News Article

5 Enemies of Rock & Roll

Why record label execs like Mitch Miller and musicians like Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr. are against rock music

Mitch Miller
As head of Artists & Repertoire for Columbia Records in the '50s, he single-handedly kept rock off the label for 11 years. ''Adults all over the land are yearning for a pause in the day's cacophony,'' he told a disc-jockey convention in 1958. ''I, too, believe that youth must be served, but how about some music for the rest of us?''

Frank Sinatra
Ol' Blue Eyes frequently saw red about rock, and in 1958 in Western World magazine he lambasted it as ''sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons. It manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth.''

Dan and Steve Peters
''Rock music has become the devil's playground,'' wrote these Minnesota preachers in their 1984 book, Why Knock Rock? To keep Satan at bay, they've staged public burnings of rock records for more than a decade.

Tipper Gore
This senator's wife says she's only against allegedly violent and sexually explicit rock. But she campaigns against it so fiercely that many people forget there's any other kind. Her organization, the Parents' Music Resource Center, works closely with the National PTA but also has ties to fundamentalists; the Peters brothers' Why Knock Rock? is featured on its recommended reading list.

Harry Connick Jr.
The cocky jazz wunderkind has no use for rock. ''If I played rock & roll, I'd be revered as the greatest rock & roll musician in the world,'' he recently said. ''It's music that requires very little knowledge and not much talent.''

Originally posted Nov 09, 1990 Published in issue #39 Nov 09, 1990 Order article reprints
Advertisement

Today's Most Popular

  1. Photo Gallery: Fall TV 2014 Fall TV Preview: Dramas

From Our Partners