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Elvis led way in copying black music
Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | 8/16/02 | Kevin L. Carter

Posted on 08/16/2002 5:43:35 AM PDT by 2banana

Edited on 08/16/2002 6:24:22 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

As we pause from our busy lives to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, it must be noted that as creative and influential as this brilliant-but-tragic man was, he does not deserve to be called, as he is by so many, the King.

Sure, Elvis was a figure of transcendent influence in pop music. He was, at least in his earlier years, an electrifying performer. He is known for the ability he had to combine disparate elements of black and white Southern music (country, blues, rockabilly) into a driving, compelling and, most of all, popular style.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: balck; blues; bluesbrothers; elmorejames; estringblues; kevinspacey; liberals; lightninhopkins; mojo; music; racism; white
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Dear Mr. Carter:

You said:

"blacks create, and whites discover, rob, buy or steal, then market and profit from the creations."

Since whites persons and non black people have created and discovered things like electricity, the transistor, the computer, the LP, the 8 track, the cassette player, the CD, (all the technology needed to mass market music), I am assuming you will one day write an editorial on how blacks have robbed and stolen these products and profited by them with out duly compensating the inventors.

You could titled it "Michael Jackson led the way in copying white technology"

Maybe one day you will be able see past the color of people skins and see the content of their character.

Regards,

1 posted on 08/16/2002 5:43:35 AM PDT by 2banana
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To: 2banana
"You may be able to say that Elvis and those who came after him simply have taken the music in places it might not have gone had it remained solely in black hands."

It has nothing to do with whether the influences were from black hands or white hands. Innovative artists are so because they take existing musical styles and add an interpretation to them that is unique and compelling. All musicians have influences, but artists take their influences and create something unique. Bill Monroe took mountain music and traditional Celtic music places they may not have gone, but that doesn't mean bluegrass music is a copy of that music, and a theft of the form from its true creators.

2 posted on 08/16/2002 5:51:57 AM PDT by Freemyland
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To: Freemyland
Besides the snide insult directed toward music fans of nearly every kind, what, exactly, was the point of this article ?
3 posted on 08/16/2002 5:54:43 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

4 posted on 08/16/2002 6:04:15 AM PDT by mhking
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To: BluesDuke
Right up your alley. :)
5 posted on 08/16/2002 6:07:01 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: 2banana
It's undeniable that the man's [M&M] got skills.

You're wrong, it's very deniable. What kind of skill does it take to chant in a Mary Had a Little Lamb cadence over a disco beat?

6 posted on 08/16/2002 6:10:24 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
The point of this article is quite simple:

Black Culture Good

White Devils Bad.

7 posted on 08/16/2002 6:10:35 AM PDT by ohioman
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To: mhking
Props to the greats:

Big Bill Broonzy


8 posted on 08/16/2002 6:15:31 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Robert Johnson


9 posted on 08/16/2002 6:18:18 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: 2banana
There is nothing wrong with innovation. I'll even excuse appropriation almost to the extreme of shameless theft if the result is fresh, vibrant music. It's the lack of inclusion, acknowldgement and compensation that has been the problem.

This is pretty funny. He starts off his tirade going on how Elvis "copied" black music(and everyone at the time knew he was a white man playing "that jungle musice" as many called it), but that was bad somehow. But in this paragraph, he excuses the outright lazy theft of musice and ideas because he see's it as "fresh", and aslong as their is recognition and compensation. What strikes me as funny is that the author is so full of hate and vile that he can not even begin to see the difference between forwarding a style of music and the direct copying of anothers work, adding a few beats, and calling it "your work".

10 posted on 08/16/2002 6:18:24 AM PDT by FreeTally
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Don't Forget Big Boy Crudup!

By the way, Elvis is still king!
11 posted on 08/16/2002 6:18:36 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: FreeTally
he can not even begin to see the difference between forwarding a style of music and the direct copying of anothers work, adding a few beats, and calling it "your work".

Amen! Samplers are killing music!
12 posted on 08/16/2002 6:19:28 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Son House


13 posted on 08/16/2002 6:19:54 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Lightnin' Hopkins


14 posted on 08/16/2002 6:21:32 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Muddy Waters


15 posted on 08/16/2002 6:22:28 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Skip James


16 posted on 08/16/2002 6:24:27 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
R.L. Burnside


17 posted on 08/16/2002 6:25:50 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: 2banana
well you know how the whites stole written music with scales and time signatures from the africans. not to mention all the guitar, brass, and woodwind technology they pilfered. LOL!
18 posted on 08/16/2002 6:33:22 AM PDT by jody
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
I got the chance to see R.L. open up for Jon Spencer a few years back in Atlanta, GA. Great show...
19 posted on 08/16/2002 6:34:45 AM PDT by truenospinzone
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To: 2banana
Each of Elvis' five records released on the Sun Records label had a song previously recorded by a white "hillbilly" artist on the a side and a song previously recorded by a black "race" artist on the b side.

