In celebration of Alan Freed’s 100th birthday, Bear Family Records® presents this historic compilation in the ‘Memorial Series’!

This issue tells the story of one of the most legendary disc jockeys in music history.

Included are 39 tracks from 1952 to 1959, a mix of then contemporary music from the Alan Freed shows and original excerpts from his radio broadcasts that made him famous.

As a bonus you get two ultra-rare live recordings from 1956 and 1957 with Jimmy Cavallo and The House Rockers and Little Richard.

The 36-page full-color booklet provides the story of Alan Freed and the contributing artists, meticulously researched and written by Chicago music journalist Bill Dahl, with many rare photos and memorabilia!

Alan Freed played mostly black rhythm and blues in his broadcasts, referred to by him early on as rock ‘n’ roll, and thus helped dismantle racial segregation in the United States.

Since Freed is directly involved in almost all of the recordings, this CD album takes on the character of one of his radio shows and can be enjoyed from beginning to end – a genuine rarity!

Just as well suited for nostalgic indulgence while cruising by car.

Rock and Roll

Alan Freed was THE top radio D.J. in 1950s America. Not because he is – incorrectly – considered to be the inventor of the term ‘rock and roll’ (African-Americans had been using that moniker since the 1930s), but because he took advantage of the rising popularity of R&B and white rock ‘n’ roll to put on R&B originals, which he then called rock and roll. He came up with all sorts of gimmicks for his radio shows and enthralled a teenage generation from Mexico to Canada. Hollywood took advantage of his immense popularity and gave him roles in music movies, and he got his own TV show. With this album we chronicle the most important years of his life, from his rapid rise to his sad decline in connection with the ‘Payola’ affair.

100 years of Alan Freed

Even if some titles on this CD are well known, like Bo Diddley or Chuck Berry’s Oh Baby Doll – but where else do you get to hear these titles with announcements from the first legendary dee-jay in music history?  One or two songs may be available on YouTube, but the audio quality of our production is unbeatable. What made Alan Freed so popular? What made him the prototype of the radio DJ? Our CD production answers these questions twice.

Alan Freed’s story is told both musically and lyrically on 36 pages in the full-color accompanying booklet with many rare illustrations.

No, he did not invent the genre term ‘Rock and Roll’. But Alan Freed did use the phrase in his early ‘Moondog’ radio shows in Cleveland, Ohio. Later in New York, his ‘Rock and Roll Dance Party’ shows became legendary, especially as he took them from the radio to the stage as well, putting on huge live concerts from which the bonus live tracks were taken.

Alan Freed dedicated his life to rock ‘n’ roll, shaking the barriers of segregation by helping African-American music gain popularity with white audiences as well. Segregation did not exist at his live concerts. Eventually, Alan Freed failed. His involvement in the great radio corruption scandal of the late 1950s was only one of the reasons. As Bill Dahl concludes in his accompanying text, “Alan Freed was rock and roll’s best friend.” With this CD edition we would like to commemorate the great Alan Freed, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on December 15, 2021.

01        Intro / Rock ‘n’ Roll Boogie    Ronnie Aldrich & The Squadronaires

02        Freed’s Apology-The Moondog House Radio Show-WJW Cleveland          Alan Freed

03        Moon Dog Boogie      Freddie Mitchell Orchestra

04        Radio Intro-WJW Cleveland  Alan Freed

05        The Whip        Gil Bernal

06        Beer Commercial-WJW Cleveland     Alan Freed – Gil Bernal

07        Only You        lan Freed & His Rock ‘N Roll Band featuring The Modernaires

08        Station I.D. & Commercials-WJW Cleveland            Alan Freed

09        Make Me A Present Of You   Ernie Andrews

10        Moondoggers’ Bones-WJW Cleveland           Alan Freed

11        The Big Beat   Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor & His Orchestra

12        Alan Freed – Talks about ‘The Blackboard Jungle’-WINS New York           Alan Freed

13        (We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock        Alan Freed & His Rock ‘N Roll Band, vocal by ‘Hal & Al’

14        Rock Love      Eddie Fontaine

15        Outro Eddie Fontaine & Intro Rusty Bryant-Rock’N’Roll Party Radio Show-WINS New York    Alan Freed

16        Back Street     Rusty Bryant & The Carolyn Club Band

17        Station I.D. & Talks About A Model Agency-WINS New York      Alan Freed

18        Teener’s Canteen         Alan Freed & His Rock ‘N Roll Band

19        Commercials & Marie Adams Intro-WINS New York          Alan Freed

20        Boom Diddy Wa Wa  Johnny Otis Orchestra, Marie Adams & Junior Ryder vocal

21        Movie Trailer ‘The Man Without A Star’ & Otis Blackwell Intro-WINS New York Alan Freed

22        You Move Me, Baby  Otis Blackwell

23        Television Commercial & The Charms Intro-WINS New York         Alan Freed

24        Two Hearts     The Charms

25        Mercury Commercial & High School Radio Station -WINS New York       Alan Freed

26        Easy Rock       Alan Freed & His Rock ‘N Roll Band

27        Furniture Commercial-WINS New York       Alan Freed

28        Alan Freed – Talks About Rock And Roll Artists-WINS New York           Alan Freed

29        Bo Diddley (with Alan Freed Intro)  Bo Diddley

30        See You Later Alligator          Alan Freed & His Rock ‘N Roll Band, vocal by ‘Hal & Al’

31        The Space Man           Alan Freed, Steve Allen, Al ‘Jazzbo’ Collins & The Modernaires

32        Alan Freed – Announcement Rock’N’Roll Dance Party No.1           Alan Freed

33        Lucille (live)    Little Richard

34        Rock, Rock, Rock (live)         Jimmy Cavallo & The House Rockers

35        Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track) (with Alan Freed Intro)    The Johnny Burnette Trio

36        Oh, Baby Doll (with Alan Freed Intro)          Chuck Berry

37        Gosah  The King’s Hentchmen

38        Goodnight My Love (Pleasant Dreams) (with Alan Freed Intro)      Jesse Belvin

39        Alan Freed – Farewell To His Fans-‘Big Beat’ Rock’N*Roll Dance Party-WNEW-TV Show         Alan Freed


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