A Kentucky radio station played “Baby It’s Cold Outside” after other radio station decided not to play it again. WAKY in Elizabethtown took the opposite tack to those stations.
The radio station reserved two hours over the weekend and played the song continuously. “WE LOVE THE SONG! Tomorrow (Sunday) morning beginning at 8 a.m., WAKY will play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” continuously until 10 a.m.,” the station said in a Facebook post.
In another post on Sunday morning, the station added: “BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! We like it and we’re not afraid to play it on WAKY for the next couple of hours!”
Meanwhile, Joe Fredele, director of programming for WAKY, didn’t see any sense in the controversy. “I’m not sure why it’s controversial,” he said. “We’ve played this song for years, you know, this song is older than WAKY is. It’s almost 70 years old.”
He explained that the complaints about its alleged sexually charged lyrics were misguided. “This song is not about that. All it is is a dialogue between a man and a woman, and at the end of the song, you hear them harmonize together, so they’re agreeing basically,” Fredele explained.
The station played five versions of the song over the two hours. Some people interpreted the lyrics from “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as manipulative, critics said.
“When the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” wrote Glenn Anderson, a host on WDOK Christmas 102.1, explaining why the song was banned.
“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
He claimed that listeners propelled the change but a poll later found that over 90 percent of the station’s listeners disagreed with the decision.
The song was originally written by Loesser as a duet to be performed with his wife, according to his daughter Susan Loesser.
In her biography, ‘A Most Remarkable Fella’ she describes the first time they performed it to friends: “Well the room just fell apart [my mother remembered]. I don’t think either of us realized the impact of what we’d sung. We had to do it over and over again and we became instant parlor room starts. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of ‘Baby.’”
Susan Loesser, now 74, told: “Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since [Bill] Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
She also said that her father would have been furious at the radio stations banning the song.
So, what’s your take on the ban?