« in olden times | Main | a week and a half late but still exploding... »

May 09, 2006


Tom Lunt

Yeah, I blogged about this at https://minitru.wordpress.com - got me all hot and bothered.


Nick Tosches' book "Where Dead Voice Gather" is the most illuminating book I've read on the very not-black-and-white black-and-white American music and tin pan alley thang. I recommend it. I'll leave it there, yo. Except to say under no circumstances should anyone ever read Nick Tosches' novels...ug!


Exactly how 'white' american popular music can be labeled is highly debatable. I'm sure you'll agree.

Bing Crosby, the whitest of the white, aped black jazz mannerisms and was aped in turn by black jazz vocalists. Popular songwriting from the 1920s onwards was mulatto at the whitest, and as black as it could pretend to be even more commonly.

American music transcends race handily; only when we put on our subjective black-detecting sunglasses can we ever hope to block out the pervasive influence of black americans on popular music and american culture.

Without trying to offend or deny what you have said, I believe that to hold up nearly any popular american song from most of the 20th century and call it white is a pathetic act of subtle racism that denies the all-too-obvious influences of black americans on popular music and music of the world in general.

Modern hip-hop is another matter. Do you think that modern black music and the rise of an artificial black culture has tried to impose a separation between white and black culture that doesn't really exist? Exploring a question like this is more interesting than debating the 'white' aesthetic of the diminutive Mr. Merritt!


TP: Can you please refrain from using heightest descriptors? In no way is the term "diminuitive" necessary in your argument except as a jibe.

Tom Lunt

Nothing "white" about Bing - just a minstrel out of Blackface, but there is a whole strain of American music with nary a trace of black that shares as much influnce as the strain that does, and that's Country, along with its ancestors, Bluegrass and Folk. Unless you consider "Black Irish" black.

I gotta look back in here more often. Should respond faster than five months later...

The comments to this entry are closed.