More Intertwined Than Commonly Assumed

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“In the end Marcus takes an oddly bifurcated view of Afro-American music—a view that is, unfortunately, quite prevalent today. On the one hand, he praised ‘black music’ as a source for rock ‘n’ roll, depicting Presley as the Prometheus who stole its spark, passing it to the white race as it languished in frigid Puritanism. On the other, he refuses to regard Afro-American music as a living competitor to his beloved rock ‘n’ roll. His whole argument implies that nothing of any real musical significance occurred between the founding of the Jamestown colony and the release of ‘That’s All Right, Mama.’ . . . So intent is Marcus on mythologizing the Memphis Prometheus that he ignores the fact that, by the time Presley seized the black musical fire, it had already spend three centuries warming the white folks as well as the black ” (Martha Bayles, Hole in our Soul, p. 135).

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