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February 12, 2019 8:40 am  #1


GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Everybody's talkin' about 
Bagism, shagism, dragism, madism, ragism, tagism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Question:    Oldies music chat rooms (all based in the USA to the best of my knowledge) have occasionally referred to tunes which AM station owners instructed program directors to NOT play (late 60s, early 70s) regardless of how well they were then charting elsewhere.   Reason given was that they were stated to be offensive to local listeners.     In fact the anti-war messages were likely inconsistent with the owner's party membership.

Hindsight being 20:20, can anyone provide examples of tunes that did not then chart within the SOWNY geographical sphere, for what was evidently political reasons?

 

February 12, 2019 9:21 am  #2


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

It was not just the music and songs with an anti-war message.

Janis Ian's "Society's Child" was also banned or removed from the playlists of many radio stations due to the nature and theme of the song during the same era.

 

February 12, 2019 9:36 am  #3


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Specific local examples?

     Thread Starter
 

February 12, 2019 10:19 am  #4


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Not locally banned but by an almost local artist. Gordon's Lightfoot's Black Day in July was banned in many US cities.

I can think of more drug orientated songs that were banned locally as well as elsewhere. Not sure if Eight Miles High by the Byrds was ever played on local top 40 in the 1960's. That Acapulco Gold by The Rainy Daze  was banned after  word got out about the topic but it enjoyed a brief stay in Billboard, Oh and I was recently really surprised to learn that Groovin' by the Rascals was banned in Boston because they thought it was apparently about drugs.

"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag"  by Country Joe and The Fish was played by some AM radio but not locally unless someone remembers CKFH playing it.

Last edited by Fitz (February 12, 2019 10:41 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

February 12, 2019 10:43 am  #5


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

geo wrote:

Specific local examples?

SOURCE - http://www.elvis-history-blog.com/elvis-canada.html

• Canada radio stations banned Elvis’s Christmas music

It would take awhile, however, for many of Canada’s radio stations to accept Elvis. Within a week of his 1957 appearance in Vancouver, he was in Los Angeles recording his first holiday album. When it was released in December, many American critics were repulsed by Presley’s treatment of some traditional Christmas songs and hymns. It was from radio stations north of the border, however, that “Elvis’ Christmas Album” received the most criticism and banishment from the airwaves. In Vancouver, all six of the town’s radio stations agreed to a proposed ban on Elvis’s holiday recordings.

Radio station CKXL in Calgary also banned Elvis’s album. “Presley’s latest release has, we feel, no place on our station,” said a CKXL spokesman. “We have the album for audition—it speaks for itself. Presley sings the Christmas songs exactly as we expected he would. It is one of the most degrading things we have heard in some time.” He described Presley as “panting” through the hymns “Silent Night” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Another Calgary station, CFCN, denied an official ban, but stated Elvis’s album “would not be played because it happens to be in lousy taste.”

In Toronto, station CFRB banned the album, declaring, “there are better interpretations of Xmas hymns.” Gordon Sinclair, columnist for the Toronto Star, condemned Presley’s rock ’n’ roll treatment of Christmas carols. “Only Mahalia Jackson could jazz the hymns,” he said, adding that he disliked censorship, but found Elvis’s treatment of Christmas songs to be “wildly inappropriate.”

The Canadian Press, a news gathering organization, surveyed disc jockeys across Canada and found, while many refused to spin any cut on Elvis’s album, other stations planned to play the non-religious songs, like “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me,” while shying away from the Christmas standards like “Silent Night.” Other stations stated they were waiting for their listeners' views before making a decision on whether or not to play the album.

The nationwide Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, however, took a progressive stand on “Elvis’ Christmas Album.” A spokesman stated, “We have no objection if listeners want to hear the Presley album and CBC disk jockeys want to play the numbers.”
 

 

February 12, 2019 10:51 am  #6


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

And while not exactly local, it is interesting none the less...
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/undertheinfluence/why-ray-davies-flew-26-000-km-to-save-lola-1.5009086
 

 

February 12, 2019 11:41 am  #7


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

I remember CHUM showing Wings' Give Ireland Back To The Irish as their Hitbound pick on the CHUM Chart and playing it for a couple of weeks, but then it was abruptly dropped. I was surprised by this because their Hitbound songs normally made the chart, and on top of that this was McCartney's first single with Wings. But my mother told me at the time that she figured they had stopped playing it because it was too controversial, and she was right ... I just found the following confirmation of this from Billboard.
CHUM in Toronto dropped the Wings' single, "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" after "substantial negative response from listeners." 

 

February 12, 2019 12:07 pm  #8


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

not sure if it fits here, but the Hip's New Orleans is Sinking after hurricane Katrina (and the ensuing waves)

 

February 12, 2019 12:27 pm  #9


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Lorne wrote:

I remember CHUM showing Wings' Give Ireland Back To The Irish as their Hitbound pick on the CHUM Chart and playing it for a couple of weeks, but then it was abruptly dropped. I was surprised by this because their Hitbound songs normally made the chart, and on top of that this was McCartney's first single with Wings. But my mother told me at the time that she figured they had stopped playing it because it was too controversial, and she was right ... I just found the following confirmation of this from Billboard.
CHUM in Toronto dropped the Wings' single, "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" after "substantial negative response from listeners." 

And yet the song "We're Off To Dublin In The Green" by the Abbey Tavern Singers hit the CHUM Chart back in the 60s. It was a fight song about joining the IRA. I remember even as a kid with my limited knowledge of what that was all about why they would play this song that would obviously infame so many. Yet I don't think there were any complaints that I heard of and it just fell off the chart as any song normally would.

