Johnny Cash’s Label, Family Speak Out Against White Nationalist Radio Station Using His Music
Facing legal threats from Universal Music Group and American Recordings, racist white nationalist group Stormfront has stopped using Johnny Cash’s version of “I Won’t Back Down” in its radio broadcasts. The group received a cease-and-desist letter in early September from the record label, just one of a number of groups of people upset by the use of Cash's music by a hate group.
Universal Music Group and American Recordings own the Cash version of "I Won't Back Down," a Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne classic. According to National Public Radio, UMG and American Recordings allege that Stormfront Radio was “unlawfully exploiting” Cash’s version of the song without the appropriate permission.
Although Stormfront Radio has since stopped using Cash's version of "I Won't Back Down" to introduce its radio show, Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, issued a blistering statement against the group: “Personally (and I believe I can speak for my sisters on this), I am against any organization or individual who believes they are superior to and / or may wish harm upon another because of race, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation. We also believe in the potential unification of humanity as a whole," Carter Cash says (via Rolling Stone). "We learned this philosophy directly from our father ...
"Please, let his actions speak for who he was: a simple, loving man who never supported hate or bigotry. He was non-political, and a patriot with no public political party affiliation,” Carter Cash adds of his father. “Simply, this is how Dad lived his life and what he believed in. We try to stay true to his morale and philosophy in every public face as if he were still living and breathing.”
Their crusade against Stormfront is the Cash family's second against hate groups in recent weeks: After protests in Charlottesville, Va., that killed one woman, the Cash family issued an open letter against hate and violence after learning that at least one member of a racist group at the rally was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with Cash’s photo.
"Our dad told each of us, over and over throughout our lives, 'Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love,'" Cash’s children said in a statement at the time. "We do not judge race, color, sexual orientation or creed. We value the capacity for love and the impulse towards kindness. We respect diversity, and cherish our shared humanity.”
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