The Parents Music Resource Center and Music Today

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In society music is an extremely important form of art. It is one of the most sincere forms of expression. Music can influence people from many different backgrounds and cultures. Musicians have the same freedom of speech rights as any other United States citizen. In the mid 1980's rock musicians' rights were challenged with issues including censorship and first amendment guarantees.

"The PMRC (or Parents Music Resource Center) was a committee formed in 1985 by the wives of several congressmen. They included Tipper Gore, Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker, and Nancy Thurmond, wife of Senator Strom Thurmond. Their mission was to educate parents about "alarming trends" in popular music" (Encyclopedia, 11/22/04.)

Out of all the many styles of music in this particular case only rock music is mentioned. Society is always impacted by music. At the time, rock music was the most popular. This caused the affects to be much stronger. That is also why the PMRC directed the most attention toward rock, rather than country, hip-hop, blues, or dance music.

The PMRC easily became a national movement. All of the women involved had connections to the government, which gave them an added power and access to make the group national. "On or about May 31, 1985, the PMRC sent a letter to Stanley Gortikov, then president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), accusing the record industry of exposing the youth of America, to "sex, violence, and the glorification of drugs and alcohol"...The letter went on to demand a rating system for rock records similar to the MPAA rating system for films" (Zappa,1989.)

Frank Zappa was one of the first musicians to speak against the PMRC. He began by writing a letter to the music industry. His letter expressed his thoughts and feelings toward the whole situation. Within this open letter Zappa states, "A record company has the right to conduct its business and make a profit, but not at the expense of the...
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