My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Breaking Barriers with Elvis

A couple of years ago, Bono wrote a riveting short analysis of Elvis Presley for Rolling Stone magazine. Here's a link. I just re-read it myself.

One of Bono's observations reminds me of a book I read about a year ago called:
All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America (Pivotal Moments in American History)

One of the interesting things about American Rock-n-Roll is the effect it had on race relations.

Bono observes: I recently met with Coretta Scott King, John Lewis and some of the other leaders of the American civil-rights movement, and they reminded me of the cultural apartheid rock & roll was up against. I think the hill they climbed would have been much steeper were it not for the racial inroads black music was making on white pop culture. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival were all introduced to the blues through Elvis. He was already doing what the civil-rights movement was demanding: breaking down barriers. You don’t think of Elvis as political, but that is politics: changing the way people see the world.

Sphere: Related Content


Carl Vehse said...

Sixty years earlier, another purely American form of music - ragtime - developed, largely through Scott Joplin and other black American composers (though there were also noted white composers like Joseph Lamb). Ragtime music became popular throughout the United States and even Europe, where a piano was the entertainment center in many homes. However, despite the popularity of ragtime music racial segregation remained.

Ragtime's initial popularity lasted through WWI until 1920, coincidentally with the rise of commercial radio stations and sales of radio sets which became the entertainment centers of increasingly electrified American homes. Jazz, blues, swing, and the big band music had national popularity, but racial segregation remained.

It was the combination of President Truman's Executive Order 9981 (1948) integrating the armed forces, the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision, the effects of the Cold War, and the development of nationwide television programs starting in the late 40s that probably contributed more to (eventual) integration in the United States than the fortuitous timing of the popularity of rock and roll.

Doorman-Priest said...

I have been very much enjoying your blog and would appreciate some feedback on mine:
If you like it I would be grateful if you would add it to your links list.

Doorman-Priest said...

Hey. We are overdue a post. Come on Scott, lets have some more. I am suffering withdrawal symptoms.
D.P. (5.56 pm GMT)

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary