Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame

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The Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Museum
Founded 2010
Key people
Lamont "Showboat" Robinson, Founder/CEO;[1]
Fred Wheatt, Executive Director[2][3]
Mission Dedicated to preserving the historical and cultural legacy and contributions of R&B, Gospel, Jazz and Hip-Hop music
Website www.rbhalloffame.com

The Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame is an independent organization honoring the historical preservation of Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music and culture.


Founded back in 2010 as the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame Museum, its name was changed 1 October 2014 to The Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Museum. The project was founded and developed by sports entertainer and entrepreneur LaMont "Showboat" Robinson founder of Robinson Global Sports and Entertainment LLC.[4]

Robinson is a player/owner of the Harlem Clowns[5] and a former player for the Harlem Globetrotters. Robinson's love for R&B and Soul music began at an early age. He would often attend music practice sessions with his musician uncle, a house band member at Leo's Casino[1] a Cleveland, Ohio night club. It was one of the premiere clubs in the Midwest during the 1960s for R&B, jazz and African American comedians such as Red Fox, Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor and Moms Mabley. Otis Redding's last live performance on December 9, 1967 was at Leo's. This love inspired him to start collecting memorabilia and artifacts that reflect the history of the Rhythm and Blues era. Robinson collected many of these exclusive and rare items while traveling all over the world to play basketball with the Globetrotters and other teams.[6]

Realizing that his collection had grown to a size worthy of a museum, he wanted to share or donate some of his collection to an officially recognized location. However he was unable to locate a place that exclusively displayed, celebrated and collected information about the great accomplishments of R&B artists besides the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his hometown Cleveland. While donating some items to the Rock Hall, he realized that a lot of well deserving R&B artist will never be given the type of recognition or honor that they deserve. He then decided to pursue creating such a place, acquiring the support of friends, some of which are R&B and jazz musicians.

After many years of planning, a mobile museum debuted in February 2012.[7] An annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony followed, honoring artists, non-musical individuals, venues, events and anything that has influenced the world of R&B music. A permanent physical museum was ultimately planned.


The Inaugural Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on August 17, 2013 at the Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University in Cleveland.[8] The first class of inductees included recording acts The Temptations,[7] The O'Jays,[7] Ruby & The Romantics, The Marvelettes, The Dramatics, Dazz Band Featuring Jerry Bell and Little Jimmy Scott; historic venue Leo's Casino; international journalist Larry Cotton; and radio hosts Tom Joyner[7] and Tim Marshall.[9]


The main purpose of developing the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame and Museum is to collect and preserve artifacts and to document accomplishments of the many well deserving individuals that have influenced lives through the many avenues of Rhythm and Blues music. The Hall of Fame will recognize and honor many individuals that have contributed to this music, past and present. The venue will be at the forefront of providing innovative educational programs for children by using music as a mechanism for teaching history, math and social studies, through the vehicle of high technology. In a culturally diverse world, the Hall of Fame Museum will emphasize diversity throughout its programming.

The location for the Hall of Fame and Museum has been at times suggested to be Cleveland, Ohio; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Detroit, Michigan. However, organizers focused on Cleveland,[10][11] even a particular location in Cleveland.[7] However, it did not materialize, and so Detroit and Canton, Ohio are still considered prospects,[2] with Detroit being announced in 2014.[12] Once built the museum will house a collection of historical artifacts and interactive presentations. It will also provide an educational wing that will contain a library and research department, a gift shop and possibly a juke joint style soul food restaurant. A 500 seat theater will allow for small concerts, lectures and the showing of documentaries. The Hall of Fame section of the facility will be a dynamic area that honors the legends and individuals that have been inducted. The Museum section will be an interactive experience using the latest in technological designed to captivate and educating people of all ages, and will display the many historical and present day artifacts that have been and are still being collected.

The museum will exhibit present-day music contributions and the history of Rhythm & Blues, Blues, Gospel, and Jazz music from the early days originating in the 1940s when "urban based music with a heavy insistent beat" was becoming more popular. It will explore the Chitlin circuit where black-only clubs existed and supported black musicians. The museum plans to provide information about well known as well as unknown artists, and non-artist who have had a major influence on all black music. Plans "include an African-American Music Research Center, Gospel Music & Preachers Hall of Fame Museum and the Hip Hop Museum of America".[1]

Mobile museum[edit]

This innovative traveling exhibit housing memorabilia spanning the era of R&B and other music Jazz and the Blues is designed to travel throughout the country setting up at various locations such as libraries, schools, churches, community centers and special events. The mobile museum is an educational approach to present historical artifacts to areas of the country that would not have heard about the museum and would pique the interest of potential tourist that may visit the actual museum. The museum has collected and is still in the process of collecting thousands of rare treasures. Among its present collection are rare photos, original documents, and many items from artists whose contributions helped shape an important era of the music industry. The collection will be an unparalleled representation of any music memorabilia collection. These original items which mostly have been donated by the artist and non-artist or their estates, cover the beginnings of R&B and Black Music from its early days in the 1940s to the present day.

