CLE Black History: Rock Roots
By now, you’re likely no stranger to Cleveland’s legendary status in rock ‘n’ roll history. And while the story typically begins in the 1950s with a white Cleveland radio disc jockey named Alan Freed who popularized the term “rock ‘n’ roll” by playing it on his show (which was actually just music coming out of the African American community), we know there’s more to that story.
In fact, the very core of rock ‘n’ roll music is derived from black styles of music such as blues, gospel and R&B. It is the very essence of the black experience that we have to thank for what we recognize as rock music today.
Here in Cleveland, you can take a deep-dive into rock’s important connections to so many legendary African American artists at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and by uncovering a host of Cleveland born-and-bred musicians.