21 March…

Tonight in 1951, over 20,000 thousand music fans showed up to Cleveland Arena, Ohio, for the first ever rock and roll concert.

The Moondog Coronation Ball began life as a local radio show hosted by Alan Freed. When his friend and music store owner Leo Mintz suggested that Freed should make his show’s format showcase more rhythm and blues music- neither could foretell the popularity they would begin.

With the popularity of the show increasing with every day, they decided to hold a live event featuring some of the bands whose records they played on the radio. Despite the venues having only a capacity of 10,000, over selling the tickets and massive counterfeiting lead to a huge crowd trying to get into the show. The police shut the rock and roll dance down after the opening song by Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams.

40 years later in 1992, the radio station was able to hold a 40th anniversary concert named Moondog Coronation Ball ’92. Bringing old rock and roll acts to the stage, the event was so successful that they have held a show every year since. This year the Moondog Coronation Ball will return again to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

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