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Alan Freed

Alan Freed

After moving to Ohio at the age of 12, Alan developed his life-long love affair with music. He was a trombone player and formed a band, called the Sultans of Swing, however an ear infection ended his dream of being a big time band leader.  At THE Ohio State University he discovered radio and while serving in the US Army during World War II, he worked as a DJ at Armed Forces Radio. After the war and he joined WAKR in Akron and became a local favorite playing hot jazz and pop. In 1951 he moved to WJW to chair the overnights and the rest is history. He bridged the gap of segregation among teens, playing African-American music on his show. He also arranged live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences. Freed peppered his show with hipster language and used an R&B record called “Moondog’ as his theme song. Freed promoted dances and concerts focused on his playlist and on March 21, 1952 was one of the promoters of a 5 act concert called the ‘Moondog Coronation Ball’, the first Rock and Roll concert. Freed is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a recipient of Grammy’s Trustee award and a member of the first group inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame.

“Let’s face it, rock and roll is bigger than all of us”. Alan Freed—the King of the Moondogs.

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