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The Rock Hall @ 25 And Ch-ch-ch-changes...

[Showcase Imaging / Shutterstock]
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland at night.

The view from the Idea Center

There’s a movie, out last year, that imagines a world that doesn’t know The Beatles. In “Yesterday,” a global blackout knocks humankind into an alternate reality in which the band never existed.


Only one guy, a struggling artist, is spared this new narrative. He remembers the Beatles and their music. He rockets to stardom by claiming songs like “She Loves You,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yesterday” as his own.


This morning’s story by ideastream’s David C. Barnett on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s upcoming 25th anniversary celebrations has me thinking no global blackout is needed to make such a thing come true. This collective loss of musical memory is happening now, and the Rock Hall is taking steps to fight it.


The “massive sea change” in how we listen to and buy music is changing the way we experience rock 'n’ roll, Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris said.


“Twenty-five years ago, a lot of us were all listening to the same radio stations,” he said. “So you were getting this mass culture that was shared with everybody.”


Now, people download their music from “the cloud.” There’s no browsing through a bin of records; algorithms make song selections for you. A 16-year-old today might not know about the Supremes or the Rolling Stones, or yes, The Beatles – whose John Lennon once quipped were  “more popular than Jesus.”


The Rock Hall designs its exhibits with an eye toward getting young music lovers interested in rock's history, Harris said, adding that musicians featured in its Contemporary Artist Gallery, like Bruno Mars, list their influences.


“We talk about how [Mars] likes Michael Jackson, Jackie Wilson and James Brown, and how that influenced him,” Harris said. “People that like those artists can get a better understanding of who he is.”


And who those legends were, too.

See you bright and early Monday morning on the radio,
Amy Eddings

Need to KnOH

Headlines from Northeast Ohio and Beyond

Your ideas

How has the way you listen to music changed over the past 25 years? Have you gone from a pile of vinyl in your living room to an iPod and "the cloud" (and perhaps back to vinyl again)? How do you share the music you love? Call us at  (216) 916-6476, comment on our Facebook page or join the conversation in Public Square. We'll feature some of your thoughts and comments here in Noon(ish) and on Morning Edition.

Expertise: Hosting live radio, writing and producing newscasts, Downtown Cleveland, reporting on abortion, fibersheds, New York City subway system, coffee