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Famed Broadcaster Alan Freed’s Remains Roll Out of the Rock Hall

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 6:00 AM

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The cremated remains of famed Cleveland disk jockey Alan Freed were removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum by his son, yesterday. ideastream's David C. Barnett reports the action came after the Rock Hall decided that the ashes should be relocated.

Just after noontime on Monday, a square, golden-hued urn containing Alan Freed’s cremains were handed over to his son Lance by Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris.  The departure of the ashes was decidedly different than their arrival twelve years ago which was presided over by a local Rabbi.  The impact of area broadcasters like Freed and his contemporary Bill Randle were key selling points in getting the museum located in Cleveland to begin with.  Freed also organized a rhythm and blues show at the Cleveland Arena in 1952 that has long been cited as having been the first Rock and Roll concert. Freed apologized on air the next day for having sold more tickets than there were seats

ALAN FREED: We had no idea that the turn-out would anywhere come close to the tremendous number of folks who turned out last night at the Cleveland Arena.

Freed is generally credited with attaching the term “rock and roll” to the musical hybrid form that exploded across popular culture in the mid-1950s.  Freed died in New York in 1965 and that’s where his ashes were interred until being transferred to the Rock Hall in 2002 on the 50th anniversary of his famous concert.  For its part, the museum says, QUOTE, “nearly a year ago, we initiated a conversation with the Freed family about the possibility of returning the ashes so that they could be moved to a more appropriate resting place.” The Rock Hall plans to substitute a pair of microphones in its Freed display.  Greg Harris told the Plain Dealer that the museum world is moving away from the display of remains.  An upset Lance Freed told the paper that the family is currently searching a final resting place in Northeast Ohio for the man who put a name on the music.

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Arts and Culture, History, Music, Community/Human Interest

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