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20 Favorite Tunes From Old-Time Black Musicians – Mother Jones
To accompany an essay I wrote about confronting racism in old-time music, I asked the black artists I interviewed to share some of their favorites from early black performers. Dom Flemons, formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, gave me a whole bunch. Earl White, a North Carolina-born fiddler, added another handful. Ben Hunter was tied up, but his musical partner Joe Seamons came through with a few more gems.

“I play somewhere around 300 to 500 tunes,” Earl White says. “I’ve always insisted that most were played by both blacks and whites.”
As I noted in the piece, it can be hard to track down the provenance of some of these old tunes. This was the pop music early in the 20th century. And black and white people were playing this style—both together and separately—long before recording technology was in widespread use. But as White put it, “If you were a white person and you went into a black neighborhood and learned a tune from a black person, it wasn’t cool to advocate that you learned it from a black person.” It wasn’t uncommon for the white guy to record those tunes later on, sometimes giving credit, but more likely not.
country  music  race  racism 
21 days ago by Quercki

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