Moondog Coronation Ball
At the time, its most remarkable feature was its mix of black and white musical performers, in a revue intended for a racially mixed audience, at a time when almost all performances, radio stations and record labels were de facto segregated by race. One popular belief is that this fact predisposed the authorities to seek reasons to limit or bar the show.
The concert was organized by Alan Freed (a disc jockey considered to have coined the term "Rock and Roll" at WJW-Radio), along with Lew Platt, a local concert promoter, and Freed's sponsors, including Leo Mintz, owner of the Record Rendezvous store. More tickets were printed than the arena's actual capacity, in part due to counterfeiting, and a printing error (tickets for a follow-up ball were sold with the same date printed after the first had sold out). With an estimated 20,000 individuals trying to crowd into an arena that held slightly more than half that — and worries that a riot might break out as people tried to crowd in — the fire authorities shut down the concert after the first song by opening act Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams ended. Freed made a public apology on WJW the next day.
Today, the Moondog is a more controlled concert, but still evokes the spirit of the 1950s. Half a dozen vintage rock and roll performers entertain concert-goers and many of the attendees dress in classic 1950s-style. WMJI radio has sponsored the event in mid-March at Quicken Loans Arena for several years.
- Sheerin, Jude (March 20, 2012). "How the world's first rock concert ended in chaos". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Alan Freed audio of apology. Retrieved 3 may 2013
- Wolff, Carlo (2006). Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-886228-99-3
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