Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story

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Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story

Mr. Rock N Roll: The Alan Freed Story (1999) Filmed in Toronto by Von Zerneck/ Sertner Films. Executive producers, Andy Wolk, Matt Dorff; co-executive producers, Erik Storey, Larry Levy; producers, Randy Sutter, Rick Arrendondo; co-producer, Ted Babcock; director, Wolk; teleplay, Dorff, based on the book "Big Beat Heat: Alan Freed and the Early Years of Rock & Roll" by John A. Jackson.

Freed was a radio deejay not unlike any other as the story starts "a few years earlier" than 1957. He is playing big band music in Cleveland on the air and at dances. At one, a teenager slips in a Little Richard single to get the joint hopping.

Outrage and racist charges come spewing from the waltzing adults, but Freed is turned on --within a day, he's at a local record shop watching black and white teens rocking to R&B records.

Fate, rather than perseverance, lands a one-hour R&B show in Freed's lap, complete with a sponsor and the support of the radio station. He makes fast friends with a dance instructor down the hall from the studio, Jackie McCoy (Madchen Amick), and before you know it, Freed has the girl, unparalleled success, the faith of Jackie Wilson and a show at the 8,000-seat Cleveland Arena.

A car crash stalls Freed for all of half a minute as a doctor with hideous bedside manner and equally awkward acting skills gives Freed 10 years to live if he stops smoking, drinking and staying out late. No matter, Freed is now the premier talent scout for black acts -- he plays your song and you're a hit -- as acts such as Bo Diddley start to audition in the hallways and do-wop acts shove records at him as he arrives at work." (Variety Review)

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