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Ethics for Performers

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paddymac 19 May 02 - 01:29 PM
Snuffy 19 May 02 - 06:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 May 02 - 09:22 PM
Bert 19 May 02 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Russ 20 May 02 - 10:26 AM
Pied Piper 20 May 02 - 10:59 AM
paddymac 20 May 02 - 11:36 AM
Dave Wynn 20 May 02 - 11:55 AM
Pied Piper 20 May 02 - 12:05 PM
AliUK 20 May 02 - 12:23 PM
Don Firth 20 May 02 - 01:08 PM
Jim Dixon 20 May 02 - 09:21 PM
Hrothgar 21 May 02 - 06:13 AM
greg stephens 21 May 02 - 06:50 AM
Blues=Life 21 May 02 - 11:36 PM
Jim Dixon 22 May 02 - 01:54 AM
greg stephens 22 May 02 - 02:29 AM
Jim Dixon 22 May 02 - 10:25 AM
Amos 22 May 02 - 11:27 AM
Nigel Parsons 22 May 02 - 12:00 PM
Midchuck 22 May 02 - 12:14 PM
M.Ted 22 May 02 - 03:34 PM
Naemanson 22 May 02 - 03:41 PM
Pied Piper 23 May 02 - 07:51 AM
greg stephens 23 May 02 - 09:10 AM
Jim Dixon 23 May 02 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road) 23 May 02 - 01:15 PM
M.Ted 23 May 02 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Morena Thabo 26 Jun 11 - 06:04 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Jun 11 - 06:13 PM
Dave MacKenzie 26 Jun 11 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,DrWord 27 Jun 11 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jun 11 - 12:06 PM
Silas 28 Jun 11 - 12:45 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Jun 11 - 01:56 PM
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Subject: Ethics for Performers
From: paddymac
Date: 19 May 02 - 01:29 PM

We've had many discussions here on the question of presently offensive lyrics in older songs, and a great variety of views have been presented. Thus, I was a bit surprised, bemused, and curious, to see the question considered in today's New York Times Magazine. Here's the pertinent part of the ethics column. (Any typos are mine.)

The New York Times Magazine, 19 May 2002
The Ethicist by Randy Cohen

"A Singing Offense"

"Ah, yes, the Stephen Foster problem. Its solution depends on whom you're playing for. You do no harm to sing the originals if you're home alone. Ethics is concerned with the effects of one's actions on others: no others, no unethical behavior. Thus you ought not perform these songs for a skinhead crowd eager to hold a racist sing-along and rock-throw. But even if you're performing for a genial and rock-free audience, you should skip the disturbing parts of this repertory, with a description of the changes you've made and explanation of why. Honesty compels you to give the audience some sense of the original odious lyrics: discretion compels allusion rather than expression. To spring bigotry set to music on the unwary is to violate an implicit agreement between performer and listener. You wouldn't offer to provide a movie for a 5-year-old's birthday party and show the kids Psycho.

"Even when you are only playing with fellow musicians, you have an obligation not to perform these songs naively but with some understanding of their historical meaning. And you would be wise to consider the coarsening effects of casually using such epithets on your own sensibilities.

"You may sing the unallowed originals if you're performing for an audience that knows what it's getting into. It's important to preserve and understand the relics of our past, even the most shameful aspects of that past. No good is served by creating a cleaned-up, artificial America. You need to simply make sure that an audience has a choice about what it will be hearing. If it has been alerted -- via your posters and program, perhaps -- and wishes to listen to historically accurate material, then discuss and sing. That is, give it not just the songs but some historical context."


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 May 02 - 06:12 PM

"These are the original lyrics: I have problems with them. If you don't, perhaps you need to look deep inside yourself to find out why."

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 May 02 - 09:22 PM

To describe the original lyrics as "odious" is completely to misunderstand the context in which they were made. Odious, yes, if written today; then, of course not. Foster was a man of his time, that's all, and it's stupid to try retrospectively to impose contemporary sensibilities on the products of an earlier century. Might as well censor Shakespeare for being sexist (yes, I know it's been tried). If anybody wants to perform those of Foster's songs which deal with racial stereotypes, then they should either do them as written (with a warning to that audience beforehand, by all means) or not at all.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Bert
Date: 19 May 02 - 09:34 PM

...To spring bigotry set to music on the unwary...

