by Jim McAllister
It’s the kids that make it work. If Benny Goodman was still alive he would tell you that statement is true after his Oakland and Los Angeles, California experiences in the late 1930's. His band was on the verge of breaking up while on a failed tour until they reached California and the ballrooms packed with kids wanting to jitterbug to Goodman’s new swinging sound. His late night broadcasts to the West Coast from New York had won them over and they were ready to party.
Rock and roll had a similar beginning since, once again, it was the kids that made it work along with help from rock and roll legendary promoter Alan Freed. Freed was born in Pennsylvania in 1922 and by the time he finished college he had developed an interest in music and radio. After World War II he went to work as a disc jockey for several stations in the Ohio-Pennsylvania area before finally ending up in Cleveland in 1949.