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Rockin Time

Angeles City

Rock and Roll had just been born when Michigan congresswoman Ruth Thompson introduced a bill in the House that would prohibit mailing any pornographic recording. The offence would be punishable by five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Just who would decide what is pornographic, is unclear.

Police in Bridgeport, Connecticut cancel a dance at the Ritz ballroom featuring Fats Domino. Authorities say the cancellation is because they discovered that "rock and roll dances might be featured" and justify their action by citing "a recent near riot at the New Haven Arena," where rock & roll dances were featured.

Chicago radio station WABB received over 15,000 letters of complaint about the playing of "dirty records". The station's response was a promise that they would censor all controversial music, especially rhythm and blues.

An unsuccessful bid to change copyright laws that would prohibit white artists from singing R&B cover tunes was proposed to U.S. Congress by singer, LaVern Baker. Lucky for Pat Boone and other crooners that this effort failed.

ABC radio decides not to play Billie Holiday's "Love For Sale" because they thought it was a song about prostitution. They were also successful in getting Cole Porter to change the lyric of "I Get A Kick Out Of You", a hit for Frank Sinatra. Porter's original words were " I get no kick from cocaine". The cleaned up version was "I get perfume from Spain".

Ed Sullivan's producers decide that their cameras would only shoot Elvis Presley from the waist up, as they considered his hip swinging to be too suggestive.

Cardinal Stritch of the Catholic archdiocese in Chicago, prohibits all rock and roll music from their schools, fearing that "it's rhythms encourage young people to behave in a hedonistic manner".

Disc Jockey Al Priddy of KEX, Portland, Oregon is fired for violating the radio station's ban against playing Presley's rendition of "White Christmas."

After hearing reports that many U.S. radio stations had banned Elvis' Christmas album because of their shock over "the Pelvis" singing religious songs, DJ Allen Brooks of CKWS in Kingston, Ontario, plays the entire album and invites listeners to call in their opinion. Of eight hundred callers, only 56 disapprove of Presley's sacred music.

The management of St. Louis radio station KWK, had all rock & roll music banned from it's play list. The disc jockeys gave every rock and roll record in the station library a "farewell spin" before smashing it to pieces. The station manager, Robert Convey, called the action "a simple weeding out of undesirable music."

A Minneapolis based Catholic youth magazine, "Contacts," launches a campaign for "clean lyrics in pop songs." Songs they target include Elvis Presley's "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" because it promotes going steady.

Even though it has no lyrics what so ever, the guitar instumental "Rumble", by Link Wray was banned by many U.S. radio stations, who feared the title would promote teen violence. Despite the boycott, the song would still sell over a million copies and Link would follow it with a tune called "Jack The Ripper".

The BBC in England refuses to play The Coasters' stateside hit, "Charlie Brown" because of its reference to "throwin' spitballs". Two weeks later, they give in to public demand and play the song.

Following the stabbing deaths of two teenagers by a 17 year old and other similar incidents of violence in New York City, WCBS radio in the Big Apple bans Bobby Darin's hit "Mack the Knife."

Ray Peterson's, "Tell Laura I Love Her" is banned from many radio stations who objected to the "death theme" of the song. In spite of spotty air play, the song is still a huge hit for RCA, reaching # 7 on the national record charts in August, 1960.

On the other side of the Atlantic however, England's Decca Records destroyed thousands of copies of the record, claiming it was "in bad taste". A rival record company felt differently and recorded a cover version by a singer named Ricky Valance, which went to number one on the British chart.

Catholic school students in New York are forbidden to dance to Chubby Checker's "The Twist", by Bishop Burke, who considers it and other dance craze songs to be "un-Christian". The rest of the country however, thought different, as "The Twist" went on to be the only record in Rock and Roll history to be a number one hit on two separate occasions.

 The first time in the spring of 1961 and again in 1962, spending an amazing total of nine months on the U.S. best seller charts.
Britain's BBC bans Bobby "Boris" Pickett's Hallow'een song, "Monster Mash".


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