How did rock’n’roll sound like before Bill Haley and his Comets started their ascent to stardom with Decca in 1954? Here is an ‘aircheck’ of Alan Freed’s ‘The Moondog Show’ on Cleveland WJW, dated 6 April 1954, six days before ‘rock around the clock’ was to be recorded by the Comets in New York.
All teds probably know that Alan Freed launched the term rock’n’roll as the description of the music that was quickly developing as the music of choice of the teenagers of America in the early 1950s and would quickly spread to the rest of the world from the mid 1950s onwards.
“Hello everybody! How ye all tonite? This is Alan Freed, the ole king of the Moondoggers. And it’s time again for another of your favourite rock’n’roll sessions, blues and rhythm records for all the gang in the Moondog kingdom from the Midwest to the East Coast.”
“Hello again everybody! and welcome to the Moondog rock’n’roll party, another big Tuesday night rock’n’roll get-together with all the gang in the Moondog kingdom.”
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll: A frenzied teen-age music craze kicks up a big fuss’. 18.Apr.1955 Life pp.166-68
‘They’re dancing again in pix houses as B’klyn Par[amount] shakes with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll” 13.Apr.1955 Variety p.67
Mintz convinced Freed – a friend and onetime radio broadcaster from orchestral dances in Akron, Ohio – that the obscure tracks deserved some airtime. / His son, Stuart Mintz, says his father told Freed the “kids are rocking and rolling in the aisles to these records, but they won’t buy them”.
Even Elvis himself was quoted in 1958 as saying, “Rock ‘n’ roll has been around for many years. It used to be called rhythm and blues.”
In the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, Freed tells the audience that “rock and roll is a river of music which has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, ragtime, cowboy songs, country songs, folk songs. All have contributed greatly to the big beat.”
1945-51 Alan Freed joined WAKR (Akron OH) and became a local favorite, playing hot jazz and pop recordings. Radio Editor for Akron Beacon Journal, followed Freed and his “Request Review” nightly program of dance. When he left the station, the non-compete clause in his contract limited its ability to find work elsewhere, and he was forced to take the graveyard shift at Cleveland’s WJW radio where he eventually made history playing the music he called “Rock and Roll.”
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REWORD On July 11, 1951, Freed went on the air at WJW and began playing R&B records. He didn’t make the move to R&B all at once, but gradually. And after listeners responded with repeated requests, he went full bore. He then began calling himself ‘Moondog’ and his show ‘The Moondog House’, billing himself in radio banter as ‘The King of the Moondoggers’. He used an instrumental song, ‘moondog symphony’, as his show’s theme, a song by a New York street musician named Louis T. Hardin who also used the name ‘Moondog’. Others report that Freed used the song, ‘blues for moon dog’ as his radio theme, a song by Todd Rhodes.
Freed presented his first live show on the East Coast on 1 May 1954 in Newark’s Sussex Avenue Armory. Later on that same month, it was announced that executives of New York radio station WINS were holding talks with Freed hoping to lure him from his base in Cleveland.
On September 7, 1954 Freed broadcast his first show on WINS in New York.
After a month on the air on WINS on a late night schedule (11pm-2am), he was given an additional hour earlier in the evening from 7-8pm. One month after presenting the Freed show in the 7-8pm hour, another hour was added due to tremendous audience response. The show is now on from 7-9 every night.
Soon after arriving in New York, he lost his ‘Moondog’ nickname after a threatened lawsuit from a street character with the same name. He then decided to call his late-night show ‘Rock’n’Roll Party’.
Began styling himself ‘the king of the rock’n’rollers’ in New York.
Gil Bernal ‘the whip’ Mar 1954
en 1950 a rejoint la wxel tv
en 1952 le 21 mars il a organise the moondog coronation ball a cleveland (y avaient elvire et greg c’est la qu’ils se sont rencontres)
en 53 il a eu un accident de bagnole
en 55 il il fasisait partie du wins studi il gagnait 150000 $
en 1956 il elu roi du rocknroll
la meme anne il presente une affichealan freed and his rock n roll easter show avec les platters the ten agers flamingos jodimars
le 5 octobre 1956il fait partie d’un show sur cbs
puis le meme jour un autre avec count basie
puis en 1957 il y a l’anniversaure de son show a new york don’t knock the rock
1957 (arrrrgghhhh les americains n’ont pas encore eu sapo)
le 4 juilletil organise le summwer festival
le 26 du meme mois il anime le big beat show
en 57 il est avec little richard il anime le troisieme aniversaire du rock n roll stage show
il est dans le film mister rock n roll
en 58 il est a la wabc
en 59 il est dans le film go johnny go!
en 1959 il est dans le wnew tv big beat show le 16 aout
les problemes commencent a arriver le 24 novembre 1959 il fait la une du daily news
le lendemain dans le new york post ils en remettent une couche
il a commence a boire et en est mort en 1965
Even in death, Alan Freed, was not beloved of the establishment. In 2014, the Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland booted out his cremated remains.