Amidst Crisis, Radio Reflects By Banning Airplay of Songs
History about songs that were banned for airplay on the radio after a tragedy or crisis.
After a tragedy or crisis, radio stations may choose to ban certain songs from airplay if they are deemed inappropriate or insensitive. For example, after the targedy of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, many radio stations banned songs that were deemed too upbeat or celebratory, such as “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by The Four Seasons and “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons ¹. Similarly, after the September tragedy in 2001, many radio stations banned songs that were deemed too violent or controversial ².
What was the impact of the 2001 September tragedy on the radio and music industry? How was music affected?
It had a significant impact on the radio and music industry. In the aftermath,, many radio stations stopped playing certain songs that were deemed too violent or controversial ². Additionally, many musicians began writing songs that addressed the tragedy and its aftermath, such as Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” and Neil Young’s “Let’s Roll” ³. It also led to a decline in album sales and concert attendance ⁴.
What songs were banned for airplay on the radio after September 2001?
After the September 2001, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) sent a memo to its 1,100+ radio stations with a list of songs that they deemed “lyrically questionable” and insensitive to play following the event ⁵. The list included 164 songs in total, including “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles, “Smooth Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm, and “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath ⁵⁶.
What similar events, tragedy or crisis similar to the September 2001 that also caused the ban of music or songs to be played on the radio?
Other tragedies or crises have led to the ban of certain songs from airplay. For example, after the tragedy of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, many radio stations banned songs that were deemed too upbeat or celebratory ¹. Similarly, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, many radio stations stopped playing certain songs that were deemed too violent or controversial ⁷.
What legislation or law was passed regarding the prohibition of broadcast or public performance of music recordings after a tragedy or crisis?
No specific legislation or law was passed regarding the prohibition of broadcast or public performance of music recordings after a tragedy or crisis.
In other countries, what events lead to the ban of certain songs or music recordings?
During apartheid-era South Africa, Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” was banned due to its use as an anthem for protestors boycotting schools as part of ongoing demonstrations against apartheid ⁸. Similarly, in Iran, many Western pop songs are banned due to their perceived negative influence on Iranian culture ⁹.
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(8) Music censorship – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_censorship.
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(11) 15 Movies, TV Shows and Songs That Were Altered or Banned After 9/2001. https://www.newsweek.com/banned-tv-shows-movies-songs-911-attacks-1627040.
(12) List of songs about the September 2001 tragedy – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_about_the_September_11_attacks.
(13) Clear Channel’s ‘do not play’: The story of the (possibly …. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/clear-channel-911-list/2021/10/07/2dd3dee2-17d8-11ec-b976-f4a43b740aeb_story.html.
(14) The 164 songs that were banned from the radio after September 2001 – LADbible. https://www.ladbible.com/news/164-songs-banned-radio-911-372253-20221202.