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Great Moments In Musical History

1968: The chairman of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, bans the popular musical The Sound of Music, describing it as, "A blatant example of capitalist pornography."

1975: During Christmas celebrations, the president of Equatorial Guinea, Macias Nguema, orders his army to shoot 150 political opponents in the Malabo football stadium as loudspeakers played Mary Hopkins' Those Were the Days.

1978: Pop producer Phil Spector, a perfectionist in the recording studio, holds a gun to the head of Leonard Cohen to achieve the precise vocal performance he is looking for on his album Death of a Ladies' Man.

1992: Five prison guards at the Boise, Idaho, Maximum Security Institution are accused of taunting death-row inmates by playing the Neil Young song The Needle and the Damage Done during an execution by lethal injection.

1993: A Christian radio station in Vevay, Indiana, is burgled and set ablaze. Police say their prime suspect is a caller who became irate when a DJ refused to play Don't Take the Girl by Tim McGraw.

1994: The Dudley and District Hospital Radio ban the Frank Sinatra standard My Way from their airwaves because the lines "Now the end is near / And so I face the final curtain" are considered too discouraging for terminally ill patients. Other records suggested for the hospital danger list include Tony Bennett's I Left My Heart in San Francisco (insensitive to coronary patients) and Andy Fairweather-Low's Wide Eyed and Legless (unsuitable for amputees).

1994: A Beatles tribute band loses its "George Harrison" in a tragic accident. The "quiet Beatle," aka twenty-seven-year-old Duncan Bloomfield, falls out of the back of the band's van on the motorway while they travel home from a performance in London. The rest of the band drives for twenty five miles before they realize that he is missing.

1995: In Wanganui, New Zealand, a twenty-one-year-old man claims he has a bomb and takes over the local radio station, STAR FM, demanding to hear the song Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog.

1996: Mourners at a funeral service at All Saints Church, Gravesend, are startled when the church PA system inadvertently relays Rod Stewart's hit Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? including the line "If you want my body."

1996: An academic report called The Effect of Country Music on Suicide by two American sociologists, Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach, proves a link between country music and losing the will to live. The study concludes that wherever country music is played, the suicide rate among whites is higher than average, "independent of divorce, Southernness, poverty, and gun availability."

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