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Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame To Open ‘Women Who Rock’ Exhibit

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women who rock Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame To Open Women Who Rock Exhibit

Photo Courtesy of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will soon open a groundbreaking and provocative new exhibit that will illustrate the important roles women have played in rock and roll, from its inception through today.

Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power will highlight the flashpoints, the firsts, the best, the celebrated and sometimes lesser-known women who moved rock and roll music and American culture forward. Women Who Rock will open to the public on Friday, May 13, 2011.

The exhibition will spotlight more than 60 artists and fill two entire floors of the museum. It will feature artifacts, video and listening stations, as well as a recording booth where visitors can film a short story or moment of inspiration related to women in rock. The exhibit will move through the rock and roll eras, weaving a powerful and engaging narrative that demonstrates how women have been the engines of creation and change in popular music, from the early years of the 20th century to the present.

“This exhibit is going to illustrate the vital role women played in shaping the evolution of rock and roll,” said Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “Visitors are going to walk away from this exhibit with a deeper appreciation of how these artists contributed to the rock and roll art form and changed our society. Women Who Rock will compare and contrast artist experiences, highlighting the female spirit as the engine of creation and change in the music.”

“The Women Who Rock exhibit gives us a fantastic opportunity to advance the educational mission of the Museum,” said Dr. Lauren Onkey, Vice President of Education and Public Programs. “We will bring performers, songwriters, scholars and students together to explore this important story in rock and roll history.”

Women Who Rock exhibit eras:

Suffragettes to Juke-Joint Mamas : The Foremothers / Roots of Rock In the 1920s, blues women like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ma Rainey[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bessie Smith[/lastfm] were the first – and for a while, the only – artists to record the blues. Mother [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Maybelle Carter[/lastfm] made the first country music recordings in 1927. American women of this era made great strides toward gaining equality and basic human rights for themselves and others in society, including attaining the right to vote and working toward social justice. The 20th Century was a wide-open opportunity for women to embrace the modern world, outside of the traditional bounds of the home.  The narrative of these ground-breaking women will be presented along with the stories of trailblazers such as [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mahalia Jackson[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sister Rosetta Tharpe[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Billie Holiday[/lastfm].

wanda jackson guitar  026 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame To Open Women Who Rock Exhibit

Photo Courtesy of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Get Outta that Kitchen, Rattle Those Pots and Pans: Rock and Roll Emerges “How many of us know the names of the pioneer women songwriters/singers/musicians of the ’50s?” is a question asked by [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Yoko Ono[/lastfm] in her preface to She’s a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll. Two names that the Museum will highlight in the emergence of rock are [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ruth Brown[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Wanda Jackson[/lastfm], the voices of two predominant roots of rock – R&B and country/ rockabilly, along with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]LaVern Baker[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Brenda Lee[/lastfm].

supremes m wilson green petal  045 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame To Open Women Who Rock Exhibit

Photo Courtesy of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Early 1960s / Girl Groups Girl groups, though sometimes seen as puppets manipulated by unseen and mostly male handlers, were an authentic manifestation of the worldview of teenage girls – a group just coming into its own in the early 1960s and increasingly recognized for its growing economic power as consumers and arbiters of style.   The girl groups reflected teenage girls’ explorations of their world, their limitations and their limitless potential. Groups like the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Shangri-Las[/lastfm] and the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ronettes[/lastfm] give voice to those explorations and the possibilities that waited down the street or just around the corner.

Revolution, the Counterculture and the Pill: The Late 1960s American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early ’70s, especially for African- Americans and women. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Janis Joplin[/lastfm] was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Joni Mitchel[/lastfm]l bared their souls, and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Aretha Franklin[/lastfm] emerged as the Queen of Soul. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bonnie Raitt[/lastfm] established herself as both a strong vocalist and brilliant guitarist. Highlighted artists will also include [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Tina Turner[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Grace Slick[/lastfm], as well as country artists including [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Loretta Lynn[/lastfm].

I Will Survive: The 1970s – Rockers to Disco Divas Women are in the center of the ’70s mainstream, from [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Joan Jett and the Runaway[/lastfm]s, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Heart[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Fleetwood Mac[/lastfm] to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Donna Summer[/lastfm]. The gains of the feminist movement throughout the ’70s enabled women working in all areas of the music industry to assume more control over their careers.

Dance this Mess Around: Punk and Post Punk [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Chrissie Hynde[/lastfm] said, “That was the beauty of the punk thing: [Sexual] discrimination didn’t exist in that scene.” The DIY aspect of punk rock made it easier for a woman to find a place in music. Highlighted artists will include [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Yoko Ono[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Siouxsie Sioux[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Kate Pierson[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Cindy Wilson[/lastfm] of the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]B-52s[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Deborah Harry[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Tina Weymouth[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Kim Deal[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Marianne Faithful[/lastfm].

Photo Courtesy of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Causing a Commotion: Madonna and the Pop Explosion [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Madonna[/lastfm] unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality and physicality, paving the way for female performers to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career.  Highlighted artists will include Madonna, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Cyndi Lauper[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Britney Spears[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Christina Aguilera[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Gwen Stefani[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Janet Jackson[/lastfm].

Ladies First: The ’90s and the New Millennium The 1990s was the era the riot grrrl,  the rapper and Lilith Fair, reshaping traditional ideas of feminism and traditionally male-dominated areas of the music industry. Women have arguably become the leading voices of the industry, standing — army-booted, bare-footed, or high-heeled stiletto — toe to toe with any artist of today. Highlighted artists will include [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bikini Kill[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Meg White[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Taylor Swift[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Queen Latifah[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Alicia Keys[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Lady Gaga[/lastfm].

This exhibit is being designed by New York design firm Pure + Applied. Exhibit will be open through Sunday, February 26, 2012.  For more, visit ROCKHALL.com.

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