To the population of the United States, Cleveland Ohio is merely an old steel city; which many of us must land in for our all too familiar layovers. There is a slight possibility that Cleveland hasn’t been regarded as high as it should.
Cleveland is a metropolis on the outskirts of Lake Erie; home to an exciting downtown district, The Cleveland Indians, and many famed restaurants and eateries. Cleveland also makes their mark offering a most positive experience in their thriving art’s and theater departments. So, why isn’t Cleveland a major tourist destination such as New York City, or Boston? Well we don’t know really, but some major rock artists — Elvis, Bruce Springsteen and even David Bowie — all made Cleveland Ohio the starting-point for their legendary careers.
Rock and roll didn’t begin in Seattle when the grunge scene was roaring in the early 90’s. Rock and roll didn’t happen in Los Angeles in some underground club reeking of watered down beer and cheap tattoos. It is Cleveland that takes the place for the birth rights of rock and roll.
Jim Henke tells us how Cleveland won the battle over virtually every other city in the United States. “At one point The USA Today did a poll, ‘where should the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame be?’ — And all of the radio and T.V. stations got everyone to call in, and Cleveland literally finished 1st place, they got like 100,000 more votes than anywhere else.”
In 1951 a disc jockey by the name of Alan Freed began broadcasting the term alongside the sounds of rhythm, blues, and country. Causing the idiom to become widespread and notably understood as what we now know as the largest pandemic of generalized music in America’s history.
So whether you consider Elvis Presley to be the hedge of rock and roll, or if you dig farther back to Hank Williams in the 1940’s with the song “Move it On Over.” It’s prevalent that rock music is unambiguously American, and has built such a reputation in our country that we needed to memorialize it.
For over 15 years, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH has recognized and commemorated some of music’s most famed and cherished artists as well as their legacy.