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Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??

Joe Offer 04 Jul 22 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Jul 22 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 05 Jul 22 - 01:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jul 22 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Jul 22 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Jul 22 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 05 Jul 22 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Jul 22 - 04:43 AM
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Subject: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jul 22 - 04:24 PM

At the Mudcat Singaround, somebody said that at one time, Buffy Sainte-Marie had been blacklisted, and her songs couldn't be played on US radio. The person said that the blacklisting was ordered by some government agency. What's the story? I didn't find details in this article:
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/buffy-sainte-marie-wab-kinew-and-how-dna-remembers-trauma-1.3242375/the-song-of-buffy-sainte-marie-heard-loud-and-clear-with-polaris-win-1.3244334


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 12:35 PM

From Wikipedia, the font of all knowledge;

Sainte-Marie said in a 2008 interview at the National Museum of the American Indian[39] that she had been blacklisted by American radio stations and that she, along with Native Americans and other Indigenous people in the Red Power movements, were put out of business in the 1970s.[40]

In a 1999 interview at Diné College with a staff writer with Indian Country Today, Sainte-Marie said "I found out 10 years later, in the 1980s, that President Lyndon B. Johnson had been writing letters on White House stationery praising radio stations for suppressing my music" and "In the 1970s, not only was the protest movement put out of business, but the Native American movement was attacked."[41]

As a result of this blacklisting which Sainte-Marie claims was led by (among others) Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and Nashville disc jockey Ralph Emery (following the release of I'm Gonna Be a Country Girl Again), Sainte-Marie said "I was put out of business in the United States".[42]

39. "2008 Native Writer's Series #3 – Buffy Sainte-Marie". April 17, 2008. Archived from the original on April 27, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2014 – via YouTube.
40. Paulsen, Sasha (September 24, 2011). "An original rebel with a resonating voice". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
41. "CENSORED NEWS: Uncensored: Buffy Sainte-Marie honored with Lifetime Achievement Award". Bsnorrell.blogspot.com. October 22, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
42. Nagy, Rob (August 12, 2016). "Folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie continues her journey — performs at Philadelphia Folk Festival 2016". Bucks Local News. Retrieved May 14, 2017.


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 01:39 PM

Last time I checked, the 'original source' was always Buffy Sainte-Marie. Doesn't mean it didn't happen but the White House letterhead stuff never turned up afaik.

Sainte-Marie's recording career tanked long before she left Vanguard. Illuminations was pretty much the end of the line. The last few albums were picked up by MCA but not right away. The senior execs at either label would not have cared what LBJ or Tricky Dick thought, in the least. Nobody heard a single...

I do recall Ralph Emery panning Buffy (MCA), just like everybody else, but couldn't locate the old reviews. The cheesecake cover didn't go over too well with the liberated Lefts or the unliberated Rights. The music inside didn't fair any better.

Fwiw: Emery's run-ins with lefty-folkies wanting to be accepted as country are Grand Ole Opry legend. See: Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man & the Byrds. They'd both fit right in with any Mudcat 'what is folk' thread, no problemo.

Fwiw2: Illuminations made something of a comeback in the artsy jazz genre and the Buffy gatefold wall poster is an impossible-to-find collector's item.


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 02:06 PM

Phil, did you try doing a search in Worldcat? There may be scholarly sources of information that don't turn up in regular online content. Or try Google Scholar. There are any number of academics studying American Indian Literature, poetry, and music, so chances are someone will have picked up on this alleged ban.


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 02:17 PM

Something similar happened to Gordon Ligbtfoot with Black Day in July.

The song is about the Detroit Race Riots (also known as the 12th Street Rioting) that began on Saturday July 23, 1967. 43 people died in the riots.

The song was released on the album Did She Mention My Name? in January 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead on Thursday, 4 April 1968 and race relations once again became strained.

Gordon Lightfoot interview; https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1726194667
Gordon Lightfoot


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 03:03 PM

Censored News Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
Wednesday, 27 November, 2019
The Blacklisting of Buffy Sainte Marie

https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-blacklisting-of-buffy-sainte-marie.html
Blacklisting of Buffy


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 03:19 PM

As a student of political history, I have read all the major (and some minor) biographies of LBJ and Richard Nixon. None mentions any role for either in blacklisting Sainte-Marie or any other American Indian artists of the period. (Actually, they're not even mentioned.) There's plenty the two flawed Presidents were legitimately guilty of, but these books are rich in granular detail, often unflattering. If true, the story would have be known and prominently featured, and it would be a scandal known to those interested in the histories of both blacklists and Presidents who abuse their power. The FBI under Hoover conducted inquiries into all manner of dissidents and nonconformists -- no doubt Sainte-Marie among the many -- but in the current instance we're asked to believe a whole lot more than that.

Sainte-Marie made a ton of money as a pop songwriter after her folk years were behind her, which suggests the censors weren't doing their job. I don't doubt her sincerity, and from what I hear, she's a decent, likable human being. That doesn't mean we need to credit her claim without good supporting evidence. If it's there, let's see it.

As for Ralph Emery, the less said the better.


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Subject: RE: Buffy Sainte-Marie - blacklisting??
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Jul 22 - 04:43 AM

SRS: I can do the discography mostly from memory and four function math with a calendar is a lot more useful than prose. I count twelve albums worth of 'blacklist' that most artists would sign up for in half-a-heartbeat. Vanguard was a decent label as mega-labels go. MCA could actually be accused of over exposure, puns and all.

The Johnson Admin were the fat years and, if Nixon did consider Buffy Sainte-Marie an enemy, she was D-List, at best. ie: Less of a 'threat' than Tom Smothers or Carol Channing.

"Hunter S. Thompson expressed disappointment in not having been included on the list, writing "I would almost have preferred a vindictive tax audit to that kind of crippling exclusion.""
Master list of Nixon's political opponents


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