The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151811   Message #3547815
Posted By: GUEST,Blandiver
11-Aug-13 - 05:09 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Pickaninny in closet
Subject: RE: Folklore: Pickaninny in closet
To what extent was the tin-pan alley / Hollywood / Broadway tradition of Berlin (et al) strictly (& culturally) Jewish? There's a case to be made here (with The 4 Marx Brothers et al for whom Berlin provided early scores) but it's not Jewish in the same sense as (say) the paintings of Marc Chagall are Jewish (interesting to note Chagall & Berlin were both Belarusian Jews born within a year of each other). How that music relates to the Blues is vague to say least, and confined so a few notes & clich├ęs by way of a dumbed-down popularist exotica rather than a serious attempt to understand The Blues as a music born of The African Experience in the New World. Are there any hints of Jewish folk / village music in Berlin's work I wonder? The only song of his I really know is The Monkey Doodle-Doo from The Marx Brothers' The Cocoanuts (1929) and Say It Isn't So from Sun Ra's Reflections in Blue (1987) so I'm no expert.

The P-word remains deeply offensive regardless how previous generations might have callously bandied about such hateful & dehumanising terminology. It is born from social & cultural apartheid and the glib use of such a lexicon by older generations just goes to show how deep seated such hatred was (and IS) in American society. No amount of retrospective / revisionist 'folk-tolerance' can hide that much.