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From Dolly to Belafonte, new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit highlights 2022 inductees

Dolly Parton contributed several items for the Rock Hall's 2022 inductee exhibit after initial hesitation about being on the ballot.
Kabir Bhatia
Ideastream Public Media
Dolly Parton contributed several items for the Rock Hall's 2022 inductee exhibit after initial hesitation about being on the ballot.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2022 will be inducted in Los Angeles Saturday. For the next year, visitors to the museum in Downtown Cleveland can see a collection of artifacts from this year’s inductees, beginning Wednesday.

There’s a bust of Harry Belafonte made by his friend, Tony Bennett. Or the nightie and boots worn by Carly Simon on the cover of her 1975 "Playing Possum" album. Dolly Parton, who was initially unsure about whether she should be inducted, has loaned several items. Exhibits Manager Joe Wickens said her team hand-delivered the pieces – including a saxophone – from Nashville.

“I noticed that she had left a little bit of her lipstick on the mouthpiece,” he said. “[It’s] confirmation that she did indeed use this, and this was something that she played a lot. It's just so much her style: It's bedazzled-out. Her aesthetic is so cool, we're so happy to have her as an inductee this year.”

Wickens said that over the next year, they’ll add more items – such as a guitar owned by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, who wants to play it at this weekend's ceremony before it's displayed at the museum.

“A lot of these artists are still touring artists,” Wickens said. “They still have their favorite instruments. Oftentimes, they're not ready to part with those yet.”

That’s why the items in the exhibit are being loaned for a period of up to three years. Yet that can also change.

“What happens is, and [artists] will say, ‘I haven't really missed this piece. I haven't had a need for it,’” Wickens said. “And then they have a change of heart and say, ‘You know what? I'd like to have a piece of my collection in your collection in perpetuity.’”

Bassist Ian Hill has also loaned his Fender Jazz Bass, played on every Judas Priest album from 1974-84. Acoustic guitars from folk-blues singer Elizabeth Cotten as well as from Pat Benatar and husband Neil Geraldo are also in the exhibit.

Rounding out this year’s class are Lionel Richie, Duran Duran, Eminem, producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and music executives Sylvia Robinson, Jimmy Iovine and Alan Grubman.

Copyright 2022 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. A graduate of Hudson High School, he received his Bachelor's from Kent State University. While a Kent student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.