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Songs on Clear Channel's Blacklist

By on September 11, 2016

banned_songs_9-11_-_620-400The Blacklist.
The week after the attacks on September 11, 2001, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia) sent out a mass e-mail to its program directors at stations across the country with an updated and expanded list of songs they considered having “questionable lyrics.” Clear Channel management strongly suggested through the corporate network that stations should avoid playing any of them. Some of the 162 songs — more if you include the blanket directive against “All Rage Against the Machine Songs” might be understandable from Tipper Gore, such as “Seek and Destroy” by Metallica, Van Halen’s “Jump” or Ozzy Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution.” But many of the blacklisted songs are just that – songs. The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian”, Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife”, and the Beatles, “Ticket to Ride” are all included on this list.
tribut-apparel-blog-the-2001-clear-channel-controversy blacklistThe strangest inclusion had to be John Lennon’s unquestionably pacifist anthem “Imagine,” unless Clear Channel was pushing the military industrial complex and its pro-war agenda?
A major uproar erupted among left-wingers and conspiracy theorists — who love throwing shade – and they started asking if this was blatant censorship, or was Clear Channel simply being sensitive to traumatized listeners?
Clear Channel executives made every effort to deny the existence of this list in 2001 and issued a press statement categorically denying the existence of a blacklist, saying:
San Antonio, TX, September 18, 2001…Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE: CCU) today issued the following statement as a result of numerous stories, emails and calls concerning an alleged “list of banned songs” on its U.S. radio stations following last week’s tragedy in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania:
“Clear Channel Radio has not banned any songs from any of its radio stations. Clear Channel believes that radio is a local medium. It is up to every radio station program director and general manager to understand their market, listen to their listeners and guide their station’s music selections according to local sensitivities. Each program director and general manager must take the pulse of his or her market to determine if play lists should be altered, and if so, for how long. ‘In the wake of this terrible tragedy, the nation’s business community is responding with a degree of hypersensitivity,” explained Mark P. Mays, President and Chief Operating Officer of Clear Channel. “Even some movie companies have altered some of their release schedules in light of the mood in America today. Clear Channel strongly believes in the First Amendment and freedom of speech. We value and support the artist community. And we support our radio station programming staff and management team in their responsibility to respond to their local markets”‘ but we all know how the internet works now.  clear_channel
Jack Evans, regional senior VP of programming at Clear Channel made a statement insisting this list was not an effort initiated by management: “After and during what was happening in New York and Washington and outside of Pittsburgh, some of our program directors began e-mailing each other about songs and questionable song titles,” though the finished list was emailed to the program directors by Clear Channel management.
Research done by snopes.com revealed two relevant facts: One, the email listing 162+ songs did exist, despite Clear Channel’s denials and two, the songs on the list weren’t actually banned from radio airplay, although Clear Channel strongly suggested that its stations eliminate the songs.
Today, Clear Channel is singing another tune and sporting another moniker. Rebranded in 2015 as, iHeart Media, it is a company that includes 859 radio stations in over 150 markets, with more than 245 million listeners a month — the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. However; this shiny description mentions nothing of its current problems. First quarter numbers from 2016 reveal that they are carrying an astounding $20.8 billion in long-term, outstanding debt, and the corporate entity is struggling to find a way to survive. Bloomberg.com explains in a February 2016 article, “The business was bought by Bain and Thomas H. Lee in July 2008 in one of the last mega leveraged buyouts before the credit crisis. The firms paid $24 billion for the radio and billboard company that spawned IHeart, formerly known as Clear Channel Communications Inc. and has been battling ever since.” In 2019 the company will need to come up with $8.3 billion due for senior debt, which represents 40 percent of its total obligations. Clear Channel Outdoor has lost more than half of their value in the past nine months. Are the problems at iHeart Media and Clear Channel Outdoor today reflective of the Corporate Giant mentality they so aggressively displayed at in the first part of the millennium? Their money management skills certainly reflect a “Too Big to Fail” method of doing business, but those may be salad days for this floundering media giant.
imagine blacklist
How many songs on the blacklist have you listened to?
