Rhythm and Blues Museum coming to Detroit

rythm and bluesCleveland may have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Detroit is soon to be the home of the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. And those in the know already know that without the rhythm and the blues, rock and roll would have died in the crib. That is, if it would have ever managed to get born at all.
We’re just sayin’.
It’s not that other cities didn’t want it, because please believe that they did. It’s just that it really didn’t make sense to have it anywhere else. Because this is Detroit. Once again, those in the know already know that not much else needs to be said after that.
This. Is. Detroit.
From the website:
“The Official Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame Museum  will be a  nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rhythm & blues music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs
“The Mission: The Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Museum will dedicated and preserving the history of Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Gospel music and honoring rhythm & blues legends once a year with an induction ceremony.
“The Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Museum is recognized as the one and only official institution that honors and memorializes the accomplishments of the many individuals and organizations that have contributed to the Rhythm and Blues genre. Our collection of artifacts and other objects of historical importance will be available for public viewing through permanent and temporary exhibits.
“The Museum’s purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and educate about the various aspects of the world of Rhythm and Blues Music. Artifacts and materials that we have collected and are collecting, are not only owned by the museum but are also borrowed and created for the various displays.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, October 4, the 3rd Annual Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum.
“The red carpet starts at 5,” said Lamont Robinson the founder. “Anyone can walk the red carpet. If you bought a ticket, you can walk the red carpet.”
The soul purpose (get it?) of this red carpet event is to honor the great artists of rhythm and blues for their enduring contributions to American music. Among those to be honored at this year’s ceremony in Detroit (there was also a separate ceremony held earlier this year in Clarksdale, Mississippi) are:

  • Aretha Franklin
  • Jerry Butler
  • Chuck Johnson
  • Donnie Simpson
  • Melba Moore
  • Ray Charles
  • Martha Reeves
  • Tony Clarke
  • Janie Bradford
  • Jimmy Ruffin
  • Spyder Turner
  • Hank Ballard & the Midnighters
  • The Miracles
  • The Fabulous Peps
  • The Spinners
  • The 20 Grand
  • Universal Attractions

“Our brand of music is dying off so we want to give them their roses while they’re living,” said Robinson, who has been working on bringing the R&B Museum to life in Detroit since 2010. He said he has been working with Detroit Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon to get support from the city for the project.
“There is not another museum in the country dedicated to the rhythm and blues art. There’s not one in the country. People think there is but there’s not. When I trademarked the name, we were surprised it was even available.”
“We got calls from all over the world that wanted to house this. Chicago wanted it so bad,” he said. “But we decided to keep the whole thing in the Motor City. 5,000 feet of this building is going to be the Gospel Music and Preachers Hall of Fame.

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