Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, February 7 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, February 8 at 10 a.m. EST.
This event is free with a reservation at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office.
Bobby Massey is a founding member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees the O’Jays. The O’Jays’ story began in the late Fifties when Eddie Levert and Walter Williams began singing gospel on a radio station in their hometown of Canton, Ohio. Joined by fellow high-schoolers William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles, they became the Triumphs, an R&B vocal group, in 1959. Their popularity as a live act got them signed to Syd Nathan’s King label, where they released a pair of singles as the Mascots.
They were then taken under the wing of Cleveland disc jockey Eddie O’Jay and renamed the O’Jays – a name that stuck. The O’Jays spent much of the Sixties on the Imperial and Bell labels, enjoying chart success on the R&B side with such hits as “Stand in For Love” (#12) and “I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)” (#8). The group’s fortunes took a leap when they met producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff backstage at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in 1968. The O’Jays signed to the duo’s fledgling Neptune label, for which they recorded seven singles, including the R&B hit “One Night Affair” (#15).
Massey left the group in 1971, shortly before the group signed to Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label. He has since retired from performing and has established several recording companies to promote and nurture the talents of young artists. Bobby designed the “Back 2 Basics” program to help our children develop into responsible, well mannered, successful adults. Massey is also the President / CEO of Mass Network, a business development and consulting company whose goals are to make resources available to small, minority business organizations in order to realize maximum growth potential. Because of his many successes, Bobby is dedicated to giving back to his community and the world at large.
Bobby Massey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
This event will also be streamed live on rockhall.com.
In February, the Museum focuses its attention on a specific African-American root or offshoot of rock and roll. Events include free performances by local and national groups, film screenings, lectures, and intimate evenings of conversation, all celebrating the traditions of blues, soul, rhythm & blues and gospel. Since 1996, performers have included Robert Lockwood, Jr., The Temptations, Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Mavis Staples, Take 6, Al Green, the Ohio Players and the Manhattans.
Cleveland earned its place on the rock and roll map in the early Fifties when local deejay Alan Freed was the first to call the R&B music he was playing on his nightly radio show “rock and roll.” From the 1950s to the 1970s, Clevelanders produced powerful soul and rhythm and blues music in a rich network of clubs, recording studios and record labels. This February, as part of Black History Month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate Cleveland’s rich musical legacy, highlighting great moments in the city’s rhythm and blues and soul music history. Fans are encouraged to share their knowledge, memories, and photos through the Rock Hall’s Facebook and Twitter page.
In addition to the public programs held in February (see schedule below), the month will also include:
· A special class in the Rock Hall’s K-12 program Rockin’ the Schools, offered through the month of February
· A new photo exhibit at the Library and Archives spotlighting the Jimmy Baynes photo collection
· An online subject guide highlighting Black History Month resources at the Library and Archives
· The installation of the Rock Hall’s newest artifact - Robert Lockwood Jr.’s guitar