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Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG

For 15 years, Great Museums has crisscrossed the country, showcasing the breadth and diversity of America's museum world. This episode takes viewers to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Opened in 1995, the museum, designed by architect I. M. Pei, is a spectacular glass pyramid, reflecting the idea that Rock and Roll is a "prism" through which we can more clearly see and understand our culture and ourselves.
Why Cleveland? It was here that legendary disc jockey Alan Freed coined the phrase "Rock and Roll" to describe this new sound that was sprouting out of Blues, Gospel, R&B, Country, Folk and Bluegrass. Beginning in the 1950's, Rock and Roll swept the nation, helping break down racial barriers, change attitudes, promote peace, and empower the people. The film features the museums' fascinating collection of sights and sounds that skillfully recreate the story of Rock from its roots to its ubiquitous acceptance as the soundtrack of our lives. It also explores the annual Hall of Fame Inductions and Concerts, which began in 1986, to recognize those who created and influenced Rock and Roll. The museum exhibits are designed to perpetuate understanding of Rock and Roll as a social phenomenon and the most significant art form to emerge in the 20th century. The number of iconic artifacts is dizzying: Muddy Water's primary guitar; John Lennon's Sgt. Pepper uniform; Michael Jackson's glove; Janis Joplin's porsche; Pink Floyd's The Wall; Mick Jagger's jumpsuits.
The music itself is curated at the museum in a variety of ways, including interactive listening booths that connect influences from one artist to another across the decades. "So, it's not four skinny guys with long hair and guitars only," explains Greg Harris, President and CEO of the museum. "It's also vocalists, folk singers, soul music, dance music, hip-hop, punk, heavy metal, grunge, and electronic dance music. All are branches of the tree of rock and roll."

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