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November 30, 2015
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March 21, 2007 marked the 55th anniversary of the Moondog Coronation Ball - the original rock concert produced by DJ Alan Freed that put Cleveland on the map as an innovative music town and brought the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum to town. Since then, Cleveland has seen its share of musical success, earning a reputation as a town with good local radio stations that were powerful enough to "break" new acts. National acts started in Cleveland as well, but they had a bit more of a challenge.

In honor of the anniversary of the first Moondog Coronation Ball, WKSU's Vivian Goodman took a look at a rock history that included WMMS, Sonny Geraci and the Raspberries, and a memorable Bruce Springsteen concert, as well as the current rock scene being perpetuated by today's youth. Listen to her story and find extended interviews, photos, and links below.

Northeast Ohio's Rock past is also the subject of a new Grey & Co. book, "Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories" by Carlo Wolff. WKSU created an exclusive Rock Memories quiz: Kathleen Hogan, Steve Allen, Jo Dorado, Craig Thompson and Josie Smith had the most answers correct and will each receive a prize pack that includes a copy of the book and two passes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.

Is the Heart of Rock and Roll Still Beating in Cleveland?
A Look at Cleveland's Rock Scene, past and present, on the
55th Anniversary of the Moondog Coronation Ball

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vivian Goodman
WKSU's Vivian Goodman reports:

Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (7:26)

Read the full story transcript

Alan Freed and The Moondog Coronation Ball

Alan Freed, the disc jockey credited with coining the term "rock and roll", came to prominence at WAKR in Akron and WJW in Cleveland.

The Moondog Coronation Ball, held on March 21, 1952 at the Cleveland Arena, is considered to be the first large scale rock concert. More than 20,000 fans crashed the gates of the venue, causing the event to be canceled. In September of 1954 Freed moved to WINS in New York City, where he hosted a number of legendary stage shows, and starred in several major motion pictures. Freed's career was derailed by the payola scandal of the late '50s, but his legacy lives on. In 1986 Freed was among the original inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Alan Freed Aircheck - March 22, 1952, WJW

In this aircheck from March 22, 1954 - the day after the landmark Moondog Coronation Ball - Freed talks unapologetically about the event, and pledges to continue pleasing his fans.

Bruce Springsteen Live at The Agora 8/9/78

WMMS' Kid Leo Introduces
Bruce Springsteen, The Boss plays Summertime Blues

An Interview with the Author

Carlo Wolff Speaks

WKSU's Renita Jeblonski interviews the author of Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories

Murray Saul Gets Down

Hear the 'Get Down' for October 10th, 1975

In the hearts and minds of many who grew up listening to WMMS in the '70s, Murray Saul is the "Get Down" man. Saul's wild counterculture rants each Friday signified the beginning of the weekend, and they were followed each Friday by Bruce Springsteen's anthem "Born to Run." Saul's weekend salutes were filled with tirades against the establishment (or "slave driver"), amusing drug references, political rants, and yowls of "Friday! Friday! Friday!"

Jimmy Fox

Drummer Jimmy Fox was one of the founding members of the James Gang, one of the finest American power trios. The group, with guitarist Joe Walsh and bassist Dale Peters, wrote some of classic rock's favorite anthems. Walsh went on to join the Eagles, but the James Gang regrouped for a reunion tour last year.

Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (44:05)

Dewey Forward

Dewey Forward founded and operated Peabody's in Cleveland Heights and Peabody's Down Under in the Flats from the late '70s to the mid 90s. He was also responsible for booking acts at the influential Cleveland clubs.

Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (21:17)

Sonny Geraci

Sonny Geraci forever has a place in rock history as the lead singer of the Cleveland quintet the Outsiders, who scored a number five single hit with the infectious "Time Won't Let Me" in 1966. Geraci has the rare distinction of reaching the Top Ten as the lead singer for another outfit, the L.A.-based Climax, who scored a hit with "Precious and Few" in 1972.

Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (22:11)

John Gorman

John Gorman was program director for WMMS during a period of phenomenal success in the '70s and '80s. The station was remarkably influential locally and nationally, and is credited with helping to break such acts a Bruce Springsteen, Roxy Music, and David Bowie.

Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (58:13)

Buddy Maver

From 1961 through 1965 Bocky and the Visions were arguably Northeast Ohio's most popular local band. At Cleveland Public Hall the group opened for the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Dave Clark Five, Chuck Berry and others. Drummer Buddy Maver went on to perform with several other Cleveland bands, before becoming the talent booker at the Cleveland Agora.

Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (44:05)

Bocky and the Visions - "I Go Crazy"
Realplayer / Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:31)

Call Me Constant is a Christian Band. Steven, Jonathan, Paul and Matt met at Grace Church in Middleburgh Heights six years ago. They hope to have a CD out this year.

The Agora was at 1730 E. 24th Street until a 1984 fire. Now it's at E. 55th and Euclid. Note the faded WHK sign on the east wall.

Britney Masek, Amanda Thomas, Emily Janitor and Emily Seaman hope to be the newest girl group from Cleveland. They call themselves Green Means Go and perform original music that they put on MySpace in hopes of getting noticed.

Seen here at Tommy's in Coventry, John Gorman is one of America's radio legends. He created the format that made WMMS the top progressive radio station in the country in the late 1970s.

Robert LoConti now manages the Agora. His father Henry LaConti created the club and once operated 13 Agoras in cities across the country.

Dewey Forward operated Peabody's Cafe in Cleveland Heights and Peabody's in the Flats and still showcases local acts Thursday nights at his coffee and popcorn shop at Shaker Square.

Listener Comments:

In 2007 Decibel Magazine called the Damnation of Adam Blessing: "One of the greatest US rock bands that no one has ever heard of". Unlike the throw away pop fluf of Raspberries, DOAB were playing proto heavy metal kind of riffs before there was such a thing... CLEVELAND ROCKS!

Posted by: Eddie Brittingham (Philly) on May 14, 2013 2:28PM
It's great that people are able to get the home loans and that opens up completely new opportunities.

Posted by: PrattPeggy (US) on March 12, 2012 5:51PM
Various people in all countries take the loan in various creditors, just because it is comfortable.

Posted by: JanaTrujillo (US) on December 28, 2011 3:22PM
Some time before, I needed to buy a good house for my firm but I didn't earn enough money and couldn't purchase something. Thank heaven my fellow proposed to take the personal loans from reliable bank. Thus, I acted that and was satisfied with my sba loan.

Posted by: GonzalezSerena (US) on September 5, 2011 1:39AM
Every one understands that humen's life seems to be not very cheap, but different people need money for various things and not every person gets enough money. So to get fast loans or commercial loan will be a right solution.

Posted by: COXRachael (US) on August 31, 2011 7:06AM
Mike Anderson of Brecksville? Like he would know anything about the Damnation of Adam Blessing, much less what the bass player, Ray Benich's web site "reflects". Get a life Mike Anderson... ...and keep your negative comments to your homosexual self...

Posted by: Debbie Sonich (Cleveland, Ohio) on July 27, 2011 11:14PM
I guess that to get the loan from creditors you must present a firm motivation. However, one time I have got a sba loan, because I wanted to buy a building.

Posted by: HamiltonMARGUERITE27 (US) on July 20, 2011 10:29PM
To Lawrence from Montreal - I believe "Friday on my mind" was performed by an Australian group known as the "Easybeats" not Earthquake.

Posted by: Mike Mar (Dallas, Tx/) on June 1, 2011 10:54PM
The Outfit was my band. I played bass, with Lorie Stanonik on lead guitar and vocals, Cindy Klamut on rhythm guitar and Sheila Cornell on drums. Other members were Diane Polewka, Tina Pastva and Joy Cristino. I still play bass in the Sandusky area.

Posted by: Judy Pastva (Port Clinton) on November 10, 2010 4:17PM
People in the world take the mortgage loans from different banks, because it's comfortable and fast.

Posted by: LambHelga30 (US) on September 23, 2010 12:53AM
I took 1 st personal loans when I was 32 and this aided my relatives a lot. However, I require the commercial loan over again.

