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Heartland Rock: NEO Sound


NEO Sound (formerly known as the Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives, or NEOPMA) is a Rock Hall initiative to preserve the history of rock & roll in Northeast Ohio. Through ]community programming for Scan Days and Home Movie Day, the Library & Archives has also acquired a group of archival collections and library materials that focus on the 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 NorfusChris Butler of the Waitresses, Tin Huey, and 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band); Cleveland musician, tour manager, show producer and more Marky Ray; local musician Dave McDougald, and local musician and former Rock Hall Artist in Residence Marcus Smith; with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Library & Archives staff, including Andy LeachJennie Thomas, Justin Seidler, Lyndsey Godwin-Kresge, Crystal Matjasic, Laura Maidens, Alex Kaufmann, and Maggie Ignasiak

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.

Dead Boys flyrNew Salem Witch-Hunters flyerJimmy Baynes and Louis Armstrong in Cleveland
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

Individuals interested in donating archival or library materials to the Rock Hall’s Library & Archives for inclusion in NEO Sound, or who may be interested in doing research in the collections, are welcome to contact us.



Web Resources

Northeast Ohio Music Organizations

Books on NEO Musicians and DJs


Home Movie Day Collections

The Home Movie Day Project was funded by an Ohio History Fund grant from the Ohio History Connection in 2018.

Find more by searching "Home Movie Day" in the catalog!

Books on NEO Music and Radio

YouTube Video

Western Reserve Historical Society Archives

Jane Scott Papers

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.

Archival Resources

Scan Day Collections

Scan Days were funded by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 2016-2017.

Find more by searching "Scan Day" in the catalog!

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | Library & Archives
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