3 DOORS DOWN – Duck and Run
311 – Down
AC/DC – Dirty Deeds
AC/DC – Hell’s Bells
AC/DC – Highway to Hell
AC/DC – Safe in New York City
AC/DC – Shoot to Thrill
AC/DC – Shot Down in Flames
AC/DC – TNT
AD LIBS – The Boy from New York City
ALICE IN CHAINS – Down in a Hole
ALICE IN CHAINS – Rooster
ALICE IN CHAINS – Sea of Sorrow
ALICE IN CHAINS – Them Bone
ALIEN ANT FARM – Smooth Criminal
ANIMALS – We Gotta Get Out of this Place
LOUIS ARMSTRONG – What a Wonderful World
BANGLES – Walk Like an Egyptian
BARENAKED LADIES – Falling for the First Time
FONTELLA BASS – Rescue Me
BEASTIE BOYS – Sabotage
BEASTIE BOYS – Sure Shot
BEATLES – A Day in the Life
BEATLES – Lucy in fhe Sky with Diamonds
BEATLES – Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
BEATLES – Ticket to Ride
PAT BENATAR – Love Is a Battlefield
PAT BENATAR – Hit Me with Your Best Shot
BLACK SABBATH – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
BLACK SUICIDE – Suicide Solution
BLACK SABBATH – War Pigs
BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS – And When I Die
BLUE OYSTER CULT – Burnin’ for You
BOSTON – Smokin’
BROOKLYN BRIDGE – Worst that Could Happen
ARTHUR BROWN – Fire
JACKSON BROWNE – Doctor My Eyes
BUSH – Speed Kills CHI-LITES – Have You Seen Her
DAVE CLARK FIVE – Bits and Pieces
PETULA CLARK – A Sign of the Times
THE CLASH – Rock the Casbah
PHIL COLLINS – In the Air Tonight
SAM COOKE – Wonderful World
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL – Travelin’ Band
CULT – Fire Woman
BOBBY DARIN – Mack the Knife
SKEETER DAVIS – End of the World
NEIL DIAMOND – America
DIO – Holy Diver
DOORS – The End
DRIFTERS – On Broadway
DROWNING POOL – Bodies
BOB DYLAN – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
EVERCLEAR – Santa Monica
SHELLY FABARES – Johnny Angel
FILTER – Hey Man, Nice Shot
FOO FIGHTERS – Learn to Fly
FUEL – Bad Day
PETER GABRIEL – When You’re Falling
GAP BAND – You Dropped a Bomb on Me
GODSMACK – Bad Religion
GREEN DAY – Brain Stew
NORMAN GREENBAUM – Spirit in the Sky
GUNS N’ ROSES – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
HAPPENINGS – See You in September
JIMI HENDRIX – Hey Joe
HERMAN’S HERMITS – Wonderful World
HOLLIES – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS – That’ll Be the Day
JAN & DEAN – Dead Man’s Curve
BILLY JOEL – Only the Good Die Young
ELTON JOHN – Benny & The Jets
ELTON JOHN – Daniel
ELTON JOHN – Rocket Man
JUDAS PRIEST – Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
KANSAS – Dust in the Wind
CAROLE KING – I Feel the Earth Move
KORN – Falling Away From Me
LENNY KRAVITZ – Fly Away
LED ZEPPELIN – Stairway to Heaven
JOHN LENNON – Imagine
JERRY LEE LEWIS – Great Balls of Fire
LIMP BIZKIT – Break Stuff
LOCAL H – Bound for the Floor
LOS BRAVOS – Black Is Black
LYNYRD SKYNYRD – Tuesday’s Gone
MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS – Nowhere to Run
MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS – Dancing in the Street
DAVE MATHEWS BAND – Crash into Me
PAUL MCCARTNEY & WINGS – Live and Let Die
BARRY MCGUIRE – Eve Of Destruction
DON MCLEAN – American Pie
MEGADEATH – Dread and the Fugitive
MEGADEATH – Sweating Bullets
JOHN MELLENCAMP – Crumbling Down
JOHN MELLENCAMP – I’m on Fire
METALLICA – Seek and Destroy
METALLICA – Harvester Or Sorrow
METALLICA – Enter Sandman
METALLICA – Fade to Black
STEVE MILLER – Jet Airliner
ALANIS MORISSETTE – Ironic
MUDVAYNE – Death Blooms
RICK NELSON – Travelin’ Man
NENA – 99 Luft Balloons/99 Red Balloons
NINE INCH NAILS – Head Like a Hole
OINGO BOINGO – Dead Man’s Party
PAPER LACE – The Night Chicago Died
JOHN PARR – St Elmo’s Fire
PETER GORDON – I Go To Pieces
PETER GORDON – A World Without Love
PETER PAUL & MARY – Blowin’ in the Wind
PETER PAUL & MARY – Leavin’ on a Jet Plane
TOM PETTY – Free Fallin’
PINK FLOYD – Run Like Hell
PINK FLOYD – Mother
POD – Boom
ELVIS PRESLEY – (You’re the) Devil in Disguise
PRETENDERS – My City Was Gone
QUEEN – Another One Bites the Dust
QUEEN – Killer Queen
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – [all songs]
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – Aeroplane
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – Under the Bridge
REM – It’s the End of the World as We Know It
ROLLING STONES – Ruby Tuesday
MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS – Devil with the Blue Dress
SALIVA – Click Click Boom
SANTANA – Evil Ways ‘
SAVAGE GARDEN – Crash and Burn
SIMON & GARFUNKLE – Bridge Over Troubled Water
FRANK SINATRA – New York, New York
SLIPKNOT – Left Behind
SLIPKNOT – Wait and
SMASHING PUMPKINS – Bullet with Butterfly Wings
SOUNDGARDEN – Blow Up the Outside World
SMASHING PUMPKINS – Fell on Black Days
SMASHING PUMPKINS – Black Hole Sun
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – I’m on Fire
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – Goin’ Down
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – War
EDWIN STARR – War
STEAM – Na Na Na Na Hey Hey
CAT STEVENS – Peace Train
CAT STEVENS – Morning Has Broken
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Big Bang Baby
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Dead and Bloated
SUGAR RAY – Fly
SURFARIS – Wipeout
SYSTEM OF A DOWN – Chop Suey!
TALKING HEADS – Burning Down the House
JAMES TAYLOR – Fire and Rain
TEMPLE OF THE DOG – Say Hello to Heaven
THIRD EYE BLIND – Jumper
THREE DEGREES – When Will I See You Again
TOOL – Intolerance
TRAMPS – Disco Inferno
U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
VAN HALEN – Dancing in the Streets
VAN HALEN – Jump
J FRANK WILSON – Last Kiss
YOUNGBLOODS – Get Together
ZAGER & EVANS – In the Year 2525
ZOMBIES – She’s Not There
Source Material:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/iheart-said-to-weigh-bond-exchange-before-wall-of-debt-comes-due
http://www.iheartmedia.com/pages/Press.aspx
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Clear_Channel_memorandum