Northeast Ohio Broadcasting Legend Alan Freed May Finally Be Laid to Rest
The late-Northeast Ohio broadcaster known for giving Rock and Roll it's name may have found his final resting place.
The ashes of famed radio disk jockey Alan Freed will be interred this Spring at Lakeview Cemetery --- final home to a president, over 20 Cleveland mayors, and numerous other local luminaries.
Freed first came to prominence on radio stations in Akron and Cleveland. His 1952 "Moondog Coronation Ball" at the Cleveland Arena is often cited as the first rock and roll concert. Freed became a national legend after his move to the airwaves in New York City. His ashes were first interred in New York, after his death in 1965. They were then transferred to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 for over a decade, and have spent the last year-and-a-half in a locked vault at Lakeview Cemetery, awaiting re-burial plans. Lakeview president Kathy Goss says a granite monument is about 95% done, created by a long-standing local company.
"They were doing monuments for us back in the late 1800s," she says, "and now, four generations later, they are doing the carving on the Freed monument. And it has all been custom-designed by the family. It is going to be completely unique --- not anything like it in the cemetery, not even close."
The phrase "rock and roll" has roots that are a century old, but Freed is generally credited with first applying the term to the amalgam of rhythm & blues and country music that came to prominence in the early 1950s. Freed rode a wave of popularity until he was brought down by the so-called "payola" scandal of the late '50s, where he and a number of other broadcasters were caught accepting money to play records.
Freed's remains will be buried between two ponds on the western side of the cemetery in a public ceremony on May 7th.