Many songs were written in terms which were not considered bigotry when they were written. Nigger was just a corruption of Negro which meant "Black Person" and was in no way intended to be any more offensive than the terms "Black Man" or "White Man" are today.

What with skinheads pulling in one direction and PC extremists in the other. One Day, terms like Taffy and Jock and Limey will soon be considered offensive.

Limey Bert.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 20 May 02 - 10:26 AM

Randy Cohen's is fair rhetoric, unacceptably muddled thinking. Any professional ethical philosopher would dismiss it with a chuckle.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Pied Piper
Date: 20 May 02 - 10:59 AM

I play in a blues band and we we do a number written by the singer called "new shoes tight pussy and a warm place to shit", he tells me the words were spoken by a US politition about Black men. The song is ment to be ironic and uses the qote in the chorus. Having had his head chewd off a couple of times, he now introduces the song explaining the origen of the title and the intent of the piece. So far so good no head chewing. All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: paddymac
Date: 20 May 02 - 11:36 AM

The "politician" was Earl Butz, the US secretary of Agriculture - a successful farmer but not exactly a politic politician. The line supposedly originated from some old joke, and was "loose shoes". The other two concerns are by no means unique to black folks, but I never understood the "loose shoes" bit until a chiropractor friend told me that many fair percentage of black folks have a more pronounced alacranon process (a protuberance on the heel bone ?) that results in footwear designed for the mass market being downright unconfortable or painful for them to wear. Are there any catters out there who are more knowledgeable about comparative osteomorphology who might comment?


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 20 May 02 - 11:55 AM

On a more mundane level we sing a song called "John 'o' Greenfields Ramble" which is local to our area. It's about an Englishman leaving his home to fight abroad and has a line "Either Dutch , French or Spanish to me they're all one" and we innocently sang this while some Fench persons were visiting our folk club they took no offence beyond being grouped with the Dutch and the Spanish.

It appears they much prefer to be offended individually rather than homogenised with other nations.

As to the larger question of what is and isn't offensive in song , I would like to think that the intent is more important than the content. If the content offends but the intention was innocent then this would be acceptable to most people I think.

Spot


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Pied Piper
Date: 20 May 02 - 12:05 PM

"Loose shoes" right, I'll tell the singer, and give him the osteomorphological bit to ad to his pre-amble. Thanks for the info paddymac. All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: AliUK
Date: 20 May 02 - 12:23 PM

I once had a massive argument with a singer, a long time ago when I was far younger and less felxible, about his singing of a song "The Whitby Whalers". I was heavily into saving whales at the time and couldn't countenance anything that pertained to their slaughter. Problem was I was arguing about a song that came from a traditional context about a practice that no longer exists ( at least in Whitby) and to this day I get embarrassed at my kneejerk reaction...I was such a prig.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 May 02 - 01:08 PM

Two points:—

"Were you to drop a box full of scrabble tiles, there are people in this world who could read the results and find something to be offended at." —comedian Penn Gillette in a more serious moment.

Anyone who thinks I'm advocating murdering women whenever I to sing Pretty Polly is a blithering idiot!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 May 02 - 09:21 PM

Here's what I said back in the thread called Help: Advice Please?, and I still stand by it. It sounds pretty close to what I think Randy Cohen was trying to say—but I can't be sure without knowing what question he was answering. (His columns are always in a question/answer format.) Was he talking about offensive songs in general, or offensive Stephen Foster songs in particular? It does make a difference. If you had advertised that you were going to perform Stephen Foster songs, I think you owe the audience an explanation, either way. You have to explain either why you changed them or why you didn't change them. On the other hand, if the audience wasn't expecting any particular kind of song, and if you hadn't promised them any historic authenticity, then I think you are obligated to make sure the songs meet contemporary standards, and you don't need to explain anything.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Hrothgar
Date: 21 May 02 - 06:13 AM

Pied Piper,

Isn't it good to have a lead singer who can deal with expressions like comparative osteomorphology?


