Ohio Historical Marker
Birthplace Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
When radio station WJW disc jockey Alan Freed (1921-1965) used the term “rock and roll” to describe the uptempo black rhythm and blues records he played beginning in 1951, he named a new genre of popular music that appealed to audiences on both sides of 1950s American racial boundaries – and dominated American culture for the rest of the 20th century. The popularity of Freed’s nightly “Moon Dog House Rock and Roll Party” radio show encouraged him to organize the Moondog Coronation Ball – the first rock concert. Held at the Cleveland Arena on March 21, 1952, the oversold show was beset by a riot during the first set. Freed, a charter inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, moved to WINS in New York City in 1954 and continued to promote rock music through radio, television, movies, and live performances.
The Ohio Bicentennial Commission
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Ohio Historical Society