The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Kick Out the Jams: The Music of the Midwest


Rock and Roll is primarily a byproduct of the South. Nowhere, however, was it better expanded upon than the Midwest. The heartland region became a hotbed for an explosion of talent that started in the Sixties and continues through today. Detroit was the home of Motown Records and was also full of teen clubs where such local performers as Bob Seger, the Amboy Dukes and the MC5 honed their skills. Chicago developed a diverse output ranging from the jazz-influenced rock of the band Chicago Transit Authority to the theatrical and thematic progressive music of Styx. In the Eighties, Minneapolis rose to international prominence as the home base of Prince and the breeding ground for such alternative rockers as the Replacements and Hüsker Dü.  Perhaps the rock artist most associated with rural America is Seymour, Indiana’s favorite son, John Mellencamp, the author of “Small Town.” 

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