NEO Sound (formerly known as the Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives, or NEOPMA) is a group of archival collections and library materials that focus on popular music, musicians, radio stations, record labels, recording studios, music venues, concert promoters, booking agencies, and music publishers in Northeast Ohio. These collections contain personal papers, correspondence, photographs, song manuscripts, business records, posters, and rare audio and video recordings, as well as books, dissertations, magazines and journals, commercial audio and video recordings, and sheet music.
Northeast Ohio played a significant role in the history of popular music. Beginning with WJW-AM deejay Alan Freed’s radio show, his coining of the phrase "rock and roll” to refer to the musical style, and his staging of the earliest rock and roll concerts, Cleveland continued to play an important musical role during the 1960s-1970s through the promotion of significant national artists and the development of FM radio. The region as a whole has produced seminal performers in rock music, including the Raspberries, Joe Walsh, Devo, Pere Ubu, the Dead Boys, and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, and the local music scene continues to thrive through acts like Broccoli Samurai, Herzog, Lighthouse and the Whaler, and Wesley Bright and the Hi-lites.
NEO Sound is advised by a group of individuals with extensive knowledge of local music history and archives, representing different aspects of the music scene and the business surrounding it, including the owner and operator of the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern Cindy Barber; Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sponsorship Sales for Live Nation Cleveland and longtime Belkin Productions executive Barry Gabel; local photographers Anastasia Pantsios and Randy Norfus; Chris Butler of the Waitresses, Tin Huey, and 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band); Cleveland musician, tour manager, show producer and more Marky Ray; and local musician Dave McDougald; with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Senior Director of Library & Archives Andy Leach, Director of Archives Jennie Thomas, Librarian Laura Maidens, and Archivist & Assistant Curator Anastasia Karel.
The materials listed below are just a sampling of what we have in our collections. Researchers can access information about NEO Sound archival collections here, and can browse our NEO Sound library materials here in the Case Western Reserve University online catalog.
Images (L to R): Record Rendezvous owner Leo Mintz, flyer for Cleveland's Dead Boys, postcard from Patti Smith on tour in Cleveland, flyer for Cleveland's New Salem Witch Hunters, Cleveland photographer Jimmy Baynes with Louis Armstrong
As one of the country’s first daily newspaper rock-music reporters, Jane Scott (May 3, 1919 - July 4, 2011) diligently covered the music scene from the most obscure local bands to stadium headliners. Over the course of her 40+ year career with The Plain Dealer, Scott covered every major rock concert in Cleveland and was on a first name basis with many stars. The Jane Scott Papers include her vast library of books, periodicals, scores, and audiovisual materials, as well as her archives of research files, clippings, photographs, memorabilia, and concert ephemera.
More Coming Soon!
On the third Saturday of October, fans can view a compilation film of rock performance footage assembled from local home video and film donations at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Home Movie Day. Clips will include never-seen-before footage of legendary artists from Northeast Ohio, as well as more contemporary local artists. Film and video donors are usually on hand to share their behind-the-scenes stories about the bands and performances featured.
Home Movie Day is an internationally-celebrated event that celebrates the importance of the preservation of home videos and films. Just like the documents, photographs and costumes the Rock Hall collects, home movies serve as historical, social and personal documentation of communities, neighborhoods and individuals. The videos and films donated to the Rock Hall for this Home Movie Day event not only document the stories of the Northeast Ohio music community, but they also make for a rocking good time.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum | Library and Archives
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