Top 10 Banned Songs

Strange Fruit – Billie Holliday

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A very early example of a song being banned, Billie Holliday recorded this song in 1939 and not even her own producer would work with her on it – instead, she had a one-day release from her contract in order to record it with another producer. It was the subject matter that was controversial – an account of alynching in the Deep South that left “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze.” It was instantly banned by all the Southern radio stations, although it went on to become massively successful. A short, strange and disturbing song indeed but an important issue and a brave one for a black singer to tackle when segregation was still very much in force.