This webpage is a collection of Alan Freed clippings and images from various newspapers, as well as The Cash Box and Billboard magazines, for the time period 1955.
JANUARY 14, 1955: FREED BALL CLICKS AT ST. NICK'S; GROSSES 24G FOR TWO NIGHTS
NEW YORKDeejay Alan Freed's first "Rock 'N' Roll Ball" in this city was a complete sell-out for both nights at the St. Nicholas Arena. With a gross of over $24,000 in the till two days before the first dance (January 14), no tickets were sold at the door. This affair, like Freed's record-breaking dances in such cities as Cleveland and Akron, O., as well as Newark, N.J., featured only rhythm and blues talent.
Freed, now with Radio Station WINS in this city, threw the "Rock 'N' Roll" dance two nights at the St. Nicholas Arena because the place holds only 6,000 people and he could not obtain a larger auditorium....All advertising was done by Freed on his early and late shows over WINS, except for about 250 window posters placed in record shops. There was also a mailing made to members of Freed's "Rock 'N' Roll Club"....
JANUARY 1955: TEEN CROWD ROCKS & ROLLS AT FREED SHOW
Alan Freed's "Rock 'N' Roll Ball" held at St. Nicholas Arena on Friday and Saturday nights, Jan. 14 and 15, was a tremendous success financially, grossing over $24,000 (see separate item). But these eye-opening figures tell only part of the story, for the show had to be seen to be believed. A total of about 12,000 people jammed the hall on both nights. Actually, the word "jammed" can't begin to describe the solid mass that stood for five hours to see the spectacular r.&b. show put on by Freed and company.
Seen from above,the enthusiastic teeners seemed to be jelled into one swaying body with thousands of heads. That they adored Freed was evident from the uproarious welcome with which they greeted his appearance. The enthusiasm of the audience was transferred to the performers, who reacted to the frenzy with tremendous performances. A finale that lasted about half an hour was rocked in the atmosphere of a revival meeting. With Joe Turner at the mike and Fats Domino at the piano, the entire troup returned to the stage for a closing that was without parallel....An exhausting but thrilling experience for one and all.
ABOVE: States S 133 label. "Big Heavy" was originally titled "Blue Lites Boogie". Cozy Eggleston and Marie Stone (his wife) were both saxophone players in his combo.
The record was recorded in August 1952 and released in February 1954. It was Alan Freed's Theme Song on his WINS Rock 'N Roll Party in New York City.
ABOVE: THE BILLBOARD, January 29, 1955: ALAN FREED "ROCK 'N ROLL PARTY", RADIO STATION WINS
LISTEN (Windows Media Player): Big Heavy - Cozy Eggleston And His Combo - States S 133 - 1954.
DAILY NEWS, February 5, 1955: TEENERS "ROCK 'N' ROLL" TO NEW DISK FAVORITE
A solid beat with plenty of drive, wailing saxophones and a rhythm that starts things rockin'that's Alan Freed's "Rock 'N Roll Party" and man, it really is the greatest!
Teeners from all over New York write that they are really gone with Freed who's offbeat disk jockey show is heard four hours every night on Radio WINS. A wild and noisy session, The "Rock 'N Roll Party" starts loud and fast and keeps moving every minute. Freed is likely to beat time on a handy telephone book or holler along with the music, and generally make like it hasn't been too long since he was a teenager himself.
(NOTE: Freed's pounding on a telephone book certainly enhanced the "big beat" sound of the uptempo songs.)
It hasn't either. DeeJay Freed is only 32. He came to New York four months ago from Cleveland, where he sent 'em with solid stuff for four years. In the past four months, his show has acquired more than a thousand fan clubs from Massachusetts to Bermuda200 of them in the Bronx alone. The kids write him 10,000 letters a week, mostly with requests for the "Rock 'n' Roll" stuff that has the sweet and sappy pop tune on the ropes.
