The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


January 2013 | Blog Archives

Buddy Holly's Final Recordings

Thursday, January 31: 9 a.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Buddy Holly fan club card, circa 1958

In June 1958, Buddy Holly met and fell in love with Maria Elena Santiago, a receptionist at Peer-Southern Music, Holly’s music publisher, in New York City. After proposing marriage on their first date, the two were married in Lubbock, Texas, in August. After their wedding, Buddy and Maria Elena Holly moved into an apartment at the Brevoort building, at 11 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, on the site of a house once occupied by Mark Twain and just two blocks from Greenwich Village’s “beatnik” culture, which was in full swing by the late 1950s. 

Living in the Village, Holly and Maria Elena would spend hours wandering around the streets, frequenting intellectual hangouts such as the Bitter End and Café Bizarre. “Buddy loved those places,” Maria Elena remembered. “The strange clothes the people wore, the poetry readings, the way they talked to one another. He loved the freedom, the way everyone was allowed to do their thing.” More than anything, Holly was attracted to the music that would literally drift down the street – blues, jazz, folk, even flamenco music.  

Visit Buddy Holly exhibit at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to see rare Buddy Holly original suitBy the time the young couple had settled into their Manhattan apartment, Holly had set up a recording and publishing ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit

Rock and Roll Goes Classical

Tuesday, January 29: 10 a.m.
Posted by Kathryn Metz
A student channels Elvis Presley at 2013 "Teachers Rock" event that examined rock and other genres

Miami University of Ohio’s Dr. Ricardo Averbach believes that even seemingly disparate musical styles can come together in powerful ways. As the conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra, Oxford Chamber Orchestra, and annual opera production, Dr. Averbach also collaborates regularly with Miami’s world music ensemble director. Fusing classical music and world music poses its own challenges, but musicians are often even more reticent to mix classical and rock and roll, despite a long tradition of marrying the two. One need only listen to any Phil Spector, Gamble and Huff or Arif Mardin–produced songs for examples. In fact, the Rock Hall's education department currently offers a class called “Ambassador to the Orchestra: The Arranger in Rock and Roll,” where students listen to and examine the music of Maxwell, Dusty Springfield, Metallica and the Beatles to explore the intersection of classical and rock and roll. The Rock Hall had partnered with classical music organizations before, including Red {an orchestra}, Contemporary Youth Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra, so when Dr. Averbach and CODA’s President Dr. Anthony Holland of Skidmore College approached us with the idea of a collaboration, we were excited about the opportunity. 

This month, the Rock and ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Education, Event

Remembering Bobby Bennett of the Famous Flames

Monday, January 28: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
2012 Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Bennett (1938 - 2013)

2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Bennett of the Famous Flames passed away on January 18, 2013, at age 74. For 15 years, the Famous Flames provided impassioned vocals and frenetic choreography alongside James Brown, helping to create among "the greatest stage shows of all time," according to former Rock Hall president and CEO Terry Stewart. Bennett – previously Brown's valet – joined the group in 1959, and along with Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry and "Baby" Lloyd Stallworth, helped form the definitive lineup of the Famous Flames.

The Famous Flames were a vital element in Brown's success, as their electric stage presence made Brown's performances legendary. Before being dubbed the "Godfather of Soul," Brown was a Famous Flame, and it was his years with that group that made him a driving force in the world of soul music. "A lot of people didn't know that James Brown was the same as I was: a Flame," said Bennett in an April 2012 interview with the Rock Hall.

The group is audible on the 1963 classic album Live at the Apollo. Bennett and the other Famous Flames can been seen in footage from The T.A.M ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee

Behind the Scenes: Rage Against the Machine's Tour Van

Monday, January 28: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock Hall director of collections management Jun Francisco with RATM's Brad Wilk's bass drum

In early 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, unveiled a new collection of Rage Against the Machine artifacts, including this Chevrolet Astro van owned by Tom Morello and used by the band in its earliest days. In this behind-the-scenes video, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's director of collections management Jun Francisco shares the making of the exhibit, from its arrival at the Rock Hall's secret storage facility to collecting Rage Against the Machine instruments to moving the van into the Museum in Cleveland to readying everything for exhibition. Tom Morello shares the backstory of the van.


