New Rolling Stones Exhibit at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

by JudithG

by Judith Glynn. Still rocking 20 years after its Cleveland opening, Rock Hall honors music legends with individual exhibits. It has outreach programs and new inductees each year.

No replicas here since the museum's curators have a close association with worldwide artists. Some exhibits, such as Elvis', are permanent while others rotate to showcase the museum's approximately 10,000 artifacts. Rock Hall isn't just a tourist destination, it's a museum where the art form is music.

Starting May 24, 2013 and running until March 2014, "Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction" will be a comprehensive retrospective exhibit that chronicles the band from the mid-1960s until today. This is a must-see event.

Rolling Stones Special Exhibit

Although the Stones were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, this presentation chronicles the band from the mid-1960s until today. It will take up two-and-a-half floors of the museum. Included are personal items and an extraordinary collection never before seen by the public. 

Through the use of artifacts, film, text and interactive technology, generations of music fans will have the opportunity to get upclose and personal with rare items from nearly every aspect of the Stones’ astonishing five decades at the top. Throughout the exhibition’s run, the museum will host free public programs that explore the significance and legacy of the Rolling Stones, including interviews, films and special lectures. Beginning May 24, 2013, Rolling Stones: 50 years of Satisfaction will run until March 2014. 


The Then and Now of Rock Hall

Why a Cleveland, Ohio base for the Rock Hall? Simple. Back in the 1950s, famous radio announcer Alan Freed arrived in Cleveland to begin a radio show. He called himself "Moon Dog" and rang a bell. "Hey everybody, let's rock 'n roll," he'd tell his listening audience and play what was known in those days as "race records" to a white audience. They loved the rhythm and blues sound. Alan soon had a hit show with that new sound. And since he held the first rock and roll concert in Cleveland, it was fitting to put a rock and roll museum in that city.Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Today, its seven floors comprise 150,000-square-feet of this pyramid-shape, glass-enclosed building. Everywhere you look, the sky is visible overhead. And you can just imagine the sounds playing throughout this building. To date, over 9 million people have visited here. They come from  all 50 states and 100 countries. This is Mecca for devotees of the rock and roll beat. 

Legends of Rock and Roll

The super-star list is long. It's hard not to find a favorite here. Each exhibit area is a walk through in time.  In The Beat Goes On section, visitors can pick an artist or band and see what music influenced them. But it's the visual experience that overwhelms most people. Of course Elvis is here with some of his outfits and one of his convertible cars. He was one of the first 10 inductees in the Hall of Fame. His exhibit is permanent but parts of the collection change since Rock Hall has a special arrangement with Graceland to rotate some artifacts. 

Right alongside him are U2, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendricks, the Doors, Jim Morrison, David Bowie, B.B. King, Louis Armstrong and others. And there's one of the largest collections of Michael Jackson's personal items, many he chose himself which includes his penny loafers. The Beatles have a very large display. A favorite of many is John Lennon's outfit he wore for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. Even the acoustic guitar he used for Give Peace a Chance is here.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Outreach Programs

Toddler Rock takes place twice a week. Around 200 children, ages 3-5, arrive at the museum before it opens. Many are at-risk children from Northeast Ohio who are being helped along with socialization and literacy development.

Rock In The Schools is for kindergarten through 12th grade students. It teaches the science of sound, such as how it travels from a guitar to an ear. Social studies, math and a business course are part of this program. Its curriculum puts students in charge of a music tour. They're asked to make financial decisions and soon find out if they'll be a success on the road.

The museum can beam its Rock in the School program throughout the country and abroad. All a school needs is a classroom with technology. The museum does a test connection and, bingo, the museum instructor is beamed into that classroom. 

Outside Rock Hall on Lake Eire
Outside Rock Hall on Lake Eire

Hall of Fame Inductees

Each year since 1983, the music industry has joined together to recognize the contributions of those who made a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording.

A nominating committee consists of between 30 to 40 music executives, a few people from the pop music area, critics and academics. Each brings their idea of who should be inducted that year. And there is lobbying going on. Out of that meeting comes a slate of potential inductees. A ballot goes out to around 600 people, with most going to present inductees. There's a vote and usually five to seven winners.

For 2013, the Hall of Fame inductees are Rush, Albert King, Public Enemy, Randy Newman and Donna Summer. Interestingly, Rush has been eligible since 1998 but it's the first time the group is on a ballot. Public Enemy are only the fourth hip-hop act to be inducted. 

If You Go

The museum is located in downtown Cleveland on the shore of Lake Eire. It's open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 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 Web site is extensive. 

Positively Cleveland

For information related to Cleveland, contact Positively Cleveland or call toll-free 800-321-1004. Trip 
Advisor has helpful Museum information. A recommended downtown hotel with free shuttle service to Rock Hall is the Hilton Garden Inn.  

Updated: 08/03/2020, JudithG
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katiem2 on 04/02/2013

Now this makes for a great adventure getaway, I love music, The Rolling Stones and Elvis both still fascinate me, as if we just can't get enough. I visit often as I'm near Cleveland just a bit of a drive but nothing big. The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is a MUST SEE for anyone who's not yet seen it and certainly a place you will want to visit again. Great article. :)K

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