Rock 'n' Roll Loses a Round to Swaggart

Associated Press

Officials of Wal-Mart stores pulled Rolling Stone, other rock 'n' roll magazines and record albums from their shelves after evangelist Jimmy Swaggart criticized the sales in a sermon last month.

A spokesman for Wal-Mart declined comment today on the discount chain's decision.

"The issue is not major for us. We don't plan any comment," spokesman Jim Von Gremp said from Wal-Mart's headquarters here. The chain operates about 900 stores in 22 states.

Swaggart said Wednesday that he mentioned Wal-Mart in a sermon delivered June 1 in New Haven, Conn., the Washington Post reported today.

'Degenerating, Debilitating'

Swaggart, cousin of singers Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley, said the nationally telecast sermon was broadcast in Southern markets on June 22, 10 days after Wal-Mart circulated an internal memo ordering store managers to remove 32 magazines. A memo in May ordered removal of some record albums.

"After nearly a quarter of a century of experience with pornography, we know what the results are. This is the same thing with rock music," Swaggart told the newspaper, "a degenerating, debilitating influence on our youth."

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