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Inspired Message and Gift to Rock and Roll

Monday, January 21: 11:30 a.m.
Posted by Greg Harris
Rock Hall salutes the pioneering spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lasting inspiration

Today, January 21, 2013, we welcome visitors to the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an event that celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King. There are performances, speakers and admission to the Museum is free. 

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance is a time for people to reflect on the accomplishments of the African-American people, including the art form known today as rock and roll. If not for the struggles and sacrifices that Dr. King and his contemporaries made, the voices and musical talents of many African-American artists may not have come to be respected and recognized at the level they are today. 

Naturally, the Rock Hall salutes those visionary musicians who were the genesis of rock and roll – not just on Martin Luther King Day, but every day. King's pioneering spirit is echoed in the music that is the foundation of rock and roll, the foundation of all the Rock Hall celebrates. 

rare Lead Belly acoustic guitar and blues exhibitThe Rock Hall's "Roots of Rock" exhibit highlights the importance of recognizing rock's origins – those true pioneers – including gospel, blues, jazz and R&B, soul, country and folk music ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Exhibit, Event

Gallery Talk: Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet

Saturday, January 19: 9 a.m.
Posted by Howard Kramer
Janis Joplin and her band Big Brother on the front left fender of her 1965 Porsche

Born January 19, 1943, Janis Joplin brought her powerful, bluesy voice from Texas to San Francisco’s psychedelic scene, where she went from drifter to superstar. She has been called “the greatest white urban blues and soul singer of her generation.” 

In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer shares the full story behind 1995 Hall of Fame inductee Janis Joplin's famously psychedelic 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet. The car is among the featured artifacts at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.


continue Categories: Gallery Talk, Inductee, Exhibit

Video: Interview with Ronnie Hawkins

Tuesday, January 15: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins' backstage interview with the Rock Hall

For more than half a century, Ronnie Hawkins – known variously as "Mr. Dynamo," "Sir Ronnie," "Rompin' Ronnie" and "The Hawk" – has been energizing crowds with his signature rockabilly swagger. Born in Huntsville, Arkansas, in January 1935, Hawkins would find his way to the Grange club in Hamilton, Ontario, on the recommendation of Conway Twitty. He never left, adopting Canada as his own and becoming a permanent resident in 1964. 

In addition to hits that included "Hey, Bo Diddley," "Marylou" and his cheeky cover of Chuck Berry's "30 Days" (renamed "Forty Days"), Hawkins gained recognition for recruiting and grooming outstanding Canadian talent to play in his band, the Hawks. The rotating cast of musicians over the years included Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Arkansan drummer Levon Helm – the quintet that would leave the Hawks to back Bob Dylan before striking out on their own as the Band. Other incarnations of the Hawks included the members of Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band, and another Ronnie Lane and the Disciples. John Lennon and Yoko Ono traveled to Hawkins' Ontario farm to plan a festival during the couple's peace crusade. In 1992, Hawkins was hired to ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Exclusive Interviews

Rare Performances: Cream in 1993 – "Sunshine of Your Love"

Friday, January 11: 3 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Eric Clapton on stage with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Cream, performing "Sunshine of Your Love"

“It was a group of talented musicians that made up – three guys that expressed, power…creating a sound that everybody in this room can relate to and certainly set the stage for our outfit.” – Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top inducting Cream into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Formed in July 1966 and widely regarded as being the first successful supergroup, Cream was a British rock outfit made up of guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. By the time the trio came together, they were far from rock and roll neophytes, as each member of the group had found success in other acts during the 1960s. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were members of Blues Incorporated until the band broke up in 1963, while Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965. The same year Clapton exited the Yardbirds, Bruce joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (which also featured Clapton on guitar). By 1966, Bruce was a member of Manfred Mann and continued to collaborate with Clapton as a member of Powerhouse, which included Hall of Fame inductee Steve Winwood

In their short 28-month run, Cream became a commercial success ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances
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