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Wal-Mart Says It Won’t Sell New Sheryl Crow Album

September 10, 1996

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it will not carry the new album by Grammy winner Sheryl Crow because one song implies that the retailer sells guns to children.

``Selling a record implying behavior that is against all we stand for is something we just could not profit from,″ said Wal-Mart spokesman Dale Ingram.

The album, ``Sheryl Crow,″ is scheduled for a Sept. 24 release by A&M Records. Wal-Mart is a top seller of albums and record industry executives said the ban could reduce Crow’s sales significantly.

The album is a follow-up to ``Tuesday Night Music Club.″ A single from the album, ``All I Wanna Do,″ won Crow the 1995 Grammy Awards for best pop vocal performance and record of the year. She also was named best new artist.

Crow told A&M executives last week that she was worried her sister and her friends would have a hard time buying the album if the local Wal-Mart doesn’t carry it, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

The lyrics in question, from a song called ``Love is a Good Thing,″ read:

``Watch out sister, watch out brother,

Watch our children as they kill each other

with a gun they bought at the Wal-Mart discount stores.″

Wal-Mart sells gun by catalog but has strict policies against selling them to minors, said Ingram.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based chain sold guns in its stores until 1994. That policy changed after the company was sued by the family of a Texas man who allegedly killed his parents with a gun he bought at a Wal-Mart even though he indicated on a federal form that he had been treated for mental problems.

Wal-Mart and other large discount chains have refused to stock albums in the past when they deemed the lyrics too violent or sexually explicit. But Crow’s may be the first album barred for targeting the store in its lyrics.

Asked whether Crow’s lyrics were fair to Wal-Mart if the company prohibits sales of guns to minors, A&M Records Chairman Al Cafaro said: ``It’s difficult for me to answer the question of what’s fair. They sell guns, and I’m sure some of those guns have found their way into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. That’s a reality.″

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