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Alan Freed in History of Rock & Roll

Alan Freed (1921-1965) was a charismatic '50s disc jockey known as "Moondog" who organized large concerts featuring African-American rhythm & blues artists. He is thought by some to have coined the term "rock and roll," a phrase he used in marketing his events to concertgoers.

In May 1952, DJ Alan "Moondog" Freed organized a concert at the Cleveland Arena in Ohio, which featured artists such as the Dominoes and Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams, and attracted nearly 25,000 young concertgoers, mostly African-Americans. In the following years, Freed continued throwing events featuring popular rhythm & blues artists, and billed his shows as "Rock 'N' Roll" parties, perhaps single-handedly popularizing the term.

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