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 thoughts on the subject of racism and race relations, comparing the different attitudes towards race she experienced in the various places she lived in and traveled to.
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This collection of interviews covers topics of race relations and rock and roll music in Cleveland between 1952 and 1966. The interviews were conducted by Dana Aritonovich as she researched her thesis – The Only Common Thread: Race, Youth, and the Everyday Rebellion of Rock and Roll, Cleveland, Ohio, 1952-1966 – in pursuit of a Master of Arts in History at Cleveland State University, which was successfully completed in 2010. Interview subjects are music fans, musicians, and disc jockeys from…