Blacks and their white sycophants claim that blacks invented rock n roll all of a sudden in the course of a few central 1950s years and then whites just swooped in and stole it from them. Rock n roll was so stolen that blacks were no longer allowed to play rock n roll and had to do … something else?
Of course they don’t know anything about the history of the music. They just assume that Chuck Berry invented it and then Elvis stole it, because history is easy that way. Did any angry black activist even buy the new Chuck Berry album last year?
The first rock n roll song is generally considered to have been “Rocket 88” in 1952 by Ike Turner.
That’s a great song, but it’s not really rock n roll. It has a shuffle beat that’s more jazz. It’s blues pop. Chess Records in Chicago was putting out a lot of popularized blues records at the time.
And even if it was rock n roll, it was produced by white man Sam Philips, who opened the Memphis Recording Service (later Sun Records) to records Southern music. So at the minimum rock n roll started off as both a white and black cooperation.
Sam Philips is responsible more than anyone for the invention of American music.
And even if it was entirely a black invention (and it wasn’t), it didn’t have a major cultural impact.
“But the blues was a black thing!”
The blues is three chords and some dissonant notes. It’s too narrow and fits too easily into any genre to give a monopoly to one group for it. Yes, it was a black thing, but notice the lack of blues in Africa. It would have never existed without western music, which at the time was bluegrass, gospel, and proto-pop music like Stephen Foster. So there’s one benefit of slavery.
Two years later in 1954, Elvis Presley recorded “That’s All Right Mama” at Sun Studios.
Blues song, yes, but you’ve never heard a black person play or sing like that. It has a country stumming pattern and a different kind of back beat. It’s also missing the “blue notes” in the solo. This was something unique. Leonard Bernstein said of Elvis,
“Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything and he changed everything – music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution – the 60’s comes from it. Because of him a man like me barely knows his musical grammar anymore.”
Rock n Roll was a fusion between blues and country into something new that could be marketed for mass popular appeal. It was accessible in a way that blues, jazz, country, and bluegrass wasn’t. You didn’t have to think about it. You just let it overtake you. It was music for young people, by young people, about young people. (I sound so old writing that sentence.)
I am inclined to say that it hadn’t been for Elvis, rock n roll probably would have happened anyway, but every successful musician of that generation vaguely circling around rock n roll said that it absolutely would not have happened without him. I think that’s far more significant than Ike Turner maybe crossing the finish line first if you count a certain way.
“Elvis didn’t write his own songs!”
At the time, it wasn’t considered important for musicians to write or even play their songs. That didn’t become expected until The Beach Boys and The Beatles.
The appeal in Elvis was his attitude. It was the way he threw himself into the music.
Anyway, a year later in 1955, Chuck Berry released his first hit, “Maybellene”, which was based on the western swing song “Ida Red”. Yes, dear children, Chuck Berry “stole” rock n roll from white country music. Chuck Berry loved country music and adapted it into a black style of playing.
Except it doesn’t matter. You can’t steal music. Put two different races side by side in the same culture, and watch how their music will sound similar. (Jazz began to mix with Latin music fairly early on, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.)
That same year, Little Richard came out with “Tutti Frutti”.
Elvis was a whole year before Little Richard and Chuck Berry. How is it possible that Elvis stole music from Chuck Berry?
What happened to black rock n roll? Simple. It turned into 60s R&B like James Brown, much how white rock n roll turned into less blusey acts like The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean, eventually dropping the “n roll” part of the name and most of the blues element. There’s no conspiracy. It’s just two cultures producing awesome music and feeding off of each other. It’s what makes America great. All that melting pot bullshit, this is it at its best.
And notice the lack of outrage from contemporary black musicians. They didn’t mind at all sharing music. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“Blacks didn’t have the air-waves Elvis had. He delivered what he obtained beautifully.”
“Describe Elvis Presley? He was the greatest who ever was, is or ever will be.”
“I wasn’t just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland. We sang Old Blind Barnabus together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother.”
“If Presley copied me, I don’t care. More power to him. I’m not starving.”
“Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us.”
“I remember Elvis as a young man hanging around the Sun studios. Even then, I knew this kid had a tremendous talent. He was a dynamic young boy. His phraseology, his way of looking at a song, was as unique as Sinatra’s. I was a tremendous fan, and had Elvis lived, there would have been no end to his inventiveness.”
“Elvis, he was unique. And he loved the blues, it was a pity he didn’t do more.”
“Elvis was God-given, there’s no other explanation. A Messiah comes around every few thousand years, and Elvis was it this time.”
“A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.”
Literally Hitler. Let’s gin up the reparations machine. Surely there’s no ulterior motive to robbing Southern whites of their culture. It’s just pure, blind justice.
And it’s more than just Elvis. It’s the fusion of various musical elements coming together. Elvis didn’t exist in a vacuum. He said himself that rock n roll was based on gospel music.
Rock n roll music is basically gospel and rhythm and blues, and it sprang from that. And people have been adding to it. Adding instruments to it. Experimenting with it.
As I’ve said before, the Scottish lowlanders got kicked out of Britain for being too rowdy, got bored in Ireland killing off feral Catholics for sport, was run out of Pennsylvania for partying too hard, and then filled up the South and the heartland and invented America.
Give us a thank you. We gave you whiskey, country music, and basically anything that makes America fun or energetic or iconic like NASCAR, WWE, and the cowboy. (Though German writer Karl May gets some credit for idealizing the Old West.) On top of that, we made black music worth listening to.