Rock Hall under fire over DJ Freed's ashes

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The son of iconic radio DJ Alan Freed has criticised the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for removing his father's ashes from its museum.

Freed is credited with coining the phrase “rock’n’roll” in the 1950s. He played a leading role in breaking down race barriers in US pop culture by attracting an audience of both white and black listeners, at a time when black musicians’ work was largely overlooked by radio.

He died aged 43 in 1965, but his formative years on air in Cleveland, Ohio, was part of the reason his family decided to offer his remains to the Rock Hall in the city. The urn had been on display since 2002.

But son Lance has described the decision to remove is as “disrespectful.” He tells CNN: “I’m a little bit emotional right now, because this is the third time I’m moving my dad. But hopefully it will be the last.”

But museum boss Greg Harris insists the pioneering DJ’s presence will still be “very prominent.” He argues: “The museum world is moving away from exhibiting remains. We are conscious of his important role and will continue to honour him. Rock and roll isn’t just about yesterday. It continues to evolve, and we continue to embrace it and refine our operations.”

Freed jr tells the Plain Dealer that Harris told him: “People walk past the exhibit and your dad’s ashes, and they scratch their heads – they can’t figure out what this thing is, and we’d like you to come pick up the ashes.”

The Rock Hall came under fire from Kiss star Paul Stanley earlier this year after the band were finally inducted following years of being ignored.