Between 1943 and 1971, the address of 1540 Brewster Avenue in Cincinnati was home to some of the most vibrant and eclectic music making in America. King brought together the most diverse range of American voices that reflect Cincinnati’s unique geographical position as a crossroads of American culture: rhythm and blues, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, pop and blues records all poured out of King’s studios.
This month's Night School featured discussions about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees like Hank Ballard, James Brown, and label founder Syd Nathan, while we looked at the contributions of artists such as Otis William & the Charms, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and the Stanley Brothers. This class also drew on interview footage assembled by Rock Hall staff and featuring Otis Williams (of the Charms), Bootsy Collins, and Ralph Stanley.
This month’s Rock and Roll Night School explored the career of 2009 Inductee Wanda Jackson and was presented in conjunction with Women’s History Month.
Wanda Jackson is an American rockabilly and country music singer who began recording in the mid-50s. She was one of the first female rockabilly singers to come to popularity during the 1950s. She mixed regular country music material with fast-moving rockabilly music, often cutting each side of a record with a different type of music. This program examined some of Wanda Jackson’s most important songs, including “Fujiyama Mama,” “Let’s Have a Party”and“Tears Will Be the Chaser For Your Wine.”
Black Sabbath invented heavy metal in the Seventies, and Metallica redefined it in the Eighties. Since erupting on the scene with their debut album, Kill ‘Em All, in 1983, Metallica has been a cutting-edge band – the standard by which metal’s vitality and virtuosity are measured. This class brought visitors on a sonic journey from the early thrash metal albums to the band’s mega-successful 1991 album Metallica [the Black Album] and beyond into the more recent musical explorations on Death Magnetic.
In 2009, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen, the first major artifact-driven exhibit about Springsteen’s legendary career. It is a comprehensive look at his music, from such early bands as Child, the Castiles and Steel Mill through his work with the E Street Band and as a solo artist. As part of the exhibit, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Education Department offered a series of special Rock and Roll Night School classes focusing on Springsteen’s work.
The first class explored Springsteen’s roots in garage bands and soul music, his early bands, and his first three albums, Greetings From Asbury Park New Jersey, The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, and Born to Run, all featured prominently in the first half of the exhibit. The class offered an in-depth look at what brought Springsteen to prominence.
This month’s Rock and Roll Night School was presented in conjunction with the Bruce Springsteen exhibit, From Asbury Park to the Promised Land, and coincided with Bruce’s 60th birthday.
This Rock and Roll Night School program was held at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University and kicked off a week of programming for the 14th Annual American Music Masters Series –Kozmic Blues: The Life and Music of Janis Joplin.
This special edition of Rock and Roll Night School explored the history of rock and roll holiday records, from The Orioles’ “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” to classic albums like A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, Woody Guthrie’s Hanukkah songs, RUN-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” and everything in between. In addition to regular program speakers Lauren Onkey and Jason Hanley, guest presenters included Terry Stewart, President and CEO of the Rock Hall, Stephanie Heriger, Education Programs Manager, John Goehrke, Education Coordinator, and Kathryn Metz, Education Instructor. See Rock Hall President Terry Stewart's list of favorite holiday records here and view a listening of Inductee who have NOT recorded a holiday record here.