Alan Freed Memorial Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland May 7, 2016
Alan Freed was a Cleveland disc jockey who has been called the "Father of Rock and Roll." He coined and popularized the term "rock and roll" and produced the nation's first rock concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball at the Cleveland Arena, in 1952. This was an important part of the decision to have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum built in Cleveland, Ohio.
A memorial was held and an unveiling of a monument at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland on May 7, 2016. and hundreds of fans and music industry people attended.
Legendary disc jockey and rock historian Norm N. Nite served as MC and welcomed the crowd and gave a brief bio of Alan Freed, the disc jockey who became the Father of Rock and Roll.
Norm N. Nite
Nite said that Freed took a "teenagers mind and funneled it into 50,000 watts."
Norm N. Nite introduced Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members The Drifters who performed the classic This Magic Moment.
Lake View Cemetery President Katharine Goss told about the cemetery and welcomed Alan Freed who will rest among other notables such as John D. Rockefeller, President James A. Garfield, Eliot Ness, Ray Chapman and others.
Norm N. Nite introduced Little Steven Van Zandt who was the keynote speaker.
Little Steven Van Zandt
Steve Van Zandt is known for his work with Southside Johnny, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, solo albums, acting in the Sopranos and his radio show Little Steven's Underground Garage. Van Zandt told stories of Alan Freed and rock and roll.
Norm N. Nite recognized some of the people in the audience such as Supertramp founder Rick Davies.
Rick Davies of Supertramp
He read proclamations from Governor John Kasich and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
The Drifters came back and performed the classic Smoke Gets in your Eyes.
Former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president Terry Stewart spoke and told stories of Alan Freed and rock and roll.
Norm N. Nite introduced the 1950's teen idol Jimmy Clanton who told stories about early rock and roll, Alan Freed and the music business. Clanton starred in a rock and roll movie produced by Alan Freed called Go Johnny Go.
Jimmy Clanton then sang his hit Just a Dream.
Next, Ohio State Senator Kenny Yuko gave a proclamation.
Norm N. Nite introduced David Porter from Memphis. Porter is one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time and a 2005 inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Sig Freed, the youngest daughter of Alan Freed, shared stories of her father and family.
Next, Lance Freed, who made the event happen for his father, shared stories of his father and family.
Alan Freed Jr., the baby of the family, was next to share stories of his father and family.
Alan Freed Jr.
The Drifters closed with the classic Ben E. King song Stand by Me.
Finally the big moment. Norm N. Nite called the Freed family to the covered monument and they unveiled it.
Norm N. Nite
Little Steven Van Zandt and others posed with the new monument to the Father of Rock and Roll.