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 May 02 - 06:50 AM

The trouble is Stephen Foster was a completely brilliant song writer. If you think you can rewrite them to be more in tune with contemporary feelings, fine: but be aware you're going to be judged by your writing ability as much as for your liberal sentiments. I went to aShakespeare production production at a school recently where the drama teacher had rewritten vast chunks of Macbeth to make it more "relevant"or "accessible to the young" or something. I spent the show inwardly fuming and/or laughing at the banality of the rewriting. Some rewriting works fine: Old Black Joe was bowdlerised to Poor Old Joe a long time agao, when"black" was considered offensive, though not so much nowadays, and that rewrite isjust as good as the original to my ears. But obviously the "darkies" and "massa's in the coldcold ground" you might well feel like changing. But to what? that's the problem. I really don't like the rewriing approach generally, but what kind of prat is going to stand up and say "I'd like to make clear I am not in favour of slavery" and then sing "Old folks at home"? It's a difficult question and I don't know the answer. But I'd hate to lose the wonderful legacy of Stephen Foster's songs because of it.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Blues=Life
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:36 PM

J.S. Mill wrote in "On Liberty" that we are free to do whatever we like as long as we do not harm others. Why do I hate Political Correctness? Well, it's kind of a long list, but one reason is the transformation of the Principle of Liberty to "we are free to do whatever we like as long as we don't hurt anyone's feelings." I don't know how to do that, as merely walking down the street is often cause for offense. The older I get, the more likely I am, when told I shouldn't do or say something, is to tell the idiot to go to hell. If someone might be offended by what I say, I'm not going to feel "obligated to make sure the songs meet contemporary standards", because I may not agree with what those standards are. Before begining the flaming, please note that in stating this, I fully realize that I have to live with the consequences of my actions, including the anger and outrage that "not correct" behavior illicits. And I'm not advocating racism, sexism, etc, etc. I'm saying that discussion and even argumentation over an issue is vastly preferred to silent "correctness", with other feelings lurking underneath. I'd rather deal with an issue head on, and use logic and reason, debate and discussion to deal with it, than to have someone's real opinions stuff-sacked and allowed to fester. PC behavior would rather beat any opposing viewpoint out of sight. Do you really think "Shhhh, that's not right!" is going to change someone's mind?


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 May 02 - 01:54 AM

Blues=Life: Are you a performer? Do you sing songs in public that contain words like "darky" and "coon"? Can you sing a line like "'tis summer; the darkies are gay" with a straight face? How about "All de darkeys am a-weeping; Massa's in de cold, cold ground"?

If so, how do you react when your audience howls with anger or laughter? Do you tell them to go to hell? Or do you lay down your guitar in the middle of a set and engage your audience in "discussion and debate"? How long can you keep this up before nine-tenths of the audience walks out?

Pardon my skepticism, but I just want to know if people who talk so contemptuously of "political correctness" really practice what they preach.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 May 02 - 02:29 AM

Jim Dixon: is the" howling with anger or laughter" a description of how you personally treat someone singing Stephen Foster, how other people in your experience have treated someone singing Stephen Foster songs, or is it just how you fondly imagine people OUGHT to react to it? so much PC nonsense is based on theories of how people ought to react, I wondered if you are speaking from actual experience. You may well be,so let's hear about it. I know people tried to stop Leadbelly singing prison songs on similar grounds.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 May 02 - 10:25 AM

Greg, my example was purely hypothetical.

My frustration is similar to yours. I am frustrated by the fact that a lot of anti-PC rhetoric (and "rhetoric" here is not meant to be a judgmental term) is based on theories of how performers ought to react (or not react) to their audiences. I wondered if any of that rhetoric was based on personal experience—especially the experience of performers, as opposed to audience members.

OK, if you want to talk about specific experiences, I'll give you one. I have scoured my memory, and this isn't much, but it's the best I can come up with. It may disappoint you because it doesn't concern a public performance, and it doesn't concern music.

I belong to a group of friends who occasionally gather in one another's homes to read aloud various bits of literature. We do it mostly for the pure fun of reading and listening, but we sometimes also discuss the merits of the stuff we read. Once I read one of the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris. (I love dialect of all kinds, and I have even, as an amateur actor, used dialects or accents in some of my roles—but never a black dialect, of course.) My performance in this case probably wasn't good enough for the public, but I think it was good enough for a small group of friends who tend to be very tolerant of one another's shortcomings.

