Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "music industry"
28 total

Rob Pryor interview, 22 August 2018

Rob Pryor, co-owner of Record Revolution in Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights, provides a history of the legendary Coventry store and describes Coventry's youth culture in the 1980s and 1990s. Pryor grew up in Cleveland Heights in the 1970s and moved to the Coventry area in the mid-1980s. An avid skateboarder, Pryor started working at Record Revolution, which also sold skateboards. He discusses the diverse and often eccentric "characters" of Coventry's scene in the 1980s-90s. He provides an…

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Charlotte Morgan interview, 29 September 2018

Charlotte Morgan discusses growing up in Cleveland, where she grew up in the Hough neighborhood in the 1950s and early '60s and then lived in Glenville starting in 1964. She remembers the large homes and fruit trees in the Glenville area in her youth. Morgan discusses her father's music career, including the musicians' union, his reputation as the Quincy Jones of the area, his band, and Leo's Casino. She details her journalism career, including meeting Ella Fitzgerald, working for Cleveland …

Derek Hess Interview, 8 May 2013

Derek Hess is a Cleveland artist that got his start while working at the Euclid Tavern, booking bands and creating concert posters. In this interview, Hess discusses his past and current endeavors, and shares stories about concerts he used to attend when he was younger.

Eric Gibson Interview, 18 June 2013

Born in 1950, Gibson grew up first in the Glenville neighborhood and then in Kinsman, with most of that time at Garden Valley, an urban renewal housing development near Kinsman and East 79th Street. He tells great stories about the early days in Garden Valley in the late 1950s before the gullies were filled with dirt excavated along the downtown lakefront. He talks about various nightspots and music clubs all over the city, including Cougar Lounge, Teal Lounge, and several spots in the…

Henry Loconti Interview, 21 March 2006

Henry Loconti grew up in the Italian immigrant neighborhood on Scovill Avenue on the lower Eastside. He talks about his youth growing up in this area. After he got out of the army in 1954 he started working for his brother servicing jukeboxes. He talks about the music spots around the city during this time. In 1966 he started the Agora which over time became a nationally recognized music venue. Loconti talks about some of the rock stars who appeared at the Agora over the years.

Pat Holland Interview, 3 April 2008

Pat Holland, resident of Hessler Street since the early 1970's, relates the history of Hessler Street. As a college student in the late 1960's Holland recalls the vibrant jazz and folk music scene in the University Circle area, and the night life in the area of Euclid and 105th Street. He describes some of the prominent musical acts that appeared at local venues, such as LaCave and Nighttown, the drug-scene, and late night parties. As a Hessler Street resident he became involved in the Hessler…

Kathy Blackman Interview, 6 October 2012

Kathy Blackman, owner of the Grog Shop, describes her business. She talks about the founding of the venue, and how her and her two partners set off without a plan. She also mentions that their growth into the music scene was entirely organic. She says that at one point she considered moving away from Cleveland Heights because a new landlord had kicked her out. Finally, she says that she cannot pick a favorite act but she can talk about a fiasco that she will never forget.

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Brendan Ring Interview, 24 July 2012

Brendan Ring describes being the owner of Nighttown in Cleveland Heights. He begins with a discription of his history, the history of the building, and a history of the establisment. He also discusses previous owner John Barr. He talks about his favorite acts that passed through Nighttown, which included big names like Wynton Marsalis and Stevie Wonder. He also talks about the challenges of running a restaurant in a building not made for restaurants. He recalls how the restaurant was and still…

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John Barr Interview, 3 August 2012

John Barr, first owner of Nighttown, speaks of his experiences there. He describes the difficult beginnings that the bar had, but that they persevered and eventually made it to where they are now. Barr describes the building and how its changed over the years. He also talks about how the neighborhood went from near collapse to bustling and thriving. He concludes the piece by talking about the various articles, trinkets, and knick-knacks that he has accrued over the years.

