The final performance in Iowa this week of a “concert experience” will bring rock’n roll musicians to Iowa City to perform banned music. The tour, sponsored by the First Amendment Center, is titled “Freedom Sings, the Story of Censorship and Rock’n Roll.” One sponsor of tonight’s show is the Iowa City Press-Citizen, where publisher Mike Beck says he saw the performance at a newspaper convention and enjoyed the music, including some classic sixties rock that once was considered a bad influence on youth. He says it goes further back than that and says as a co-sponsor the newspaper supports the show as a way of demonstrating the importance of the first amendment in our lives. Beck says the show’s an entertaining one, in addition to its message. They look at song that go back to Billie Holiday’s music, early stages of rock’n roll and beyond, to illustrate freedom of speech through song in an effective way. The musicians have performed with top entertainers and groups, from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to John Denver, Dwight Yoakam and other famous names. Beck says music, especially contemporary pop music, is just another form of expression and some have considered it dangerous enough to try and suppress it. He hopes Iowans are a “little bit more aware of that” with our love of education and reading, and thinks the country as a whole needs to look at the freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment and what different they make in our lives. The multi-media performance has already brought musicians to Clarke College in Dubuque and Wartburg in Waverly, and tonight’s show at the University of Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City is open to the public, starting at 7 P.M.
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