"Teens set the trends" says Freed, a pleasant young show man who sees the popularity of "Rock 'n' Roll" as a sign the kids are tired of listening to swoony crooners. "They want to dance again, and they want music they can dance to" he says. He is sure the dance business is on its way back. Freed nixes the notion that ballads are strictly for squares. But they've got to have a beat. Two of the top tunes with teenagers are ballads with a beat "Earth Angel" and "Sincerely". DeeJay Freed is especially pleased with the success of "Sincerely" since he wrote it. It has sold more than a million copies and is among the Top Ten tunes.
An important member of The "Rock 'N Roll Party" is Jackie, Freed's wife, who sits in on each session, goes through the mail, and tosses in a comment now and then. We try to make it a family kind of party, Freed says. We insist that the fan clubs be on the levelwe don't want any hoodlums or toughs. The cool kids of the jean crowd go along with that idea, too. The wail and stomp of "Rock 'n' Roll" might send the old folks out of the house, but it's bringing the kids in. They write Freed that they don't have to worry anymore about nothing to do and no place to go. Now they get together in one another's homes, turn on the radio, and let the joint start jumping.
As Johnny Wollard of Long Island City High School says, "We'd rather listen to Alan Freed then go roaming the streets. We hope you write a story real soon about this wonderful guy". Suzanne Spencer, a junior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary, writes that "Freed really rates with the whole crowd in Inwood". "'Rock 'n' Roll' is taking over popular music", they all say.
The "Rock 'N Roll Party" has no studio audience, but before long the Freed fans may be able to watch as well as listen. That's what the man said, kids! "Rock 'n' Roll" on TV really ought to be the most!
SALEM NEWS, March 1, 1955: FORMER SALEM MAN RISES AS DISC JOCKEY
Alan Freed's Rock-N-Roll Music Thrills New Yorkers
A modern version of The "Pied Piper" is Salem's Alan Freed... In popularizing rhythm and blues music, Alan Freed has thousands of New York teenagers following him via the wavelength of Radio Station WINS, where he is the "Rock 'n' Roll" disc jockey four hours each night from 7 to 9 p.m. and 11 to 1 a.m. In the few months since he started on the New York station September 8th, Freed's popularity has acquired more than a thousand fan clubs. The 10,000 letters and cards received weekly from his admirers mostly include requests for the "Rock 'n' Roll" stuff.
Freed says "Teens set the trend - they want to dance again and they want music they can dance to". His own composition, "Sincerely", a ballad with a beat, has sold more than a million copies and is one of the "Ten Top Tunes".
Because of the tremendous results of his New York radio programs, Alan decided to present a "Rock 'n' Roll Ball" at St. Nicholas Arena there. A two-night stand, January 14 and 15, it was acclaimed by New Yorkers as "one of the greatest shows ever presented in our town". The arena, with a 6,000 capacity, overflowed each night with an estimated 7,500 in attendance. An article in Variety stated "That's 15,000 customers at $2 a head for a gross of about $30,000. That's bigger than any Jazz contest ever staged anywhere in New York".
Lew Platt, also of Salem and Alan's manager, said "Many of the old-timers in radio and TV have told me that a disc jockey has never caused the interest and excitement in New York that Alan has - not even when CBS brought Arthur Godfrey from Washington in 1945 to be the top disc jockey on WCBS in New York". Lew continued "I have support from school principals, civic workers, and prominent people in Greater New York area who have learned that Alan freeze 'Rock 'n' Roll' radio shows each night over WINS have done more than any other factor to take kids off the streets at night". A New York paper quoted the kids themselves as saying "We'd rather be at home nights for Alan Freed's show then roam the streets".
Freed's radio shows are popular with all age groups, but high school and college students are his most devoted listeners. Fan mail pours in from such far away places as Maine, Boston, Worcester, Providence, Philadelphia, Washington, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Bermuda. Alan Freed "Rock 'n' Roll" music is the great new beat in American popular music. This trend to rhythmic music featuring exciting vocalists was started by Freed at radio station WJW in Cleveland in June of 1951. A few months later, Alan, known then as "King of the Moon Doggers", was northern Ohio's most popular disc jockey. Those shows resulted in his being signed by WINS executives Last Summer.
