Rock legend Chuck Berry honored by Rock Hall of Fame

American Music Masters event to be held at Cleveland's historic State Theatre. Photo: Chuck Berry

CLEVELAND (September 6, 2012) – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum along with Case Western Reserve University has announced its initial lineup of artists scheduled to honor legendary early rocker Chuck Berry at their 17th annual American Music Masters® tribute concert. The concert event will be staged in downtown Cleveland, not far from the Hall of Fame, in the city’s historic State Theatre on Playhouse Square. The date of the event: Saturday, October 27, 2012. at 7:30 p.m.

According to the official release put out by the Hall of Fame, “Chuck Berry is the poet laureate of rock and roll,” who, “in the mid-Fifties … took a fledgling idiom, born out of rhythm & blues and country & western, and gave it form and identity.”

Recent party in gigantic restored lobby of Cleveland’s State Theatre, part of the Playhouse Square complex interior.

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry rockin’ out in the 1950s. (Chuck Berry)

Chuck Berry was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1986. For those seeking more information on Berry as well as other Hall of Fame inductees, the museum has posted an extensive Chuck Berry biography along with many other key bios on its extensive website.

In addition to an appearance by Chuck Berry himself, artists scheduled so far on the October program include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Ernie Isley and Darryl McDaniels,  Joe Bonamassa, Rosie Flores, John Fullbright, David Johansen, JD McPherson, Lemmy Kilmister , Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Prophet, Duke Robillard, Earl Slick and M. Ward. It’s anticipated that additional artists will soon join this already impressive roster.

(Below: Chuck Berry performing “Maybelline” live in 1958.)

During the Chuck Berry era of the 1950s and well into the 1960s, rock-mad, largely working class Cleveland, Ohio, arguably was ground zero for the  then-fledgling musical genre of rock and roll, with excited high school and college fans eager to take in the acts of many early rock figures. This, in turn, gave early rockers a chance to strut their stuff and gain audience exposure in small clubs, high school auditoriums, and even local radio and TV—a culturally significant history that eventually argued in favor of locating the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum right in the city’s heart.

Now located on the shores of Lake Erie within walking distance of Cleveland’s Public Square, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, was founded and built to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. In addition to the museum itself, the museum’s nonprofit parent has recently opened a scholarly library and archive elsewhere in the city, affiliated with an area community college.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, at dusk.

This year’s edition of the museum’s American Music Masters series will also offer additional performances, feature films and interviews during the week of October 22-27. For still-developing details, check out the link here.

Tickets to the October 27th tribute concert range from $30 - $80. They’ll go on sale to Rock Hall members on Monday, September 17 at 10 a.m. via online sale only at  Tickets to the public will first be offered for sale on Wednesday, September 19 starting at 11 a.m. at, or by calling (216) 241-6000 to reach the Playhouse Square ticket office.

Hall of Fame Hours: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is located in downtown Cleveland at 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44114. The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays, the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216. 515.8425. For general inquiries, call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit

(Below: Induction of Chuck Berry into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1986. A nervous Keith Richards does the introductions.)


Read more of Terry’s news and reviews at Curtain Up! in the Entertain Us neighborhood of the Washington Times Communities. For Terry’s investing and political insights, visit his Communities columns, The Prudent Man and Morning Market Maven, in Business.

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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, movies and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was formerly the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2009) before moving online with Communities in 2010.  



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