This event is part of Ladies First: Celebrating African-American Women Who Rock during Black History Month at the Rock Hall.
Maureen Mahon, a cultural anthropologist, teaches in the ethnomusicology program in the Department of Music at New York University. She will discuss 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. She is the author of Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race (2004). Her current research on the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, and music production has been published in The Journal of Popular Music, Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, the reader African American Music: An Introduction, and EbonyJet.com. Mahon is at work on a book about African American women and rock and roll.
This event is FREE with a ticket reservation online at http://tickets.rockhall.com or in-person at the Rock Hall Box Office. Tickets will become available to Rock Hall Members on Thursday, February 2 at 10 a.m. EST and will become available to the general public on Friday, February 3 at 10 a.m. EST. A limited number of tickets will be available for those without internet access through the Rock Hall’s RSVP phone system by calling (216) 515-8426.
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