‘Stay Tuned’ at the Rock Hall resonates with music and TV fans of all ages

Music has this incredible way of transporting you mentally, psychologically and emotionally back to where you were the first time you heard a song, or where you listened to an album on repeat, or when you had a crush on the singer for that one band.

Turns out, TV can do that, too. With the help of music, of course.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame‘s current featured exhibition is titled “Stay Tuned: Rock on TV.” On the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the museum, you’ll find clothing, props, memorabilia and other artifacts from TV’s history, as it applies to music. Videos playing throughout the exhibit address variety shows, TV theme songs, music performances, music competition shows and, of course, music videos.

Cue card and poster from
Cue card and poster from “TRL.” Top image: guitar and jacket used by Michael Jackson. (photos by Cheryl Sadler)

Being someone who was in high school during the heyday of “TRL,” I love the music video section of the exhibit. Seeing the “TRL” poster next to the cue card (which I can’t help but read in Carson Daly’s voice), suddenly I’m a 14-year-old hoping BSB beat out NSYNC for the No. 1 song of the day.

But the exhibit isn’t only for old Millennials like me who spent rainy afternoons in front of “Pop-Up Video.” Did you tune in to “Soul Train” and “American Bandstand”? Did you catch the Jackson 5’s first-ever performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”?

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Clothing worn during television variety shows, including “Soul Train,” The Mickey Mouse Club” and “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.”

Do you still have the theme song for “Fresh Prince” in your head? What about “Batman,” “Jem,” “Josie & the Pussycats,” “The Banana Splits”? (You’re probably gonna get an earworm walking through the TV theme song part of the exhibit.)

Do you remember when Sinead O’Connor ripped a photo of Pope John Paul II live on “Saturday Night Live”? Or when Pearl Jam was the musical guest 11 days after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, and Eddie Vedder wore a shirt with a K written over his heart? “Stay Tuned” includes video footage of both of these moments, as well as Vedder’s shirt.

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Scenes from the music video for Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract,” featuring MC Skat Kat.

No matter your age, this exhibit will resonate with you.

What: “Stay Tuned: Rock on TV”

Where: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland

When: The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday.

How much: The exhibit is included in admission, which is $16-26.

How to get more information: Visit rockhall.com.


Cheryl Sadler is still a little disappointed she never got to stand in Times Square outside a “TRL” taping. Follow her on Twitter at @sadlercheryl.

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