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The Late David Bowie's Career Got a Big Boost in Cleveland

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KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU

 Before David Bowie became an international rock star, he had to prove himself in Cleveland. The city is credited with launching him beyond his native England. Bowie died from cancer over the weekend at the age of 69.  WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier has this report on Bowie’s Cleveland connection.

Bowie’s music and other artifacts of a long and ever-changing career are on display at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum like a Ziggy Stardust stage costume. Vice president of education and public programs, Jason Hanley, says in the early 1970s Bowie was most popular in Britain. But like many budding rock musicians of that era, he says Bowie started building his American following with Cleveland radio play. And, in 1972, Cleveland was the stage for Bowie’s first Ziggy Stardust concert in the U-S.

“When Ziggy Stardust came out, it was the first time he was really getting radio play, mostly here in Cleveland, in the U.S. And he actually comes to Cleveland as plays at the Cleveland Music Hall on that date to a sold out audience. So it’s great to think that he started out his whole U.S. tour here in Cleveland, primarily because of the radio play he’s been getting here.”

Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.