Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame

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Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Museum
Founded 2010
  • United States
Key people
Lamont "Showboat" Robinson, Founder/CEO;[1]
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 Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame is an independent organization honoring the historical preservation of Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music and culture.


Founded 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 and on June 13, 2016 to Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. 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 Road Kings. 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 Redd Foxx, 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 artists 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 Rhythm & Blues 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 Supremes, The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The O'Jays,[7] Martha & The Vandellas (Martha Reeves, Rosalind Holmes, and Annette Helton), The Dramatics, Ruby & The Romantics, and The 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 Philadelphia, PA or Detroit, MI, 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 City ceremony was held
Freddie Arrington Master of Ceremonies, Leo's Casino Night Club 2013 Cleveland
James Brown Musician, singer, dancer 2013 Cleveland[7]
Call and Post Publication 2013 Cleveland
The Chi-Lites Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
The Clovers Vocal group 2013 Cleveland[7]
Sam Cooke Singer, songwriter, record label executive 2013 Cleveland
Larry Cotton Journalist 2013 Cleveland
Dazz Band Band 2013 Cleveland
The Dramatics Vocal group 2013 Cleveland[12]
The Dynamic Superiors Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
Enchantment Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
The Four Tops Vocal group 2013 Cleveland[12]
The Hesitations Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
Little Willie John Singer 2013 Cleveland
Tom Joyner Radio host 2013 Cleveland[7]
Leo's Casino Historic Venue (Cleveland, Ohio) 2013 Cleveland[7]
Gerald Levert Singer 2013 Cleveland[13]
Little Jimmy Scott Jazz artist 2013 Cleveland
Tim Marshall Radio host, educator 2013 Cleveland
The Marvelettes Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
The Ohio Players Band 2013 Cleveland[7]
The O'Jays Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
Otis Redding Singer 2013 Cleveland[7]
Ruby & The Romantics Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
David Ruffin Singer 2013 Cleveland
Sly, Slick & Wicked Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
Sounds of Unity and Love (S.O.U.L.) Band 2013 Cleveland
Edwin Starr Singer 2013 Cleveland
The Supremes Vocal group 2013 Cleveland
The Temptations Vocal group 2013 Cleveland[7][12]
Upbeat (TV series) TV Show 2013 Cleveland
the. Original Vandellas Vocal group 2013 Cleveland[7]
Kim Weston Singer 2013 Cleveland
Jackie Wilson Singer 2013 Cleveland[12]
The Andantes Vocal group 2014 Canton, OH[2]
Gene Chandler Singer 2014 Canton, OH[2][12]
Chubby Checker Singer 2014 Canton, OH[2][14][15]
The Delfonics Vocal group 2014 Canton, OH[2][14]
The Fantastic Four Vocal group 2014 Canton, OH
The Funk Brothers Musicians 2014 Canton, OH[2][12][14]
Marvin Gaye Singer 2014 Canton, OH[2][12][14]
Macy Gray Singer 2014 Canton, OH[2][3]
Whitney Houston Singer 2014 Canton, OH[1][2][12][14]
Joe Jackson Promoter, manager 2014 Canton, OH[2][12]
Michael Jackson Singer 2014 Canton, OH[1][2][12][14]
B.B. King Singer 2014 Canton, OH[2]
Norm N. Nite Author, Radio Host 2014 Canton, OH[2][14]
Sweet Inspirations Vocal group 2014 Canton, OH[2][12][14]
The Whispers Vocal group 2014 Canton, OH[12][14][16]
The Bar-Kays Band 2015 Clarksdale
Al Bell Songwriter 2015 Clarksdale
Millie Jackson Singer 2015 Clarksdale
Denise LaSalle Singer 2015 Clarksdale
Little Richard Singer 2015 Clarksdale
The Mad Lads Vocal Group 2015 Clarksdale
Dorothy Moore Singer 2015 Clarksdale
Little Junior Parker Singer 2015 Clarksdale
Elvis Presley Singer 2015 Clarksdale
Bobby Rush Singer 2015 Clarksdale
Stax Records Record Company 2015 Clarksdale
Ike Turner Singer/Songwriter/Musician 2015 Clarksdale
Muddy Waters Singer/Musician 2015 Clarksdale
WDIA Radio Station 2015 Clarksdale
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters Vocal group 2015 Detroit
JJ Barnes Singer 2015 Detroit
Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly Singer 2015 Detroit
Janie Bradford Songwriter 2015 Detroit
Jay Butler Radio Host 2015 Detroit
Jerry Butler Singer/songwriter 2015 Detroit
Ray Charles Musician, bandleader 2015 Detroit
Tony Clarke Singer 2015 Detroit
L.C. Cooke Singer 2015 Detroit
Sam Cooke Songwriter 2015 Detroit
The Contours Vocal Group 2015 Detroit
Melvin Davis Singer 2015 Detroit
Detroit Emeralds Vocal Group 2015 Detroit
The Fabulous Peps Vocal group 2015 Detroit[17][18]
Aretha Franklin Singer 2015 Detroit
Chuck Jackson Singer 2015 Detroit
Laura Lee Singer 2015 Detroit
Pat Lewis Singer 2015 Detroit
Johnnie Mae Mathews Singer, Songwriter, Producer 2015 Detroit
The Miracles Vocal group 2015 Detroit
Melba Moore Singer 2015 Detroit
Martha Reeves Singer 2015 Detroit
Jimmy Ruffin Singer 2015 Detroit
Shades Of Blue Vocal Group 2015 Detroit
Donnie Simpson Radio Host, TV music host 2015 Detroit
The Spinners Vocal group 2015 Detroit[14]
Johnnie Taylor Singer 2015 Detroit
Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards Vocal Group 2015 Detroit
Spyder Turner Singer 2015 Detroit
The 20 Grand Night club, concert venue 2015 Detroit
Gino Washington Singer 2015 Detroit
Robert Bateman Producer 2016 Detroit
Bootsy Collins Funk Legend 2016 Detroit
Fats Domino Singer, Songwriter 2016 Detroit
The Falcons Vocal Group 2016 Detroit
Eddie Floyd Singer 2016 Detroit
Jimi Hendrix Rock Legend 2016 Detroit
Eddie Holman Singer 2016 Detroit
Cathy Hughes Entertainment Mogul 2016 Detroit
International Sweethearts Of Rhythm Band 2016 Detroit
Herb Kent Radio Host 2016 Detroit
Bettye LaVette Singer 2016 Detroit
Wilson Pickett Singer 2016 Detroit
Prince Singer, Songwriter 2016 Detroit
Sir Mack Rice Singer, Songwriter 2016 Detroit
Smokey Robinson Singer, Songwriter 2016 Detroit
Sugar Chile Robinson Musician, Child Prodigy 2016 Detroit
The Royal Jokers Vocal Group 2016 Detroit
Rena Scott Vocalist 2016 Detroit
Mickey Stevenson A&R Director 2016 Detroit
The Velvelettes Vocal Group 2016 Detroit
Dionne Warwick Singer 2016 Detroit

