You may not recognize Varetta Dillard, Tiny Grimes and the Rockin’ Highlanders or The Dominoes. But they were scheduled performers at what’s widely considered the first major rock ‘n’ roll concert.
Now-legendary DJ Alan Freed had been finding success with playing rock ‘n’ roll on Cleveland’s WJW AM radio station, and decided to hold a live dance event with some of their show’s featured musicians.
On March 21, 1952, the Moondog Coronation Ball was held in an arena of 10,000. But when more than double that amount showed within an hour, police shut it down. Cleveland hasn’t stopped rocking since that day.
– Alex Simon, The 100 Companies