Freed’s Ashes Ousted To Make Way For Beyoncé’s Leotard’s

The ashes of one of the founding fathers of rock and roll and a pioneer in promoting black rhythm and blues music Alan Freed have been removed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

This is ironic, as one of the reason’s the Hall of Fame was built in Cleveland was because of the Freed connection.

It appears that Lance Freed, Alan’s son was told several months ago by the Hall’s President and CEO Greg Harris that he would have to “immediately” remove his father’s ashes, which had been on display since 2002, from the building.

According to Cleveland newspaper The Pain Dealer Harris told Freed’s son: “Look Lance, there’s something strange, people walk past the exhibit and your dad’s ashes and they scratch their heads and can’t figure out what this thing is, and we’d like you to come pick up the ashes.”

Alan Freed is popularly credited with coining the term “rock and roll” as a DJ in the early 1950s. On July 11th, 1951, Freed began playing rhythm and blues records on radio station WJW in Cleveland. His show was called ‘The Moondog House’ and he billed himself as ‘The King of the Moondoggers’. He hosted the first big R&B dance ‘The Moondog Coronation Ball’, in 1952 at the Cleveland Arena.

250px-Moondog_posterThe show, which was a sensation, consisted of black R&B artists such as bandleader Paul Williams; jump blues combo leader Tiny Grimes, vocal group Billy Ward and The Dominoes and female R&B singer Varetta Dillard.

He championed black vocal groups, R&B singers and rock and roll artists. In 1954, Freed moved to the New York station WINS, which eventually became a 24-hour rock and roll radio station. He went onto host a TV show called ‘The Big Beat’ on ABC, which predated ‘American Bandstand’ in the late 1950s. Along with other DJs he became embroiled in the late 1950s payola scandal, where DJ’s were paid by record companies to plug their records on air.

It resulted in negative publicity and Freed moved from station to station. He eventual died aged just 43 in 1965.

Freed’s remains had been brought to Cleveland from the Ferncliff Memorial Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York where they had been interred since his death.

Lance Freed says he was told by Harris that the Freed exhibit, minus the urn, would be moved to the lower level Ahmet Ertegun hall as part of a chronological history of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Freed is incredibly important to us,” Greg Harris said. The museum continues carry the Freed name on its radio studio and displays that ‘Moondog Coronation Ball’ plaque.

Harris also said that museums today are leaning away from displaying items like ashes and other things, unless there is a medical context.

Lance Freed said: “We’re looking for a Cleveland cemetery for his remains. Once we find one, then we’ll have a public service. This is going to be my father’s final resting place. I want to make sure in his death he gets the respect he deserves because he didn’t in the last years of his life. I want to protect his legacy and memory.”

What has irked so many R&B, Blues and Rock & Roll fans is that a week after Freed’s ashes were removed room was made for singer Beyoncé’s leotards and a mermaid gown! 

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