25 September

Pick a Day

25 SEPTEMBER

In Music History

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2020 Van Morrison releases the song "Born To Be Free" where he protests coronavirus lockdown measures. "Don't need the government cramping my style," he sings. He follows it up with two more lockdown-protest songs: "As I Walked Out" and "No More Lockdown."

2019 The first installment of Ken Burns' eight-part documentary series Country Music airs on PBS. The film chronicles the evolution of the genre from the early "hillbilly" musicians of the '20s with Fiddlin' John Carson through the New Traditionalists of the '90s with Garth Brooks.

2012 Two con artists, Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Diaz, are sentenced to 292 days in jail and 3 years' probation after an attempt to blackmail Stevie Wonder. The pair had somehow obtained or created a video portraying Wonder in a negative light and were demanding $5 million under threat of releasing it to the public. The pair were caught in a sting operation.

2012 The Insane Clown Posse sues the FBI, claiming the organization has refused to turn over evidence as to why ICP fans (Juggalos) are listed as a "hybrid gang" in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. The suit is eventually dismissed.

2010 Bush perform at the second Epicenter Music Festival in Fontana, California. This concert marks the band's first live appearance since 2002.

2007 Bruce Springsteen releases Magic.

2003 Indie rocker Matthew Jay dies at age 24 from an unexplained fall from a London apartment building.

2001 Rapper Erick Sermon sustains serious injuries when, according to his publicist, he is involved in an auto accident. It is announced by police one week later that the injuries are actually the result of a plunge out a third-story window.

2001 For the first time ever, the Recording Academy agrees to accept a downloadable single for Grammy consideration. Virgin Records releases two singles: "Dig In," by Lenny Kravitz and "God Gave Me Everything" by Mick Jagger, which are released to digital retailers via Liquid Audio.

2001 The voice of Bob Marley ushers satellite radio onto the air, promising listeners greater variety on the dial - for a price - with the launch of XM Satellite Radio. It is the first worldwide broadcast of a satellite radio station.

1993 The US Postal Service issues a Patsy Cline commemorative stamp.

1991 Simon Le Bon's wife, Yasmin, gives birth to a daughter, Saffron, in London. She is the second child for the Duran Duran lead singer and his wife.

1990 INXS release X, the follow-up to their wildly successful 1987 album Kick. In the interim, lead singer Michael Hutchence released an album with his less glamorous band, Max Q.

1990 Mercer University Drive in Macon, Georgia, is renamed "Little Richard Penniman Boulevard" after the famous singer who grew up there.

1990 Dave Grohl replaces Chad Channing in Nirvana, becoming the fifth (and final) drummer for the band.

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University Of Miami Bans "Dixie"

1968

No more whistling "Dixie" for University of Miami students as the school becomes the first university to ban the controversial Confederate anthem from being played at public events.

In a letter to the student body, President Henry King Stanford explains his reasons for banning the traditional tune, which first rose to prominence in blackface minstrel shows before becoming an anthem for the Confederacy during the American Civil War and a popular theme at modern sporting events. With lyrics wistfully recalling the bygone days "in the land of cotton," while, protesters point out, stereotyping the slaves who picked that very cotton, the song attracts controversy. As the Civil Rights movement gained traction throughout the '50s and '60s, African Americans likened their reaction to confronting symbols of the Old South like the Confederate flag and "Dixie" to the Jews encountering Nazi swastikas: a painful reminder of a time of bondage and prejudice. Stanford writes, "It is not honorable to force upon a minority group the symbols of the Confederacy which, rightly or wrongly, have become so distasteful to them, symbols which are associated in their minds with slavery, discrimination, and the degradation of human personality, all conditions that are at complete variance with that part of my Southern heritage which I prize so highly." Despite other schools (including Clemson University and the University of Georgia) following Miami's lead, Confederate heritage groups and several Southern schools retain "Dixie" as a fight song that they insist represents heritage, not hate - an argument that rages well into the 21st century. In the ensuing decades, artists re-envision the song's message by removing stereotypical black dialect and setting the tune against songs that detail black hardship, such as jazz singer Rene Marie mixing it with "Strange Fruit," Billie Holiday's haunting song about lynching. Just a few year after the ban, Mickey Newbury's "An American Trilogy," made popular by Elvis Presley, combines "Dixie" with the Union anthem "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the spiritual-turned-protest song "All My Trials."

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