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'Freedom Sings'

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Freedom Sings

Freedom Sings is a program of musical concerts sponsored by the First Amendment Center to raise awareness of the connection between music and the First Amendment.

Singers and musicians give their time to perform songs that have been banned by government, censored by radio, or offended a significant percentage of the American public. Performers in different venues around the United States mixed banned songs and protest anthems of the past with some of their own material — which some might find objectionable for reasons as varied as musical taste.

Musicians including John Kay of Steppenwolf, Steve Earle, Kim Richey, Bill Lloyd, Greg Trooper and Beth Nielsen Chapman have appeared at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tenn., in 1999 and 2000, and in Memphis, Tenn., in 1999. The New York debut of "Freedom Sings" in 2001 featured Jefferson Starship, Janis Ian and Tom Paxton.


Free Speech and Music
A teacher's guide to using the First Amendment Center's "Freedom Sings" program offerings to help teach First Amendment freedoms.  08.31.01

Music legends sing out for First Amendment
'Freedom Sings' series makes New York debut with Jefferson Starship, Janis Ian, Tom Paxton.  06.21.01

Powerful songs, stirring performances mark 2nd 'Freedom Sings' concert
First Amendment Center, Bluebird Cafe team up with artists to celebrate music ranging from banned tunes in the 1950s to a song under fire in 2000.  07.27.00

First Amendment rocks Memphis
Legendary producer Sam Phillips joins Steppenwolf's John Kay, Falcons' Sir Mack Rice, songwriter Jill Sobule at Associated Press Managing Editors convention in discussing harms of music censorship.  10.15.99

'Freedom Sings' celebrates banned, political songs
Musicians spend two nights at Nashville, Tenn.'s Bluebird Cafe revealing capricious nature of censorship.  07.16.99

Steppenwolf's Kay content with pushing messages
Rock star related how he, as a young East German refugee, found the American Dream occasionally laced with turmoil, persecution and censorship.  01.11.99