The Roots of Rock & Roll
The origins of rock & roll, as told through pioneers in gospel, blues, R&B and country/folk/bluegrass.
Lower Level-Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall
This exhibit is divided into individual cases, each devoted to one of rock and roll’s roots: Gospel, Blues, Country/Folk/Bluegrass and R&B. Each section includes a variety of artifacts and brief bios of the key artists.
This section emphasizes the history of the blues, both country and urban, toward the development of rock and the continuation of the blues tradition today in mainstream rock. Featured artists include Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker.
Rhythm and Blues
This exhibit highlights the influence and contributions of early R&B artists in the history of rock. Featured artists include Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, Little Willie John, Johnny Otis, Sam Cooke, Charles Brown and Ray Charles, as well as such R&B vocal groups as the Platters and the Coasters.