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CRISIS PROMPTS SOME STATIONS TO CUT SONGS

The terrorist crisis is affecting all aspects of American life, including the music being played - and not played - on the radio.

Clear Channel Communications, which operates nearly 1,100 stations across the country but none in Buffalo, has put out a list of songs it suggests local stations shouldn't play.

The list ranges from such staples as Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" to "Imagine" by John Lennon. Other titles: "Fire" by Arthur Brown; "Sunday Bloody Sunday," U2; "Sabotage," the Beastie Boys; "War" and "I'm on Fire," Bruce Springsteen; "Mack the Knife," Bobby Darin; "Stairway to Heaven," Led Zeppelin and "A Sign of the Times," Petula Clark.

Locally, country station WYRK-FM 106.5 and classic rocker WBUF-FM 92.9 have pulled a handful of songs off their play lists.

"We want to be responsible broadcasters and we want to be sensitive to people's feelings," said Jeff Silver, general manager of WYRK and WBUF. "This isn't about censorship, it's about responsibility."

WYRK has pulled "Burn," by Jo Dee Messina; "It's a Great Day to be Alive," Travis Tritt and "Ashes By Now," Lee Ann Womack. WBUF won't play Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner" and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."

WBUF, WYRK and WBLK-FM 93.7 are all owned by CBS radio in New York. Silver said all the FM stations have used live and breaking news feeds from CBS stations in New York City and around the nation.

"People want and need information and even though we're music stations, we're going to give it to them."

Dave Universal, program director at contemporary hits WKSE-FM 98.5, said the station wouldn't play "some sensitive stuff" in the early days of the crisis but is now back to normal. "It hasn't been a big issue for us, because we don't play the hard rock or grunge style of music."

Local stations are also adding songs. "We had a tremendous response to Kate Smith's "God Bless America,' and Gordon Sinclair's (reading of a musical essay) "The Americans,' " said Jerry Reo, morning host at WECK-AM 1230. "People asked for the lyrics to Sinclair's song."

WYRK is waving the country music flag with such numbers as Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" and Aaron Tippin's "Star and Stripes" and Eric Horner's "We Will Stand."

Many versions of the "Star Spangled Banner," including one by Jimi Hendrix, have been played locally.

Music even turned up on a talk show. During his talk show, Clip Smith of WBEN-AM 930 played local singer Tom Stahl's song, "Are There Angels," and got 37 calls of support.

"I'm so grateful that WBEN played the song," said Stahl, who will issue a CD single of the song for charity.

e-mail: aviolanti@buffnews.com

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