Crime History: Legendary DJ dies amid payola scandal

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Jan. 20, in 1965, Alan Freed, commonly referred to as "The Father of Rock 'n' Roll," died of alcoholism while facing federal charges in the radio payola scandal. He was 43.

Freed, credited with coining the term rock 'n' roll, was one of the first radio disc jockeys and concert producers to program black music, as it was termed, for white audiences.

Freed's career was destroyed after he testified in congressional radio scam hearings that he had accepted money from record companies to play their records.

A federal grand jury later indicted Freed on income tax evasion.

He was part of the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

-Scott McCabe

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