Rock Musicians

Featured in the museum's first temporary exhibition, the Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced spirituals to audiences around the world.

A New Museum in Nashville Chronicles 400 Years of Black Music

The culmination of two decades of planning, the National Museum of African American Music opened its doors last month

“He is setting a fine example for the youth of the country,” said a public health official after the King of Rock 'n' Roll received a vaccine on the set of “The Ed Sullivan Show” in October 1956.

How Elvis Helped America Eliminate Polio

The rock star's much-publicized vaccination inspired reluctant U.S. teens to get inoculated

A portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by August Klober, circa 1818

How Young America Came to Love Beethoven

On the 250th anniversary of the famous composer’s birth, the story of how his music first took hold across the Atlantic

Russian physicist and engineer Lev Sergeyevich Termen—who later came to be widely known as Léon Theremin—invented his namesake instrument around 1920. Here, he's pictured in 1928.

The Soviet Spy Who Invented the First Major Electronic Instrument

Created by a Russian engineer, the theremin has delighted and confounded audiences since 1920

Amateur photographer Paul Goresh (left) is shown here with former Beatle John Lennon. Goresh, who describes himself as a life-long fan of Lennon, took the last photo of the rock star when he was alive.

What Happened on John Lennon's Last Day

The former Beatle had a packed schedule as he finalized a new song and posed for some final photographs that would become iconic

A recently concluded auction featured a trove of artifacts collected by Bob Dylan's close friend Tony Glover.

Long-Hidden Trove of Bob Dylan Letters, Handwritten Lyrics Heads to Auction

The archives of harmonica player and close Dylan friend Tony Glover act as a "time capsule" of 20th-century music, says RR Auction

Jimi Hendrix, 24, in his breakout set at Monterey in 1967.

The Exotic Vest That Introduced America to Jimi Hendrix

The fashionable garment conjures the guitarist's dazzling performance at the Monterey County Fairgrounds

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen performs at a September 2015 concert in Chula Vista, California.

Eddie Van Halen on How Necessity Drives Innovation

The rock star, who died on October 6 at age 65, said that perfection is boring and mistakes are the "most exciting element of music"

These frames may have been the first pair of iconic round glasses worn by John Lennon.

Fifty Years After the Beatles Broke Up, Trove of Memorabilia Goes on Auction

Sotheby's sale includes records, posters and a high school detention sheet decrying John Lennon's "continuous silly behaviour in class"

93-year-old Vera recreates Adele's 21 album cover.

Nursing Home Residents Recreate Iconic Album Covers During Lockdown

Seniors in the U.K. staged photoshoots inspired by Elvis Presley, Madonna, David Bowie and other musicians

Milton Glaser's Dylan poster was inspired by Marcel Duchamp's 1957 self-portrait. "The history of visual things in the world," says Glaser, "is my playpen."

How Milton Glaser Came to Design the Iconic Poster of Bob Dylan

The 1966 illustration of the folk-rock icon captured the psychadelic dazzle of the flower-power era

Stream the free concert on YouTube tonight at 8 p.m. EST.

How to Watch the National Air and Space Museum's Free Virtual Concert

Catch the musical event, featuring Sting, Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard and other artists, on YouTube tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time

A billboard near Benton, Illinois. The rock 'n' roller from Liverpool was unknown in the States when he visited the town in 1963.

The Charming Story of George Harrison’s Vacation in Small-Town America

The Beatles guitarist visited his sister in southern Illinois just months before he'd become world famous

In May 1967, the Beatles celebrate the completion of their new album, "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

The Inside Story of the Beatles' Messy Breakup

Tensions leading to the split, announced 50 years ago today, had been bubbling under the band’s cheery surface for years

The National Museum of China in Beijing is one of many institutions upping its online offerings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

China's Art, From Museum Exhibits to Rock Concerts, Moves Online During Coronavirus Outbreak

The government has directed museums to "enrich the people's spiritual and cultural life during the epidemic [with] cloud exhibitions"

Prince performs at Minneapolis’ First Avenue nightclub in August 1983.

Why Prince Would Not Sound Like Prince Without Minneapolis

A human geographer explains how the city's unique sonic culture nurtured and inspired the musical genius

A fan carries a copy of ‘Abbey Road’ as he traverses the infamous crosswalk that appears on the album’s cover.

How the Beatles Took Recording Technology to a New Level in 'Abbey Road'

An expert in sound recording details how the band deployed stereo and synthesizers to put a unique artistic stamp on this iconic album

“All evidence suggests that this was the first cloud guitar ever built for Prince,” says John Troutman, curator of American music at the National Museum of American History.

Here's the Guitar That Prince Revolutionized Music With in 'Purple Rain'

The artist gave the "cloud" guitar to the Smithsonian in 1993, but only now do we know it's the same instrument used in the iconic movie

Catching some shut eye at Woodstock.

Archaeologists Are Finding Woodstock Really Did Take On Life of Its Own

If it seems weird to survey a site that’s only 50 years old, it is. But it's not as unusual as you’d think

The 92-second clip that shows the Fab Four playing their song “Paperback Writer.”

Lost Footage of One of the Beatles' Last Live Performances Found in Attic

A man filmed the missing 1966 'Top of the Pops' appearance from his TV set

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