Dr. J's Rock and Roll Classes


In order to keep the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends advertisement-free, the site has been supported by the rock and roll history classes that I teach through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Saginaw Vallley State University and Rutgers University in New Jersey. Rock and roll classes have also been presented at Sunrise Side Lifelong Learning in Tawas City. These noncredit courses are open to the general public and offer discounted class fees for OLLI members.


Coming January 23 to February 13, 2017 to Saginaw Valley State University:


Ricky Nelson: They Called Him a Teenage idol

This class will look at the life, loves, music, and tragic death of Ricky Nelson, the first young TV star to become as million-selling rock and roll icon. The course will cover the history of the Nelson family, the successful Ozzie & Harriet TV show that featured many of Rick's biggest hits, his movie career, as well as Nelson's years as one of the pioneering artists of country rock through a wealth of video, audio recordings, and hundreds of Power Point slides.
The course will be held on Monday afternoons from 1:30 to 3:30 on January 23 and 30 and February 6 and 13 in the OLLI classroom at # 129 in Curtiss Hall. Instructor is Gary (Dr. J) Johnson.
Coming June 5th through June 26th, 2017, to Saginaw Valley State University:

Rock ‘N’ Roll Hitmakers: Songwriting Teams of the Brill Building Era

This class will focus the on the brilliant songwriting partnerships whose hit songs dominated Billboard’s Hot 100 during rock and roll’s first decade. Using a combination of audio, video, and Power Point slides, the course will examine the lives and careers of several Hall of Fame collaborators including: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, along with many of the artists they helped make famous.

The classes will be held on Monday afternoons from 1:00  to 3:00 p.m. on June 5, 12, 19, and 26 in the OLLI classroom at # 129 Curtiss Hall. Cost for OLLI members is $29. Instructor is Gary (Dr. J) Johnson.


 Mike Stoller, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Leiber.