By Scott T. Sterling
Johnny Cash’s record label, American Records, and parent company Universal Music, have sent a cease-and-desist notice banning a white nationalist radio show from using one of his tracks as its theme song.
Stormfront Radio had been using Cash’s cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1989 hit, “I Won’t Back Down,” as the theme for a weekly show. The letter officially shut down that practice.
According to NPR, the letter was addressed to the Rense Radio Network, which posts Stormfront Radio’s content online, and to Don Black, the founder of Stormfront and a former Ku Klux Klan leader.
In the letter, the companies called out the show for “unlawfully exploiting” Cash’s song, and that the labels “have not licensed, granted permission, or otherwise authorized either Rense Radio Network or Mr. Black” to use the music.
This cease-and-desist letter comes just a few weeks after Cash’s children Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, Tara and John Carter Cash, explained that their father “would be horrified,” and they are “sickened by the association,” with someone who was caught on film “spewing hatred and bile” in response to a neo-Nazi seen wearing a Cash shirt.
They pointed out in the Facebook post that their father fought for Native American rights, protested the Vietnam War and “was a voice for the poor, the struggling and the disenfranchised, and an advocate for the rights of prisoners.”