Rock Hall to Open New Exhibit About Rock on TV

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After the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963, they became a huge sensation in the states. Stay Tuned: Rock on TV, a new exhibit that opens tomorrow at the Rock Hall, chronicles the way in which television has helped introduce a mass audience to rock ’n’ roll bands

“TV has done more for entertainers than any other medium,” says 2011 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Darlene Love in exclusive interview footage that’s part of the exhibit.

The exhibit includes interviews with Mike Meyers, Martha Quinn, Kelly Clarkson, Micky Dolenz, Kevin Eubanks, Cyndi Lauper and Paul Shaffer.

“So many rock icons first broke out on television — and still do,” says Karen L. Herman, the Rock Hall’s Vice President of Collections & Curatorial Affairs. “People don’t realize the enormous impact of rock on TV or the impact of TV on rock. This exhibit celebrates that unique relationship.”

Variety shows like The Smothers Brothers, The Johnny Cash Show, Sonny & Cher and Donny & Marie regularly featured musical performances by rock acts, and performance shows like Soul Train, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Solid Gold and Austin City Limits helped break new bands too.

The exhibit also touches on how “competition shows” like Star Search, American Idol and The Voice had an impact on the music business and how “pop culture institutions” like MTV and Saturday Night Live played a role in shaping the culture too.

The exhibit includes original stage designs from the Beatles’ Ed Sullivan Show appearance, outfits worn by Sonny and Cher on their variety show, CeeLo Green’s jacket that he wore on The Voice and artifacts from videos such as Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and A-ha’s “Take on Me.”

Stay Tuned: Rock on TV will be on display through March of 2019.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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