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Lawrence Daniel Caswell Interview, 31 July 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Comemmoration effort. Lawrence Caswell is a native to the Cleveland area and is currently a Radio Engineer for WCPN IdeaStream. He grew up in Bedford Heights, Ohio and enrolled at CSU in 1993. Caswell immediately joined the campus radio station WCSB, eventually becoming its General Manager for a period of time. Along with being a part of WCSB Caswell also was on the staff of The Vindicator and played in…

Ed Ferenc Interview, 06 August 2014

This interview was conducted as part of Cleveland State University's 50th Anniversary Comemmoration effort. Ed Ferenc is a lifelong Clevelander. Born on the citys east side, Ferenc moved Seven Hills where he attended Shiloh Jr. High and Normandy HS. Ferenc initially enrolled at CSU as an electrical engineering student but soon after switched his major to communications. He was part of the campus radio station WCSU and began working at WMMS while still a student at Cleveland State. At WMMS Ferenc…

Chris Kulcsar Interview, 28 July 2014

Chris Kulcsar, a Cleveland rocker, recalls his time at Cleveland State University and what it was like growing up in Cleveland's Indie Rock scene. He talks about the radio shows and art programs that he was involved with while at CSU. He liked the radio station so much that he feigned being a student at CSU just to have his own radio show. Later on he enrolled at CSU and resumed his radio shows, and he shares his inspiration for re-enrolling and it's more than just the radio show. Kulcsar, being…

George Hendricks Interview, 24 October 2013

George Hendricks was born in Bessemer, Alabama, in 1942 and moved to Cleveland at age 6. His first major performing band was called the Sahib's, which opened for many Motown artists, recorded on the Tri Phi label, and played regularly at Gleason's. Hendricks describes the rhythm and blues music scene in Cleveland in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was drafted into the Army and served in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. He describes the shift of the epicenter of black entertainment from the…

Andrea Sweazy Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Andrea Sweazy, niece of legendary Cleveland Agora founder Henry LoConti and (currently) the booking agent for the Cleveland Agora, discusses her childhood, including her love of music while growing up; her college years in Chicago, including her early efforts to combine business acumen with the love of music; and her eventual entry into the family business in 2003. Sweazy also discusses the current rock-n-roll scene; how bands are booked at the Agora; quirky requests by…

Henry Loconti Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Henry Loconti, founder of the Agora Nightclub in Cleveland, discusses the history of the famous nightclub which provided the "big break" for Cleveland bands like Eric Carmen and the Raspberries and Grand Funk Railroad. Mr. Loconti talks about how he started in the jukebox business and in later in the 1960s opened the first Agora Nightclub near Case Western Reserve University. In 1968, he moved the nightclub to downtown Cleveland--on 24th and Euclid. Mr. Loconti chronicles…

Charm Warren-Celestine Interview 2009

Charm Warren-Celestine was born in Cleveland in 1950 and grew up in the Wade Park neighborhood. Her parents owned several record stores from the 1960s through the 1990s, Dean's House of Jazz. She worked for her parents and continued her love of music with a career in radio sales and artist promotions. This 2009 interview opens Warren-Celestine sharing childhood memories of her parents' store, the radio stations she listened to, and the venues around Cleveland at which she saw concerts. She…

Joan and James Orosz Interview, 2009

Joan and James Orosz were born in Cleveland in 1942 and grew up on the city's east side. This 2009 interview with the husband and wife deals with the the music they listened to growing up as well as race relations. The two remember listening to the ethnic music their parents favored before developing a liking for rock and roll and R & B. Joan and James also talk about their experiences growing up in Cleveland, describing the schools they went to, the neighborhoods they lived in, and the kinds…

Lou Ragland Interview, 2009

Lou Ragland is a musician, singer, and record industry veteran. He was born in 1942 in Cleveland and grew up in the Cedar-Central and then Hough areas of the city. The interview covers his childhood in segregated Cleveland and his life in music. He recalls being the first in the neighborhood to have a television set. Ragland discusses his musical influences, especially radio; buying records at Record Rendezvous; experiences being an African American musician amid growing white interest in Black…

Lynn Tolliver, Jr. Interview, 2009

Lynn Tolliver was born in Cleveland in 1950. He started working in radio at age 18 and is still in the music industry as a radio announcer and song writer; he is also an author. The interview discusses his childhood, family, race issues and music.

