Originally created 10/02/00

Music Hall of Fame too risque for kids

On a recent business trip to Macon I checked out the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. There were only a few people attending that Thursday morning - seniors, some school children and me.

One of the centerpieces of the Hall is an interactive theater where the audience selects the performers it wishes to screen ... I entered an empty theater and made my picks without competition. I was rewarded by a very young Lena Horne in one of her early, sultry performances and Alan Jackson in cowboy boots water skiing, "way down yonder on the Chattahoochee."

A middle school class joined me as Ray Charles was singing the finale, Georgia. They sang along in soulful harmony and I was pleased to have their company. After the song their teacher reset the theater to begin a new round of performer selections. They picked Rhythm and Blues, Jazz and Folk.

Their first performer selection was TLC. They sang along for awhile, however the video soon depicted a drug deal on a ghetto street where the dealer, the object of the singer's love, is murdered.

Incongruently, the video soon showed a couple lying in bed strategically covered by a sheet. When the woman in the video takes a condom from her lover's hand, the teacher decided that was enough. She led her class out.

I suspect that most teachers would have said the damage had already been done - the video was almost over. However futile her actions were, I think they were appropriate. I am not suggesting that I know where the line should be drawn - there are some that would have objections to the Lena Horne and Alan Jackson videos. But surely a little more decorum is in order for a venue that is state-supported and encourages teachers to bring their students.

Lee Wheatley, Evans


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