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Final assignment

Under representation and disenfranchised African Americans

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Final assignment

  1. 1. The Under Representation and Disempowerment of African Americans in Music By Cynthia Jackson Diversity in Music College of the Siskiyous
  2. 2. African American people have brought interesting variations and different instruments used for music since their origination in the many countries and subcultures of Africa. Instruments such as the and have introduced a new and distinct sound in music that has inspired many generations of culture and musical talent. Of the more well known era of the 1920's to present under representation and disempowerment has been a trend in this demographic. Pictured is an integrated groups of both African Americans and Caucasians to increase marketability and audience awareness.
  3. 3. Many African Americans in the music industry have fallen prey to having their musical creativity exploited and stolen. Many musical groups were plagued with duplicate music groups and music that had been copied even though rights to music were clearly defined. This left African Americans to be under represented for their creativity and efforts in the music industry. Under representation led to lower pay and a decreased fan base.
  4. 4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe As new sounds were inrtoduced, new faces came into view. Sister Rosetta Tharpe would come to be an example of disempowerment through her musical pursuits. Rosetta Tharpe integrated her original roots of gospel with the new sound of guitar and influenced many groups in America as well as Europe. In this photo Sister Rosetta Tharpe is performing her well known songs at a train staion; her audience is primarily Europeans. Rosetta Tharpe dazzled her audience with her new approach to rock and roll and her integration of blues and gospel.
  5. 5. Setting a Trend Many artists followed in the footsteps of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She managed to integrate a sound and technique that was at the time unfounded. Thoughtful experimentation and careful development in style led other artists to adopt the same characteristics and become some of the well known influences of their time. As rock and roll and blues grew and gained popularity, many groups deformed and sampled from each others style and techniques. Sister Rosetta Tharpe's blues and gospel collaboration gave many artists a platform to build their talent.
  6. 6. During the highlights of her career she became one of the highest paid entertainers and was said to have influenced Elvis Presley with her sound on the guitar and her choreography. Though her influence was immeasurable to her success. Musical groups of Europe and later African American musicians took the spotlight and techniques of Rosetta Tharpe. Soon every group was playing guitar and had a signature move and style. The power of Rosetta Tharpe has been disambiguated from her, leaving her less successful and hardly remembered.
  7. 7. Chuck Berry Madness Chuck Berry was disenfranchised and turned groups like the Beach Boys into superstars. Chucky Berry's catchy lyrics and integrated fan base created an opportunity for other bands of a different demographic to cash out on his originality. Songs such as "My Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Maybelene" were recorded with similar rhythm, pitch, and tone. All notoriety and profit from the songs were given to the imposters. This act of disenfranchising destroyed the musical careers of many artists including Chuck Berry whom could've been of greater success hadn't he been copied .
  8. 8. Chuck Berry Madness "Surfin USA" Beach Boys - Surfin Usa (Live, 14 March 1964): PDco "My sweet little sixteen"Chuck Berry "Sweet Little Sixteen": poy_E
  9. 9. As with many African American people during the early 1900's, the issue of racial segregation was an underlying factor; this was also very apparent in the music industry. The reluctance of white-owned establishments to host black venues created further under-representation. African American bands were not given the opportunity to promote their music and thus did not generate a large fan base in comparison to other demographics.
  10. 10. The groups whom copied the original artists, such was the case of The Beach Boys and Chuck Berry, were given the spotlight. All the while the original artists suffered from decreased record sales and lowered popularity. For a while African American music was being used as a template for European artists.
  11. 11. Motown is Born Berry Gordy founded a record company that showcased primarily African American artist in all genres of the culture. There were artists such as Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin. As well as groups like The Miracles, The Supremes, and The Temptations. The record label was called Motown Records. Michael Jackson was also represented under the label. Berry Gordy was determined to provide adequate representation for the may under represented and disenfranchised African American musicians. Though the record label had success with introducing some of the most we'll known and respected musical artists of all tine, the record label still struggled to maintain and enforce copyright infringement. Everything from the style of dress, to the riff of musical tunes, and choreography was being sampled or "covered" by European and international artists.
  12. 12. Breaking Free While racism played a part, the fact was the white artists songs were more popular, and usually overshadowed the original (the same thing happened with "Blue Suede Shoes" -- it was associated with Elvis and you rarely saw Carl Perkins performing it, either). People in the 50s were willing to accept Blacks in the role of entertainers, as long as they didn't ask for equality.
  13. 13. Stars Are Made Motown continued to grow with the amount of talent it sponsored. Artist such as The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, and many others gained notoriety amongst their fans and became superstars despite the demographic.
