Alan Freed


Just thinking about the Payola investigations of the late 1950s and how if the practice wasn’t illegal (outside of NY) how could Freed be tried? Also, what were the records that were under interrogation? Freed, known for his ‘Moondog’ and ‘Rock’n’Roll Party’ radio shows, promoted blues and R&B. What tracks was he ‘promoting’? Can we think about this differently? Freed was under pressure due to these promotions and their consumption by young people – yet his refusal to play the white cover version of Tutti Frutti could be perhaps considered an act of activism? is this what was being attacked? could we understand the investigations as a way to block the dissemination and rising popularity of black artists and black music?



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