George Hendricks Interview, 2009

George Hendricks was born in Alabama in 1942 and moved to Cleveland at the age of 7. He is a singer with The Hesitations and has been performing music since he was a teenager. This 2009 interview discusses his long career as a professional R & B musician in Cleveland, describing the bands and the places in which he played, his struggles to make money playing music, and how he feels the nature of both the musicians and the music industry as a whole have changed since the 1960s. A recurrent…

Linda Shisila Interview, 2010

Linda Shisila was born in Cleveland in 1950 and grew up in Parma, a suburb on Cleveland's west side. This 2010 interview discusses her childhood, focusing on the music she listened to throughout it. Shisila was an avid fan of rock and roll and saw it as a great form of fun and entertainment. Comparing the music from her childhood to that of today, she laments the negative messages found in much of the latter, preferring the happier songs that she remembers growing up with.

Bill Spoon Interview, 2009

Bill Spoon was born in Alabama in 1942 and came to Cleveland in 1960, becoming involved in the city's music scene. He is the founder of The Soul Notes singing group. This 2009 interview discusses his childhood in Alabama and his life in Cleveland, focusing on the community of African-American musicians in Cleveland in the 1960s and 1970s that he was a part of. He ties in his discussion of these artists and their music with the broader issue of racism, which African-Americans in the city faced…

John Wilson Interview, 2009

John Wilson is a musician and music industry veteran who was born in Cleveland in 1949. In this 2009 interview he discusses growing up on Cleveland's east side, his life long involvement with rock and roll music, and the issue of racism, both within the music industry and in Cleveland. As his family was one of the first black families in his east side neighborhood, Wilson experienced racism at a very young age. He also developed a love for rock and roll as a child, and he describes this as well,…

Jamilah Zand Interview, 2009

Jamilah Zand was born in Cleveland in 1954. This 2009 interview discusses her childhood, racial issues, and the music she grew up with. Zand, who grew up on Cleveland's east side, shares memories of attending concerts, listening to the radio, and sampling new music from her different relatives' record collections. She also comments on the music being released today and how its message is often different from the music she grew up with. Race and race relations in Cleveland are another topic…

Sheila Blecman Interview, 2009

Sheila Blecman is the owner of Coventry Cats. She was born in Elyria in 1946, and later went to Ohio State University before finding a teaching job in LA. She moved back to Cleveland in the 1980s and opened Coventry Cats. The interview is about her childhood in Elyria where she worked in her father's grocery store, race relations in the 50s and 60s, and her love of music.

Mike Olszewski Interview, 2009

Mike Olszewski is a newscaster for WKSU-FM and a professor of communications at Kent State University and the University of Akron, as well as the author of several books. He was born in Cleveland in 1953. The interview discusses his childhood, racial issues, music, and the media.

Jean Cotton Interview, 2009

Jean Cotton was born in Cleveland in 1946. Much of this 2009 interview centers around Cotton's experiences growing up in Cleveland and Ravenna, Ohio under the guidance of her strict, minister father. Against his wishes, she listened to a good deal of rock and R & B music, the content and meaning of which she describes in great detail. She left home at age twenty, and music remained an important part of her life as she married and eventually had children of her own. Cotton also shares her…

John Tate Interview, 2009

John Tate was born in 1947 in Youngstown and moved to Cleveland in 1970. In this 2009 interview, Tate discusses his childhood and young adulthood, focusing in particular on music and race relations. Tate describes the rock and roll and R & B music he listened to as a youngster and its significance to his life. The issue of race relations enters in to the discussion of his development to adulthood, and he describes some instances of racism he experienced while working different jobs early on…