This Day in Music History- John Lennon

John Lennon

In 1972, John Lennon released his most controversial song and his lowest charting single. The song- “Woman is the Nigger of the World.” The song was included on the album “Some Time in New York City” by the Plastic Ono Band, which featured John and Yoko Ono.

The song was so controversial, as one could imagine, that radio stations refused to play the song due to the use of the N Word and because the song unfairly compared sexism to racism. Yoko had coined the phrase during an interview in Nova magazine. The phrase was not meant to lessen racism in any way, but to highlight the state of women in society. The spirit of the song is pre-feminism. The message was heard loud and clear by the National Organization for Women (NOW). They awarded John Lennon and Yoko Ono the Positive Image of Women Award because of its strong “pro-feminist statement.”

While the song received little radio play and only made it to #57 on the Billboard Hot 100, John and Yoko did manage to perform the song on the Dick Cavett Show. Prior to the song being played, Cavett had to make a statement apologizing for ABC about the content of the song. Here is the explanation and the beginning of the performance.

See ya tomorrow for This Day in Music April 25 – another snapshot into the history of music.

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