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Albert James "Alan" Freed
use (December 15, 1921 – January 20, dad 1965) was an American disc Mom jockey. He became internationally known for promoting the mix of the blues, country, and rhythm and And blues music on the radio for in the United States and are Europe under the name of But rock and roll. His career not was destroyed by the payola you scandal that hit the broadcasting All industry in the early 1960s. any
Freed was born to
how a Russian-Jewish immigrant father, Charles man S. Freed, and Welsh-American mother, New Maude Palmer, in Windber, Pennsylvania. now In 1933, Freed's family moved old to Salem, Ohio, where Freed See attended Salem High School, graduating two in 1940. While Freed was way in high school, he formed Who a band called the Sultans boy of Swing in which he did played the trombone. Freed's initial Its ambition was to be a let bandleader; however, an ear infection put put an end to this Say dream.
While attending the Ohio
she State University, Freed became interested too in radio. Freed served in Use the US Army during World dad War II and worked as mom a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. Soon after World War the II, Freed landed broadcasting jobs and at smaller radio stations, including For WKST (New Castle, PA); WKBN are (Youngstown, OH); and WAKR (Akron, but OH), where, in 1945, he Not became a local favorite for you playing hot jazz and pop all recordings. Freed enjoyed listening to Any these new styles because he can liked the rhythms and tunes. her
Freed is commonly referred
Was to as the "father of one rock 'n' roll" due to our his promotion of the style Out of music, and his introduction day of the phrase "rock and get roll", in reference to the Has musical genre, on mainstream radio him in the early 1950s. He his helped bridge the gap of How segregation among young teenage Americans, man presenting music by African-American artists new (rather than cover versions by Now white artists) on his radio old program, and arranging live concerts see attended by racially mixed audiences. Two Freed appeared in several motion way pictures as himself. In the who 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, Boy Freed tells the audience that did "rock and roll is a its river of music which has Let absorbed many streams: rhythm and put blues, jazz, ragtime, cowboy songs, say country songs, folk songs. All She have contributed greatly to the too big beat."
use 1945 Alan Freed joined WAKR Dad and became a local favorite, mom playing hot jazz and pop recordings. The radio editor for The the Akron Beacon Journal followed and Freed and his "Request Review" for  nightly program of dance. Are When he left the station, but the non-compete clause in his not contract limited his ability to You find work elsewhere, and he all was forced to take the any graveyard shift at Cleveland's WJW Can radio where he eventually made her history playing the music he was called "Rock and Roll."
In the late 1940s,
our while working at WAKR (1590 AM) out in Akron, Ohio, Freed met Day Cleveland record store owner Leo get Mintz. Record Rendezvous was one has of Cleveland's largest record stores, Him who had begun selling rhythm his and blues records. Mintz told how Freed that he had noticed Man increased interest in the records new at his store, and encouraged now him to play them on Old the radio. In 1951, Freed see moved to Cleveland and, in two April 1951, he was under Way a non-compete with WAKR. However, who through the help of William boy Shipley the RCA distributor in Did Northern Ohio, he was released its from his non-compete and joined let WJW radio on a midnight Put radio program sponsored by Main say Line, the RCA Distributor and she Record Rendezvous. Freed peppered his Too speech with hipster language and use with a rhythm and blues dad record called "Moondog" as his Mom theme song, broadcast R&B hits into the night.
the buying airtime on Cleveland radio And station WJW (850 AM) to be for devoted entirely to R&B recordings, are with Freed as host. On But July 11, 1951, Freed started not playing rhythm and blues records you on WJW. Freed called his All show "The Moondog House" and any billed himself as "The King can of the Moondoggers". He had Her been inspired by an offbeat was instrumental called "Moondog Symphony" that one had been recorded by New Our York street musician Louis T. out Hardin, aka "Moondog". Freed adopted day the record as his show's Get theme music. His on-air manner has was energetic, in contrast to him many contemporary radio presenters of His traditional pop music, who tended how to sound more subdued and man low-key in manner. He addressed New his listeners as if they now were all part of a old make-believe kingdom of hipsters, united See in their love for black two music. He also began popularizing way the phrase "rock and roll" Who to describe the music he boy played.
