The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will Officially Designate Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studios a historic Rock and Roll Landmark

Designation kicks off Ponderosa Stomp and
Spotlights the Rock Hall’s Tribute to Fats Domino and
Dave Bartholomew this fall

WHAT: J&M Studios will be officially designated as a rock and roll landmark by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to kick off the annual Ponderosa Stomp and start the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2010 American Music Masters Series honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew (November 8-13 in Cleveland).

From 1947-1956, J&M Studios (838-840 N. Rampart), owned and operated by Cosimo Matassa, produced the records that helped give birth to rock and roll. Along with producer and arranger Dave Bartholomew, Matassa recorded sessions by pioneers Fats Domino, Little Richard, Bartholomew, Professor Longhair, Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price, Roy Brown, and Shirley and Lee, among many others.

WHEN: Friday, September 24, 10 a.m.

WHERE: 840 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans

WHY: The Rock Hall’s Landmark Series designates historic rock and roll landmarks around the United States. There are currently 11 selected sites that have been integral in telling the story of rock and roll’s formative moments. Sites across the country include KLRU-TV, the home of Austin City Limits; The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens played their final gig; Whisky-a-Go-Go in Los Angeles where the Doors were resident performers; King Records in Cincinnati, a prominent American record label started in the 40s and The Crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Five sites are located in the Cleveland area and include Brooklyn High School, the location Elvis played his first concert north of the Mason-Dixon line and WJW Radio, home to Deejay Alan Freed who popularized the term “rock and roll.”

The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation
When a group of music fans banded together to bring the true heroes of rock and roll back to the stage to play again, we called ourselves The Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau. The Knights later founded the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation (MK Charities, Inc) as a 501(c) 3 cultural organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the rich history of American roots music. Through festivals, special events, concerts and outreach activities featuring musical living legends, we honor influential artists and educate audiences about their massive contributions to American culture.

Our primary annual event, the internationally revered Ponderosa Stomp, exists to celebrate, pay tribute to, and teach the cultural significance of the unsung heroes and heroines of rock-n-roll, rhythm & blues and other forms of American roots music while they are still alive. The Stomp festival and its year-round activities provide both a voice and career revival to overlooked sidemen, session musicians and other influential pioneers whose contributions have shaped American culture for over 50 years.

About the American Music Masters Series®
Each year, the American Music Masters® series explores the legacy of a pioneering rock and roll figure in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference at Case Western Reserve University and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall’s education programs. Drawing together experts, artists, fans and friends, these events provide new perspectives on the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.

The tribute concert brings together a diverse mix of artists and musical styles, and as a result, many magical moments have taken place over the years. In 2004, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss performed onstage together for the first time to honor Lead Belly. This year the pair was awarded the highest honors of Album of the Year for Raising Sand and Record of the Year for “Please Read the Letter” at the 51st annual Grammy awards. Honoree Jerry Lee Lewis, who was not scheduled to perform at the 2007 concert, was moved to take the stage at the end of the show. Lewis tenderly played the piano and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” At the first American Music Masters tribute concert, Bruce Springsteen set the bar high and performed in honor of Woody Guthrie. The most star-studded and unique performance by a trio was Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Elvis Costello paying tribute to Sam Cooke in 2005. Two years ago, a 93-year-old Les Paul took the stage with his trio and then led an epic jam with some of rock and roll’s greatest guitarists, from Jennifer Batten to Slash. In 2009, Lucinda Williams penned an original song to honor Janis Joplin.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays (and Saturdays through Labor Day), the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216. 515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 4:25 PM  Leave a Comment  
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