I could be wrong about the reaction though. Perhaps if Doug Thompson was there in those days he'd know more.  

 

February 12, 2019 12:30 pm  #10


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

 input from Thompson would be excellent

     Thread Starter
 

February 12, 2019 1:50 pm  #11


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

O.K. I've been saving this story for a very, very long time. It took until now for the person who first sent it to me to give permission to actually post it here. But given this thread and the email I just received in reply asking again, he finally agreed, as long as I didn't print any names associated with this event. 

What you're about to read is true. It's the tale of how one guy accidentally created an international incident involving CHUM-AM, the war,  and banned songs, all because he needed to fill space on his station's website. It's long but it's pretty bizarre and I'm not sure it's ever been told in public like this before. 

So with thanks to my friend, here it is, in his own words. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It started with the War in Iraq. At the time, no one knew how relatively short or long the battle to defeat Saddam Hussein would be. But soon after the U.S. launched its forces, one of the guys who worked on our website was trying to fill a hole in his Entertainment section. 
 
There wasn’t exactly a lot going on in local showbiz that day, and he needed something fresh. So he decided to create a speculative story where one didn’t exist, something no one else had. He asked one of his writers to phone a few rock/contemporary Toronto radio stations and ask them if they had banned any songs out of respect for the just launched battle. 
 
The woman dutifully made the calls, with CHFI responding that it hadn’t even thought about it and all was normal. She called a few other places and then got on the horn with CHUM, which at the time was still playing music on AM.
 
And that’s when everything went crazy. As tape rolled on a cassette recording, she spoke to the P.D. in charge, explained what she was looking for, and innocently asked if there were any songs they’d put on hold, especially on the oldies side. She hit the jackpot. The P.D. admitted that there were several that had been temporarily removed from the playlist, including everything from “War” by Edwin Starr to “Billy Don’t Be A Hero,” the Bo Donaldson tune. 
 
He then told her the list, with the site making a story out of it, and duly publishing it. 
 
Nothing happened for a day, until someone put the link on one of the older incarnations of the SOWNY board. Someone at the Toronto Sun noticed it, and the next day, I think it was Jim Slotek who came out with an article ridiculing CHUM’s programmers, arguing that the idea of banning old songs because there was a war in the Middle East was ridiculous and wondering who was making such dumb decisions that treated the listeners like idiots. 
 
Well, the shit hit the fan after that. 

Angry calls from CHUM management came into the news director of the TV station, demanding to know why they were printing such lies. The phones at 1050 were ringing off the hook from other media, all demanding to know if the story was true. They adamantly denied it, and it took on a life of its own, gaining traction around the country and starting something of an international incident as the tale spread, being published in newspapers as far away as England and Australia. 
 
With all the complaints, soon upper management of the TV station began getting phone calls, demanding the story be retracted and taken down. It eventually was removed from the website, as the investigation into what happened and who was telling the truth escalated. 
 
The person who suggested the idea was called into the news director’s office and questioned. The author followed soon after. Lawyers were present. Things were tense. And then the lady who filed the story remembered something vitally important: she had the original conversation on tape. 
 
A quick listen to the thing showed the CHUM official clearly admitting there WAS a list of such music and at one point, leaning over to a colleague and openly asking, “Do you have the list of banned songs?” When he heard this, a big smile came over the face of the TV news director and he took the tape into his office and closed the door. 
 
About an hour later, he emerged and everything seemed to have been resolved. No one else was privy to what happened during that lost 60 minutes, but I can guess that he was on the phone with the denier-in-chief and played it for him. 
 
And suddenly, just like that, it all went away, including that cassette which was never seen or heard of from that day on.
 
As far as I know, the disputed tale wasn’t put back up on the site and the entire debacle was never mentioned again. And it all happened because one guy on the web decided he needed a small filler entertainment story for the day. As it turns out, he got a lot more than he bargained for.

 

February 12, 2019 2:38 pm  #12


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

I once offered 97.7 five dollars to play GWAR's 'America Must Be Destroyed' shortly after Sept. 11 2001. They didn't take me up on it.

 

February 12, 2019 2:39 pm  #13


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

There's a story about songs that were supposedly banned by what was then called Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartradio) following 9/11. It's a pretty long list. 

Every Song Radio Stations Were Encouraged To Not Play After 9/11

 

February 12, 2019 3:19 pm  #14


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

RadioActive wrote:

There's a story about songs that were supposedly banned by what was then called Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartradio) following 9/11. It's a pretty long list. 

Every Song Radio Stations Were Encouraged To Not Play After 9/11

Wow, Shelley Fabares' “Johnny Angel” is on that list! Really. I can't imagine what in those lyrics was ban-worthy. 

 

February 12, 2019 3:30 pm  #15


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Well judging by the rest of the list, it suggests something you might see after death, since every song about death or destruction seems to be on that song smorgasbord. Does seem over the top for sure. 

And remember this was long before the era of over-political correctness. You can only imagine what would be on that list today.

Last edited by RadioActive (February 12, 2019 3:33 pm)

 

February 12, 2019 8:10 pm  #16


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Yes, there WAS an LP!

http://i64.tinypic.com/x391dt.jpg


And while it's horribly politically incorrect, "I'm Happy I Live In A Split Level Head" was my favourite cut because of the way the stereo effect was used at the end of it.


 

 

February 12, 2019 8:29 pm  #17


Re: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

When Tom Rivers, the morning man on CFTR 680AM decided to play `Give Peace A Chance` all through his morning show.

https://youtu.be/qR8tNFV3cCw

Last edited by Davester (February 12, 2019 8:30 pm)