Cast & Crew
Television movie about 1950s rock deejay Alan Freed and the scandals that ended his career. In 1951, Cleveland DJ Alan Freed eavesdrops on a group of black and white teenagers bopping to the sounds of rhythm and blues. Freed takes a chance and plays the controversial music at midnight. Suddenly, the world and music changes forever. "Rock'n'Roll" becomes part of America's lexicon, but for conservative right-wing citizens, the music represents sex, anarchy and crime. Freed's show, "Big Beat," is the first nationally televised rock'n'roll dance program. However, when singer Frankie Lymon dances with a white girl, the network flips and tells Freed that he can no longer have black artists on the show. Freed refuses and "Big Beat" is cancelled but his wealth and fame grow. Eventually, Freed's world begins to crumble -- his marriage dissolves, his health declines, he lives beyond his means and borrows money from the wrong person. His lifestyle becomes a target of investigation by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
Leroy D Brazile
Joe Warren Davis
James Christopher Victor
John A Jackson
Jerry Lee Lewis
Robert M. Sertner
Frank Von Zerneck
Aired in United States October 31, 1999
Released in United States on Video March 14, 2000
Previous title: "The Big Beat Heat."
Began shooting August 16, 1999.
Completed shooting September 10, 1999.