Re: Did Whiteman Steal form Oliver?
- The discussion was on the question of whether white musicians "stole"
from black musicians. You have completely changed the tone of the
discussion by turning it into one about race.
You write. "African-Americans are just as entitled to celebrate the
uniqueness of their culture independently of the influences on it."
Certainly, they are entitled to celebrate it, but they are not
entitled to modify history in order to celebrate it. We are talking
about jazz. It is well established by now that jazz arose as the
result of influences from a wide variety of sources. What is the
problem with celebrating jazz while acknowledging its many influences?
I think it is extremely narrow-minded and a distortion of the truth-
to celebrate jazz as a form of music originated exclusively by black
musicians. What is wrong with acknowledging influences? Does the
acknowledgment of sources diminish in any way what the black musicians
have accomplished? Not in my book, but perhaps it does for others. I
(and neither does Sudhalter, if I am allowed to speak on his behalf)
do not celebrate the uniqueness of the music created by white
musicians in the 1920s by ignoring the contribution of the black
musicians. Credit must go where it credit is due. It does not help
anyone or scholarship to avoid facing reality.
But let's get back to the key questions I raised in my previous post.
You asserted that white musicians "stole" from the black musicians.
What is the meaning of "stealing" a musical style? Did Bach steal from
Vivaldi? As I said in my previous post: since when is a musical style
the exclusive property of one individual, a band, or a race? And since
when being influenced by another musician or a style is defined as
"stealing"? Finally, please define precisely and with specific
examples what -in your view- the white musicians "stole" from the
black. And please be sure to distinguish clearly between "influence"
> Maybe you are right but I wonder how Oliver could listen to Whiteman,Everybody bought Paul Whiteman records.
> I mean , was he allowed to enter a record store that is dedicated to
> noncolored artists music and buy records ? Or maybe he entered one of
> Whiteman's gigs ? Is it possible ?