Alan Freed: History of Rock Music
At the time “Rock & Roll” was an urban African American term for sex, I think Alan realized that the popular white culture would be turned off by the term R&B, which was mainly associated with black artists, so he decided to give it a different name and expose that style of music to the general public. His radio name and nickname was “Monody”. These were also the names of his non-segregated concerts in which black and white teenagers came to listen to good rock & roll regardless of the singer’s color. Monody Balls were very popular and drew much criticism from white parents.
At the first Monody Ball over 25,000 kids, mostly who tie, wowed up in the March of 1925 in Cleveland. I believe that what Freed did was good as far as opening people up to racially diverse music and not really listening to what the media had to say about it, including things like he was promoting “jungle music”, which negatively referred to African-American music. After his DC career in Cleveland, Freed transferred to a larger radio station, WINS, in New York City. This was a good move because it gave him the opportunity to expose larger masses Of people to his non-racially censored music.
Freed was against hat were called “white covers”. White covers were black songs that were re-made by a white artist so they could be played on the larger, more popular white radio stations because these radio stations were not supposed to play songs by blacks. Think this further promoted non- segregated music during the ‘ass’s and helped blacks win civil rights in general due to the fact that Freed was showing that black music wasn’t bad or immoral and could be played on mainstream radio stations.
Due to his non-racist attitude, he gained many enemies in the music industry and the media, though most of his enemies were big shot record company executives. He refused to play white covers and I believe this was an awesome stand he had because so many young people looked up to him and enjoyed listening to his radio programs. Some of his enemies were involved in the accusation that Freed received ‘payola’ during his career, which believe was just an excuse to try to get him fired so the air-waves would be clean of his non-racist program.
Payola was a term that referred to a Do’s acceptance of money for he favor of playing their song on the radio. Though Freed refused to sign a paper asserting that he never received any payola, I don’t think he was the type of person who would do such a thing regularly anyway, like most Do’s of the time did. However, he was charged with twenty-six counts of commercial bribery, which was a good way to get him off of the radio. This accusation basically ruined his career which was a shame because he was one of the first real good Do’s.