The influence of black musicians spans countless genres – The Daily Eastern News

American popular music has a short history compared to the history of its country of origin, and it would be even shorter without the contributions of black musicians.

Given the countless covers of black artists from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, from Chuck Berry to Robert Johnson, it’s no secret that the greatest bands of all time wouldn’t have been the same without the music. from the 50s or 60s.

Ozzy Osbourne once said that “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” is what got him into music, and it’s interesting to wonder if the heavy metal landscape would exist even today without Osbourne’s first band, Black Sabbath.

The Beatles may never have reached a point in their career where they could release something as experimental and new as “Sgt. Pepper’s” without the success they enjoyed earlier in their career.

Hard rock might sound very different if the blues had never made its way into the hands of Elvis Presley, who would cover an Arthur Gunter song called “Baby Let’s Play House,” a single that would later find its way into the hands by Jimmy Page, according to a Reverb article titled “5 Moments in the Blues That Changed the Course of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, written by Deen Anbar.

Page would go on to play guitar in Led Zeppelin and portray himself as one of the Rushmore rock cast.

Another critical moment in blues history according to the Reverb article is Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy,” which is one of the few blues songs I listen to. I really should listen to the blues more often. I know how to play the riff on the guitar, and when you speed it up, it sounds like a ZZ Top song.

Jimi Hendrix is ​​another figure that defines rock and arguably the guitar hero. His playing has influenced guitarists in everything from heavy metal to grunge. Hendrix also learned from his black contemporaries, including Sam Cooke and Tina Turner, according to an article titled “The White Erasure And Black Reclaiming Of Jimi Hendrix,” by Okayplayer.

“Through them, Hendrix also acquired his musical foundation, learning R&B, soul and blues from the artists who became leading figures in these genres,” writes Elijah Watson.

Part of the beauty of enjoying your favorite music is having the ability to trace it through its influences. Depending on your tastes, it is quite possible that such a search will lead you to black artists who marked the beginnings of genres, long before today’s artists made them famous or valued them.

Recognize this and you might discover countless other artists who, although their music may be decades or even a century old, have created something so timeless and influential that it has become entwined with the DNA of the whole world. modern music.

Ryan Meyer is a senior journalism student. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.

Comments are closed.