Afterwards, one of my friends tried to open discussion on the question of whether it was appropriate for a white person to perform in a black dialect. I can't remember his exact words, but I'm rather sure he didn't intend to criticize me; he just wanted to know my thoughts on the subject. I gave him my thoughts, which were, essentially, that I didn't think any disrespect was intended by the author, and certainly not by me, and besides, it was good writing and a good story, and it deserved to be better known.

That's about all there is to say about that experience. OK, I've told you mine; now you tell me yours.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Amos
Date: 22 May 02 - 11:27 AM

Personally I think Randy of the New York Times is confusing harm with annoyance, and ought to change the title of his column to "The Moralist", in the sense that he is prescribing morals (agreements about socially condoned or not condoned behavior). He is only marginally discussing ethics in the sense of individual rationality for the understanding of right choice.

That said, he was right that taking your audience into account makes the difference, especially if you are being paid to entertain. I don't sing "Keep On Trucking, Mama" to the garden club or the local fifth-graders, but that doesn't mean I don't know the whole song by heart!! :>)

Bowdlerizing serves no real purpose. There are plenty of fine songs to be sung without introducing songs which will stir up and alienate the audience, not because they'res anything wrong with stirring people up for good cause, but because it breaks the line of communication with the audience, and isn't what you're presumably there for.

The notion of rewriting Macbeth to cater to ignorance offends ME!! Howja like them apples! That makes it politically incorrect, right? As a member of a minority ("humans of literary sensibility" )I am filing a protest against this sort of rampant discrimination!

LOL!

Is it "appropriate" for a white person to imitate a dialect? Aw, gyamme wan break, mon! The fact that a dialect is associated with a particular color is almost irrelevant -- no-one would complain if you were to tell jokes in a French accent, would they? How about a Cajun dialect? How about "No steenkin' badges"? Boris and Natasha? Jokes about stupid Nazi officers? C'mon, man. Communication is communication, no? "Appropriate" to what purpose? The word means "fitting to a subject or purpose", and has been weaseled into meaning "completely feelings-neutral", pablumized, shorn of all tension and impact. Which I find inappropriate! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 May 02 - 12:00 PM

When I sing, usually only 1/2 songs amongst friends (or down my local club), or more at "Filk" weekends. I will sing traditional songs as I remember them, or as I have the words written down.
If I am singing my own songs (Filk), then the words are usually not offensive.
If I am singing trad songs, I take no responsibility for the way the songs are written, but convey them to (possibly) a new audience. I don't believe our modern sensibilities should give us the right to censor old songs.
Many people are unaware of the verse of the English national anthem which offends the Scots, and do not realise that "The Sun has got his hat on" included the line "He's been tanning niggers down in Timbuctoo; Now he's coming back, to do the same to you". These lyrics will be lost to the aural tradition if they are not ever used. The appearance of the full lyrics in the DT do not mean that they are passed on in the aural tradition.
Surely if we feel we cannot sing a song as written we should sing something else, rather than 'Bowdlerise' the song.

This is all, obviously, my personal opinion. But I do not consider myself racist/sexist/homophobic. But few people do see themselves in those terms!

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Midchuck
Date: 22 May 02 - 12:14 PM

It always amuses me.

So much of American "folk" music, particularly, but not only, the old-timey and ragtime stuff, came from the "minstrel" tradition - which was largely white people coloring their faces black and singing in hokey "darky" dialect, in music halls and such places.

This is historical fact.

But most folkies are good liberals, and have a horror, not only of real racism (which they well might), but of anything that anyone, however oversensitive, might construe as racist, whether so intended or not.

They deal with the contradiction between their liberalism and the history of their music by trying to ignore the whole thing. Sometimes it's fun to rub their faces in it, not to be racist, but just to be contrary.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 May 02 - 03:34 PM

This seems fishy to me, and I suspect that the Ethicist guy made up the question himself--here it is:

I'm learning the old-time claw-hammer-style banjo playing that accompanies fiddlers in traditional Appalachian string bands. When I gather with other musicians, some of the old songs we play include the offensive N word. Should we play these songs as they have come down to us or change the offensive lyrics? J.R., Toledo, Ohio

From my experience, though the popular songs, such as the Foster tunes, can have politically incorrect content, the old timey tunes don't have much more that a questionable word here or there, and anyway. there isn't a heck of a lot of singing that goes on when a old time fiddler gets wound up, anyway--