  14. 14. Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman became very famous with his different style and flamboyant attitude. Through many struggles both racial and personal Richard often felt disempowered by his role as opposed to others. Richard finally got a chance to showcase his talent as an opening act for Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Rosetta Tharpe heard Richard singing some of her own music and knew that he had a great talent. His greatest musical contributions include songs such as "Tutti Frutti","Ready Teddy","Lucille", "Slip in and slidin", and many more some of which were recorded in Great Britain.
  15. 15. Integrated Rock and Roll Little Richard was also a victim of being disinfranchised. People like Pat Boone covered "Tutti Frutti" and gained more popularity amongst fans for his version of Little Richard's well known song. Elvis Presley and Bill Haley also followed this trend and disinfranchised Little Richard by copying the melody and lyrics of his music to generate more popularity for themselves. Amongst the hit recordings was the song "Good Gollly Miss Molly". This song has been sampled and covered by many artists.
  16. 16. More Covers People such as Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent ,and The Everly Brothers covered many of Little Richards songs to catapult their career. Disempowermnent followed when segregated fans choice their own demographic version instead of the original song writer's. Gene Vincent sampled and copied music from Little Richard.
  17. 17. • Black Americans were often seen as the originators of rock and roll as a genre of music, but often discredited for their efforts. Some African Americans were not even allowed to record their musical pursuits do to color barrier. At any given concert there would a separation amongst the crowd. The separation was literal with ropes or police barricades.
  18. 18. The Allen Brothers Country musicians were also covering African-American songs. The Allen Brothers recorded this version of blues performer Papa Charlie Jackson’s ”Salty Dog Blues” in 1926. Some Allen Brothers recordings were created by their record company in its race series instead of its hillbilly series. The performers wanted to keep their marketing segregated out of racism, but as far as musical style went, there simply wasn’t that much difference between black and white music when it came to sound and structure. the Allen Brothers took on many other covers and disinfranchised many African Americans in the process.
  19. 19. The Fontane Sisters The Fontane Sisters were a trio from Millford, New Jersey, who signed to Dot Records and hit the top of the pop charts with a song called “Hearts Made of Stone.” This song was already on the rhythm and blues top music list originally sang by Otis Williams and the Charmers. Covers and subsequently disinfranchised African Americans became a trend and many albums were composed primarily of "covers" of original songsongs.
  20. 20. Powerless to the Music Disinfranchisement and Disempowermnent of African Americans through music has been a long standing issue and has led to many copyright issues. Artist receive royalties for right to the music they have created. This has lead to many artist starving for work and unable to get the initial reaction of their fan base due to numerous versions of the previously popular music. The power of their original efforts seemed to be unrecoverable and many groups and bands fell apart due to lack of work.
  21. 21. Copyright Infringement Chuck Berry was one of the first artists to legally demand credit for his contributions. In a civil suit between Berrry and The Beach Boys group over the similarities in his song "My Sweet Little Sixteen" and The Beach Boy's "surfing USA". Chuck Berry had to prove in court that he created the song before The Beach Boys and that the songs had the same melody.
  22. 22. Chuck Berry eventually won his suit against the opposing record label whom produced the cover version of his song My Sweet Little Sixteen. To counteract the stealing of music, many other artist enlisted attorneys to provide signed documents to direct royalties and contract which prohibited the use of another artists music without consent and compensation. This made it a little harder to copy music by demanding originality and confront music piracy.
  23. 23. Most of Elvis Presley's early hits were covers of black rhythm and blues or blues songs, like "That's All Right", "Baby Let's Play House", "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "Hound Dog". His popularity overshadowed any original artist he copied and left the original artists under represented. Under representation played a big part in unsuccessful careers of many artists. Not being able to promote their career, many African American artist we left to play for local juke joints and night clubs.
  24. 24. Barry Gordy also offered a sense of belonging and an oppurtunity for African Americans to be a part of the music industry. Witnessing constant under represented African American musicians inspired Barry Gordy to create a record label and produce famous acts.
  25. 25. Though today many of the originators of popular music are retired, notoriety is still given to groups whom disinfranchised African Americans. Groups such as The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Miracles are still being under represented in music and discredited for all their musical contributions. Every aspect of their music and personal style has been modified and revamped to suit modern society, yet they are not seen as contributors.
  26. 26. Under representation and disinfranchisement have been along standing issue amongst African Americans and will more like continue as new artists appear. Most music today has disinfranchised the original owner and left the original artist unknown.
  27. 27. Bibliography  Jazz in Black and White: Race, Culture, and Identity in the Jazz Community,CharleyGerard Praeger, 1998 • The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United Sta1996, Samuel A. Floyd Jr.,Oxford University • It Didn't Jes Grew: The Social and Aesthetic Significance of African AmeRican Music, Salaam, Kalamu ya.,African American Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer 1995 • An Introduction to America’s Music (Book and C.D.).,Richard Crawford, 2001, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc