Make no mistake, this article is a long article by 8-second-attention-span internet standards, but it’s worth the scan and even the read.
Last year, Bob Dylan gave an interview that appeared in AARP: Dylan Behind the Shades: his new album and what he thinks about passion, aging, Sinatra — and why rock ’n’ roll died.
Here’s an excerpt from the Medium article I’m linking to today:
“From its fused inception, rock ‘n’ roll was already a racially integrated American invention being blasted in teenage bedrooms as early as 1955, but as the Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum going into 1960, the genre was being commercially segregated, on the sly, into white (British Invasion) and black (soul) music by the (WASPy) establishment.” – Dylan
Author’s comment: “Needless to say, I was floored. Why wasn’t this common knowledge?”
I wasn’t there at the time, but I think it was common knowledge, it just wasn’t lucrative for it to be talked about, so fast forward to today where everybody is shocked about it.
One thing I do think we’ve missed out on is that unless you have a dad or somebody (or yourself) with an awesome record collection from back in the day (like I do), or you really dig into those YouTube channels, you’ve grown up surfeited on the same old Top 40 doo wop songs.
The same oldies stations that barely reach back into the 1950s. The same utter neglect of the roots of rhythm’n’blues.
The same only knowing the Diamonds’ “Little Darlin'” and never the Gladiolas’ original:
Little nuances like that, little gems that have been buried; there are so many, and there are reasons for that, too, none of which do us any good.
So it’s high time it was talked about again.
And keep reading to uncover more gems, such as disc jockey Jim Ladd commenting: “Music was cast in terms of racial context, you know, R&B is black music, rock is white music.”
Think not? Read This.