Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Rock and Roll
13 total

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…

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…

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.

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.

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…

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,…

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…

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.

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…

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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.

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…

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…

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…