Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Grammy Museum/LA news: The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

Bob Bonis Archive
As always, the Grammy Museum has assembled another top-notch round of new exhibits for late spring and summer. I can't wait to see them. Read more from the press releases below... 

Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles will make its Los Angeles debut on July 1.

This traveling exhibit, curated by the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live and Fab Four Exhibits, explores and celebrates The Beatles' impact on pop culture from the perspective of their fans.
On display on the Museum's second floor through Sept. 5, 2016, the exhibit features more than 400 pieces of memorabilia, records, rare photographs, tour artifacts, video, articles of clothing, and more.
"We are very excited to finally bring The Beatles as a group to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, after having done focused exhibits on George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr," said Bob Santelli, Grammy Museum Executive Director.

"This exhibit continues the celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most historic moments in music history — The Beatles' arrival in the United States. We look forward to showing our Los Angeles visitors the great impact this band had on music and pop culture at large."
More than 50 years ago, on Feb. 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived on American soil for the very first time. On Sunday, Feb. 9, the group — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — made their live American television debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show," which was broadcast from New York City and was watched by a record-breaking audience of 73 million people.

The following Sunday, Feb. 16, the band made their second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," again broadcast live, this time from the Napoleon Ballroom of the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. In between these first two Sullivan show appearances, the boys played their first American concert in Washington D.C., followed the next day with two performances at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall. It was during the group's first visit to America that "Beatlemania" took hold of the country and, soon after, the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! opened in February 2014 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts before traveling to Bloomington, Minn. (Midwest Music Museum at Mall of America), Miami, Fla. (HistoryMiami), Tulsa, Okla. (Woody Guthrie Center), Austin, Texas (LBJ Presidential Library) and Cleveland, Miss. (GRAMMY Museum Mississippi).
photo by Pamela Springsteen
On May 26, the Grammy Museum will unveil its popular traveling photography exhibit, Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey.

Available for one month only, through June 19, the exhibit features more than 40 iconic images of Bruce Springsteen and serves to document a great American music legend, featuring photos taken by noted Springsteen photographers Danny Clinch, Ed Gallucci, Eric Meola, Pamela Springsteen and Frank Stefanko.

"This exhibit defines the career of Bruce Springsteen in an entirely new light, as captured by these five incredible photographers," said Santelli. "Each of these photographers was able to artfully document Bruce's world, at different stages in his career. We are honored to partner with each of them in order to help tell the story of one of the most important figures in American music." 

