Monday, September 30, 2013

Banned Books Week: Banned Music, Too!

Every year the American Library Association celebrates the freedom to read by taking a week to highlight books that people have challenged or banned. Banned Books Week has been an ALA tradition for many years, but did you know that music has also been banned or challenged?
In the Twentieth Century and beyond:
  • 1930s: Hitler and the Nazi party ban music by Jews
  • 1936: The BBC bans "When I'm cleaning windows," a song about a Peeping Tom window cleaner
  • 1939: Billie Holiday's song about lynching, "Strange Fruit," was banned from radio and from her own recording label.
  • 1957: "Wake up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers was banned by many radio stations for suggesting premarital sex
  • 1964: "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen was challenged by the governor of Indiana as "obscene"
  • 1968: The Doors' anti-war song, "Unknown Soldier," was edited for radio
  • 1970: "Puff the Magic Dragon" (1962) by Peter, Paul & Mary criticised by Vice President Spiro Agnew for promoting a drug culture
  • 1977: The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" was banned in British radio for criticizing the Queen
  • "The Pill" by Loretta Lynn (birth control)
  • 1990: 2 Live Crew is arrested for obscenity charges
  • 1996: Congress holds hearings about the effect of lyrics on youth, targeting Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar especially
  • 2001: After the attacks of 9/11 Clear Channel Radio made a list of songs not to play, including "Walk like an Egyptian" by The Bangles, "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin, "American Pie" by Don McLean, "Jet Airliner" by The Steve Miller Band, "Another one Bites the Dust" by Queen, "It's the End of the World as We Know it" by R.E.M., "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2, "Jump" by Van Halen, "Highway to Hell" and other songs by AC/DC, "Imagine" by John Lennon, and "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra
  • 2003: The Dixie Chicks were banned from many radio stations after criticizing President Bush in 2003
  • 2012: Lady Gaga: Banned in Indonesia after protests by Islamic critics

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