Exclusive Images

Billy Joel, Janis Joplin & More From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library (PHOTOS)

See exclusive images from the world’s first rock-and-roll library: Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, and more.

Who says rock and roll and libraries don’t mix? Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens the world’s first library dedicated to archiving the history of rock. Peek inside the library’s collection and see exclusive images of letters, handwritten lyrics and more, from some of the genre’s greats, including Janis Joplin, Clive Davis, Billy Joel, and B.B. King.

From left, courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; AP Photo

Mo Ostin’s Appointment Book

Mo Ostin was a record executive so renowned for his artist-friendliness that when Frank Sinatra founded his own record company, Mo was the guy Frank got to run it. In his time at record companies like Warner and Verve, Ostin signed the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Sex Pistols and Red Hot Chili Peppers. This page from his appointment book chronicles a hectic week in 1969 when Ostin took a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles and crammed in enough time to see performances by the Incredible String Band, Jimi Hendrix, and Laura Nyro.

From left, courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; AP Photo

B.B. King Track List

Blues legend B.B. King’s trademark hollow-body Gibson guitar (in all her many incarnations, always named Lucille), and the string-bending, left-hand, vibrato-trilling, 15-time Grammy Award-winning style he played her with earned him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. This handwritten playlist of instrumental songs shows blues’ most classic songs: "West Coast Blues," "Ham's Blues," "Willow Weep for Me," "Cry Me a River," "Blue Sam Set," "IQ," "Port of Rico," "Lion Baby," "The Cool Rage," "Blues in the Night," "Esquire Blues," "Trouble Number Two," "Cherry Rant," "One O 'Clock Jump," "Beasley's Blues," "Boogie Blues," "From Midnight to Dawn," "Stormy Monday," "Greyhound," "Smooth Sailing," "Willow Weep," "Jumping the Blues," "Blisters," "Bounce" and "Hot Biscuits" are included in the list.

From left, courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; AP Photo

Joe Walsh Lyrics to ‘Life’s Been Good’

Joe Walsh is perhaps best known as the guitarist/keyboardist and singer-songwriter who cowrote some of The Eagles’s biggest hits, such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Pretty Maids All in a Row.” But Walsh also spawned a successful solo career with his album, But Seriously Folks… which featured the single “Life’s Been Good.” The song (the lyrics of which are handwritten and signed on this paper) reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.

From left, courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; AP Photo

Clive Davis’s Note to Arif Mardin

When something or someone catches the eye of Clive Davis, the music world pays attention. He did after all launch legends like Whitney Houston and Patti Smith and is credited with reviving the careers of acts such the Grateful Dead, Lou Reed, and Aretha Franklin. It was regarding a song by Franklin that Davis wrote this note to producer Arif Mardin in 1981. An arrangement of Aretha’s song “Truth and Honesty” had gotten an enthusiastic vote of approval from her and Clive wrote back to Mardin to share the good news. “She said she hears the arrangement, the sweet inspirations wailing, etc.,” Davis wrote. “She really seemed to be carried away with it—I thought you should know.” The song went on to appear on Franklin’s 1981 album Love All the Hurt Away.

From left, courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; AP Photo

Billy Joel’s Letter to Ahmet Ertegun

In 2005, Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun was awarded the UJA (United Jewish Appeal) Federation’s Music Visionary of the Year award for his work in making Atlantic Records the nation’s premier R&B label in the 1950s and beyond. (With his help, the label came to boast talents like Ruth Brown, Ray Charles and LaVern Baker, among others.) “Piano Man” Billy Joel wrote a letter to Ertegun to congratulate him on behalf of the Federation: “Ahmet, From Ray Charles to Led Zeppelin, from Ruth Brown to Aretha Franklin, the music you’ve discovered and nurtured over the years has been an on-going inspiration to me & an unshakable cornerstone of American culture,” Joel wrote. “It’s an honor for me to share in the UJA’s recognition of your accomplishments and to be able to say I work in the same business as Ahmet Ertegun. Thanks for all the music & congratulations on the UJA award. With great appreciation, Billy Joel.”

From left, courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; AP Photo

Janis Joplin Handwritten Lyrics

The queen of psychedelic soul, Janis Joplin apparently counted herself among R&B pioneer Ruth Brown’s biggest fans. Joplin handwrote these lyrics to Brown’s 1953 hit “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” and probably performed her own version of the song.