Johnny Cash's record label orders cease-and-desist on white supremacy group
Johnny Cash's record label has forced bosses of a white nationalist website to stop using the late singer's music during an online radio show.
According to editors at NPR, American Recordings and Universal Music Group (UMG), the label and distributor in control of Cash's music catalog, sent a cease-and-desist letter to white nationalist group Stormfront, which had been using his cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" as the theme music for its Stormfront Radio program.
The letter reportedly stated the label had not "licensed, granted permission, or otherwise authorized" the use of the song, which appeared on Cash's 2000 covers album American III: Solitary Man, for the radio show, which is hosted by Patrick Slattery.
Slattery responded to the crackdown by addressing the issue on-air.
"These Jews are trying to crack down on us every way they can," he said. "We will not be able to use 'I Won't Back Down' as theme music anymore, but I can guarantee you, we're not backing down."
The show host then replaced the song with Confederate anthem "The South Will Rise Again."
Cash was vehemently anti-racist and dedicated 1964 album Bitter Tears: Ballads of the Native Americans to groups advocating for Native American rights.
The move comes weeks after two of Cash's children, Rosanne and John Carter Cash, slammed white supremacy protesters at a march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month after a neo-Nazi was pictured wearing a T-shirt bearing their father's name.
"We were sickened by the association. Johnny Cash was a man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice," read part of a message on Rosanne's Facebook page.