Alan wasn't always a disc jockey. He received his first training in radio at a radio school in Youngstown while he was a student at Salem High School. After his graduation from high school in 1940, he attended Ohio State University for two years. His first start in the radio and TV industry began in May of 1942 at radio station WSKT, New Castle, Pa.
Philadelphia's radio station WIBE was Alan's next place of employment. While there he was offered a job as sports announcer and newscaster at WKBN, Youngstown. Alan left Youngstown to go to WAKR, Akron, for an assignment as newscaster, sports and staff announcer. It was being called upon to fill the spot of the station's leading disc jockey, who left suddenly without notice, that started Freed on his way to his increasing popularity as an entertainer.
In the five years that Alan spent in Akron he was recognized as the leading radio personality in the vicinity. Taking an active part in campaigns against juvenile delinquency, he assisted leading Akron industrialists and businessmen in raising funds for a half million dollar Community Center. It was in the spring of 1946 that Lew Platt became Alan Freed's manager and together they presented stage shows, name bands and concerts.
Early in 1950 Alan was signed to WXEL-TV where he was featured on both afternoon and evening programs. When he changed over to a two-hour show,"Mid-day Movie, Alan's evenings were free. He signed with radio station WJW for a late night disc jockey program where he originated the idea of a "Moondog Radio Show" featuring recordings from the rhythm and blues field. The first "Moondog" dance held in the Cleveland arena in March 1952, attracted a crowd of more than 25,000 people. "Moondog" dances later held in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Lorain and Sharon, Pa., also attracted capacity crowds.
Transcriptions of the Cleveland radio show aired over WNJR, Newark, New Jersey, for the first three months built up such an audience that a "Moondog Coronation Ball" was held May 1, 1954 in the mammoth Sussex Avenue Armory in Newark. It attracted 11,000 paid admissions to see Alan Freed and his company of 36 musicians, vocal groups and singers .
Freed and Platt, who have a talent management agency on Broadway, are now in the midst of discussions with two major networks to stage a weekly "Rock 'n' Roll" TV show, with Alan featured as master of ceremonies, with the singing stars and orchestras, whose records he has popularized on his radio shows.
Alan resides in Long Island with his wife and three children, Alana, 10; Lanny, 7; and eight-month-old Siglinda. Charles Freed, Alan's older brother, also lives in New York. For several years he was musical director for the Columbia Broadcasting System. He is now associated with the Dumont television network as a writer of background music for its productions, as an assistant to executive producers and as a musical conductor. Charles, who at the age of 15 was a talented pianist, is remembered here as the composer of the music for Salem High School's Alma Mater.
A younger brother, Don, lives in Cleveland where he is a law student. He also has had experience in the sales and promotional departments in the recording industry. In his spare time he does promotional work for several New York record manufacturers in the Cleveland area...
ABOVE LEFT: HATTIESBURG MISS AMERICAN, March 8, 1955.
ABOVE MIDDLE: DAILY NEWS, April 8, 1955.
ABOVE RIGHT: DETROIT FREE PRESS, May 8, 1955.
PITTSBURGH COURIER, March 19, 1955: THE BIG BEAT... BY ALAN FREED
(The WINS DeeJay Speaks For Himself)
New York City"The Big Beat" has arrived! "The Big Beat in American Music", which has surely become the great new swing and dance era for today's teenage generation, as well as for their parents, has finally burst loose on the popular music horizon. However, It has not arrived unheralded. Just as has always happened with the emergence of any other great era in music, literature, and the arts through the ages of history it has not been spared the caustic criticism and "whispering campaigns" of those who don't like it, don't understand it, and who do not appreciate it.
If you will check the magazines of the early twenties you will find certain authors and critics who "panned" and "knocked" the efforts of such great musicians as Paul Whiteman, Earl Fuller, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Moten, and others, who worked so diligently to establish our own American dance music. In the 1930s, certain other misguided writers and critics severely wrapped the birth of the great swing era which was founded by such outstanding artists as Benny Goodman and Count Basie, and which eventually brought about the music of the immortal Glenn Miller.
So, with the ever-increasing popularity of "Rock 'n' Roll" music among people of all ages, races, and creeds from coast to coast in America, it was inevitable that those who neither understand nor appreciate this great contribution to American music would wage a malicious campaign against it.
