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Alan Freed - History of Rock Music

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Alan Freed - History of Rock Music

Alan Freed

Alan Freed was born December 16, 1922 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

He was considered the most the most famous Disc Jockey(DJ) in rock 'n roll history,

however, controversy encircled the man and he received

lots of criticism especially from

white adults during his career. I think that Alan Freed greatly helped shape the sound of

music today and further advanced the progression of rock music. He is the person who

coined the term "Rock & Roll" and also put up with a lot of nonsense regarding the term.

At the time "Rock & Roll" was an urban african american term for sex, I think Alan realized

that the popular white culture would be turned off by the term R&B, which was mainly

associated with black artists, so he decided to give it a different name and expose that

style of music to the general public.

His radio name and nickname was "Moondog". These were also the names of his

non-segregated concerts in which black and white teenagers came to listen to good rock &

roll regardless of the singer's color. Moondog Balls were very popular and drew much

criticism from white parents. At the first Moondog Ball over 25,000 kids, mostly white,

showed up in the March of 1925 in Cleveland. I believe that what Freed did was good as

far as opening people up to racially diverse music and not really listening to what the media

had to say about it, including things like he was promoting "jungle music", which negatively

referred to African-American music.

After his DJ career in Cleveland, Freed transferred to a larger radio station, WINS,

in New York City. This was a good move because it gave him the opportunity to expose

larger masses of people to his non-racially censored music. Freed was against what were

called "white covers". White covers were black songs that were re-made by a white artist

so they could be played on the larger, more popular white radio stations because these

radio stations were not supposed to play songs by blacks. I think this further promoted non-

segregated music during the '50's and helped blacks win civil rights in general due to the

fact that Freed was showing that black music wasn't bad or immoral and could be played

on mainstream radio stations.

Due to his non-racist attitude, he gained many enemies in the music industry and

the media, though most of his enemies were big shot record company executives. He


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