Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "popular music"
39 total

In this interview Stan Kain, former owner and proprietor of La Cave – a 1960s-era folk and rock venue in the Doan's Corners (Euclid Avenue and East 105) neighborhood – reminisces about the club's genesis, its many seminal performers, and the evolving life of the immediate neighborhood. Stan is accompanied by Steve Traina, a former associate, radio…

Henry Loconti, founder of the Agora Theatre and Ballroom, highlights the history of the Agora and its importance both locally and nationally. He provides insight into the music promotion and booking business and how he was able to achieve success, including details about the club's promotional partnerships with WMMS radio. Loconti also mentions his…

Artist Derek Hess describes his experience as a concert promoter at the Euclid Tavern, including the club's transformation from a neighborhood bar to one of the most important underground music venues in the US. Hess, who began working at the Euclid Tavern in 1989 while he was a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art, created distinctive poster…

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.

In this 2005 interview, William Merriman, a deacon at St. Patrick's Church on Bridge Avenue on the near west side of Cleveland, discusses his involvement with the Ohio City community since beginning to do volunteer work at St. Patrick's in 1969. Mr. Merriman exhibits a wealth of knowledge about the development of Ohio City as an independent city…

Jane Gardener shares her memories of downtown Cleveland since the 1960s, including stories about shopping at downtown department stores during the holidays, trips to the Agora and sports arenas, and experiences as a student at Cleveland State University.

George Shuba describes his career as a professional photographer, including one of his earliest assignments photographing The Beatles concert at Cleveland Public Auditorium in 1964, as well as a number of other popular music and political events.

Gayle Ivory describes life growing up in the Glenville neighborhood. She recalls the places that the teenagers would frequent, the shops, and the music scene of Cleveland.

Jacqueline Gillon is a native Clevelander from the Glenville area. She was born in 1956 to parents who became actively involved in the community. Her family moved from the Glenville neighborhood to East Cleveland when she was 9. She attended Chambers Elementary, Kirk Junior High, and Shaw High school. She remembers the Kennedy and King…

Sura Sevastopoulos was born in Cleveland in 1948. She grew up with her mother and grandmother in Cleveland Heights, originally attended Coventry School, and recalls the walk to school quite vividly. She went to college at the Cleveland Insitute of Art, and while in school she worked at a nightclub called "La Cave," which featured many popular…

Ora Sims was born on a cotton farm in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1917. Her parents owned the farm, which was rather unusual for African Americans in that area at the time. She recalls the hardships of farm life, including the boll weevil, but adds that in the Great Depression, she never felt poor because they grew all the food they needed. Sims…

Jesse Johnson, a retired sergeant first class, was a leader in a local union. He describes his early experiences and how the United States changed after he came back from the war in Korea. He also mentions the riots that occurred in the 1960s, which changed Clevelanders' perception of race relations. He describes various injustices in workplaces…

Toppin was born in 1940 and grew up in the Cedar-Central and Glenville neighborhoods. His grandparents came to Cleveland from Georgia during the Great Migration, and his paternal grandfather started Majestic Cab Co. His father worked at the TRW plant in Euclid. He recalls the "Gold Coast" entertainment venues along East 105th Street, including in…

Derwood Tatum grew up in Hazard, Kentucky, and moved to Cleveland due to his father's newest ownership of a grocery store on East 65th and Woodland, called Tatum's Grocery Store. Tatum paints a picture of the Cleveland music scene during the late 1950s and early 1960s, an era which he owned Tate's Place, a record store (which later turned into a…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Melvin Walker was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 22, 1943. He moved to the area in 1962 with his wife and 2 children (they later had 4 together) after he graduated from Glenville High School in 1961. Walker’s parents were originally from Mississippi and migrated north to find work. Since then, Walker has traveled to many different places and has…