The opening blast in this campaign against "Rock 'n' Roll" music was an editorial by Abel Green, editor of Variety, in a recent edition of his show business publication entitled "A Warning to the Music Business". The second shot was a front page article in the New York World-Telegram under the heading, "Variety Fires Blast at Rock 'n' Roll Leer-ics", in which Mr. Greens Variety editorial was quoted at great length. Mr. Green followed with two more blasts in his editions of March 2 and 9 under the title, "Leer-ics, Part II" and "Leer-ics, Part III".
So that you may have a better picture of this concerted attack against "Rock 'n' Roll" music, permit us to quote in part from Abel Green's first editorial in Variety: "We're talking about 'Rock 'n' Roll', about 'hug and squeeze', and kindred euphemisms which are attempting a total breakdown of all reticences about sex. In the past such material was common enough but restricted to special places and out-and-out barrelhouses. Today's 'leer-ics' are offered as standard popular music for general consumption by teenagers. Our teenagers are already setting something of a record in delinquency without this raw musical idiom to smell up the environment still more".
Immediately following the printing of the attack in the New York World-Telegram, we were literally swamped with letters from our listeners, from high school principals and music teachers, high school and college students, civic workers, officials of PTA organizations and others protesting the attack.
Many of our listeners have pointed out in their letters that Mr. Green stresses that the "leer-ics" of "Rock 'n' Roll" music are generally supposed to be suggestive and offensive. Yet, they claim they have never heard an off-color or double entendre lyric on any of the WINS "Rock 'n' Roll" radio shows!
Parents and school officials have stated in their letters that the "Rock 'n' Roll" programs heard nightly, Monday through Saturday, over WINS have done a great deal to take the kids off the street. One Long Island mother, a member of the PTA, wrote: "Contrary to the article in the New York World-Telegram, the parents in our neighborhood have a great deal of respect for 'Rock 'n' Roll' music. The kids get together in one another's homes, turn on Alan Freed's WINS program, and let the place start jumping. It's the first time in years that we have heard so much music with a beat. Their feet start tapping and they want to learn how to dance".
A Brooklyn civic worker points out in her letter that Variety's "Top Talent and Tunes" column lists the following hits from the "Rock 'n' Roll" branch: "Sincerely", Hearts Of Stone", "Rock Love", "Tweedle Dee", "Earth Angel", "Ko Ko Mo", and "It May Sound Silly". In listening carefully to the lyrics of these "Rock 'n' Rollers", she says she could find nothing objectionable nor offensive in any manner and suggests that Mr. Green likewise listen to them very carefully!
Song writer Al Stillman writes in the March 9 edition of Abel Green's own Variety: "What, unless you're innocent-minded, could be dirtier than such song titles and lyrics from the so-called popular field as "You Took Advantage Of Me", "Heatwave", "All Of Me", "Let's Do It", "Body and Soul", "Love For Sale", "I Said No", "Everything I Have Is Yours", "Paradise", and "Baby It's Cold Outside". To Mr. Stillman's list, we should like to add such questionable titles and lyrics from the pop library as "I Get A Kick Out Of You", "If I Could Be With You", "The Lady Is A Tramp", and "Sweet Violets".
You will readily realize that the songs mentioned in the above paragraph by Mr. Stillman and myself have been around quite a while. Not one of them is from the "Rock 'n' Roll" field. Most of them have been licensed by ASCAP, and not one old-timer in the music business, with whom we've talked, can recall any criticism that was ever directed against these suggestive and offensive "leer-ics" and titles by Abel Green, Nick Kenny, Bob Haymes, or any of the other bitter critics of "Rock 'n' Roll".
Could it be that these doubtful and double entendre tunes were written by the right composers, published by the right music publishing companies, and licensed by the right licensing society with special sanction from certain of those who wish to criticize other music? Or, as some of our listeners have written us, could there be an ulterior motive behind this campaign?
