Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

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    Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    To continue the discussion along the lines of the audience ... anyone want to stick their neck out and name a few artists that draw a decidedly lop-sioded / majority of either ebony or ivory listeners?   

    Any black artists that draw a white audience?  Jazz artists and the old blues players seem to come to mind first.     I think along the lines of Wynton Marsalis, Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock ... to name a few, but there must be scores that white audiences love and follow. 

    White artists that bring in an overwhelming number of black listeners ... are there any you can name offhand?  

    I saw a comment recently re: Justin Timberlake, believe it or not.   Is he a uniter?  

    Any thoughts?   

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    Jimi Hendrix

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    There was a time when you could say this.

    But even Gangsta Rap has prospered from a huge following by white suburban teens. 

    I think James Brown was mainly enjoyed by Black audiences until he played a "Rock festival" and went on before the Rolling Stones ...and the Stones regretted following him on stage, as this was the toughest act in the world to follow, except maybe a nuclear bomb.

    Once the secret was out in the 60's , I think the crossover began and there aren't many artists that don't crossover to some degree.

    I will say that I can't be 100% certain, but, I don't know that Def Leppard and Emerson , Lake and Palmer sell well to the black community, while there are certainly some Rap and Hip hop artists that don't crossover well.

    I think many black artists crossover and have for years, the opposite is less likely, although I would say that I don't really have a clue if large groups of brothers are hangin' out listening to Jethro Tull and Loverboy...who says they don't?

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    I think of the computer nerd in office space rockin out in his car to 'No Tears' by g-rapper Scarface.

    The audience for rap is far-reaching across many walks of life. (e.g., the president is a decided fan.)  Same for soul, rnb, etc. which are increasingly color blind if maybe more gender-oriented (boy bands, teen boppers)

    That said, whites are still a fairly wide majority and influence on the culture as well as a wider consumer demographic, so there's more ground to cover.

    Many of the shows I go to are more 'white' than others but still relatively diverse (for NE).  Some of the exceptions might be country, classical and some metal.

    Latin cultures also have a wide range of musical styles, from death metal to trad folk to dance and everything in between.

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    Any black artists that draw a white audience?



    Slash

    "As a musician, I've always been amused that I'm both British and black; particularly because so many American musicians seem to aspire to be British while so many British musicians, in the sixties in particular, went to such great pains to be black." (Autobiography)

     

     

    I wish I could report on "Keb' Mo", who is a modern blues guy in the older vein. Wife and I bought tickets to the upcoming "extreme beer fest" and then we find out he's going to swing through Boston at the same time...     
    Ah well, will catch him somewhere, sometime.

     

     

     

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    I think of the computer nerd in office space rockin out in his car to gangsta Scarface.




    Oh, now I need to watch Office Space again.

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    Thin Lizzy. Black people in general aren't into hard rock or metal.

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to Klaas' comment:

    Thin Lizzy. Black people in general aren't into hard rock or metal.




    Really? I have attended both with many races, and I have seen many races at both.

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    Polar123. Fair enough. Perhaps it is a mistake to generalize what a lot of black people listen to based upon one's personal experiences.

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to Klaas' comment:

     

    Polar123. Perhaps it is a mistake to generalize what a lot of black people listen to based upon one's personal experiences .

     

     



    No Worries.  I just find it hard to generalize about music when it comes to race.  I can't even come up with a single artist, or music type and say with any certainty that it would appeal more to one person more than another.  Would not even try.

     

     

     


     

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    There was a time when you could say this.

    But even Gangsta Rap has prospered from a huge following by white suburban teens. 

    I think James Brown was mainly enjoyed by Black audiences until he played a "Rock festival" and went on before the Rolling Stones ...and the Stones regretted following him on stage, as this was the toughest act in the world to follow, except maybe a nuclear bomb.

    Once the secret was out in the 60's , I think the crossover began and there aren't many artists that don't crossover to some degree.

    I will say that I can't be 100% certain, but, I don't know that Def Leppard and Emerson , Lake and Palmer sell well to the black community, while there are certainly some Rap and Hip hop artists that don't crossover well.

    I think many black artists crossover and have for years, the opposite is less likely, although I would say that I don't really have a clue if large groups of brothers are hangin' out listening to Jethro Tull and Loverboy...who says they don't?



    It's funny for us to discuss the crossover artists, if there are any, I agree, b/c no one here has stepped up and claimed to be black.  :)    I've just never had the impression that there are loads of white artists that blacks flock to, but as you say, who says they don't?    Lots of the current R&B, hip hop (by black artists), pop (ie Usher) are clearly not the focus here, for a variety of reasons.  Heck, there's nothing wrong if we are drawn to different styles of music.   Younger audiences may well be more diverse than we realize.  

     

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to DeadAhead2's comment:



    I just saw Bettye Lavette last week in NC and she told the crowd a story about how in 1962 she played in NC and they had a rope down the middle of the crowd for black and white fans.

    Sad and really quite creepy to think about how 1962 wasn't all that long ago.

    I think bands like The Roots unite. Not a fan but caught their show at a festival once and it was a good mix.

