Landmark Series

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Landmark Series designates historic rock and roll landmarks around the United States. To date, 12 sites have been selected that are integral in telling the story of rock and roll’s formative moments. As a part of the designation, the Rock Hall hosts panel discussions to illustrate the historic site’s particular impact and integrates what was happening socially, politically and historically at the time into classroom teaching for teachers and students.

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Austin City Limits Studio, KRLU –TV

Austin, Texas

The Rock Hall recognized the Austin City Limits music series at the beginning of the 35th season in the fall of 2009. While ACL was taping various artists and acts for the new season from Them Crooked Vultures to Mos Def, the Rock Hall hosted panel discussions with ACL staff and artists including: Alejandro Escovedo, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks to discuss the history and evolution of America’s best known music television series.

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Surf Ballroom

Clear Lake, Iowa

To honor the legacies of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson on the 50th anniversary of the “Day the Music Died” in January 2009, the Rock Hall  and the Surf Ballroom and Museum planned a week of evening concerts, symposium panels and other educational programs with special appearances from family and friends including Tommy Allsup, Big Bopper Jr., Carl Bunch, Cousin Brucie, The Crickets, Bob Hale, Maria Elena Holly, Chris Montez, Johnny Preston, Bobby Vee and many more.  Left: Buddy Holly's widow, Maria Elena Holly; Ritchie Valens' sister, Connie Lemos; Jeff Nicholas of the Surf Ballroom, and Terry Stewart, CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at the dedication of the Surf Ballroom

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Whisky a Go-Go

Los Angeles, California

In November 2006 in Hollywood, California the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum honored the Whisky A Go-Go. Surviving members of the Doors - Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore, who were resident performers at the club along with the late Jim Morrision - were all present for the ceremony. The evening featured a memorial reading of Jim Morrison’s poetry, by Perry Farrell and others. Left: Whisky a Go-Go in the 1970s. 

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Additional sites across the country

  • J&M Recording Studio in New Orleans where artists as diverse as Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Little Richard, Ray Charles and more recorded with engineer Cosimo Matassa
  • King Records in Cincinnati, a prominent American record label started in the 40s
  • The Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi
  • Cleveland area Brooklyn High School, the location Elvis played his first concert north of the Mason-Dixon line
  • Leo’s Casino, in Cleveland, where a great number of Motown acts broke in their stage shows before they took them on the road
  • The Corner Tavern, in Cleveland, owned by Don King in the late 50s and early 60s and home of some of the most popular jazz and rhythm and blues acts
  • Cleveland's WJW Radio, home to Deejay Alan Freed who popularized the term “rock and roll”
  • WEWS TV, in Cleveland, home of The Upbeat Show, a syndicated music variety show that broadcast on 110 stations across the country and spotlighted performers in the 60s

Landmark Series Highlights

Photo Galleries


    “Since opening in 1964, the Whisky A Go-Go has been one of the world’s most prominent and important rock and roll venues. Its stage has served as the launching pad for generations of music legends, including Johnny Rivers, Frank Zappa. Love, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue.”
    - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s marker designating the Whisky a Go-Go an historic rock and roll landmark
    “There are few buildings in existence today that represent a complete shift in our musical history. As the last concert venue for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, the Surf is the bedrock of where the sound and attitude of rock and roll changed forever.”
    - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s marker designating the Surf Ballroom an historic rock and roll landmark
    “The longest-running music series in American television history, ACL recorded its first program with Willie Nelson in October 1974 at KLRU – TV at the University of Texas. Showcasing roots music, legends and innovative popular music from every genre, ACL has become a music icon and helped build Austin’s reputation at the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
    - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s marker designating the KLRU-TV an historic rock and roll landmark