The first public release of long-cadence stellar photometric data collected by the NASA Kepler mission has now been made available. In this paper, we characterize the red giant (G-K) stars in this large sample in terms of their solar-like oscillations. We use published methods and well-known scaling relations in the analysis. Just over 70 per cent of the red giants in the sample show detectable solar-like oscillations, and from these oscillations we are able to estimate the fundamental properties of the stars. This asteroseismic analysis reveals different populations: low-luminosity H-shell burning red giant branch stars, cool high-luminosity red giants on the red giant branch and He-core burning clump and secondary-clump giants.