which really isn’t as good.”

Of course, he’s joking. But he’s also serious. And it’s that’s precise blend of humor and gravity that has distinguished the songs of Randy Newman from the start. He’s both one of the most hilarious and most serious of all songwriters. A compositional genius, he’s the only great American songwriter to become an accomplished film composer (with some 26 films to date, each with a fully orchestral score he wrote and conducted himself). But he’s also a lyrical genius who has done more than created a style; he’s created his own school of songwriting.

Newman’s songs use the novelistic technique of the untrustworthy narrator, a sometimes funny, often dark, always effective way of shaping a song.

Asked why he chose this indirect method of songwriting, he said: “Maybe it’s a psychological defect. I don’t want to stand up ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews
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