Witt’s book is about when everyone was pirating music and how some people say that it almost destroyed the music industry. I was reading reviews for this book because I wanted to see what other people thought of it and one person said that it should be subtitled “the generation everyone committed the same crime”. I thought that was accurate and frankly pretty funny. A quote from the book that really resonated with me was “Most listeners didn’t care about quality, and the obsession with perfect sound forever was an early indicator that the music industry didn’t understand its customers.” I thought this was an interesting thing to say because I could see how its true. I’ve always thought that the imperfections that you hear in concert or in early music is what makes it so great because you know it’s real and not auto-tuned to what the music industry sees as perfection.
Throughout Millers book he discusses how southern music was reduced to a series of distinct genres linked to particular racial and ethnic identities. Miller says that “the origins of country music is unclear” because it draws on so many other sounds that originate in other genres. The part of this book that I found the most interesting was the chapter that talked about race records especially the part about the Mamie Smith and what miller said about her “she didn’t open the door, she knocked it down”. She was the pioneer to get African Americans into the music industry performing their own songs.
I looked up “country music” and one of the things in the article that caught my eye was “sometimes with unbuttoned vigor of an old-time gospel singer or a backwards blues shouter”. It says “that they were once called Hillbilly and were only in the southeast and how they were heard around the world”. This article is from the 50’s and given that its strange to see how country music is described with almost the same as it is today. Where people either love it or hate it. As seen with the former quote that it has a sort of negative connotation to it and the latter quote sounds life it is almost proud of country music and the things the genre has accomplished.
Someone in class mentioned something about how music plays off of music before it in relation to copyright. They were making the point that many things can violate copyright even though most people are not trying to copy others. And it made me think of the song Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp and the song “I was Jack and you were Diane” by Jake Owen. Without the former song we wouldn’t have the latter song. There are many similarities between the two songs in my opinion however they are both good and unique in their own ways
In regards, to the documents that explained black people fighting for the confederate army. I understand from what the professor was saying is that most of the proof this is cited by many people was wither fabricated or have a lot of questions surrounding them. I think that all the people that said that black people were helping the confederates either had something to gain from it like Frederick Douglass or that is just what thy wanted to believe. Because if that was the case then the confederate purpose of the war would be put into question. Cobb’s is seen as being a leader of 3,000 blacks supposedly but them a few years later is quoted saying “that if the south did that and the blacks were good soldiers then that would completely negate the Souths view and point”.
There was both a migration of blacks and whites out of the south and it can be clearly seen by the music artists that were famous at this time. For example, there were many whites that would cover black people’s songs because back then people didn’t listen to musicians that were not their own race. When we look back on that today it is weird, creepy and inappropriate, but I guess that was normal back then. Even though it shouldn’t have been. There was a clear displacement during this time because record labels would have their black musicians and white musicians record the same song so that they could make the max amount of money off of both races listening to it.