Band's Version Of One-time Presley Tune Hits Sour Note

As if the incoming Legislature didn't have enough problems, a high school band's rendition of a tune that was an Elvis Presley hit decades ago drew a complaint from a newly elected member of the Senate. The Richland Center High School band played "An American Trilogy" at the Senate's inaugural ceremony at the Capitol Monday - the first day of a session expected to be dominated by battles over budget-cutting, a tax-freeze amendment and a myriad of other issues. Sen. Spencer Coggs, who is black, said he was shocked, as were his family and other guests, to hear the strains of the Southern anthem "Dixie" played in the Senate chamber as part of the trilogy, along with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "All My Trials." Coggs, a Democrat from Milwaukee, complained in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center. "Whether the slight was intentional or not, the selection was not appropriate," he wrote, noting that "Dixie" is often associated with slavery. "While now it should be unnecessary to suggest, in the future a list of songs should be submitted prior to a performance and the list should be reviewed for its appropriateness," he said. "It is unfortunate that this special day was marred by such an unnecessary event." Schultz had invited the band and choir to play at the ceremony. He said the complaint caught him by surprise. "A simple apology is what's needed," Schultz said, "and I will certainly be happy to do that." He said he wasn't aware of every musical selection the band prepared for the event, and the piece has some historical significance. "But I want everyone to feel included. If Sen. Coggs felt offended, I would want to extend my hand in apology."
Source: Associated Press / Updated: Jan 4, 2005 
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Reactions

Cro@kie (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 5, 2005report abuse
Another one who thinks the world revolves around him. The funniest part is that he probably thinks he's helping the cause of black people or anti-racism groups by reacting like such a jerk. Poor sod that senator is ! Probably among the 50+% who...................
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2005report abuse
That is rediculous. This guy is a fool. It's people like him that assure us, racism will be around for a while. Nobody had the intentions he has injected into this by his distorted racial perception and interpretation.. It's obvious, he is the racist.
Johnny (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2005report abuse
I totally agree with you elvis_77, the best way to stop racism is to not mention it, and in this case it is just absolutely over the top! People can be too politically correct, and it ends up making a situation when there wasn't one to begin with. Is the world going mad? I think it is!
elvis_77 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2005report abuse
This is going to far for nothing. I'm not a racists person and Elvis wasn't either but I've often seen that things like these often get started by racists people themselfs. It don't matter what color the person there's always someone with a chip on there shoulder wanting to start something. The only way to stop racisim is to drop the subject. Anyone with any history knowledge knows this is an historical anthem and it is not in anyway racist.
Lawman (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2005report abuse
With all due respect to the suffering of black people throughout history, but isn't this going a bit over the top? AFAIK, there's nothing in the lyrics of "Dixie" that refers to slavery, just the love of the southern states of the US. And "An American Trilogy" also contains "All my trials", a negro spiritual about the plights of the slaves.

"Love me tender" is based on a Civil War-song. Should it be banned also? If so, will all music from Richard Wagner be banned too, since the fellow had some weird ideas about some races being superior to others? Come on ...

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