The Grammy Museum will continue to explore the enduring legacy and influence of Motown Records with the unveiling of Legends Of Motown: Celebrating The Miracles on May 13. The exhibit is the Museum's second tribute to a Motown act, following Legends of Motown: Celebrating The Supremes, which debuted June 25, 2015.
"It is my honor to be recognized by the Grammy Museum's Legends of Motown series," said Claudette Robinson. "I am very grateful that the Grammy Museum has provided a platform for fans to experience the history of the Miracles and include items from my private collection to be displayed. The Miracles along with Mr. Berry Gordy and Motown have become a part of musical history that changed the landscape of popular music, soul and R&B to foster positive and progressive race relations in America and around the world. Thank you for the amazing opportunity."
Legends Of Motown: Celebrating The Miracles will uncover the remarkable career of The Miracles, Motown's first successful recording act, through artifacts from the personal collection of Claudette Robinson, the first female artist to ink a record deal with Motown, therefore known as the "First Lady of Motown." The exhibit will offer an intimate look into the group's early career and their later rise as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles.
"We are so thrilled to continue celebrating the impact of the legendary Motown Records with the opening of this new exhibit, which will salute the first true success story for the label: The Miracles," said Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum. "Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson are both great friends of the Grammy Museum, and we couldn't be more excited to share the story of the vast impact they had on Detroit, the music industry, and pop culture at large with this exhibit."
Legends Of Motown: Celebrating The Miracles will be on display on the Museum's third floor through summer 2017. The exhibit will feature rare photographs from the personal collection of Claudette Robinson, an assortment of performance costumes worn throughout The Miracles' career, including some from the personal collection of Smokey Robinson, and other items.
On opening night of the exhibit, May 13, Miracles members Claudette Robinson and Warren "Pete" Moore will participate in a candid interview and Q&A in the Clive Davis Theater, moderated by Grammy Museum Curator Nwaka Onwusa. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the program begins at 7:30 p.m. Guests can tour the exhibit on the third floor from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at
About The Miracles
In 1957 the city of Detroit was alive with music. It was the golden age of doo-wop and everyone wanted to harmonize. Teenagers gathered in the park and on many a street corner, vocalizing the hits of the era.
One such group of teenagers was the Matadors: William "Smokey" Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, Ronald "Ronnie" White, cousins Robert "Bobby" Rogers, and Emerson "Sonny" Rogers. Music was as natural to them as breathing. They even had a "sister" group, The Matadorettes, one member of which was Sonny's sister, Claudette. The group rehearsed together often and appeared on talent shows throughout the city.
After a year, when it seemed that nothing was going to happen, Sonny joined the U.S. Army. Within a month's time, there was an agency searching for talented young people to record. An audition was scheduled for the following Saturday. However, the Matadors felt their music called for a fifth voice, and a female voice would add just the right touch to their vocal blend. A quick decision was made: "Ask Claudette?" She was familiar with the songs since the group used her basement as their rehearsal hall. Claudette said yes.
Armed with a simple notebook of about 100 original songs written by Smokey, they gave it their all. Unfortunately, they were turned down by the agent. Dejected, they turned to leave. But fate intervened in the person of young songwriter Berry Gordy, who just happened to be across the hall from the audition. Mr. Gordy remarked that he was impressed with the songs and wanted to hear more. He listened patiently and made songwriting suggestions to Smokey. A bond was forged that day that would forever impact music history and help break down barriers of racism and segregation with their engaging lyrics and universal music.
Gordy and the former Matadors — now The Miracles — became a team. He became their manager, mentor, teacher and friend. The Miracles were the first group to be signed by Gordy, giving Claudette the distinction of being the "First Lady of Motown." Gordy gave her this official title since she was the first female to ink a contract with Motown Records.
As a result, The Miracles gave Motown its first million-seller with "Shop Around."
It was a magical partnership for Gordy and The Miracles. Headlining the Motortown Revue, The Miracles traveled throughout the United States and eventually, the world. During the course of five decades, The Miracles compiled an enviable list of chart-busting million-sellers, including "Shop Around," "Ooo Baby, Baby," "I Second that Emotion," "More Love," "Mickey's Monkey," "Tracks of My Tears," and "The Tears of a Clown."
The Miracles have four recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012; they are two-time recipients of the prestigious Heroes and Legends Award, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award, Vocal Group Hall of Fame Award, and the Spirit of Detroit Award; and they ranked No. 32 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists list. In 2007 the Library of Congress added The Miracles' million-seller hit "Tracks of my Tears" to its National Recording Registry in recognition of the song being "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant."
As their list of accolades are many, one salutation very dear to The Miracles was being recognized in their hometown of Detroit, Michigan, where their musical legacy began over 50 years ago: A Street and Park was named in their honor.
The group evolved with the music; Smokey and Claudette married; Pete served two years in the United States Army, and in 1965 the group became known as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Claudette retired from touring that same year, but continued to record in the studio on all of The Miracles' recordings until 1972. In June 1972 the group held its last performance as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles at the Carter Baron Theater in Washington, D.C.

About The GRAMMY Museum
Paying tribute to music's rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY® Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only the GRAMMY Museum can deliver.
The GRAMMY Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please call 213.765.6800 or visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYMuseum on Twitter and Instagram, and like "The GRAMMY Museum" on Facebook.

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