The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111033 Message #2344969
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
20-May-08 - 05:35 AM
Thread Name: Money v Folk
Subject: RE: Money v Folk
Flag of convenience might have been a reasonable criticism in the 60s when the change was happening, and you may well be right Jon. But I think it's more subtle than that.
As I say - I wasn't there. I was incarcerated in an English Public School, where anything other than classical music was banned.
But I suspect what may have happened was that there was a bunch of people - mainly in the US - who started out doing bona fide 54 folk songs (Dylan and Simon were of course hugely influenced by their exposure to the UK revival, as were MacColl and others over here), but then began to write their own material. They may have written songs before doing 54 folk, but this is how they were first perceived by the public - as 54-ish singers. They then merely retained that tag when they began making new works in - initially - a similar style. And of course they went on singing some trad material too (as most of us still do), so it wasn't a total deception. Lloyd was doing something much more 'complicated' at the same time, and he was a proper scholar.
So flag of convenience might be a bit unfair on the artists. I'd look to the music journalists, record companies, DJs and promoters if I looking for scapegoats - because marketing obviously did come into it, but basically this is just what happens to music and language and society in general.
To me RnB will always be fast ('jump') blues. But I wouldn't accuse Mariah Carey of flying a flag of convenience. The meaning of the word changed to include "any music that was made by and for black Americans" (though scholars might dispute that - how'd I know)!
And no-one would suggest that Carey was pretending to sound like Dr Feelgood.
Or would they?