The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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Norman N. Nite on Alan Freed

I could only echo the sentiments that have been expressed just now by my colleague Scott. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1951 - '52 - I listened to Alan Freed playing those records on the Moondog Show. I knew at that particular time that it was something special that was going on. Of course, he left Cleveland, came here to New York in 1954, and that period of 1954 through 1959, with the stage shows, with the motion pictures, with the various things that he had to do, and contribute, and help so many black artists and performers really get their real due recognition, he did an awful lot for the industry. Unfortunately, a lot of things came his way that he became the scapegoat of, and of course until his untimely death in 1965 at the age of 42, he beared [sic] the brunt of a lot of bad raps. Over the years a lot of people have slowly but surely been able to pay tribute to Alan Freed, but I think, to his family and everyone else to be able to say what is going on tonight, and to be recognized for his contributions to rock and roll, and for us to have this dubious distinction of standing here and presenting a posthumous award to the man who took the phrase 'rock and roll,' popularized it and made it what it is today, I feel deeply honored - as I'm sure Scott Muni does - and we would like to be able, at this particular time, to present this award to Alan's son, Lance.