Ari Davidow (ari) Tue 24 Aug 10 10:44
Coming back late from out of town with a couple of late comments--<fom>, you are right that there was a short period in the '60s when black and white music were often heard on the same pop stations. Wasn't true in the '50s, and hasn't been true, for the most part, since. On a personal note, I have to say that hearing Holly Near's "A Live Album" opened so many doors in my perception of how grounded and relevant music could be. Could I listen to it today? I dunno, and I think my copy has long disappeared. But I think that social change is relevant primarily to time and place--the change we needed in the '60s (a little bit of which we got) is not what we need today in the age of Tea Party and anti-NYC Mosque hysteria. Finally, since I opened my participation in this particular discussion with Yiddish song of 100 years ago, I highly recommend a relatively recent Yiddish/English CD by Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird called "Partisans and Parasites," and a new CD, due to be released in two weeks by Adrienne Cooper, "Enchanted." Among other things, it features music from her anti-war program.
Scott Underwood (esau) Tue 24 Aug 10 11:19
Actually, it was later than the '60s. I think the split really started to happen with disco. I began listening to radio in the early '70s (I was born in 1961), and I now own several collections of hits from that era. Here's "AM Gold: 1970-1974"; I count 7 black artists out of 18. Three Dog Night - Joy To The World The Guess Who - American Woman Edwin Starr - War (What Is It Good For?) Shocking Blue - Venus Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me Not To Come Charlie Rich - The Most Beautiful Girl Helen Reddy - I Am Woman The Stories - Brother Louie Ray Stevens - The Streak George McCrae - Rock Your Baby The O'Jays - Love Train Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting Billy Preston - Will It Go Around in Circles Love Unlimited Orchestra - Love's Theme Vicki Lawrence - The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia Harry Chapin - Cat's in the Cradle Jim Croce - Time in a Bottle John Denver - Sunshine On My Shoulders Don McLean - American Pie
(fom) Sat 28 Aug 10 15:03
The change, according to the industry people who told me about it, occurred around 1972-74-ish. It was simply a marketing decision -- I forget which company did it first but they all followed suit. The social aspects and possibly more important musical aspects weren't really a consideration.
David Wilson (dlwilson) Sun 29 Aug 10 06:40
So you see <essau> it just isn't being able to find a record in the record store. There are real consequences. You dismissed my comments upstream a little to cavalierly. Marketing decisions shouldn't be treated lightly. I'd say that they function as a traffic light. If we let the marketing people control the definitions, then we are ceding much too much power. That's one of the problems with the way our culture is these days.
Scott Underwood (esau) Sun 29 Aug 10 07:56
I didn't dismiss your comments at all. Short of labelling everything after 1956 as "Rock" -- which is the same as having no label -- what choices for orgnization are there? Alphabetical? Chronological? Categories don't work for many artists. Is Prince Rock, Dance, R&B, or something else? Is k.d. lang Country, Jazz, Pop, or what? How is it possible for every rock act in the last ten years to be Alternative? But if I walk into Amoeba, I know where I can probably find Okkervil River. (Not sure where Ratatat will be: Electronica? Alternative?) The fact that I don't agree with marketing categories doesn't mean they shouldn't exist. My own categories in iTunes are about controlling mood while shuffling through a large collection, but they also have unfortunate segregatory consequences.
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