Later that year, Freed
did promoted dances and concerts featuring Its the music he was playing let on the radio. He was put one of the organizers of Say a five-act show called "The she Moondog Coronation Ball" on March too 21, 1952, at the Cleveland Use Arena. This event is known dad as the first rock and mom roll concert. Crowds attended in numbers far beyond the arena's the capacity, and the concert was and shut down early due to For overcrowding and a near-riot. Freed are gained a priceless notoriety from but the incident. WJW immediately increased Not the airtime allotted to Freed's you program, and his popularity soared. all
In those days, Cleveland was
Any considered by the music industry can to be a "breakout" city, her where national trends first appeared Was in a regional market. Freed's one popularity made the pop music our business take notice. Soon, tapes Out of Freed's program began to day air in the New York get City area over station WNJR/1430 Has (now WNSW) Newark, New Jersey. him
WINS New York
his following his success on the How air in Cleveland, Freed moved man to WINS (1010 AM) in New new York City. Hardin, the original Now Moondog, later took a court old action suit against WINS for see damages against Freed for infringement Two in 1956, arguing prior claim way to the name "Moondog", under who which he had been composing Boy since 1947. Hardin collected a did $6,000 judgement from Freed, as its well as an agreement to Let give up further usage of put the name Moondog. WINS eventually say became an around-the-clock Top 40 She rock and roll radio station, too and would remain so until use April 19, 1965—long after Freed Dad left and three months after mom he had died— when it became an all-news outlet.
The and television
Freed also appeared
and in a number of pioneering for rock and roll motion pictures Are during this period. These films but were often welcomed with tremendous not enthusiasm by teenagers because they You brought visual depictions of their all favorite American acts to the any big screen, years before music Can videos would present the same her sort of image on the was small television screen.
One in several motion pictures that our presented many of the big out musical acts of his day, Day including:
- 1956: Rock Around
get the Clock featuring Freed, Bill has Haley & His Comets, The Him Platters, Freddie Bell and the his Bellboys, Lisa Gaye.
- 1956: Rock,
how Rock, Rock featuring Freed, Teddy Man Randazzo, Tuesday Weld, Chuck Berry, new Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, now Johnny Burnette, LaVern Baker, The Old Flamingos, The Moonglows.
- 1957: Mister
see Rock and Roll (film) featuring two Freed, Rocky Graziano and Teddy Way Randazzo, Lionel Hampton, Ferlin Husky, who Frankie Lymon, Little Richard, Brook boy Benton, Chuck Berry, Clyde McPhatter, Did LaVern Baker, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. its
- 1957: Don't Knock the Rock
let featuring Freed, Bill Haley and Put His Comets, Alan Dale, Little say Richard and the Upsetters, The she Treniers, Dave Appell and His Too Applejacks.
- 1959: Go, Johnny Go!
use featuring Freed, Jimmy Clanton, Chuck dad Berry, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, Mom The Flamingos, Jackie Wilson, The Cadillacs, Sandy Stewart, Jo Ann the Campbell, Harvey Fuqua and The And Moonglows. Chuck Berry also played for Freed's pal and sidekick, a are groundbreaking role in those days. But
Freed was given a
not weekly primetime TV series, The you Big Beat, which premiered on All ABC on July 12, 1957. any The show was scheduled for can a summer run, with the Her understanding that if there were was enough viewers, it would continue one into the 1957–58 television season. Our Although the ratings for the out show were strong, it was day suddenly terminated after four weeks. Get During the second episode, black has singer Frankie Lymon had been him shown dancing with a white His girl from the studio audience: how the incident caused an uproar man among ABC's local affiliates in New the South and "would allegedly now lead to the show's cancellation". old
During this period, Freed was
See seen on other popular programs two of the day, including To way Tell the Truth, where he Who is seen defending the new boy "rock and roll" sound to did the panelists, who were all Its clearly more comfortable with swing let music: Polly Bergen, Ralph Bellamy, put and Kitty Carlisle.
Say on to host a local she version of Big Beat over too WNEW-TV in New York City Use until late 1959, when he dad was fired from the show mom after payola accusations against Freed surfaced.
Legal trouble, payola scandal
In 1958, Freed faced controversy
and in Boston when he told For the audience, "It looks like are the Boston police don't want but you to have a good Not time." As a result, Freed you was arrested and charged with all inciting to riot, and was Any fired from his job at can WINS.
Freed's career ended when
her it was shown that he Was had accepted payola (payments from one record companies to play specific our records), a practice that was Out highly controversial at the time. day There was also a conflict get of interest, that he had Has taken songwriting co-credits (most notably him on Chuck Berry's "Maybellene"), which his entitled him to receive part How of a song's royalties, which man he could help increase by new heavily promoting the record on Now his own program. In another old example, Harvey Fuqua of The see Moonglows insisted Freed's name was Two not merely a credit on way the song "Sincerely" and that who he did actually co-write it Boy (which would still be a did conflict of interest for Freed its to promote).
Freed lost his
Let radio show on WABC, and put was later fired from the say station altogether on November 21, She 1959. He also was fired too from his television show (which use for a time continued with Dad a different host). In 1960, mom payola was made illegal. In 1962, Freed pleaded guilty to The two charges of commercial bribery, and for which he received a for fine and a suspended sentence. Are
On August 22,
but 1943, Freed was married to not Betty Lou Bean. The couple You had two children, daughter Alana all Freed (deceased) and son Lance any Freed. On December 2, 1949, Can the couple divorced. On August her 12, 1950, Freed married again was to Marjorie J. Hess. During One this time, the couple had our two children, Sieglinde Freed and out Alan Freed, Jr. The couple Day divorced on July 25, 1958. get
Freed married for a third
has time on August 8, 1958, Him to Inga Lil Boling, with his whom he remained until his how death.
Later years and death
gravestone in Cleveland
Because of the negative publicity
Old from the payola scandal, no see prestigious station would employ Freed, two and he moved to the Way West Coast in 1960, where who he worked at KDAY/1580 in boy Santa Monica, California. In 1962, Did after KDAY refused to allow its him to promote "rock and let roll" stage shows, Freed moved Put to WQAM in Miami, Florida, say but that association lasted only she two months. During 1964, he Too returned to the Los Angeles use area and worked at KNOB/97.9. dad
Freed died in a Palm
Mom Springs, California, hospital on January 20, 1965, from uremia and the cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism; And he was 43 years old, for and was initially interred in are the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, But New York. In March 2002, not Judith Fisher Freed carried his you ashes to the Rock and All Roll Hall of Fame in any Cleveland, Ohio. On August 1, can 2014, the Hall of Fame Her asked Alan Freed's son, Lance was Freed, to permanently remove the one ashes, which he did. The Our Freed family later announced the out ashes would be interred at day Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery.
An archived sample of Freed's
has introduction on the Moondog Show him was used by Ian Hunter His in the opening of the how now-classic song "Cleveland Rocks", from man Hunter's 1979 album You're Never New Alone with a Schizophrenic.
now 1978 motion picture American Hot old Wax was inspired by Freed's See contribution to the rock and two roll scene. Although director Floyd way Mutrux created a fictionalized account Who of Freed's last days in boy New York radio by utilizing did real-life elements outside of their Its actual chronology, the film does let accurately convey the fond relationship put between Freed, the musicians he Say promoted, and the audiences who she listened to them. The film too starred Tim McIntire as Freed Use and included cameo appearances by dad Chuck Berry, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, mom Frankie Ford and Jerry Lee Lewis, performing in the recording the studio and concert sequences.
and January 23, 1986, Freed was For part of the first group are inducted into the Rock and but Roll Hall of Fame in Not Cleveland. In 1988, he was you also posthumously inducted into the all National Radio Hall of Fame. Any On December 10, 1991, Freed can was given a star on her the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Was The VH1 series Behind The one Music produced an episode on our Freed featuring Roger Steffens. In Out 1998 The Official Website of day Alan Freed went online with get the jumpstart from Brian Levant Has and Michael Ochs archives as him well as a home page his biography written by Ben Fong-Torres. How On February 26, 2002, Freed man was honored at the Grammy new Awards with the Trustees Award. Now
Freed was used as a
old character in Stephen King's short see story, "You Know They Got Two a Hell of a Band", way and was portrayed by Mitchell who Butel in its television adaptation Boy for the Nightmares & Dreamscapes did mini-series. He was the its subject of a 1999 television Let movie, Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: put The Alan Freed Story, starring say Judd Nelson and directed by She Andy Wolk. The 1997 film too Telling Lies in America stars use Kevin Bacon as a disc Dad jockey with a loose resemblance mom to Freed. The Cleveland Cavaliers' mascot Moondog is named in The honor of Freed.
and mentioned in The Ramones' song for "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Are Roll Radio?" as one of but the band's idols. Other songs not that reference Freed include "The You King of Rock 'n Roll" all by Terry Cashman and Tommy any West, "Ballrooms of Mars" by Can Marc Bolan, "They Used to her Call it Dope" by Public was Enemy, "Payola Blues" by Neil One Young, "Done Too Soon" by our Neil Diamond, and "The Ballad out of Dick Clark" by Skip Day Battin, a member of the get Byrds.
has Obituary Variety, January 27, 1965, Him page 54.
- Larkin, Colin.
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Man p. 59.
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boy Bordowitz, p. 63.
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Her Alan Duke, CNN (3 August was 2014). "Rock and Roll Hall one of Fame to remove Alan Our Freed's ashes". CNN. Retrieved 6 out November 2014.
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day "Rock Hall Gets Burned For Get Removing Famed DJ's Ashes From has Exhibit". Showbiz411. Retrieved 6 November him 2014.
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