Special Awards[edit]

Name Contribution Year presented Type Of Award
Ron Banks Singer 2013 Rhythm & Blues Music Lifetime Achievement Award
Joe Jackson (manager) Promoter, Manager 2014 Rhythm & Blues Music Lifetime Achievement Award
Jazzii Anderson Radio Host 2015* Nat D. Williams Radio Personality Of The Year Award
Morgan Freeman Actor 2015* Rhythm & Blues Music Lifetime Achievement Award
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram Singer 2015* Robert Johnson Rising Star Award
Ground Zero Blues Club 2015* Juke Joint Of The Year Award
Joe Jackson (manager) Promoter, Manager 2015* Rhythm & Blues Humanitarian Award
John Conyers, Jr. U.S. Congressman 2015** Rhythm & Blues Music Lifetime Achievement Award
Abdul "Duke" Fakir Singer 2015** Rhythm & Blues Living Legends Award
Elliott S. Hall Attorney 2015** Rhythm & Blues Humanitarian Award
Brenda Jones Detroit Councilwoman 2015** Ortheia Barnes Rhythm & Blues Visionary Award
David Washington Radio Host 2015** "Frantic" Ernie Durham & Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg Radio Personality Of The Year Award
Gene Chandler Singer 2016 Rhythm & Blues Music Pioneer Award
Mildred Gaddis Journalist 2016 Rhythm & Blues Broadcast Journalist Of The Year Award
Cathy Hughes Entertainment Mogul 2016 Rhythm & Blues Living Legends Award
John Mason (announcer) Radio Host 2016 Rhythm & Blues Music Radio Personality Of The Year Award
The Supremes Vocal Group 2016 Rhythm & Blues Music Group Of The 20th Century Award

*2015 Induction ceremony in Clarksdale MI **2015 Induction ceremony in Detroit




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  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. 
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  8. ^ EurPublisher (2 August 2013). "The Temptations Accept Early Induction Into R&B Music Hall of Fame". Eurweb.com. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
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  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. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "Whispers Early Induction to 2014 Class". YouTube. 
  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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