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The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History :: Blog

Big Brother and the Holding Company at 1967 Monterey International Pop Music Festival

Tuesday, March 11: 7 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Big Brother and the Holding Company’s performance at the Monterey Pop Festival was so powerful, the festival organizers hastily provided a second performing slot for the band to ensure it was captured by D.A. Pennebaker’s film crew. Janis Joplin’s performance of “Ball and Chain” was a small part of the energy and power of that performance but it was a major part of helping them to get signed to Columbia Records later that year. Crowd shots in the film show established artists such as  staring in jaw-dropping wonder as Joplin delivered a blues-soaked performance.  

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances

Santana Live at 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair

Tuesday, March 11: 7 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Santana took the stage at Woodstock by storm. Barely known outside of San Francisco, the group lit up the afternoon on the festival’s second day with a hypnotic and grooving performance of Latin-tinged blues and soul. That single performance introduced a new sound to rock music and established a career that continues to inspire. 

Santana live at Woodstock 1969The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience to immerse yourself in this story.

Get more of the story at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives!


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Inductee, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances

Muddy Waters Live at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival

Tuesday, March 11: 7 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

With rare exception, blues and blues musicians entertained exclusively black audiences in the 50s. George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals, gave Muddy Waters a platform to reveal the majesty and power of the blues to an entirely new audience. The record album of this show became essential listening to a new generation. Music was never the same again.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience. Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe. Visit Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience to immerse yourself in this story.

Get even more of the story at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives!


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, History of the Blues, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Rolling Stones, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Hall of Fame, Rare Performances

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces New Exhibit - Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience

Tuesday, March 11: 8 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
New exhibit opens April 25th

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presents its latest featured exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience, which will open on Friday, April 25, 2014. The exhibition will be an immersive and engaging look at the music festival as more than just an outdoor concert, but as a community experience.

Whether it‘s forging human bonds, building a sense of community, providing broad exposure for musical artists – both old and new – or as one of the most important economic engines of the music industry, the story of the music festival is inextricably linked with music’s powerful cultural impact around the globe.

Fan vote and fan-curated exhibit

Beginning Tuesday, March 11 fans around the world will have the opportunity to vote for the Top 10 rock festival performance moments of all-time. From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Dylan’s performance in Newport in 1965 to Daft Punk’s Coachella performance in 2006, fans will vote for 10 breakout performance and highlights from the last 50 years of festivals. The fan vote will close on Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. ET. The Top 10 festival moments of all-time as voted by fans will ...


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Bob Dylan Changes Face of Popular Music for $100

Monday, April 21: 5:06 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

With a hastily assembled band, Bob Dylan changed the course of popular music in three songs on Sunday, July 25, 1965. The folk bard and 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee turned the Newport Folk Festival on its ear, plugging in and delivering amplified versions of "Maggie's Farm," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" – much to the chagrin of many in attendance.

Dylan's electrified Newport set in 1965 was a marked departure from his '63 show, where he played acoustic versions of "Blowin' in the Wind;" and '64 performances at the same festival, where he played acoustic versions of  "With God on Our Side" and "Mr. Tambourine Man."

"Ladies and gentlemen, the person that's going to come up now has a limited amount of time ... His name is Bob Dylan," festival emcee Peter Yarrow announced. Taking the stage with a full band that included guitarist Mike Bloomfield and organist Al Kooper – both of whom had played on the recording of Dylan's recently released single "Like A Rolling Stone" – Dylan and company launched into a rollicking version of "Maggie's Farm," earning a barrage ...


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Festival Six Pack: Performers at 2014 Bonnaroo and In Rock Hall

Monday, June 16: 12:02 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

This summer as rock and roll fans gather at musical festivals around the globe, the Rock Hall is celebrating the the greatest music festivals in history, the biggest and baddest music festivals of today and the fans who make Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.

From June 12-15, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes over Manchester, Tennessee, with a host of performances from some of the biggest names in music. Among the headlining acts and performers at Bonnaroo this year are a number of artists who also feature in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio, including four Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees.


Mickey Hart:

Percussionist Mickey Hart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 with his bandmates in the Grateful Dead. When Hart visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2012, he shared stories about the first time he ever saw the Grateful Dead live and the San Francisco scene in the 60s. Pictured below is his illuminated signature in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.




Bobby Womack:

Bobby Womack was born in Cleveland, where he and his ...


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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Dance to the Music" and "Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin"

Thursday, June 19: 3:35 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Sly and the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music" is a Song That Shaped Rock and Roll.

Preaching a gospel of tolerance set against a heady genre-blending groove, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Sly and the Family Stone were the integrated multi-gender Pied Pipers of the Woodstock generation. The group's message – and inimitable synthesizing of rock, soul, R&B, funk and psychedelia into a danceable music – helped bring diverse audiences together, with their greatest triumph coming at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. During their unforgettable nighttime set, leader Sly Stone initiated a fevered call-and-response with the audience of 400,000–plus during an electrifying version of “I Want to Take You Higher.” Voters around the world ranked that moment as one of the greatest festival moments of all time, and it is included in the Rock Hall's feature exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.

The group connected with the rising counterculture by means of songs that addressed issues of personal pride and liberation in the context of driving, insistent and sunny-tempered music that fused rock and soul, creating a template for 70s funk. As proof that they were reaching a rainbow coalition among the young, Sly and the Family Stone dominated the late 60s charts with such essential singles as “Dance to ...


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