C Cleveland

Saturday, February 6, 2010

One of the top tourist attractions in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. After a long campaign, Cleveland beat out the competition and was named the official home of the Rock Hall in 1995.

Why Cleveland, you say?

In 1938, Leo Mintz owned a store called Record Rendezvous. He was one of the first record merchants in the country to bring records out from behind the counter into bins so his customers could browse through them. His store was also one of the first sites of record store listening booths and in-store promotional appearances by recording artists.

The late 40's saw a decline in sales of jazz and big band records, so Mintz started playing rhythm & blues records and loved the reaction he got from customers dancing around the store. It was taboo for young white people to be dancing to black music, so Mintz called it rock & roll to differentiate it. His attempts to get radio stations in Cleveland to play this music were futile since they only played music by white artists.

However, he came upon a rebel named Alan Freed, who started playing the music on his radio show in 1949. Freed and Mintz became friends and spread the rock & roll sound both on the radio and at local dances. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Greater Cleveland area has been home to a host of rock and roll musicians, including Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Tracy Chapman, Joe Walsh of the Eagles, and blues man Robert Lockwood Jr., among others. The city has also been quick to recognize new rock and roll talent, as it did by sponsoring Chuck Berry’s first performance, Elvis’ first northern concert, and David Bowie’s first U.S. appearance.

The Rock Hall was designed by famed architect, I.M. Pei. The base is approximately 150,000 square feet and it stands 162 feet high and has seven levels. The original plans were for a 200 ft high building but because of the close proximity to a local airport, those plans had to be scrapped.

The first through sixth levels showcase both permanent and temporary exhibits documenting the history of rock & roll. The actual "Hall of Fame" is located in the third floor and holds a wall with all of the inductees signatures.

For more info on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, click HERE.


  1. Oh, God...that last photo is extraordinary! What a gorgeous building....thanks so much for the history lesson, sweetie!

    And I wasn't even a little bored. (Unusual for me with history.)

    Cleveland Rocks!

  2. Always wondered and now I know. Thank you so much for the info. Love the pics.

  3. Someday I will visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and when i do I'll them them Chrissy sent me :)


  4. Hey Chrissy, it's an odd building, but I'm a sucker for a pyramid. And it's quite lovely when lit up against the lake! Indigo

  5. Great post! I visited it years ago and am still in awe of it. It's an amazing place.

  6. I learned something today! Great pictures and informative post.

  7. This post ROCKS!

    Not only was it fascinating to hear all about the history, but it amazed me to see the architecture of the building. It's freakin' faaabulous! So many of the posts you're share have shown the older, more vintage architecture of Cleveland, so it was very cool see the more modern look of this gorgeous building.

    Thanks, girl! I really enjoyed this!

  8. Cool. I'd love to go to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame one day before they start inducting a bunch of nobodies like Britney Spears.


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