Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


September 1, 2011

Peter C. Cavanaugh is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland has just unveiled a complete Museum redesign that tells the story of rock and roll in a more linear fashion and updates all museum technology to state-of-the-art including the interactive kiosks On the Air: Rock and Roll and Radio. Mr. Cavanaugh and his impact on rock music are featured in this exhibit.

At the age of sixteen in 1957, Peter C. Cavanaugh enjoyed a fifty-eight percent total audience share on his hometown station — WNDR in Syracuse. He maintained unequaled market dominance for years over WTAC in Flint before leaving the airwaves to become President of the station in 1977. His book “Local DJ” tracks Cavanaugh’s radio adventures through time — as well as promoting and producing literally hundreds of early concerts with the likes of Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Kiss and AC/DC.

As Executive Vice President of Reams Broadcasting, Peter ran a seven station radio group which included the top-rated Rock ‘n’ Roll stations in America — WWCK in Flint (Spring ‘84) and WIOT in Toledo (Winter ‘91). Mr. Cavanaugh is former Chairman of the NBC Source Board, President of the ABC Radio Affiliates Board and President of the Flint Area Advertising Federation. Peter lives in Oakhurst, California, with his wife, Eileen.

“Of all who had a major influence on me while growing up in the Midwest, none matched the audaciousness, tenacity and gonzo-like behavior of Peter Cavanaugh. He was more than just the rock ‘n roll guru who gave America its first encounters with The Who, Bob Seger and all the great Detroit bands (Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, MC5, etc.) He was the one who taught me how to go up against the powers-that-be and live to tell all. Thank you, Peter Cavanaugh, for saving a generation of Flint kids from the likes of Pat Boone” — Michael Moore

The On the Air: Rock and Roll and Radio kiosks are located in the Museum’s Ahmet Ertegun Hall in the Cities and Sounds gallery.

2 Responses to “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”

  1. Don Richards Says:

    Just goes to show ya that it may take decades but — and with a reverent tip of the hat to Bob Seger — rock and roll never forgets.

  2. Ellen Light Says:

    Peter, you deserve this completely. I was one of those thousands of kids back then that listened to WTAC all of the time…when we weren’t playing the albums that you introduced to us….or we weren’t seeing and listening to the musicians you brought to us live at Sherwood. I can easily echo Michael Moore’s sentiments. You inspired my love for music back then. Only now, looking back, can I truly see how lucky we all were. More recently I have come to admire and learn from that tenacity. You always were willing to grab for that brass ring. Thank you for being you. – Ellen

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