Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alan Freed

On The Air
by George E. Condon
The Plain Dealer, August, 1954

King of the Moondogs Quits WJW

The spectacular career of Disk Jockey Alan Freed, who has reigned on Station WJW here as "King of the the Moondogs” for three years, will begin a new phase next month, when he shifts from the Cleveland station to Station WINS in New York.

Billboard reported the Cleveland disc jockey's move "may involve the biggest sum of money ever paid to a rhythm and blues jockey by an independent radio station."

Freed has enjoyed a meteoric career in Clevelabd radio and television. He came to this city from WAKR, Akron in April 1950. In July 1951 he began the late-hour "Moondog" program over WJW. When the disc jockey staged a "Moondog Ball" in Clevelabd Arena in March, 1952 a near-riot ensued. A crowd estimated at 25,000 showed up and the Arena's capacity is about 10,000. It took a section of the Cleveland Police to restore order.

The "Moondog Show" would continue on the Cleveland station with another disc jockey, although it was possible the station would buy Freed's program out of New York.

The disc jockey’s career here nearly ended in tragedy in April 1953. He fell asleep at the wheel of his car in the early morning hours, after work, and the car crashed into a tree in Shaker Heights.

Source: The Plain Dealer

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