Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association

Jenna Hardy Pedersen, director of the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association, is shown with a rendering of the group's proposed museum in West Okoboji on Oct. 22, 2013.

Russ Oechslin, Sioux City Journal file

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WEST OKOBOJI, Iowa | The Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association formed in 1997 to recognize the state’s contribution to the genre. It’s been growing ever since with a mission to promote and preserve music history.

More than 360 artifacts are on display in a museum maintained by the association in Arnolds Park Amusement Park.

Exhibits include a 1966 Wurlitzer jukebox, a 1940s wire recorder, the gold record of "Peter Rabbit" by Dee Jay & the Runaways, Paul Revere & the Raiders' VOX keyboard, a napkin signed by all the original Crickets, including Buddy Holly, costumes worn by the hottest Iowa bands in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and much more.

About two-thirds of the nonprofit organization’s memorabilia is in storage.

An effort is underway to secure funding for a new facility for the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association in the Iowa Great Lakes.

Plans call for a 12,000-square-foot center with exhibit space, office area, outdoor Hall of Fame and guitar-shaped amphitheater with roof seating along Iowa Highway 86 in West Okoboji.

FEH Associates Inc., of Sioux City, is designing the project. A groundbreaking is slated for 2015. Construction is expected to take about two years on land that was donated by Toby and Sylvia Shine, owners of the adjacent Okoboji Classic Cars Museum.

The current location, at 800 square foot, is expected to serve as a satellite location. The summer concert series, “Rock the Roof,” will continue there as well.

In addition to sustaining a museum, the association also provides music education programs to schools, churches and youth groups statewide and honors those who have made an impact on Iowa’s rock 'n’ roll music scene.

This year’s hall of fame inductees with Sioux City ties include Ronnie Meek and Tom Gilman, Don Bourrett, Instant Blues Machine and Kent Larson. Also, the Chesterfield, at 1225 Fourth St., received a Spirit Award for its outstanding contribution to the preservation of music in Iowa.


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