The History of Rock and Roll: Copyright Not Included

2811 Words12 Pages
Peter Clark
Professor James Smethurst
December 5, 2012
The History Of Rock and Roll: Copyright Not Included
The history of black America is one filled with exploitation and abuse. Time and time again we see the “cultural rape” of the black community. Whether it be style, lingo, or music white culture has been “borrowing” from black culture since the early history of the United States. It is so obvious it almost passes unnoticed. For example the handshake has largely been replaced in youth culture by a dap or a fist pound, both remnant of black culture in the 60’s. Even hello has been replaced with “yo” an interjection made popular in the black vernacular. One cultural phenomena that has been largely covered up as
…show more content…
Nick Tosches said in the “Unsung Heroes of Rock ’n’ Roll” that “When you saw Elvis, you were seeing a mild version of Wyonie Harris” (45-46). Wyonie Harris of course was a black blues performer. One of the major names that commonly goes overlooked in the creation of rock and roll is Chuck Berry.
Chuck Berry’s signature riffs are all reminiscent of the blues guitar style and are quintessential in rock and roll. This list of artists that have covered Chuck Berry songs is endless. Baraka wrote that “cats like Stones and Beatles saying: “Yeh, I got everything I know from Chuck Berry,” is a scream dropping the final... “But I got all the dough...”(205) Guitar players such as Keith Richards and Jimmy Paige have admitted to learning guitar solely from Berry’s playing. John Lennon said that "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'” ( While Berry is currently recognized as a major name in rock and roll history, he never enjoyed the commercial success of his white counterparts. This story is the same for many black musicians of his time. The true exploitation of black music though, came in the form of the British Invasion.
The British Invasion was really just the brits bringing to America what was already here. Baraka wrote in the Baraka Reader that R&B was “exploitation for profit, the same as it it was a gold mine” (187). A less

More about The History of Rock and Roll: Copyright Not Included

Get Access