Whether an ulterior motive exists or not, we do wish to go on record as being in favor of a screening or self-policing of all lyrics and titles at each level of the music business. The publishers, the A and R men of the recording companies, the disc jockeys and program directors of radio and TV stations have a definite responsibility to the American public and especially to the youth of America, and all should insist that offensive, suggestive, and double entendre lyrics from each and every segment of the music industry should be kept off the air. We at WINS audition each and every record. If either Bob Smith, program director of WINS, or I feel that the title or the lyrics of a song are even in the least bit doubtful and in bad taste, then that record is cast aside and is never heard on a WINS "Rock 'n' Roll" program.
To me, this campaign against "Rock 'n' Roll" smells of discrimination of the worst kind against the great and accomplished Negro song writers, musicians and singers who are responsible for this outstanding contribution to American music. It is American! And, people throughout our nation can look forward to the day when they will be able to see on their TV screens and eventually in person, the famous Negro artists, who have brought us the "off-spring" of the only basic American musical heritage we can call our own. It has been nurtured and has grown through oppressions, prejudices, narrow-minded bigotry, and through such critic inflicted terminologies as "Race Music" and "Honky Tonk Rhythm and Blues".
Even its most caustic critics must soon learn that the young people of America, as well as their parents, want music with a "beat" that will set their feet tapping. Those "prophets of doom" who are constantly harping about juvenile delinquency, yet have never been known to do anything to materially assist young people, should do themselves a favor by awakening to the realization that the wholesome kids of America are not interested in "dirty leer-ics". They want to dance. They want to "let off steam" in a happy American way at well supervised events!
"The Big Beat in America" was here a 100 years ago! It will be here a 1,000 years after we're gone! It's great! It's wonderful! It's exciting! It's American! And I am proud to have helped expose the "Big Beat", instead of suppressing it! So let's "Rock 'n' Roll"!
PITTSBURGH COURIER, April 23, 1955: BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORDS
R&B Show Is "Socko" At Paramount In New York
Without A Doubt, the only thing with greater popularity than the Dodgers in this boro is Rhythm and Blues and that fact was borne out last week when Alan Freed's "Rock 'n' Roll" show broke every existing record at the Paramount Theatre. So great was the drawing power of the show that for the first time in historic knowledge a radio plea had to be made to stop people from coming to a theatre.
So great was the attraction of rhythm and blues at the Brooklyn Paramount that Alan Freed used his program Wednesday to ask patrons to please not come to the show as they could not get in. As a result of the great power of this type of show, theatres all over the country are striving to book it.
The great surge it is causing looks like the answer to vaudeville or the live show return. Not since the late thirties and forties has there been so much interest in a musical mood. The huge lines around the Paramount during Easter week, when the show appeared, is the best answer to those who are daily attempting to down rhythm and blues and those who created it. From both an eye and an ear level point of view it would seem that it is the thing with the new generation.
However be what it may, LaVern Baker, the Penguins, the Chuckles, Eddie Fontaine, Danny Overbea, the Moonglows, Al Sears, Mickey Baker, Sam Taylor, the Moonlighters, and the Red Prysock band established all kinds of attendance records at the Paramount here last week selling nothing but R&B.
BOSTON GLOBE, May 21, 1955: "ROCK 'N' ROLL" REVUE STAGE SHOW DOES THAT AT STATE
If you like the type of music, the "Rock 'n' Roll Revue" on the stage of the Loew's State Theater is for you. If you have no feelings one way or another about rhythm and blues, the show probably will sway you in favor of it. And if your mind is already made up that this type of music is "nowhere", that's that.
For the devotees of the latest in off-beat rhythm, the one hour presentation is jam-packed full of good things. It presents everything from a wild opening number called "Crazy About A Saxophone" by the Buddy Johnson band, to a quiet, little ballad titled "Most Of All", done by the Five Moonglows. Ninety percent of the opening day's audience was made up of teenagers and it is this group that is pushing this form of entertainment high up on the pay-off ladder.
Voluptuous Dakota Staton was one of the highlights of the show, singing a plaintive blues number, "Don't Leave Me Now". She followed this with what the audience came to hear "My Heart's Desire", in which she not only sang but did a provocative boogie-woogie dance to the handclapping-in-beat of the band and the audience. Dinah Washington, the girl who has been around the blues and jazz for as long as one can remember, Sang two slow numbers in her inimitable fashion and then rocked the place with her rendition of "Such A Night".
