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2014 Hall of Fame Inductions: 5 Essential Linda Ronstadt Songs

Tuesday, April 8: 8:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Linda Ronstadt dominated popular music in the 1970s with a voice of tremendous range and power. She was one of the most important voices in the creation of country rock, in part because she understood how to sing traditional country songs like “Silver Threads And Golden Needles.” She regularly crossed over to the country charts in the ’70s, a rarity for rock singers. Working with producer Peter Asher, Ronstadt crafted a repertoire of songs that roamed throughout rock history that she interpreted with beautiful, precise phrasing. Ronstadt was especially good at singing early rock and roll; she had a long string of hits that revived interest in rock’s pioneers: Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou,” the Everly Brothers' “When Will I Be Loved” and Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day” among them. She was equally comfortable with Motown music and the beginning of new wave. Her finest work was the run of four consecutive platinum albums in the mid 70s: Heart Like A Wheel (1974), Prisoner In Disguise (1975), Hasten Down The Wind (1976) and Simple Dreams (1977). In the 1980s, she expanded her musical vocabulary by recording songs from the classic American songbook (What’s New, Lush ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rolling Stones, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Stop! In the Name of Love"

Wednesday, January 15: 5 p.m.
Posted by Alexandra Fagan
The Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

In January 1961, Motown signed the Supremes, an all-female group who emerged from the poverty of Detroit’s Brewster housing project to become among Motown’s most consistent hitmakers and the most popular female group of the 60s. 

Representing the Motown sound at its most stylized, the Supremes were the 1960s’ biggest group after the Beatles. They scored 10 Number One hits, including five in a row, right in the midst of the British Invasion. Diana Ross’ vocals achieved their greatest affect in this period because producers/songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland supplied her with novel concepts that capitalized on her penchant for melodrama. “Stop! In the Name of Love” could be the most dramatic of them all. HDH recordings used gospel elements more proudly and directly than any other Motown productions – the ever-present Motown tambourine is a gospel trademark, for example. But HDH never limited themselves.

Diana Ross and The Supremes exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum“Stop! In the Name of Love” benefits from James Jamerson’s earthquake bassline, the track's baritone sax riff and ringing vibes undercurrent, and an organ part adding tension to Ross' chilling moment: “Stop!” Stylistically, Ross had little more relationship to gospel than Frank Sinatra does, but HDH didn't put her in church, they simply ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

30 Years Later: Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual"

Thursday, November 14: 4 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
2013 marks the 30-year anniversary of Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual" album.

The year 1983 was a year of firsts for Cyndi Lauper – and the music industry. That year, Lauper released her first solo album, She's So Unusual, which became the first debut album by a female artist to score four Top Five singles: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop” and “All Through the Night." She won two American Music Awards, the Grammy for Best New Artist and went on to become the most nominated artist at the MTV Video Music Awards with nine nominations for the album She’s So Unusual, winning the Best Female Video Moonman. Because of her music, influence and artistic contributions, Lauper is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Women Who Rock exhibit, which illustrates the important roles that women have played in rock and roll history, from roots to today. Cyndi Lauper was instrumental in the creation of the exhibit, as she visited the museum during the inception of the exhibit and advocated about how important the inclusion of women is to the story of rock and roll. She also played a major role as a spokeswoman for the exhibit. Women Who Rock: Vision ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll

Can We Borrow Janis Joplin's Porsche?

Thursday, October 10: 4:22 p.m.
Posted by Jun Francisco
Janis Joplin's Porsche goes for a ride.

It's not every day that the Rock Hall gets a serious request to borrow Janis Joplin's iconic Porsche 356C cabriolet from our collection. Almost daily, visitors and fans from around the world ask questions like "Can I take it for a test drive?" But this time was different. We agreed to hand over the keys – though it wasn't quite that simple.

The Rock Hall’s collections department receives regular requests from museums, galleries, schools, event organizers and even television shows to borrow an artifact or two for their projects. They come from all over the United States, but more and more are streaming in from overseas. Just within the last year we have had inquiries from Brazil, Japan, the Philippines, Hungary, Russia, Dubai and Canada. Many are compelling, interesting and hard to pass up, while some are downright quirky. 

One of the more exciting inquiries we have received this year is from the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. They asked to borrow Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet to include in their exhibition entitled Porsche By Design: Seducing Speed, a 22-car display of rare Porsche automobiles owned by such personalities as Steve McQueen and ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll

Interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Monday, September 16: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

Best Coast's 2013 tour dates recently included a stop at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. After the concert, during a rare moment of free time, band members Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where they were struck by such artifacts as the handwritten lyrics to the Beach Boys' classic song "God Only Knows." 

Based in Los Angeles, Best Coast formed in 2009 around the duo of Cosentino and Bruno, quickly releasing a host of 7" and EP recordings. In 2010, the group's single "When I'm With You" proved a breakout hit and was followed that July by Best Coast's debut album, Crazy For You. All the material showcased Cosentino and Bruno's lo-fi aesthetic and pop-hook sensibility, with references to the surf rock and girl groups of the Sixties the band admired.

With extensive touring and popular music videos – including 2011's "Our Deal" directed by Drew Barrymore – the band's star continued to rise. The band's sophomore effort, The Only Place, was released in 2012.

In this interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, the singer and songwriter talks about her influences – from Blink 182 ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 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

At the Library and Archives: The Smith Tapes 1969-1972

Tuesday, April 23: 10 a.m.
Posted by Amanda Raab
(l-r) John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Howard Smith

Howard Smith was a man both on the scene and of the scene in late-1960s New York. As a photographer, columnist and broadcaster, Smith immersed himself in the emerging subculture of music and art while maintaining a keen journalist’s eye on the revolution happening around him. The interviews that comprise the set, The Smith Tapes 1969-1972, recently acquired by the Library and Archives, are raw, unedited recordings with those at the forefront of the hippie subculture as well as the era’s rock superstars, including John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman, Lou Reed, the authors of Hair, and Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper talking about their new film Easy Rider

Within this compelling collection there are some true gems. A USB flash drive – cleverly housed in a replica audio cassette with faux-stained labels – contains a collection of reports from the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, where Smith describes both the serenity of the fans and the struggle of organizers amidst the rain and near-overwhelming crowds. On one of the final discs in the collection is a brief phone interview with Janis Joplin who, when questioned about the burgeoning women’s liberation movement, initially dismisses it but encourages women not to settle ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Library and Archives

In the Museum: Aretha Franklin

Monday, March 25: 6 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Aretha Franklin on the cover of Time Magazine in 1968, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Aretha Franklin was only 24 years old when she signed with Atlantic Records in November 1966, but she had already been making records for much of her life, first as a child gospel singer, then as a pop singer of only modest success. 

Born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit. Her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was the charismatic pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church, which he turned into a large and thriving institution. From an early age, Aretha sang at her father’s behest during services at New Bethel. Her first recordings turned up on an album called Spirituals, recorded at the church when she was only 14. Although she was firmly rooted in gospel, Franklin also drew from such blues and jazz legends as Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughn as she developed her singing style. On the male side, she was inspired by Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke (both with and without the Soul Stirrers). From the emerging world of youthful doo-wop groups and early soul, Aretha enjoyed the likes of LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, Little Willie John, the Falcons (featuring Wilson Pickett) and Frankie Lymon ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit
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