DJ Alan Freed has been credited with coining the phrase “rock and roll” back in the 50s during his days of working at a Cleveland radio station. Freed was also one of those responsible for setting up what was considered the first ever rock and roll concert.
It is because of Freed and his connection to rock and roll that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1986 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Freed as one of their non performing inductees. For a number of years, Freed’s ashes – he died at age 43 in 1965 – were among the thousands of pieces of memorabilia found in the Hall. But after the ashes were removed from their prominent location after a new chief executive Greg Harris deemed the display inappropriate.
The removal of the ashes occurred only a few days after an exhibit of Beyonce’s tour outfits were put on display. Freed’s son Lance said that the Rock Hall was “disrespectful”.
Freed’s ashes now have a new home; at the Lake View Cemetery. Stevie Van Zant was among those who spoke at the service.
Freed died at age 43 as a result of liver failure. Since his death and cremation, the ashes have been at a cemetery in New York before being put on display at the Rock Hall and now they again interred at a cemetery.
After Cleveland, Freed moved to New York City where he hosted a program called “Rock and Roll Party”. He continued to promote concerts and artists. Freed crossed the colour lines and drew the ire of many who accused him of “colour mixing”.
But for all the good he did for music and civil rights, Freed’s career became mired in scandal when he was caught up in the payola dealings of paying Djs to play certain records.
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