Let’s go back to the early 1950’s when a fast-talking Cleveland DJ named Alan Freed started causing havoc by playing “race records”–what they called R&B records back then–on the radio for a huge audience of white kids. Freed referred to himself as “King of the Moondoggers” and promoted concert events he called “Moondog Balls.” Things got very big very fast.
Then, a problem. A homeless street musician from New York called Moondog told him to cut it out or he’d sue. After a night of drinking with his buddies, Freed came up with a new catchphrase: “rock and roll,” which was an African-American euphemism for “sex.” It stuck and we still use the phrase today. But props to Moondog. Had he not complained about Freed ripping him off, the phrase “rock and roll” might never have entered our vernacular.