Rock & Roll Pioneer

The polished black granite gravestone in Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery honors disc jockey Alan Freed, a pioneer in Rock & Roll radio.  His gravestone displays an image of a juke box on the face of the stone and the following epitaph carved on the back:

ALAN FREED

1921 – 1965

“ROCK & ROLL” WAS BORN IN

CLEVELAND WHEN OHIO NATIVE

AND RADIO DISC JOCKEY

ALN FREED CONINED THE PHRASE

IN 1951.  HE CHAMPIONED THE UPTEMPS, RHYTHM-AND-BLUES

SOUND, AND THE MUSIC APPEALED

TO PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE

RACIAL DIVIDE.  FREED USHERED IN

A NEW SPIRIT THAT HELPED BREAK

THE BARRIERS OF SEGREGATION AND

PROVIDED A JOYFUL SOUNDTRACK

FOR HOPE AND CHANGE.

A TRAILBLAZER FOR ROCK & ROLL

THROUGH HIS RADIO SHOWS, CONCERTS,

TELEVISION SHOWS, AND MOVIE

APPEARANCES, THE MUSIC’S POPULARITY

WENT GLOBAL AND FOREVER CHANGED

OUR CULTURAL LANDSCAPE.

WITH THE SUCCES OF HIS

“MOONDOG ROCK & ROLL HOUSE PARTY”

RADIO SHOW, FREED ORGANIZED

CLEVELAND’S “MOONDOG CORONATION BALL”

THE WORLD’S FIRST ROCK CONCERT

ON MARCH 21, 1952.

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