What is the Hall of Fame's Definition of "Rock and Roll"?
October 18, 2012 10:22 PM Filed in: Rock Hall Politics
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s president and CEO, Joel Peresman, has a difficult job. Every year, he has to try to find new ways to remind people that their definition of “rock and roll” is not just white guys playing electric guitars. All quotes from Joel Peresman (emphasis ours):
- 2013: “The definition of ‘rock and roll’ means different things to different people, but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music. This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is ‘rock and roll’.”
- 2012: “The 2012 Nominees embody the broad scope of what ‘rock and roll’ means. From vocal groups to hip hop, from singer-songwriters to hard rocking artists, this group represents the spirit of what we celebrate at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
- 2012: “We are pleased to announce this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, who represent the broad spectrum of artists that define rock and roll.”
- 2011: “We believe our nominating committee has put forth a list of artists that truly represent the wide variety of music that defines rock and roll.”
- 2011: “We are pleased to welcome these artists and executives into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They truly represent the variety of people that have defined and continue to influence music and the business of Rock and Roll.”
- 2010: “We are very happy to present this year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as they represent a great cross-section of artists that define the broad spectrum and history of rock and roll and people that have contributed immeasurably to our business.”
- 2009: “This year’s class of inductees truly represents what the Hall of Fame is all about. From classic artists that began their careers in the 50’s and 60’s to those that have defined the modern sound of rock and roll. These artists demonstrate the rich diversity of rock and roll itself. We are proud to honor these artists and celebrate their contribution to rock and roll’s place in our culture.”
- 2008: "The 2008 inductees are trailblazers -- all unique and influential in their genres. From poetry to pop, these five acts demonstrate the rich diversity of rock and roll itself. We are proud to honor these artists and celebrate their contribution to rock and roll's place in our culture.”
- 2007: "We couldn’t be more proud to honor this unique, diverse group of rockers, rappers, singers and poets. This is what rock and roll is all about.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has never been just for “rock” artists and it’s not going to change its stripes now.