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Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll


Home > Filmography > Mr. Rock ’n’ Roll : The Alan Freed Story

Mr. Rock íní Roll : The Alan Freed Story
Mr. Rock íní Roll : The Alan Freed Story


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

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One man put America between Rock and a hard place.
Still image of Paula Abdul in Mr. Rock íní Roll: The Alan Freed Story
When disc jockey Alan Freed began playing a powerful new type of music in the 1950's, he named it "Rock 'N' Roll."

Overnight, America had a new beat, and teenagers had a new hero.

This is both the story of Alan Freed and the pioneers of rock music, including Little Richard, Jackie Wilson and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Filled with music, energy, nostalgia and romance, "Mr. Rock-n-Roll" reveals the forces that aligned for and against the rock 'n' roll explosion.

The first broadcast of “Mr. Rock N Roll” was on Oct. 31st, 1999 on NBC and is now available on video.

Press Release

Mr. Rock íní Roll: The Alan Freed StoryNelson stars as the controversial Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, the man credited with introducing rock 'n' roll to white audiences.

NBC casts 'Freed'
Nelson  in starring role with Amick, Abdul

By JOSEF ADALIAN, August 16, 1999

NEW YORK - Judd Nelson, Madchen Amick and singer Paula Abdul have been cast as leads in NBC's upcoming biopic "Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story."

Nelson ("Suddenly Susan," "The Breakfast Club") will play Freed, the Cleveland deejay who helped popularize rock music in the U.S. during the 1950s and later got caught up in the payola scandals.

Pic begins production in Vancouver today (Aug 16) and is scheduled for broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Original versions of songs from the era, including "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," "A Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On," "Rock Around the Clock," "Tutti Frutti" and "Peggy Sue," will be used in the two-hour telefilm from von Zerneck/Sertner Films Prods.

NBC does not plan to release a soundtrack disc connected to the film, which will  air less than a month before CBS bows a four-hour mini about the early years of rock, dubbed "Shake, Rattle & Roll."  Eye's pic will feature new recordings of classic rock songs, and will be linked to a well-promoted soundtrack.

Amick ("Twin Peaks") will play Freed's wife.  Abdul is set to play a "flirtatious, ambitious woman," according to NBC.  Leon, ("The Temptations") has been cast as Jackie Wilson.

Teen dreams Bobby Rydell and Fabian will make guest appearances in the pic, playing concerned dads worried about the impact of rock music on their kids.

Nelson's previous telepic credits include "Cabin by the Lake" and "Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes." He also snagged a Golden Globe nom for his work in the NBC mini "Billionaire Boys Club."

"Mr. Rock 'n' Roll" is based on the book "Big Beat Heat: Alan Freed and the Early Years of Rock and Roll."
Andy Wolk ("The Sopranos") will direct from a teleplay by Matt Dorff ("Choices of the Heart.")

Production Notes and Credits


Mr. Rock ‘N Roll


Judd Nelson as Alan Freed
Mšdchen Amick as Jackie McCoy
David Gianopoulos as Morris Levy
Daniel Kash as Hooke
Leon as Jackie Wilson
Paula Abdul as Denise Walton
James C. Victor as Jerry Lee Lewis
Walter Franks as Little Richard
Joe W. Davis as Buddy Holly
Michael Dunston as Bo Diddley
LeRoy D. Brazile as Frankie Lymon
Michael Daingerfield as Bill Haley
Fulvio Cecere as Pete Bell

Directed by: Andy Wolk
Produced by: Richard D. Arredondo
Teleplay Written by: Matt Dorff

Filmed in: Toronto & Ontario, Canada

Based on the book: “Big Beat Heat: Alan Freed and the Early Years of Rock & Roll” written by: John A. Jackson

Production Company: Von Zerneck-Sertner Films

Distributed by: NBC

Related Article
Aug 16th, 1999 : NBC "Alan Freed" TV Movie Article

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