Visiting… Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Cleveland, Ohio

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes and archives the history of the most influential artists and other notable figures who majorly influenced the development of rock and roll and its impact on our society. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established in 1983 by Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. It began inducting artists in 1986, the same year that Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame’s permanent home. Cleveland’s roots in rock and roll include coining the very term “rock and roll” by local disc jockey Alan Freed, known for heavily promoting the music. Cleveland radio stations played a key role in breaking in several major acts in the United States during the 1970s and 80s, including David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Roxy Music, and Rush.

The I.M. Pei-designed building, completed in 1995, is designed to capture the spirit of rock and roll in a combination of bold geometric forms and dynamic cantilevered spaces anchored by a 162-foot tower.

Each year, the Foundation selects artists to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a distinction that comes with its own special exhibition in a wing of the building that juts out over Lake Erie. In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, the museum documents the entire history of rock and roll, regardless of induction status. The permanent collection contains thousands of one-of-a-kind items ranging from musical instruments and song lyrics to quirky stage props and colorful costumes. In addition to these items, the exhibits feature film, video, interactive kiosks, reading material and, of course, plenty of music. There’s even the opportunity to observe the live broadcast at Sirius XM inside the Alan Freed Radio Studio. And just like the music genre, the Hall of Fame and its special exhibitions continue to evolve.

Inside of the “Beatles & Rolling Stones” exhibits
Jimi Hendrix studio soundboard, c. 1967 as part of the “Summer of Love Turns 50” exhibit