Rock and Roll, a term coined by a skinny radio DJ with a big voice in the 1950s. It was controversial at the time, but Alan Freed of WJW 1590AM in Cleveland Ohio was the pioneer in bringing rhythm and blues, jazz, ragtime and the sounds of the south to his radio show. It was called the Moondoggy show, a midnight music show. Rock and Roll was his term…. music plus sex. Imagine the controversy at the time though?
First Rock and Roll concert that he organized was met with great criticism, but even greater turn out. The Moondog Coronation Ball was held at the Cleveland Arena on March 21st, 1952. Over 20,000 tried to crowd in and be a part of the groundbreaking event, thus causing the Fire Commissioner to shut it down in the first act. But, Rock and Roll was here to stay!
That's the story behind Cleveland Ohio being named the birth place of Rock and Roll.
In 1983 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was established. An evolving collection of music artifacts, museum displays and special events, it is a MUST SEE when you visit Cleveland.
Admission for an adult and child, was about $40. We stayed a mere three hours, but I could have stayed twice that long. By noon, on a weekday, the place was crowed with retirees and seniors reliving their youth through music. But honestly, whether you were alive in the 1950s or not, there was something that would grab your attention and make you say "wow! Cool!"
Elvis, David Bowie, Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Jimi Hendrix and so many others have had their stage presence immortalized with displays. The stage fashion was so garish and loud, just like the music. Today's costumes, in the 'modern music' section was equally outrageous. They had the steel ball corset that Lady Gaga wore. All of it, so fabulous to see!
There were interactive displays, listening zones, mini-movies, a whole hall of autographs and an enormous gift shop. I thought that a couple of adults, who enjoyed each others company, would have an amazing date night at this place! There's even a cafe on the 3rd floor and indoor/outdoor patio where you can have a glass of wine and a view of the lake. It's situated right at the harbor and next to the Cleveland Browns stadium. So much to see in the area.
Each year new members are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The event takes place in April and features a concert jam session. The 2016 class of inductees included the bands Chicago, Cheap Trick and Deep Purple.
There is no bad time of the year to visit. Concerts and special events are ongoing. Visit www.rockhall.com for updates and more information.
Rock on, Cleveland. Rock on!