First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
About
 
'Concert appeals to young people with irreverent fun'


A 40-year-old song played at wedding receptions and class reunions across America was on the brink of being banned in its heyday.

Critics said the Kingsmen's 1963 classic rock song "Louie, Louie" had to contain obscene and pornographic lyrics. Why else would they be so garbled?

So the Federal Communications Commission checked it out. After listening to the song forward and backward, the agency ruled it "unintelligible at any speed" and therefore unthreatening.

"Louie, Louie" is one of many songs that Grammy Award-winning musicians will play Thursday, Nov. 6 (2004), in the Coronado Theatre in Rockford at "Freedom Sings."

The free concert uses war photos, newspaper clips, a live band and a narrator to showcase the importance of free speech through three generations of censored rock songs. Highlighted artists range from Elvis to the Dixie Chicks.

"Freedom Sings" is the brainchild of Ken Paulson, executive director of the First Amendment Center and program narrator.

Paulson said young people relate surprisingly well to the music of their parents' generation.

"When we do a Beatles medley, some 18-year-olds discover them for the first time while the 45 year olds are singing along."

The Rockford Register Star is hosting the traveling tour, which has put on 25 shows in the past year. It is funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people.

"This is a fun program," said Linda Grist Cunningham, executive editor. "There isn't any lecture. It's not like taking medicine with a spoonful of sugar.

"It's such a cool way of communicating to everybody about why the First Amendment matters."

So cool that students dance in the aisles, do the wave and end up in standing ovations.

— Copyright Rockford (Ill.) Register Star. Used with permission.

Concert wants us to keep on rockin'

We take our rights for granted.

One in three Americans believes there's too much freedom because of the First Amendment.

One in two believes there's too much freedom of the press.

Four in 10 believe you shouldn't be allowed to sing a song in public if it might upset someone.

That's where "Freedom Sings" steps in. The free concert, sponsored by the Rockford Register Star, is coming to town to educate a new generation.

"We're doing this show because Americans for the most part have lost sight that the First Amendment is important," said Ken Paulson, organizer of the national tour. "Clearly the home of the free has become the home of the easily offended."

"Freedom Sings" uses war photos, newspaper clips, a live band and a narrator to showcase the importance of free speech through three generations of censored rock songs. Highlighted artists range from Elvis to the Dixie Chicks.

The concert will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Coronado Theatre, 314 N. Main St., Rockford. Tickets are free. Call 815-987-1373.

— Copyright Rockford (Ill.) Register Star. Used with permission.




print this   Print


Last system update: Monday, September 22, 2008 | 20:32:16
 SEARCH  MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

First Reports
Supreme Court
Experts
Columnists
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Sings™
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links