Following the September 11th attacks in 2001, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, circulated an internal memo containing a list of songs that program directors felt were "lyrically questionable” to play in the aftermath of the attacks.
In the article It's the End of the World as Clear Channel Knows It, by Eliza Truitt, published on September 17, 2001, explains that after the attacks on 9/11, many television and radio stations altered normal programming in response to the events. Clear Channel and its subsidiaries assembled a list of songs they suggested removing from airplay.
Snopes.com did research on the subject and concluded that the list did exist, but noted that it was not an outright ban of any songs. Yet when rules are as amorphous as the “war on terror” you can remove any song you want.
Some of the songs Clear Channel wanted “skipped over” were:
Bangles — Walk Like an Egyptian
Beastie Boys — Sabotage
The Beatles — Ticket To Ride
Carole King — I Feel the Earth Move
Cat Stevens — Peace Train
Dave Matthews Band — Crash Into Me
Elton John — Benny & The Jets
James Taylor — Fire and Rain
Led Zeppelin — Stairway to Heaven
Lenny Kravitz — Fly Away
Phil Collins — In the Air Tonight
Soundgarden — Black Hole Sun
Van Halen — Jump
Talking Heads — Burning Down the House
All of Rage Against The Machine
I wonder where all the protest songs went? Is there truly less interest in the genre or have they been silenced?
My covers and original protest songs are together in one album called The Protest Project and it’s available for free at kregmusic.com