The fact that he was capable of delivering in such a manner that the audience outside of Memphis couldn't tell the difference was Elvis' major contribution to American pop culture for which would always be famous had he never signed with RCA or made a single movie.

20 posted on 08/16/2002 6:38:07 AM PDT by shuckmaster
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To: 2banana
"Since whites persons and non black people have created and discovered things like electricity, the transistor, the computer, the LP, the 8 track, the cassette player, the CD, (all the technology needed to mass market music)..."
Don't forget the electric guitar, radio, and, yes, the internet. For what it's worth, I'm glad blacks like Chuck Berry "robbed" the creation of the electric guitar and took it to new places.
21 posted on 08/16/2002 6:42:54 AM PDT by bobsatwork
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

Blind Willie Johnson

22 posted on 08/16/2002 6:45:19 AM PDT by Skooz
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; JeanS
It's a confession by Mr. Carter, of his own absolutism --- such as Hillary & Co.'s and the "African-American" Race Hustlers Assc. (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc.) --- by which they claim all powers to say who is and who ain't.

These "kings" and "queens" cannot get through the day without spreading adjectives all over what pleases or dis-pleases them, constantly fussing over the arrangment of their fascist socialism.

Everything to them, is a stage and stage sets and the setting of it all, a 24/7 production.

It's all a big act, right down to the colors they approve ... each and every one.

Their power is so great, they will define an honest, hard-working American who happens to have black skin, into being a "white man," or they will re-define a lying, leech, such as Bill Clinton, into being "the country's first African-American President."

They claim all rights and powers to say what was, what is, and what will be.

The article issued by Mr. Carter, is just another decree, another judgment from the very people who decry "judgmentalism."

They seek to crush the life out of the peoples' sovereignty, and they are doing that by coercing the people into accepting a government by judiciary, using the daily pressures of evermore governance by judiciary.

A nationalizing socialist judiciary.

One decree at a time.

23 posted on 08/16/2002 6:45:28 AM PDT by First_Salute
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To: truenospinzone
Saw R.L. at a music festival in '97 - whatta man! Rocked harder than most of the other bands on the bill at 3x their age...
24 posted on 08/16/2002 6:47:30 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
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To: Hemingway's Ghost

Reverend Gary Davis

25 posted on 08/16/2002 6:47:57 AM PDT by Skooz
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To: truenospinzone
I got the chance to see R.L. open up for Jon Spencer a few years back in Atlanta, GA. Great show...

Must've been! Are you a fan of Fat Possum records?

26 posted on 08/16/2002 6:50:50 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: bobsatwork
I think the first electric guitars were used by the Hawaiians
27 posted on 08/16/2002 6:51:53 AM PDT by 2banana
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
To be honest, I only listen to blues in small doses, but I do have a couple of Fat Possum releases in my collection - Junior Kimbrough's "All Night Long" and 20 Miles' "I'm A Lucky Guy". Don't think I actually own anything by Burnside right now, though...
28 posted on 08/16/2002 6:57:39 AM PDT by truenospinzone
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To: Skooz
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee


29 posted on 08/16/2002 7:08:50 AM PDT by gdani
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
You're wrong, it's very deniable. What kind of skill does it take to chant in a Mary Had a Little Lamb cadence over a disco beat?

Eminem's talent lies in his ability to actually make a rap sound like a song. It's the variance of the cadence and voice inflection that stands him out from the crowd.
Most "rappers" drone on in monotone to point where they all sound the same. There are very few (Will Smith, LL Cool J, Eminem) that can bang out "songs".

Rap isn't everybody's cup of tea and quite frankly, most of today's crowd can't do much more than mumble and cuss in a monotone. It was different 15 years ago, and Eminem really needs to be compared to those guys. Without Me and The real Slim Shady are pretty catchy numbers.

Have you actually listened to him, or are you just repeating what someone else (who never listened to it either) said?

30 posted on 08/16/2002 7:10:46 AM PDT by Cable225
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To: gdani
Big Mama Thornton


31 posted on 08/16/2002 7:15:50 AM PDT by gdani
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To: 2banana
Well actually the FIRST to do it was Jimmy Rodgers who took western and Hill Billy and merged it with the Blues to create what is called Country Music back in the late 20s
32 posted on 08/16/2002 7:24:35 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: 2banana
Dear Mr. Carter: You said: "blacks create, and whites discover, rob, buy or steal, then market and profit from the creations."

