‘More popular than Jesus’?… Um, not in these parts

“Lennon’s comment [that the Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’], in context, was an observation about religion losing its connection to youth. But it was taken, especially in the South, as an anti-Christian boast.

“ ‘Anyone making a sacrilegious remark like that has no place on our station,’ George Nelson of WRNB in New Bern, North Carolina, told  Raleigh’s News and Observer (Aug. 5, 1966).

“Bobby Dark of WYNA of Raleigh reported that his station had a Beatles bonfire scheduled. Among others banning Beatles music were WPET of Greensboro, WBBB of Burlington, WVCB of Shallotte, WRKB of Kannapolis and WTYN of Tryon….”

— From Bigger Than Jesus? ‘Burn The Beatles’ ” by Jack Doyle at Pop History Dig (Oct. 11, 2017)