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Arts and Entertainment

Canton, Cleveland and Detroit all stake claims to R&B Hall of Fame
Hall's first induction took place last year at Cleveland State University, and will be at the Canton Palace this year, but a Detroit group -- with Motown support -- wants the physical building in the Motor City

Kabir Bhatia
Last summer, the Dynamic Superiors were thrilled to be inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame, regardless of whether it ends up in Cleveland, Canton, Detroit or elsewhere
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
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In The Region:
A Detroit group today unveiled its bid to be the home of the R&B Hall of Fame. But as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, two Ohio cities already have claims to the museum.
Canton, Cleveland, Detroit staking claims to RnB Hall of Fame

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The Detroit group is touting the city’s vast number of empty buildings as one reason it should host a physical museum honoring rhythm and blues performers like James Brown, The Supremes and Jackie Wilson. All three were in the inaugural class, inducted last summer at Cleveland State University. At the time, organizer Fred Wheatt said he was shopping his project to several cities, and that it will be different from the nearby Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Rhythm and blues is a separate genre of music. Rhythm and blues is the foundation from which many rock artists have grown. The difference with our museum is, not only will we have memorabilia, but we are looking at interactive exhibits. You can actually be dancing with James Brown. Singing with Aretha. Because it will be fun. It will be an experience.”

The Detroit bid is getting support from Executive Chairwoman Cheryl Ruffin -- daughter of the Temptations’ David Ruffin – who has the backing of several Motown alumni.

However, officials in Canton have expressed interest in having the museum there. The Canton Palace Theater is hosting the second annual induction ceremony next month. Canton is home of the O’Jays.

In Ohio, the R&B Hall and the Rock Hall will be in good company. The Polka Hall of Fame is in Euclid. Just over the border in Sharon, PA is the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Downstate, the Classical Music Hall of Fame is in Cincinnati. And a Dayton group is trying to raise money for a Funk Hall of Fame.
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