Tell that buffon we will give it back when the blacks give back BASKET BALL that they ripped off from Whitey
33 posted on 08/16/2002 7:26:46 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: gdani
hey - no Elmore James pics, BB king, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Guitar Slim, OR Cab Calloway?
34 posted on 08/16/2002 7:28:18 AM PDT by Revelation 911
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To: 2banana
Mr. Carter simply doesn't get it; he repeats the old saw from the 50s that white artists simply stole material from their black counterparts, and never acknowledged their contributions.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Elvis was a huge fan of what was then called "black music," specifically, black gospel music. If you visit the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal's Elvis archive, you can see a photo of a black gospel show at a Memphis auditorium, circa 1949. In the front row, there's a single white face in the crowd, a very young Elvis Presley. Elvis always acknowledged the influence of black artists on his music, and I've heard several African-American gospel artists say that Elvis had an encyclopedic knowledge of that musicial genre and its artists.

There's no doubt that many African-American performers and songwriters were ripped off by record companies and song publishing firms in the early days of rock and roll--continuing a practice that dates from the earliest days of recorded music. But to blame Elvis for those financial shenniangans is simply wrong. It's also worth remembering that some of Elvis' best songs were written by a couple of Jewish guys from New York, Leiber and Stoller. I suppose someone will say that those guys ripped off black artists, too.

One more thing: Elvis' seminal early work wasn't a rip-off of anything. It was the pop music equivalent of splitting the atom, or cold fusion. It was the first great synthesis of gospel, rockabilly, rthymn-and-blues and something called rock-and-roll. For my money, rock began in the Sun studios in Memphis with Elvis, Sam Phillips, Scottie Moore, Bill Black, and the other founding fathers.

John Lennon said it best: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." A fitting tribute for the man who brought it all together, and paved the way for those who followed, black and white.

35 posted on 08/16/2002 7:31:23 AM PDT by Spook86
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To: shuckmaster
What made Elvis great is that he never forgot what he was - an entertainer. He did not try to force his views - political or otherwise - on the mass public.

On a side note. Since everyone is posting pictures - has anyone ate at a Red, Hot, and Blue lately? They have a item you can read in the restroom on who can and who can't play the blues. If you killed a man in Memphis over a woman, you can play the blues. If you get a hangnail on the ski slopes, you can't play the blues. None of us can play the blues because we all have computers - anyone with a computer cannot play the blues.

36 posted on 08/16/2002 7:44:21 AM PDT by 7thson
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To: 2banana
"blacks create, and whites discover, rob, buy or steal, then market and profit from the creations."

Thanks for pointing out the absurdity of this statement. In fact, blacks living in the U.S. can credit their quality of life and freedom to none other than white folks. Ironic, isn't it.

37 posted on 08/16/2002 7:44:30 AM PDT by arm958
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To: 2banana
Funny how these liberals never mention that a lot of these "black" songs that Elvis recorded (see, eg, "Hound Dog") were actually written by WHITES such as Doc Pomus, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.
38 posted on 08/16/2002 7:50:18 AM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: 2banana
************

Reply from Mr Carter (the person who wrote the editorial)

************

Did you read the sentence before that? I said that people of all races have created wonderful artistic expression........and you can't tell me that the pattern I mentioned in that sentence you referred to has not been the case in America.

39 posted on 08/16/2002 8:21:34 AM PDT by 2banana
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To: 2banana
"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal" - Pablo Picasso.

40 posted on 08/16/2002 8:28:04 AM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: 2banana

Charlie Patton

41 posted on 08/16/2002 8:33:35 AM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: 2banana

The real King of Rock'n'Roll!

42 posted on 08/16/2002 8:44:47 AM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: Revolting cat!
Oops, sorry! I meant...

The Queen of Rock'nRoll!

43 posted on 08/16/2002 8:49:54 AM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: ohioman
White Devils Bad.

Well then just call me satan .... at least that's what liberals would think of me.

44 posted on 08/16/2002 8:49:55 AM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: Cable225
I think they should have released one rap song and stopped. They all sound alike, giving monotony a bad name.

45 posted on 08/16/2002 8:50:07 AM PDT by Chemnitz
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To: 2banana
Les Paul was Hawaiian?
46 posted on 08/16/2002 8:56:16 AM PDT by stands2reason
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Thanks for the great pics!
47 posted on 08/16/2002 8:56:27 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: headsonpikes
My pleasure. I can't get enough of roots blues m'self...
48 posted on 08/16/2002 8:58:50 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost
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To: uncbob
'Yodelin' Brakie' bump. ;^)

49 posted on 08/16/2002 9:01:33 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: 2banana
Well, you can understand how it might be annoying for black artists...developing a genre of music for years, then some white guy comes in, picks up the songs and gets filthy rich, people calling him the "king".
50 posted on 08/16/2002 9:07:17 AM PDT by Belial
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