    Maybe G Love and Special Sauce might? A band like Mofro should be doing that at this point on a larger scale, but they aren't on the radio.



    I believe it re: Bettye Lavette's story -- sad.   Right around the time of the Civil Rights movement.    She lived it. 

    The Roots have loads of white fans; I've seen them once and it was true fun.   Just what you'd expect.  

    BTW, I meant to post in the Bettye Lavette thread b/c I saw she was booked in a club in metro-Boston this week, so she must be on tour.   Also saw she was playing at an anniversary concert / celebration for the Beatles'  50th anniversary of their first appearance on American television.   She sounds like an amazing lady.  

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to polar123's comment:

    In response to Klaas' comment:

     

    Polar123. Perhaps it is a mistake to generalize what a lot of black people listen to based upon one's personal experiences .

     

    No Worries.  I just find it hard to generalize about music when it comes to race.  I can't even come up with a single artist, or music type and say with any certainty that it would appeal more to one person or another.  Would not even try.



    You would not have to try too hard, if you were just drawing on general appeal.  

    Younger audiences are changing this by a big margin.   But I think in the past, you could generalize very easily. 

    I was just looking at some question / answers on the web, and of course, there are loads of black youth who love rock. 

    I don't think it's far-fetched, however, to generalize that whites have traditionally, and culturally, adopted the music that was once rooted in black culture,  and yet, it has not been as prevalent in the reverse.   That's all.  

     

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    I suppose Michael Jackson is a good example; he electrified all audiences.

    BTW, I do think there is cultural awareness, adulation, and at times, loyalty that is held for some artists.  An example:  I've seen concert pianist, Lang Lang, twice.   He's Chinese, which had zip to do with my interest in seeing him.  Yet ... the audience was well over 60% Chinese the first time I saw him;  I have been to Symphony Hall many times, and had never seen anything like it.  

    Would all of those followers have been there had Lang Lang been ... American?  A conjecture, but I don't think they were all there by coincidence.   It's not a crime to notice that there is loyalty, interest, and possibly *pride* when people are drawn in by an artist b/c of his/her race or ethnic background; it's not as though there aren't many other fans, by any means, and I'm not implying that, but a strong following based on heritage is not unusual, either.  

    BTW, the second time I saw Lang Lang, the crowd was more mixed, but was still minimally 50% Chinese.  

    No, it is not the way you would determine your overall likes or dislikes, but there are times when this may play a role, at least for some people. 

     

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    You would not have to try too hard, if you were just drawing on general appeal.   

    Younger audiences are changing this by a big margin.   But I think in the past, you could generalize very easily. 

    I was just looking at some question / answers on the web, and of course, there are loads of black youth who love rock. 

    I don't think it's far-fetched, however, to generalize that whites have traditionally, and culturally, adopted the music that was once rooted in black culture,  and yet, it has not been as prevalent in the reverse.   That's all.  

      




    I got ya, and I don't think it would be a big surprise if artists like Sinatra, Streisand, Bennett, Dion etc, all have tremendous crossover appeal. Nor to find out that the 600 million or so records the Beatles have sold were not all bought by screaming white kids in the suburbs :-)   And I agree, white musicians have been ripping off black artists for years, and not vice-versa until much recently, see Madonna. 

    I like the Timberlake and Jackson examples. Boy bands to superstars, each enjoying widespead appeal. But, it's hard for me to make any kind of assumptions when it comes to another persons taste in music based on race alone. and tbh, i cant really name an artist to fit the question.

    When I was a kid I used to go through my Dad's music collection. He had eveyone in there. Bach, The Stones, Mahalia Jackson, Beatles, Brahms, Cat Stevens, Marion Anderson, the Dead, etc,,. A few years later, a black family, the Piersons moved next door. After becoming friendly with their kids, they showed me their parents music collection and while their taste were a little more geared towards soul and R&B, I couldn't help notice all the albums by The Beatles, Brahms, Stones, Bach, Mahalia, Dead, etc, so you never know:)

     

    Eta: Just landed in Boston after a thirteen hour delay. Now I see why. You guys got a lot of snow. It snowed four inches in December where I live, and it nearly crippled the City.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    I'm white. I live in a predominanty white region. My exposure to black culture is nil. The concerts I go to are usually not far from home are are predominantly attended by whites. I once went to a multi-band Blues show in my area and the audience was predominantly white. At the recent Elvis Costello concert I attended there was but one black member of the audience, and he was sitting right next to me. He seemed to really appreciate Costello's performance.

    What I know about black music culture I have only read about in books. From what I have read about Blues music, it started out almost exclusively with a black audience. It was then was abandoned by the black audience and embraced by a new white audience as the black audience moved on to newer, diferent forms of black music such as Soul.

    A funny personal story about another concert I attended. I saw Living Colour at Amherst College. I liked them primarily because of the funky songs in their repertoire. Well, with the all white audience they pretty much stuck to their hard rock songs so I was probably the only white guy there who was disappointed!

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    Many of the artists that were my early favorites employed multi-racial musicians in the band. So I never gave much thought to whether the music I was listening to is "white" or "black."

