On this date in 1952…Cleveland stakes a claim on rock history when the Moondog Coronation Ball is held at the Cleveland Arena. WJW DJ Alan Freed (“Moondog” on the air) set it up.
This is now considered the first rock concert.
It may be one of the shortest too. It was shut down after one song.
Supposedly 20,000 people showed up. The arena held a bit more than 10,000. The fire authorities shut down the concert after the first song by opening act Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams ended. Now that’s a good trivia question. They were worried about a “riot”. Freed made a public apology on WJW the next day
In 1992 they successfully celebrated the 40th anniversary of “the first RnR concert” and have held a “Moondog Coronation Ball” every year since…Long live Rock n Roll.