In the Garden State a unique mix of performers and places, technology and talent created sounds that would dominate the airwaves and rock the nation.
Rising New Jersey rock stars used the state’s geography to their advantage.
The exhibition Jersey Rocks! A History of Rock & Roll in the Garden State was on view at the Morris Museum from May 5, 2011 – September 5, 2011. Exhibition conceived and co-curated by Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier. Project management and co-curation by Museum Partners Consulting, LLC. Exhibition Design by Daniel Schnur.
Rock & Roll met New Jersey, and the rest is history. In the Garden State a unique mix of performers and places, technology and talent created sounds that would dominate the airwaves and rock the nation.
In this website, based on a 2011 exhibition at the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, explore rock’s rise in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, when the state was fertile ground for the new sound—then see how the beat changed, and rock splintered in the ‘80s and ‘90s through today.
“There was a certain stigma that prevented New Jersey from getting any kind of credit it deserved during what many consider to be the golden era of Rock & Roll, the 1950s, ’60s, and even ’70s. Most of this animosity was leveled at it by its towering neighbor, New York City. If truth be known many of the best-selling Rock & Roll songs were written in New Jersey, recorded in New Jersey, performed by groups from New Jersey, played on instruments or amplifiers made in New Jersey, and sold through records pressed in New Jersey.”
–performer, writer and talk show host Larry Cutrone, who grew up in Livingston, NJ