Banned! – Highlights from the 3/28 Rock and Roll Revisited

Up Front:

Want some AI with that? McDonald’s purchased the artificial intelligence company Dynamic Yield for over $300 million. Dynamic Yield will use algorithms to determine what menu items to show based on weather, time of day, traffic, nearby events, and sales trends. Over the next three months, 1,000 stores will test drive the concept with the entire 14,000 store constellation launching within the next year. Via @TechCrunch

When I worked in radio, we distilled our brand into something that could fit on a billboard and repeated it ad nauseam. Can you articulate the essence of your brand in one sentence? How compelling is it? Hint: most aren’t. . And.. Is podcasting  really worth $340 million? Via @jacobsmedia

My wife watches The View religiously. Maybe this is one reason why. Conflict sells. Via @TheAtlantic.

26 Twilight Zone episodes worth rewatching.

Can you sing, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die?” A Princess Bride musical is in the works. I’m sure my wife will want to see it. My answer? “As you wish.”

Members of the Keener 13 Facebook Page were asked to share their jukebox faves. We made a YouTube playlist with all of em on it.

One last thing: If you need a laugh today, spend 10 minutes watching how Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper keep breaking up as they struggle through this Tonight Show segment from 2014. A rare look at what happens when things go off the rails.

Today In History:

1964: Radio Caroline, the UK’s first all-day English-language ‘pirate,’ radio station, began broadcasting from the Fredericia, a former Danish ferry, in the North Sea.

1964: Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London unveiled statues of the Beatles, the museum’s first rock stars. The figures became more famous in 1967 when the Beatles used them in the cover photograph for their ,’Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ album.

1967: Raymond Burr starred in a TV-movie called ,’Ironside,’ co-starring Geraldine Brooks, Wally Cox, Kim Darby, and Lelia Skala. Don Galloway, Barbara Anderson and Don Mitchell were also in the cast and returned with Burr when it became a weekly series that ran for eight seasons beginning in September 1967.

1969: 34th president of the United States (1953-1961) Dwight D. Eisenhower died of heart failure at 78.

1974: A streaker ran onto the set of NBC-TV’s ,’The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.’ The streaker was arrested, but released, according to Johnny, for ,’lack of evidence.,’

1975: Barbra Streisand attended Elvis Presley‘s show in Las Vegas and offered him the male lead role in her latest movie project, a remake of ,’A Star Is Born,,’ in which she planned to co-star. Despite his interest – Presley was said to have been ecstatic about the idea – the role went to Kris Kristofferson.

1979: A coolant leak led to a nuclear reactor overheating and a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The incident, which forced thousands of people from their homes, was brought under control within two days.

1979: Famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus clown Emmett Kelly died following a heart attack at 80.

1982: In San Diego, David Crosby was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of Quaaludes, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and an unlicensed .45 pistol. When the police asked Crosby why he was carrying the gun, he replied, ,’John Lennon.,’

1985: More than 6,000 North American radio stations played ,’We Are The World,’ simultaneously at 10:15 a.m., ET.

1987: The racially-integrated Doobie Brothers moved their upcoming concert from Phoenix to Las Vegas after learning that Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham refused to let his state honor Martin Luther King Day.

1987: Missionary/former Von Trapp Family singer Maria Von Trapp, whose 1938 escape from Nazi-occupied Austria with her husband and children was the basis for the stage musical and movie ,’The Sound of Music,,’ died of kidney disease at age 82.

1990: U.S. President George H.W. Bush posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Olympic track star Jesse Owens for his humanitarian contributions. The medal was given to Owens’ widow, Ruth. Owens won four Gold Medals for the U.S. in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. He died in 1980.

1996: Genesis frontman Phil Collins announced he was leaving the group, exactly 20 years after first appearing with them on stage as their new lead singer.

Happy Birthday to:
(1922) Dirk Bogarde (d. 1999)
(1924) Freddie Bartholomew (d. 1992)
(1944) Ken Howard (d. 2016)
(1947) John Landecker
(1955) Reba McEntire
(1970) Vince Vaughn
(1986) Lady Gaga

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh


Anyone who’s ever worked in radio probably remembers the Program Director coming into the studio and pulling a record from the library, saying, “The owner finds this offensive.” That’s hard to believe in today’s world, where playlists are often filled with innuendo and borderline language and our addiction to online streaming services like Spotify gives us access to the unexpurgated versions. One only has to look backwards to see how terrified broadcasters once were that playing a certain song might put their lucrative licenses in jeopardy.

At WKNR, the owner was uncomfortable with the tone of Tommy James’ “I Think We’re Alone Now”. Despite it being a monster hit, it was never played on the air. College FM station PD’s often pulled LPs that went “over the line”, Nilsson’s “You’re Breaking My Heart” and Frank Zappa’s “Don’t Eat Yellow Snow” are two examples. When the radio station I worked at in college was sold to a staunch Catholic, we had to edit out Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” from Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” because of the sexual reference to Catholic Girls.

Over time, most of the banned tunes found airplay on the same stations that once banned them. Some record companies provided edited versions, ala Elektra’s cleaned up MC5 one hit wonder, “Kick Out The Jams… Brothers and Sisters”. Today, an artist has to work pretty hard to get banned. Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” is an example of a record that would never have made the cut 30 years ago. Yesterday’s rant by social influencer Jezebel brought out Alanis’ supperters en mass and sales of the “Jagged Little Pill” collection on iTunes spiked.

In a world where we are easily riled by social media rants, it’s a bit surreal that just about any content can find its way onto the airwaves. In the news business, “If it bleeds, it leads”. And on the radio, “If he swears.. Who cares?”

Here is a short list of hit records that were, at some point, banned.

“Wake Up Little Susie” (1957) – The Everly Brothers. Reason: Teenage hanky-panky
“Splish Splash” (1958) – Bobby Darin. Reason: Nudity
“Tell Laura I Love Her” (1960) – Ray Peterson. Reason: Too sad
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (1960) – Shirelles. Reason: Veiled Sexual Reference
“Puff the Magic Dragon” (1962) – Peter, Paul and Mary. Reason: Drug Reference
“Louie, Louie” (1963) – The Kingsmen Reason: Nobody could understand what they were really singing about
“My Generation” (1965) – The Who. Reason: Unfair to the disabled
“God Only Knows,”(1966) – The Beach Boys Reason: Blasphemy
“Let’s Spend the Night Together” (1967) – The Rolling Stones. Reason: Low morals
“A Day in the Life” (1967) – The Beatles. Reason: One Veiled Drug Reference
“Brown Eyed Girl” (1967) – Van Morrison. Reason: Making Love in the Green Grass
“I Think We’re Alone Now” (1967) – Tommy James & The Shondells Reason. Veiled sexual reference
“Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” (1969) – Neil Diamond. Reason: Blasphemy
“Kick Out the Jams” (1969) – MC5 Reason: Bad language in the opening seconds
“Lola” (1970) – The Kinks. Reason: Free Advertising for Coke
“Timothy” (1970) – The Buoys. Reason: Cannibalism. They ate Joe!
“Jungle Fever” (1971) -Chakachas Reason: Overt Sexual Content
“Love to Love You Baby,” (1975) – Donna Summer Reason: Overt Sexual Content
“Only the Good Die Young” (1977) – Billy Joel. Reason: Offensive to Catholics
“Greased Lightning,”(1978) – John Travolta Reason: Language / Sexual Reference

For those who want to hear the offending tunes, Here’s a YouTube Playlist with all of them.