The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Black History Month 2012

An Afternoon with the Dramatics at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

Friday, February 10 at 1pm
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hosted a live interview with the Dramatics on its Foster Theater stage.  In 1964, the Dramatics signed to Stax-Volt Records, but the group didn’t break through until 1971 upon releasing “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” which peaked at#9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Throughout the 1970s, the Dramatics appeared on Soul Train while releasing several R&B hits, including “In the Rain,” “Me and Mrs. Jones,” “I’m Going By The Stars In Your Eyes” and “Be My Girl.” 

Legends Series Interview and DJ Demonstration with  DJ Spinderella (from Salt-N-Pepa) at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

Wednesday, February 15 at 7pm
The Rock Hall welcomed DJ Spinderella for a live interview and DJ demo performance on its Foster Theater stage. Dee Dee Roper, internationally known as DJ Spinderella, is a Grammy award winning DJ, producer, rapper and writer. She is one of the original pioneers of hip hop music beginning her career as a member of the iconic rap group Salt-N-Pepa, selling over 15 million albums and singles worldwide.

Meshell Ndegeocello Live Performance on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Main Stage

Friday, February 17 at 8pm
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum welcomed singer/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello for a live performance. Ndegocello’s albums – eight to date– have offered lyrical ruminations on race, love, sex, betrayal, God, and power, and she has simultaneously embraced and challenged her listeners . A vast array of influences have informed all of her albums, which feature  traces of her native go-go, hip hop, rock, R&B, new wave and punk in each. A bass player above all else, Meshell brings her signature warm, fat, and melodic groove to every- thing she does and has appeared alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, James Blood Ulmer, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan. 

Rock and Roll Night School: Ladies First: Women and Hip Hop at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm
This class was part of the Rock Hall’s free monthly lecture series, Rock and Roll Night School. Rock Hall educators explored the complicated and changing roles of women in hip-hop.  From early pioneers (Sha-Rock and Roxanne Shanté) to the game-changing artists of hip-hop’s second wave (Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah) to today’s leading innovators (Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott), women have continually and effectively worked to have their voices heard in a genre too often dominated by men. 

An Evening with Gloria Jones at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater

Wednesday, February 29 at 7pm
Cincinnati-born soul singer and songwriter Gloria Jones has been performing for nearly five decades, first appearing in the spotlight in the mid-1960s with her original recording of “Tainted Love.” The song went on to be covered by Soft Cell and reached international success in 1981. Jones joined British rock band T. Rex as keyboardist and backing vocalist in 1974 until the band’s end in 1977. As a songwriter, Jones penned a number of songs  through the years, including “My Mistake” (Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye) and “If I Were Your Woman” (Gladys Knight). 


“Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton’s Blues and the Sound of Rock and Roll”

Lecture by Maureen Mahon, Associate Professor of Music, New York University, at the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater
Thursday, March 1 at 7pm: 
Maureen Mahon, a cultural anthropologist, teaches in the ethnomusicology program in the Department of Music at New York University. She discussed the “transgressive” music and image of “Big Mama” Thornton, who recorded the original version of “Hound Dog.”  Mahon contends that Thornton tapped into a liberated black femininity through which she freed herself from many of the expectations for black women. Mahon is the author of Right to Rock:  The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race (2004).