History, blues music, and politics
One of my FAVORITES! In the 50's he had BIG hits w/teens.."Chicken and The Hawk" was one I loved. Also he had the first version before Bill Haley/Comets hit cover of Shake Rattle & Roll which played on the R&B stations. His original Shake Rattle & Roll was slightly raunchier lyrics. But theres a video out there of Big Joe doing Shake R&R where he uses the gentler lyrics as it was from a teen movie. He did this if on TV or in a movie, but the hit record was the orig. lyrics. Most never knew the lyrics were different. Love this guy! Thanks!
Arrogance and the Proverbial WoodshedThis post is not about white males. But it is about a particular white male, recognizing that there others like him. Beyond him, it's about a subject that we really don't want to discuss--about black music and the people who straight-up stole it, about cultural innovators who were nothing less than geniuses, about cultural expropriators who,were, essentially, nothing more than thieves. Shall we?A white male friend came up to the table where the daddy was having coffee with several other black guys. Now, this guy is like several white male “friends” of mine. They see me hanging out with a bunch of brothers, come over for coffee and conversation. That’s cool. It’s a public place. But instead of asking how people are doing joining in the conversation, they sit down and immediately change the conversation to a subject with which they are familiar, and about which is obscure or about which they think the rest of the group nothing or little. “Hey, have you guys heard of Bill Haley? He was into rock and roll guy. He was great! Man, the guy could play anything."So what’s bothering the daddy about this? After all, in and of itself, sitting down at a table with folks you don’t know very well and promptly changing the subject is not so bad. The daddy can work with that. But to bring up something out of nowhere that you think others know little or nothing solely for the purpose of lecturing a discussion group strikes the daddy as dishonest and self-centered. But wait. There’s more.This particular guy has done this before; and the daddy has noticed a pattern-- that he only "chats" to us black folks about sports or music, but some aspect of sports or music that he thinks we don't know about, usually sports or music before the sixties. You see, apparently, if a sports activity occurred before Michael Jordan, black people don't know about it. And, if music was played before James Brown, black folks don’t know about that either. So, as far as this guy is concerned, for the daddy and his homies, music begins with “I feel good” and ends with Fitty at the candy shop. And what a perfect opportunity for the white boy/expert to wax poetic to the maddening, unwashed, black crowd at the yuppie coffee shop.School is in session, alright, because, you see, the daddy comes from a musical family (gospel, blues, and jazz) from way, and because the daddy, in no uncertain terms, took this arrogant white expert and homie-wanna-be to the inner-city, proverbial watershed.Arrogant white boy expert:“Have you guys heard of Bill Haley? He was great. Man, he could…”The daddy:"You’re talking about Bill Haley and the Comets. He was born in Highland Park, Michigan in 1925, the day my daddy was born, I think. He tried to play country and western and swing music in Michigan. But them folks said, “Man, get that shi out of here.Before hooking with three other dudes to make the Comets, he was in a group called the Four Aces. Then, he met this dude that was a producer for the Decca label, who told him to cut that swing shit out, that young white teenagers were ready for what they called jungle beats but their parents didn’t want their daughters dancing around black men. But they'll go for the jungle beat, if a white guy does it. He told him to go find some black music.That’s how he came to make “Man Crazy,” which was the first so-called rock and roll record to make the billboard charts. But it was straight-up black music. But after his success with Man Crazy, he went whole hog, so to speak, and did nothing but black music. That’s how he came to make “Shake, rattle, and roll,” “See you later, alligator, and “Rock around the clock tonight.” He faded rom the scene around 1957, when younger, more exciting guys came along like Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lewis, and when racist, white American media finally let white girls go to shows where black men were performing like Little Richard and Chuck Berry. and Chubby Checker.You know: Instead of talking about Haley, you should talk about the guy the main guy Haley got his music from: Big Joe Turner. Big Joe was the real thing. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, grew up singing in the church and on the streets for tip. He was the first one to make “shake, rattle, and roll,” “rock around the clock tonight,” “Flip, flop, and fly,” songs Haley recorded.By the way, today is Big Joe Turner's birthday. He was born on May 18, 1925. You got anything to add?"The white expert said he had to get going. Everyone at the table smiled and said, “Have a good one.”The daddy will feel bad about this tomorrow…honest!---------------Hey, Bluesman: I got you linked at daddyBstrong.blogspot.com
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