Bo Diddley and his electric guitar rolled onto the stage and he sang a number written by himself called, of all things, "Bo Diddley". It was in strange tempo and it was stranger still hearing the rolling, almost calypso rhythm and watching Diddley perform while wearing a striking pink suit. Blind singer Al hibbler was lead on and off the stage, but while he was on stage he captivated the crowd, especially in the Hit Parade number, "Unchained Melody".
Other performers were Ella Johnson, sister of the band leader, who sang "Alright, Okay You Win", Little Walter with his electric harmonica doing "My Babe", the Five Keys, and a wow windup by Buddy Johnson and the band in "812".
Symphony Sid emceed the first part of the show and then turned it over to Alan Freed, billed as the greatest disk jockey exponent of "Rock 'n' Roll". Altogether, it is a new experience at the State for those who don't know what kind of music it is. With a week-long engagement coming up, it appears that more devotees will be made.
LISTEN (Windows Media Player): Close Your Eyes - Tony Bennett - Columbia 40427 - 1955.
AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, March 24, 1955:
Alan Freed, former WAKR disc jockey, has signed a three-year contract with Coral Records, to do a series of platters. Coral will record his "Rock and Roll" promotions and may use them as background for other artists on the labelin the same manner that Coral uses Billy Williams... (NOTE: Alan Freed introduces the Billy Williams Quartet on their "I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You" Coral record, backed by Alan Freed's Rock 'N Rollers.)
LISTEN (Windows Media Player): I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You - The Billy Williams Quartet - Coral 61363 - 1955.
DAILY NEWS, August 24, 1955: TONY TO SING
Singer Tony Bennett will headline Alan Freed's "Rock N' Roll" show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre for one week starting Sept. 2. Bennett recently returned from a tour of England and Scotland. (NOTE: The one Tony Bennett song I recall that Alan Freed played frequently was "Close Your Eyes", not The Five Keys' song, but rather the 1933 composition, but done in an uptempo beat with a hot sax break.)
ABOVE LEFT: NEW YORK AGE, April 9, 1955.
ABOVE RIGHT: DAILY NEWS, April 10, 1955.
ABOVE: PITTSBURGH COURIER, April 23, 1955: SHOW STOPPERS
Judging by the expressions on the faces of bandleader Red Prysock, left, and disc jockey Alan Freed, singer LaVern Baker should stick to making with the voice and not the tenor sax. This trio appeared on Freed's "Rock 'n' Roll" show at Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre and established a house record of $100,000 for their week's stay. (NOTE: Red Prysock played the saxophone, so LaVern most likely borrowed it from him.)
AT RIGHT: "Tomorrow Night" Atlantic 78-rpm record label image. This song and the flip-side, "Tweedle Dee", were recorded by LaVern Baker And The Gliders in October 1954. The record was released in November 1954.
The Gliders were actually The Cues, Atlantic Record's generic vocal group, who backed up several of Atlantic's star singers using different names.
LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. Tweedle Dee - LaVern Baker And The Gliders - Atlantic 1047 - 1954.
2. Tomorrow Night - LaVern Baker And The Gliders - Atlantic 1047 - 1954.
BOTH SELECTIONS ABOVE played in sequence.
ABOVE: BOSTON GLOBE, May 20, 1955.
ABOVE: Atlantic 1054 label image. The Cardinals consisted of Donald Johnson, Meredith Brothers, Ernie Warren, Leon Hardy, and Sam Aydelotte. Ernie Warren sings lead on "The Door Is Still Open". The song was composed by Chuck Willis.
It was recorded in January 1955 and the record released in February 1955.
ABOVE: DAILY NEWS, September 2, 1955.
LISTEN (Windows Media Player): The Door Is Still Open - The Cardinals - Atlantic 1054 - 1955.
POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN, September 9, 1955:
Tony Bennett's lost his voicetemporarilytrying to make himself heard above the screaming of the "rock 'n' roll" Set. He burst a small blood vessel in his larynx at the Brooklyn Paramount, was ordered by a doctor to be silent for a week...and then went on stage and "did a Lanza"...moving his lips to his records...while his fans, who'd been told about his lost voice by Alan Freed...screamed the louder and danced in the aisles.
Bennett pantomimed to records through five shows; then the theatre management replaced him with Al Hibbler, though Tony was willing to keep up the silent lip-reading indefinitely. He'll soon have his voice backif he speaks in whispers for a few days.
THE CASH BOX, September 17, 1955: ALAN FREED ROCKS 'N' ROLLS...
NEW YORKAlan Freed, with his First Anniversary Rock 'n' Roll Party, broke the all-time record gross for both the Brooklyn and New York Paramount Theatres with a whopping take of $178,000....
This reviewer has been through the teenage hysteria that existed from 1936 through 1945 when the kids danced in the aisles to the music of Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey and others, but never have these eyes seen fanatical exuberance such as the type displayed at Alan Freed's sensational First Anniversary Rock 'n' Roll program at the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre.
As we approached the theatre, hundreds were milling about and the crowd was almost completely around the 2 1/2 block area which is the girth of the Paramount. The lines were four abreast. We managed to get backstage only to find Freed out on the fire escape waving to the youngsters cheering him from the streets. During the broadcast from backstage of his WINS Rock and Roll show, he had to tell his audience to stop comimg to the theatre that evening because of the jam up....
....(After the stage show) the entire cast came back on stage for a bow and drew roars from the more than 4,000 people who jammed the Brooklyn Paramount.
ABOVE: "Sincerely" Chess 78-rpm record label image. The song was recorded by The Moonglows in September 1954 and released in October 1954.
The Moonglows consisted of, for this record, Prentiss Barnes (bass), Bobby Lester (lead tenor), Pete Graves (tenor), and Harvey Fuqua (baritone). On "Sincerely", Bobby Lester sings lead.
The Moonglows, who were from Cleveland, were discovered by Alan Freed. They recorded their first record for Freed's Champagne Label (Cleveland) in March 1953.
The label gives composing credits to Harvy Fuqua and Alan Freed.
ABOVE LEFT: HARTFORD COURANT, October 30, 1955: AT STATE TODAY
Alan Freed, billed as "Mr. Rock 'n' Roll", features his "Rock 'n' Roll" Revue and 50 top entertainers, on stage of the State Theater. Headlining is Lillian Briggs (upper left), who gained fame with her recording of "I Want You To Be My Baby". Miss Briggs also offers her newest song hits "Give Me A Band And My Baby", "Don't Stay Away Too Long", and numerous others. Co-headlining is Sam "The Man" Taylor and his Band, featuring 18 top-notch musical stars. Also appearing is an aggregation of noted "Rock 'n' Roll" stars including Nappy Brown, El Dorados, The Cadillacs, The Moonglows, The Harptones, The Solitaires, Al "Castle Rock" Sears, and others. Performances are continuous today with a late stage show tonight at 10 p.m. (NOTE: Big Al Sears is top right, The Solitaires are bottom left, and The Moonglows are bottom right.)
LISTEN (Windows Media Player): Sincerely - The Moonglows - Chess 1581 - 1954.
NOVEMBER 26, 1955: FREED INKING NITERY, MOVIE DEALS
NEW YORKAlan Freed, WINS dejay here, is branching out into the nitery and movie field next year, in addition to his present sideline of presenting rock 'n' roll stageshows in motion picture theaters.
Freed is scheduled to take his own 18-piece band into the Birdland nite club here in February. Freed will front and play trombone on the bill, which will also feature Sam (The Man) Taylor and Al Sears as soloists, plus a big-name r&b recording artist (as yet unselected). In line with this, Freed is also negotiating with a major label to record a series of LP's with his new band sometime next year....
ABOVE: DAILY NEWS, December 30, 1955.
AT LEFT: DAILY NEWS, December 29, 1955.
Last Updated: 5/23/20
E-mail: PART FOUR (1956) HISTORY.