Members of Hall of Fame[edit]

Name Contribution Year inducted
Freddie Arrington Master of Ceremonies, Leo's Casino Night Club 2013
James Brown Musician, singer, dancer 2013[7]
Call and Post Publication 2013
The Chi-Lites Vocal group 2013
Sam Cooke Singer, songwriter, record label executive 2013
Larry Cotton Journalist 2013
Dazz Band Featuring Jerry Bell Band 2013
The Dramatics Vocal group 2013[12]
The Dynamic Superiors Vocal group 2013
The Four Tops Vocal group 2013[12]
The Hesitations Vocal group 2013
Tom Joyner Radio host 2013[7]
Leo's Casino Historic Venue (Cleveland, Ohio) 2013[7]
Gerald Levert Singer 2013[13]
Little Jimmy Scott Jazz artist 2013
Tim Marshall Radio host, educator 2013
The Marvelettes Vocal group 2013
The Ohio Players Band 2013[7]
The O'Jays Vocal group 2013
Otis Redding Singer 2013[7]
Ruby & The Romantics Vocal group 2013
David Ruffin Singer 2013
Sly, Slick & Wicked Vocal group 2013
Sounds of Unity and Love (S.O.U.L.) Band 2013
Edwin Starr Singer 2013
The Supremes Vocal group 2013
The Temptations Vocal group 2013[7][12]
Martha and the Vandellas Vocal group 2013[7]
Kim Weston Singer 2013
Jackie Wilson Singer 2013[12]
The Clovers Vocal group 2013[7]
Joe Jackson Promoter, manager 2014[2][12]
Michael Jackson Singer 2014[1][2][14][12]
Whitney Houston Singer 2014[1][2][14][12]
B.B. King Singer 2014[2]
Gene Chandler Singer 2014[2][12]
The Whispers Vocal group 2014[15][14][12]
The Funk Brothers Musicians 2014[2][14][12]
The Andantes Vocal group 2014[2]
Sweet Inspirations Vocal group 2014[2][14][12]
Marvin Gaye Singer 2014[2][14][12]
Chubby Checker Singer 2014[2][16][14]
Norm N. Nite Author, disc jockey 2014[2][14]
The Delfonics Vocal group 2014[2][14]
Macy Gray Singer 2014[2][3]
The Spinners Vocal group 2014[14]
The Miracles Vocal group 2015
Johnnie Taylor Singer 2015
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters Vocal group 2015
Spyder Turner Singer 2015
Aretha Franklin Singer 2015
Jerry Butler Singer/songwriter 2015
Ray Charles Musician, bandleader 2015
Martha Reeves Singer 2015
Tony Clarke Singer 2015
Janie Bradford Songwriter 2015
Pat Lewis Singer 2015
The Fabulous Peps Vocal group 2015[17][18]
Donnie Simpson Disc jockey, TV music host 2015
Jimmy Ruffin Singer 2015
Melba Moore Singer 2015
The 20 Grand Night club, concert venue 2015
Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly Singer 2015


  1. ^ a b c d e Essex, Myeisha (18 October 2012). "Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson Lead R&B Music Hall of Fame Inductees". Essence.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Yarborough, Chuck (19 August 2014). "R&B Music Hall of Fame sets big weekend to induct sophomore class featuring Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Norm N. Nite and more". Plain Dealer. cleveland.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Byer, Kelly (25 August 2014). "R&B greats honored at HOF induction in Canton". Canton Repository. Canton, Ohio. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson Lead R&B Music Hall of Fame Inductees". Essence.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  5. ^ "Official Site Of "Showboat" Robinson'S Fabulous Harlem Clowns". Harlemclowns.net. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  6. ^ Abram, Malcolm X (16 August 2013). "R&B Music Hall of Fame in Cleveland to induct first class". Ohio.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Organizers aim to build R&B HOF Museum in Cleveland". WKYC.com (WKYC TV). 27 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  8. ^ EurPublisher (2 August 2013). "The Temptations Accept Early Induction Into R&B Music Hall of Fame". Eurweb.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "The official R&B Music Hall of Fame inaugural induction ceremony 2013 : official program - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum | Library and Archives | Catalog". Catalog.rockhall.com. 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  10. ^ "Is Cleveland getting another music hall of fame? Museum would honor R&B music legends". Newsnet5.com. Scripps Media, Inc. 27 August 2013. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "R&B Hall Picks Cleveland for Museum". YouTube. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m EURWeb (21 August 2014). "New R&B Hall of Fame Inductees: Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston". BlackAmericaWeb.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Brown, Kiki (10 November 2012). "Gerald LeVert Inducted In R&B Hall Of Fame On Six Year Anniversary of Death". 92Q.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pratt, Caroline (4 September 2014). "The Sweet Inspirations Inducted into The Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame". ElvisPresleyFansofNashville.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Whispers Early Induction to 2014 Class". YouTube. 
  16. ^ Abram, Malcolm X (28 August 2014). "Chubby Checker still twisting away despite Rock Hall snub". NorwalkReflector.com (The Akron Beacon Journal). TNS Regional News. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Jason Ankeny. "Fabulous Peps | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  18. ^ "The Fabulous Peps Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 

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