The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially designates J&M Studios a rock and roll landmark

Rock Hall kicks-off 2010 American Music Masters tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans

CLEVELAND (September 27, 2010) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum officially designated J & M Studios a rock and roll landmark with an historic marker unveiling to kick-off the 9th Annual Ponderosa Stomp music festival in New Orleans. The designation also officially began the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 15th annual American Music Masters series held in November in Cleveland, this year honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. 

From 1947-1956, J&M Studios (838 – 840 N. Rampart), owned and operated by Cosimo Matassa, produced the records that helped give birth to rock and roll. Along with producer and arranger Dave Bartholomew, Matassa recorded sessions by pioneers Fats Domino, Little Richard, Bartholomew, Professor Longhair, Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price, Roy Brown, and Shirley and Lee, among many others.

Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Ira “Dr. Ike” Padnos, founder of the Ponderosa Stomp music festival and conference officially unveiled the Rock Hall’s 11th landmark at 840 N. Rampart Street in the French Quarter.  They were joined by members of the Matassa family and American Music Masters honoree Dave Bartholomew.

Following the designation, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame educators Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of education and public programs and Jason Hanley, director of education hosted the Ponderosa Stomp music conference. Dr. Onkey interviewed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Spector and Jimi Espinoza, the original bassist of Thee Midniters, who ignited Chicano rock in 60’s East L.A. with cruising anthems like “Whittier Blvd.” Jason Hanley interviewed The Trashmen, the wild 60’s Minnesotans behind the iconic rock song “Surfin’ Bird.” Throughout the Stomp, an array of iconic musicians will be interviewed at the conference including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees: Duane Eddy, Ronnie Spector, and Dave Bartholomew.  Selected sessions from the 2010 conference were be live-streamed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website.

Dr. Ike of the Ponderosa Stomp has been key advisor to the Rock Hall in putting together this year’s American Music Masters tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Walking to New Orleans: the Music of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew will begin Monday, November 8 and will feature lectures, interviews, films and other educational programs throughout the week, culminating on Saturday, November 13 with a conference at Case Western Reserve University and a tribute concert at the Palace Theater in PlayhouseSquare. Tribute concert artists include American Music Masters honoree Dave Bartholomew, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Lloyd Price, Dr. John and The Lower 911, Irma Thomas, The Rebirth Brass Band and Robert Parker. Additional guests will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on American Music Masters, visit
The Stomp Conference presents and records the stories of some of American music’s most treasured architects. Footage of conference interviews is archived at both institutions, capturing a significant repository of cultural history in keeping with the Foundation’s overall mission.

The Rock Hall’s Landmark Series designates historic rock and roll landmarks around the United States. There are currently 11 selected sites that have been integral in telling the story of rock and roll’s formative moments. Sites across the country include KLRU-TV, the home of Austin City Limits; The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens played their final gig; Whisky-a-Go-Go in Los Angeles where the Doors were resident performers; King Records in Cincinnati, a prominent American record label started in the 40s and The Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Five sites are located in the Cleveland area and include Brooklyn High School, the location Elvis played his first concert north of the Mason-Dixon line and WJW Radio, home to Deejay Alan Freed who popularized the term “rock and roll.”

About the American Music Masters Series®

Each year, the American Music Masters® series explores the legacy of a pioneering rock and roll figure in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference at Case Western Reserve University and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall’s education programs. Drawing together experts, artists, fans and friends, these events provide new perspectives on the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.
The tribute concert brings together a diverse mix of artists and musical styles, and as a result, many magical moments have taken place over the years. In 2004, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss performed onstage together for the first time to honor Lead Belly. This year the pair was awarded the highest honors of Album of the Year for Raising Sand and Record of the Year for "Please Read the Letter" at the 51st annual Grammy awards. Honoree Jerry Lee Lewis, who was not scheduled to perform at the 2007 concert, was moved to take the stage at the end of the show. Lewis tenderly played the piano and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” At the first American Music Masters tribute concert, Bruce Springsteen set the bar high and performed in honor of Woody Guthrie. The most star-studded and unique performance by a trio was Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Elvis Costello paying tribute to Sam Cooke in 2005. Two years ago, a 93-year-old Les Paul took the stage with his trio and then led an epic jam with some of rock and roll’s greatest guitarists, from Jennifer Batten to Slash.  In 2009, Lucinda Williams penned an original song to honor Janis Joplin.

The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation
When a group of music fans banded together to bring the true heroes of rock and roll back to the stage to play again, we called ourselves The Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau. The Knights later founded the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation (MK Charities, Inc) as a 501(c) 3 cultural organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the rich history of American roots music. Through festivals, special events, concerts and outreach activities featuring musical living legends, we honor influential artists and educate audiences about their massive contributions to American culture. Our primary annual event, the internationally revered Ponderosa Stomp, exists to celebrate, pay tribute to, and teach the cultural significance of the unsung heroes and heroines of rock-n-roll, rhythm & blues and other forms of American roots music while they are still alive. The Stomp festival and its year-round activities provide both a voice and career revival to overlooked sidemen, session musicians and other influential pioneers whose contributions have shaped American culture for over 50 years.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays (and Saturdays through Labor Day), the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216. 515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit