Friday, December 15, 2006

Rock 'n Roll


Alan Freed was born on this day in 1922 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Freed was a journeyman disc jockey who, while emceeing a rhythm 'n blues show for white kids on WJW-Radio in Cleveland in 1951, is thought to have coined the phrase "rock 'n roll."

He later became an influential presence in the promotion of rock at radio and TV stations in New York. He was at the height of his fame as the host of an ABC dance show when the sight of Frankie Lymon dancing with a white girl caused ABC's Southern affiliates to ask for Freed's head. After promoting a live rock show at the Boston Arena, he was charged with incitement to riot, resulting in his being fired by ABC. He later declared bankruptcy. Subsequent convictions on commercial bribery and federal tax evasion charges sealed his fate. He died on January 20, 1965 in Palm Springs, California.

He was posthumously admitted to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Fathead said...

While Freed did promote this new "race" music, he somehow managed to take co-writing credits on several early songs of the era, most notably Chuck Berry's "Maybelline." It was the beginning of the "man" keeping the artist down.

10:27 AM  

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