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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will 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 the American culture forward.
The interactive exhibition will spotlight more than 60 artists and fill two entire floors of the museum. The exhibit 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. Women Who Rock is sponsored by PNC, Time Warner Cable and Biography.
Women Who Rock exhibit eras:
Suffragettes to Juke-Joint Mamas : The Foremothers / Roots of Rock.
In the 1920s, blues women like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the first – and for a while, the only – artists to record the blues. Mother Maybelle Carter 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 groundbreaking women will be presented along with the stories of trailblazers such as Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Billie Holiday.
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 Yoko Ono 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 Ruth Brown and Wanda Jackson, the voices of two predominant roots of rock – R&B and country/ rockabilly, along with LaVern Baker and Brenda Lee.
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 Shangri-Las and the Ronettes 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. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell bared their souls, and Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul. Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and brilliant guitarist. Highlighted artists will also include Tina Turner and Grace Slick, as well as country artist Loretta Lynn.
I Will Survive: The 1970s – Rockers to Disco Divas
Women are in the center of the ‘70s mainstream, from Joan Jett and the Runaways, Heart and Fleetwood Mac to Donna Summer. 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
Chrissie Hynde 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 Yoko Ono, Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, Deborah Harry, Tina Weymouth, Kim Deal and Marianne Faithful.
Causing a Commotion: Madonna and the Pop Explosion
Madonna 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, Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Janet Jackson.
Ladies First: The ‘90s and the New Millennium
The 1990s was the era the riot grrrl, the rapper and the 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 Bikini Kill, Meg White, Queen Latifah and Lady Gaga.
Only Rock and Roll Spring Benefit Concert featuring Wanda Jackson and Cyndi Lauper
To kick off the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s next major exhibit – and the world’s first of its kind – devoted to Women Who Rock, the Museum’s annual It’s Only Rock and Roll Spring Benefit Concert will feature an all-star lineup including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Wanda Jackson and Cyndi Lauper, both featured in the Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power exhibit.
Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale to Rock Hall Members on Monday, March 28 and to the general public on Tuesday, March 29, 2011.
To reserve your VIP tickets to this event, please fill out the 2011 Spring Benefit Response Form and send it back by February 28, 2011.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s award-winning educational activities. Each year we teach over 50,000 students both onsite and through innovative distance learning, and inspire over 400,000 visitors through our engaging exhibitions.