Posted by: SASHA21Cherry (US) on September 18, 2010 2:34PM
The loans suppose to be very useful for guys, which would like to start their career. As a fact, that is not really hard to get a secured loan.

Posted by: Fay19Norman (US) on August 29, 2010 1:28PM
The personal loans are important for people, which are willing to ground their career. In fact, it's very comfortable to get a consolidation loan.

Posted by: ANGELIQUEKnapp (US) on May 27, 2010 10:16PM
Does anyone remember an all Girls Band in the 60's called THE OUTFIT? They played at the Agora.

Posted by: sissy (cleveland) on December 30, 2009 7:47AM
Mike Anderson of Brecksville writes on 10-4-07 re: Damnation of Adam "This is the former bass players web site and does not represent the band". #1) There will always be only one real, for real bass player in the Damnation of Adam Blessing, the incomporable Ray Benich. #2) Damnation of Adam features some of the rarest photo's and video's of the band in existence. Video's that the other band members refused to put on-line, (in fact the Constable brothers refused to share with anyone for seven years). Until Ray Benich got a hold of them and put them on line at his own expence...

Posted by: Dyann Lindquist (Shaker Hts) on June 11, 2009 11:05PM
I am researching the Springsteen 1978 shows for a new project, if you were at the Agora show or the other 1978 Cleveland or Toledo shows please contact us at: Thanks!

Posted by: Lawrence (Montreal) on December 6, 2008 10:27AM
I miss listening to Kid Leo's and the Friday Night Salute. Is there a way that a audio file could be linked to this website? As I recall, Springsteen would sing "Born to Run" and then "Devil with the Blue Dress on" and then Earthquake would sing "Friday on my mind". That was precious. Thanks WMMS, Tom

Posted by: Tom (Chardon) on June 8, 2008 7:22PM
I have one of Call Me Constant's songs stuck in my head right now.

Posted by: Jordan (Ohio) on November 7, 2007 8:07AM
The correct Link to the band site - Damnation of Adam Blessing is The link you have now is the former bass player's site and does not represent the band.

Posted by: Mike Anderson (Brecksville) on November 4, 2007 1:02AM
Man I loved the old Peabodys in the Flats. Saw everyone there from Joe Satriani, Concrete Blonde, Brian Setzer and the Radiation Ranch (in my top 5 shows EVER and I have seen Hendrix and hundreds of shows), Meat Puppets, on and on. Thanks Dewey for a great club and the wonderful memories Nancy

Posted by: Nancy Wasen (Ashland OH) on April 11, 2007 6:30AM
How come there is not a word about Michael Stanley???????????? What an omission!!!!!! Rich H.

Posted by: Rich Hackett (Mountain View CA (ex-Youngstown)) on March 22, 2007 4:56PM
Missed the show last night but catching up with it now. Good overview of what happened. Maybe you should have Murray do a salute every Friday at 6 p.m. Put that suggestion in Bob Burford's mail box (ha, ha)......

Posted by: Peanuts (North Olmsted, OH) on March 22, 2007 2:09PM
Are there any MP3 downloads available of Billy Bass radio shows from the late 1960's? Or any other historic Rock

Posted by: Tim (Tallmadge) on March 22, 2007 9:35AM
I heard part of your program this morning. It was very well done, just as all of your presentations have been. Cleveland has always been a lve music town. I have heard that Cleveland had, and probably still has more live music per capita than any American city. I am proud to be a part of it. Vivian, you ROCK!!!

Posted by: Norman Tischler (Cleveland Hts OH) on March 22, 2007 12:02AM

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Photo of Alan Freed: From the book "Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories." Photo courtesy Janet Macoska

Photo of Bruce Springsteen: From the book "Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories." Photo by Janet Macoska

Photos of "Call Me Constant," "The Agora," "Green Means Go," "John Gorman," "Robert LuConti," and "Dewey Forward": By Vivian Goodman

Book cover: "Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories." Photo courtesy Gray & Co., Publishers

Sample chapter: Excerpted from the book Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories (c) 2006 by Carlo Wolff. All rights reserved. This text may not be reproduced in any form or manner without written permission of Gray & Company, Publishers.

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