The censors were out to get the legendary Johnny Cash during this notorious performance of his JohnnyCashVEVO/YouTube screenshot

In two year’s time in 2018, it will mark the 60th annual Grammy Awards. Having had them for so long now, many of us have gotten to a point where we take them for granted. We know every February is ‘award season,’ where TV, music and movies all come together to each have their day in the spotlight. We plan our Sunday nights to see who gets the golden trophies for being the best of the past year.

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In March of 1970 at the 12th annual Grammy Awards, Johnny Cash was one of those guys. The song “A Boy Named Sue” made it possible for the man in black to stride up the steps and collect his golden gramophone trophy for Best Country Vocal Male Performance.

While the Grammy’s are no stranger to controversy, it very well may have been Cash who was one of the first to bring controversy to the Grammy’s. The song, which was awarded for excellence, was censored as the term “son of a bitch” in the lyric “I’m the son of a bitch that named you Sue!” was censored in both the single and on the album “At San Quentin.” The word ‘damn’ was also removed on the album version as well.

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As we all know, Cash was one of the defining artists of traditional country music, so he didn’t seem to mind the censorship.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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