Rock on TV in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Stay Tuned: Rock on TV Exhibit

Exploring how the square screen framed and facilitated the emergence of rock styles, including the British Invasion, counterculture spirit and more.

open: may 26, 2018

location: floors 4, 5 and 6

STAY TUNED: ROCK ON TV - Since exploding onto the scene in the post-war 40s, television and rock & roll have reflected social values, shaped the youth culture and created icons.

In its early days, they sat at opposite ends of the table, with tv showcasing the normalcy of nuclear family and strong moral lessons, while rock & roll questioned the establishment with a rebellious attitude. But as television sets became a household fixture, advertisers sought to reach the booming youth and teenage demographic and their expendable pocket money, cracking the door for rock & roll’s acceptance into the mainstream through shows like American Bandstand, The Ed Sullivan Show, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

In the multi-floor, multi-sensory, and multimedia exhibition, visitors will also see the birth of the music video, how it reached its pinnacle with the launch and domination of MTV and its sub-brands and used its technology to push music and artistry to new heights.

Artifacts included in Rock On TV include:

  • Stage designs from the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Outfits worn by the Jackson Five during their first live performance of “I Want You Back” on Hollywood Palace
  • A beige suit worn by Soul Train host and producer Don Cornelius
  • Paul Shaffer’s Kurzweil 250 keyboard from the Late Show with David Letterman
  • Clothing worn by Sonny and Cher
  • The acoustic guitar played by Eric Clapton on MTV Unplugged
  • Numerous items related to Saturday Night Live
  • Contracts between artists and American Bandstand
  • A suit worn by Johnny Cash on his ABC variety show
  • Davy Jones jacket worn on The Brady Bunch
  • An oversized hat worn by Tom Petty as the Mad Hatter in the music video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More”
  • Items worn by Janet Jackson in the music video for “Rhythm Nation”
  • And more

Stay Tuned: Rock on TV is sponsored by Pepsi. 

Stay Tuned: Rock on TV - Inside the Exhibit

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Martha Quinn Interview

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Cyndi Lauper Interview

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