OUR MISSION IS DOCUMENTING, PRESERVING, AND HONORING THE DISC JOCKEYS AND STATIONS THAT SHAPED AMERICAN TOP 40 RADIO.
If you missed the ribbon cutting, check out the video above to catch the highlights. Mike Love was on site for the festivities along with the staff and friends of The National Top 40 Hall of Fame and Radio Museum. Watch this site and our social media to stay up to date on other special guests that come to town!
Mike Love of The Beach Boys was on site for the ribbon cutting ceremony
Tour Chattanooga’s National Top 40
Hall of Fame and Radio Museum
Our collection of period radio technology continues to operate within the museum as a result of donor contributions. Your support enables the restoration and maintenance of this equipment for the benefit of public viewers and the preservation of sound recordings dating to the early 20th century.
History of Top 40
Top 40 Hall of Fame
Music Channel App
Book an Event
Schedule a Tour
We have our own Top 40 Radio Music Channel, Featuring the very best Top40 Music from four Decades.
Available on most listening devices just say..” play the top 40 music channel”. Download the free app to your phone and take us with you.
Listen to our stream
Tours are conducted by a knowledgeable tour guide — usually a former DJ or someone with Top40 format radio knowledge
Tour is conducted inside the studios of what was a 50,000 watt am Top40 formatted radio station –includes original equipment which was state of the art at the time
Four-person minimum; twelve-person maximum — this helps ensure personalized experience with the opportunity to interact and ask questions.
DOCUMENTING, PRESERVING, AND HONORING
Rock and Roll
The terms rock and roll and Top40 Radio are synonymous.
In 1951, Cleveland-based disc jockey Alan Freed began playing this music style while popularizing the term “rock and roll” on mainstream radio. Freed was the first radio disc jockey and concert producer who frequently played and promoted rock and roll. Various recordings that date back to the 1940s have been named as the first rock and roll record, or at least as precursors of the music.
The origins of rock and roll are complex. Rock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in the United States in the early to mid-1950s. It derived most directly from the rhythm and blues music of the 1940s, which itself developed from earlier blues, the beat-heavy jump blues, boogie woogie, up-tempo jazz, and swing music. It was also influenced by gospel, country and western, and traditional folk music. Rock and roll in turn provided the main basis for the music that, since the mid-1960s, has been generally known simply as rock music.
The phrase “rocking and rolling” originally described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but it was used by the early 20th century, both to describe a spiritual fervor and as a sexual analogy. Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more frequently – but still intermittently – in the late 1930s and 1940s, principally on recordings and in reviews of what became known as “rhythm and blues” music aimed at black audiences. In May 1942, long before the concept of rock and roll had been defined, a Billboard record review described Sister Rosetta Tharpe‘s vocals on the upbeat blues song “Rock Me”, by Lucky Millinder, as “rock-and-roll spiritual singing”.
The History of Rock & Roll is an American radio documentary on rock and roll music, first syndicated in 1969. Originally one of the lengthiest documentaries of any medium (48 hours in the 1969 version, 52 hours each for the 1978 and 1981 versions), The History of Rock & Roll is a definitive history of the Rock and Roll genre, stretching from the early 1950s to the present day. The “rockumentary,” as producers Bill Drake and Gene Chenault called it, features hundreds of interviews and comments from numerous rock artists and people involved with rock and roll.
Notable features introduced in the 1978 edition of this documentary include the “chart sweep,” featuring a montage of #1 songs and notable hits from a given year or artist, a “time sweep” for each one-hour segment providing a montage of the major hits for each year or individual artist, and closing with a special climactic time sweep featuring a montage of every #1 hit from 1955 to the then current year.
While the documentary focuses on Rock & Roll and its variants, some songs and artists from other genres are also represented as they also became major hits on stations that primarily played Rock & Roll.
A revised version of the series is currently syndicated to internet networks and radio stations in both daily stripped short-form segments hosted by Gary Theroux (writer of the 1978 edition), and a weekly version hosted by former disc jockey and game show host Wink Martindale.
423 503 1521
Mon – Fri: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
621 O’Grady Dr. Chattanooga, Tn 37419