    Among my early favorites were: Santana, C,S,N and Y, the Doobie Brothers...all had a black member ( the bass player , coincidently or maybe not), with Santana most of the band was Latino.  Later groups like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Thin Lizzy had a frontman who was black.

    I grew up in an America where non-whites were gaining in sports, music and movies ( three things I have always enjoyed). I love the 70's because of the diversity in all three. 

    My favorite T.V. show of the 70's was Mission Impossible, my favorite character in the show was Barney Collier, the black genius. My favorite T.V. of the 60's, Star Trek was groundbreaking in it's portrayal of a wonderfully diverse crew that worked together as a unit....they even had a Russian!!!, back when we were taught to hate Russians. Chekov was a Russian you just couldn't dislike ( and he kind of looked like Davey Jones of the Monkees!).

    I  heard some Spanish by listening to Santana....never really cared what the songs meant, just liked the way they sound.

    I loved the "blaxsploitation" films of the 70's, the Shaft series ( was there ever a cooler detective than John Shaft?...also does any movie of this genre have a better soundtrack than 'Superfly.'

    Among my favorite athletes growing up was Willie Lanier , middle linebacker of the Kansas City Chiefs ( aka- the Black Butkus). Later I would marvel at the "Human Highlight Reel' , Atlanta Hawks Dominique Wilkins...even though I don't really like basketball.....and of course Lawrence Taylor and the great Ronnie Lott. I was a huge NHL fan , but there wasn't much "multi-racial going on there until the mid-80's.

    I believe that it is a result of the time period when I grew up that I care more about entertainment content and less about the color of the people involved....we are actually better becuse of diversity , it is good to be introduced to varied culture and opinion....whether you agree with it or not.

     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to polar123's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    You would not have to try too hard, if you were just drawing on general appeal.   

    Younger audiences are changing this by a big margin.   But I think in the past, you could generalize very easily. 

    I was just looking at some question / answers on the web, and of course, there are loads of black youth who love rock. 

    I don't think it's far-fetched, however, to generalize that whites have traditionally, and culturally, adopted the music that was once rooted in black culture,  and yet, it has not been as prevalent in the reverse.   That's all.  

      




    I got ya, and I don't think it would be a big surprise if artists like Sinatra, Streisand, Bennett, Dion etc, all have tremendous crossover appeal. Nor to find out that the 600 million or so records the Beatles have sold were not all bought by screaming white kids in the suburbs :-)   And I agree, white musicians have been ripping off black artists for years, and not vice-versa until much recently, see Madonna. 

    I like the Timberlake and Jackson examples. Boy bands to superstars, each enjoying widespead appeal. But, it's hard for me to make any kind of assumptions when it comes to another persons taste in music based on race alone. and tbh, i cant really name an artist to fit the question.

    When I was a kid I used to go through my Dad's music collection. He had eveyone in there. Bach, The Stones, Mahalia Jackson, Beatles, Brahms, Cat Stevens, Marion Anderson, the Dead, etc,,. A few years later, a black family, the Piersons moved next door. After becoming friendly with their kids, they showed me their parents music collection and while their taste were a little more geared towards soul and R&B, I couldn't help notice all the albums by The Beatles, Brahms, Stones, Bach, Mahalia, Dead, etc, so you never know:)

     

    Granted, you never know.   None of us do.   Then again, I don't know where the Pierson's were from originally ... :) 

    But that's why I love Chris Rock.  He tells it like it is: why black people hate white people, why black people hate black people, and why black people hate ******s.   I was listening to his routine in youtube last night -- man, that is the way to lay it on the line!   :)

    Either way, I appreciate where you're coming from.    Did you ever see that "Things White People Like" list that went around a few years ago?  Man, that was good.   I was glancing at it recently (yoga is somewhere around 15-20 on the list ; the number one thing is "coffee" but I didn't find that very  hard-hitting) and it does reduce white people to some very funny stereotypes.   However, I see the list more as a "middle-class" list, than a white people list.  Things change.

     

    Eta: Just landed in Boston after a thirteen hour delay. Now I see why. You guys got a lot of snow. It snowed four inches in December where I live, and it nearly crippled the City.

    Welcome back (or welcome, not sure if you live "here" or elsewhere nowadays). 13-hour delays are for the very patient among us;  you must be glad to be here.   It is pretty the day after a snowstorm, especially when the sun is out glistening on the trees.  

     

     

     

     

     

     




     
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    Re: Ebony and Ivory, Part 2: The audience

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    Welcome back (or welcome, not sure if you live "here" or elsewhere nowadays). 13-hour delays are for the very patient among us;  you must be glad to be here.   It is pretty the day after a snowstorm, especially when the sun is out glistening on the trees.   


    Thanks for the nice reply. I moved back out West to the Seattle area last September. I miss Boston, but I get back pretty often for work, and to visit my Dad up in NH. I had a bit of deja vu this past weekend watching Pete Carroll and Seahawks win the SB, and the ensuing celebrations. While Seattle is a decent sports town, it can't hold a candle to Boston imo.  The fans here are far more knowledgable. But I'm happy for them, they deserved it.  I did see the "things white people like list." and I remember the one about black music that black people don't like anymore," and how appropriate (or not) it was for this thread :)

     
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