He Started It…!
The inventor of the phrase "Rock & Roll", Alan Freed, died on this date in 1965 from the effects of alcoholism at the age of 43. His most poignant description of the phenom he created was,"Rock & Roll is a river of music that has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, rag time, country, and folk, all have contributed to this big beat."
Seems like the Ohio State University native's name is never mentioned without the term "payola scandal" attached (wait... a scandal involving someone from Ohio State ?? you're kiddin') The story is very sad, the punishment from that conviction isn't what did him in, it was the backlash. Freed had trouble getting hired afterwards, he went back and forth across the country taking mediocre jobs. He battled depression, he was twice divorced, and then he fell into alcoholism. After his death, his ashes were placed in the R&R Hall of Fame, but even The Hall later requested they be removed.
I don't claim to know everything about his life, but it does seem to me that he had more than his share of bad luck and disgrace. So today when you speak or read the term "Rock & Roll" for the millionth-time, try to have a warm thought about the guy who started it all. It's the least we could do...