top-40 in 1957

Kevin Vahey
Fri May 30 02:55:35 EDT 2014

I remember the Nuns at St Paul's in Cambridge were cool with any comic book
approved by this body.

Clayton and WHDH would never touch an Everly Brothers song as they were MOR
- they were the WNEW of Boston.

The Catholic newspaper the Pilot would list the 'banned' movies and music
every week from the Legion of Decency - lets just say my parents went to
confession a lot :)

On Fri, May 30, 2014 at 2:08 AM, Donna Halper <> wrote:

> So, I am trying to disprove a very durable myth.  A number of websites,
> and even a couple of books claim that "Wake Up Little Susie" by the Everly
> Brothers was banned in Boston.  I grew up here, and I absolutely remember
> hearing it on the radio.  I've checked various newspapers (given that a
> number of radio and music critics back then absolutely hated rock and roll,
> if the song got banned, you'd think someone would have mentioned it)-- but
> there was no mention that I could find in the Globe, Herald, Traveler, or
> several others.  No mention in Broadcasting magazine either, and Billboard
> repeatedly showed that the song was selling in Boston record stores.  But
> what really makes me think the story is a myth is that I found some old
> surveys that show WCOP played the song.  I also found weekly newspaper
> reports of what the top disc jockeys were playing-- these appeared in the
> Traveler and the Record American, and they continued to report airplay from
> WHDH's Bob Clayton's (his show, "Boston Ballroom," was very influential
> back then).  Do any of you have Boston radio surveys from October 1957, the
> month the song went to #1?  My guess is that the more conservative stations
> like WBZ did not play it, and there might have been some negative
> commentary about the song by the Boston Archdiocese--the Catholic Church
> had a lot of influence and I vaguely recall they had a list of songs,
> movies and books considered not okay for Catholics.  But I am not finding
> any evidence the song was in fact "banned in Boston."

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