CLEVELAND (January 6, 2009) - He made Johnny Cash the “Man in Black” and put the “sparkle” in Sparkle & Twang. Renowned costume designer Manuel will be the first guest of 2009 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s FREE monthly program From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits.  He will be interviewed at the Rock Hall on Wednesday, January 21 at 7 p.m. in the Museum’s 4th Floor Theater.

Manuel recently traveled to Cleveland for the opening of the Rock Hall’s new exhibit Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey. The collection represents over 40 years of rock and roll, classic country, rockabilly, bluegrass and southern gospel greats. It encompasses an astounding array of accessories, handwritten lyrics, personal letters, instruments, and performance costumes, several of which were designed by Manuel.

In addition to his western wear, Manuel is perhaps also best known for designing signature garments for Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and various athletes, actors and politicians.

For Manuel, his craft began at the age of seven in Coalcoan, Michoacan, Mexico when his older brother Adolfo introduced the young Manuel Cuevas to sewing. With a natural flair for color and cloth, he went on to work for several tailors in Los Angeles, making suits for clients like the Rat Pack. Eventually, Manuel lost interest in creating ready-to-wear garments and began to design costumes at famed designer Nudie Cohn’s country couture store. Manuel’s contemporary western clothing became well known for combining classic country style with the showbiz glitz of rhinestones and masterful embroidery. After fourteen years, he left Los Angeles to open his own shop in Hollywood and eventually relocated to Nashville in 1989, where he continues to design until this day.

Throughout his career, Manuel has been recognized for his pop culture contributions with various awards, including a Country Music Award, Hispanic Designers MODA Award and the “Intercoiffure” American Design award. Along with designing, Manuel is currently collaborating with award-winning British photographer Cambridge Jones to release a photography book of his designs later this year.

Members and visitors will have the opportunity to hear Manuel’s incredible stories firsthand in a discussion led by Howard Kramer, curatorial director at the Rock Hall. Questions will be taken from the audience at the end of the interview. Please email edu@rockhall.org or call (216) 515-8426 to RSVP.

This event is part of the series From Songwriters to Soundmen: The People Behind the Hits, a groundbreaking Rock Hall program that shines the spotlight on the people whose contributions to the rock and roll art form are often as powerful as those of the artists themselves.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has FREE educational offerings year round. Additional adult education programs include Teachers Rock, which shows educators how to bring rock and roll music into their classrooms and Rock and Roll Night School, which gives interested adults the opportunity to expand their rock and roll-related knowledge.

For more information about these and other Rock Hall educational programs, visit http://www.rockhall.com.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum 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 both 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, the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland. Children under 8 and Museum members are free. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. When you become a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the world of rock and roll becomes yours to explore. Call 216.515.1939 for information on becoming a member. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK or visit http://www.rockhall.com.

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