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 of things they did for fun. The second half of the interview focuses on their thoughts and memories about race relations in the city. James remembers the "blockbusting" that took place in the Buckeye-Woodland neighborhood he lived in, and both recall the Hough Riots. They express their thoughts about why racial tensions existed, and conclude with some considerations on the role that rock and roll music had in bringing people of different races together.
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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…