It only takes one song to start a rock revolution. That trigger, in late 1991, was “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” an exhilarating blast of punk-rock confrontation by Nirvana, a scruffy trio from Seattle. “Teen Spirit,” its moshpit-party video and Nirvana’s kinetic live shows propelled their second album, Nevermind, to Number One and turned singer-guitarist-songwriter Kurt Cobain into the voice and conscience of an alternative-rock nation sick of hair metal and the conservative grip of the Reagan-Bush ‘80s. Founded by Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in the logging town of Aberdeen, Washington, Nirvana were underground stars when they made 1989’s Bleach with drummer Chad Channing. Moving from the indie Sub Pop label to Geffen, the band – with drummer Dave Grohl – packed Cobain’s corrosive riffs, emotionally acute writing and twin passions for the Beatles and post-punk bands like the Melvins and the Pixies into Nevermind. A multi-platinum seller, it included the hits “Come As You Are” and “Lithium” and opened the mainstream gates for Green Day, Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins. In 1993, Nirvana released the caustic masterpiece, In Utero, and gave a historic performance on MTV’s Unplugged. But in April 1994, Cobain – suffering from drug addiction and ...
What happens when two musical giants collide, when two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees defying genres and generations share the stage? On October 28, 1970 just that happened on Johnny Cash's TV variety show, when he welcomed "the great Louis Armstrong." Cash opened the introduction, remarking: "This country has given the world three original art forms – country music, jazz and Louis Armstrong."
Promoting his 1970 collection of country and western standards (fittingly titled Country & Western) and sporting an oversized cowboy hat, Armstrong sang "Crystal Chandeliers," the country classic originally sung by Charley Pride; and "Ramblin' Rose," a song made popular by Nat King Cole.
With the performance wrapped, Armstrong took a seat beside Cash, both musicians holding their instruments of choice: a trumpet and a guitar, respectively. "You've been at it a long time," Cash said to Armstrong. "I know that. We did a little research on some of your recordings; we find that on July 16, 1930, you played trumpet on a session with the late Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music. That was in Hollywood, right?"
Armstrong explained the ostensibly unlikely pairing: "We had a meeting one morning and Jimmie said, 'Man, I ...
This week, the Rock Hall's Library and Archives unveiled a new collection of rare and candid photographs donated by Grammy Award-winning harmonica player Sugar Blue.
Perhaps best known for his signature riff and solo on the Rolling Stones' hit "Miss You," harmonica virtuoso Sugar Blue (born James Whiting) made his first recordings in 1975 with legendary bluesmen Brownie McGhee and Roosevelt Sykes. Blue can be heard on the Rolling Stones' Some Girls, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. He received a 1985 Grammy Award for his work on the compilation album, Blues Explosion, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Blue has performed and recorded with musicians ranging from Willie Dixon to Stan Getz to Frank Zappa to Bob Dylan. Blue was among the featured performers at the 18th Annual Music Masters concert, honoring the music of the Rolling Stones.
The Sugar Blue Photographs collection at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives includes seven digital images of the award-winning harmonica player performing with various collaborators and contemporaries, including Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Lee ...
It was star-studded night at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. With artists – new and old – coming together, and a handful of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees taking to the stage. The night included rememberances of Hall of Fame Inductees Lou Reed and Phil Everly, as well as 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Grohl taking honors for best rock song for “Cut Me Some Slack,” a collaboration from his Sound City soundtrack that features Paul McCartney, former Nirvana bandmate and fellow 2014 Inductee Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Madonna to Stevie Wonder, there were numerous Inductees getting into the live act at the Grammy Awards.
Dozens of couples, representing all demographics: gay, straight, interracial, young and old said “I do” during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert and Rock Hall Inductee and seven-time Grammy Award–winner Madonna. Lewis, the group’s producer, told The New York Times, the wedding “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”
He’s a Rolling Stone, one of rock and roll's greatest guitarists, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and so much more. He’s Keith Richards. Born on December 18, 1943, in Dartford, England, Richards celebrates his 70th birthday in 2013, so we're taking a look back on some of his most memorable moments at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Richards inducted a handful of talented artists and always made his appearances memorable – as only Keith Richards could.
Keith Richards Inducts Chuck Berry at 1986 Induction Ceremony: “It’s very difficult for me to talk about Chuck because I lifted every lick he ever played.”
Keith Richards Inducts Johnnie Johnson and James Burton at 2001 Induction Ceremony: “It’s only rock ‘n’ roll. You’ve got to laugh. A sideman needs humor, incredible patience and usually more money than he ever gets.”
Keith Richards Inducts ZZ Top at 2004 Induction Ceremony: “When I first saw them I thought, I hope these guys are not on the run because that disguise is not going to work, man. You’re ...
“'I Walk the Line' was a hit in November of 1956, that’s about a year before I was born, so it really is a part of the world that I know. But that’s the way it seems with great songs and great artists. Their impact on people is such that you can’t imagine what the world would be like or sound like without them.”
That was Lyle Lovett describing the first Johnny Cash song he ever heard, when he inducted Cash at the 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (watch video of Lyle Lovett inducting Johnny Cash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
“I Walk the Line” hit Number One on the country Billboard charts and crossed over into the pop Top 20. Nearly six decades after "I Walk the Line" – and more than a decade after his passing in 2003 at age 71 – new, never-before-heard material from The Man in Black is scheduled for release in Spring 2014.
Pictured (l-r): 1943 Martin acoustic guitar played by Johnny Cash during his Sun Records recording sessions from 1955 to 1958; c.1955 suit worn by Johnny Cash during his time with Sun Records ...
Please note that these guitars are no longer on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Few guitarists made as lasting an impression in such short order as Duane Allman. Beyond his work with the his namesake group and principal architects of Southern rock, the Allman Brothers Band, Duane was an in-demand session musician. A fixture at Muscle Shoals, Duane's playing can be heard on records by Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, among others, and he famously traded licks with Eric Clapton on Derek and the Dominos' 1970 release Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
This 1959 cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul was acquired by Duane in the fall of 1970, after he fell in love with the instrument jamming with a band called the Stone Balloon in Daytona Beach, Florida. The guitar can be heard on the seminal Allman Brothers Band live concert recording At Fillmore East. Recorded at the famed NYC concert hall on March 12 and 13, 1971, sprawling jams such as "Whipping Post," inspired blues including a cover of "Statesboro Blues" and fiery, jazz-inspired epics like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" showcased Allman's near-singular dexterity and versatility ...
After a groundbreaking in June 1993 and the realizaition of architect IM Pei's stunning vision, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened to the public on the shores of Lake Erie in September 1995. The day culminated with a benefit concert at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where an incredible roster of rock and roll legends took the stage: Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Al Green, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, the Pretenders, John Fogerty, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, the Kinks, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Booker T and the MGs, Eric Burdon and Martha Reeves. It was just the start.
One of the first pieces of rock and roll history ever loaned to the Museum came from Yoko Ono: the 1964 Gibson J 160E played by John Lennon and used extensively throughout his career. The unique acoustic guitar was part of a collection Ono presented to the Museum on October 13, 1994 and also included handwritten lyrics, a pair of Lennon's eye glasses, Lennon's guitar from the 1965 Beatles concert at Shea Stadium and more.
The Gibson acoustic guitar, however, remains "one of the most precious artifacts that we have in the Rock ...