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 May 02 - 03:41 PM

There is a time and a place for old songs. It is too frequent that people forget that the songs were written in another time by people who had a very different upbringing and moral code. If you want to sing some of Foster's songs then you HAVE to know your audience, introduce the song to your audience carefully pointing out the differences between then and now, and you must paly the song with respect for the old times and feeling for the new times.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Pied Piper
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:51 AM

I can't recall any UK folk songs with anti black sentiments but I now there are anti Jewish and gypsy songs. I suppose that's because slavery had less effect on the UK (apart from the vast profits of the trade itself of cause), though I think that London and Liverpool had quite large black populations in the 18th century. changing the subject slightly, we had a TV series over here in the 60's 70's and possibly 80's, called the "black and white minstrel show" which as a kid I hated (not for PC reasons, just cos it was crap). I later found out that in the old black and white TV days they actually used blue and yellow makeup. I've also heard that some black artists in the US who weren't considered dark enough also used makeup. all the best pp.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:10 AM

Personal experience Jim Dixon asked for, which is a good place to start. Well, I'm white for a start. And I have a nostalgic admiration for the songs of Stephen Foster. I sang The Old Folks at Home at sitting round the fire type session in a pub a few weeks ago, among a few congenial souls who like old songs: I don't think there was anyone in the pub that I didn't know, and there certainly weren't any black people. I didn't feel, in those precise circumstances, anything wrong. But I am quite sure I would not have sung it if I had thought there were any hard-line racists in the pub, because I wouldn't have been happy about the contents of the song in those circumstances. I wouldn't have sung it if there had been black people there that I didn't know, either. But I probably would have if JC Gallow had been here, who is a longtime friend and musical colleague, and also black. Because I know where I stand with JC, and in particular I know how he reacts to the use of the words "darkies" in England when used in kindly, old-fashioned and non-hostile way. Not sure if there's any intellectual or ethical justification for all that, I'm just describing my feelings on the issue. On broader topics, I love hunting songs and whaling songs, though I know some people find them offensive. I'll still sing them anyway, too bad (I've never hunted or whaled, by the way). I also like singing murder songs and bank robbing songs, though for some unfathomable reason nobody much ever seems to object to them. I feel in an ethical world "Jesse James" word be a morally worse song than "Fine Hunting Day", with "Massa's in the Cold, Cold Ground" trailing far behind in the wickedness stakes, but somehow this order is turned completely topsy-turvy in the world of PC morals. It's all very confusing.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 May 02 - 10:54 AM

I first heard of "The Black and White Minstrel Show" while touring the Museum of the Moving Image in London. They only displayed one still photo and a caption, but it astonished me. "Blackface" had died out many years earlier in the US. I don't think it was ever shown on American TV. (No doubt someone will soon correct me if I'm wrong.) But "The Black and White Minstrel Show" lasted until 1978 in Britain! I can't speak on the merits of the show, since I never saw it, but the photos seem bizarre.

There are several web sites about the show. One can be seen here.

One British site contained this statement: "The Black and White Minstrel Show harked back to a specific period and location--the Deep South where coy white women could be seen being wooed by docile, smiling black slaves." That writer doesn't understand much about American culture. In the South, black men were sometimes lynched for allegedly looking at white women with lustful intent. Back when minstrel shows were popular in the US, I doubt that they ever depicted interracial "wooing." The idea just wouldn't have been considered a fit subject for popular entertainment. It would have been considered outrageously obscene. (And I am using "outrageous" in the old-fashioned sense, "grossly offensive to decency, morality, or good taste.") American TV, whose content was originally tightly controlled by advertisers who didn't want to risk offending even the most prudish viewers, retained its puritanical aspect until the 1970s.

There was one anomaly: the American sitcom "Amos 'n' Andy." It started out as a radio show in which white actors portrayed black characters. Later, it was a TV show, using all black actors. I became acquainted with it when it was being shown as reruns during the after-school-and-before-supper period that was devoted to kids' TV in the late 1950s. I have fond memories of it, and I wish it could be shown again. This is one instance where I think our PC tendencies, although usually laudable, have gone a bit too far.

There is a good description here.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road)
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:15 PM

What was particularly wierd about The Black & White Minstrel Show (which was pretty surreal to begin with) was when a young Lenny Henry was the resident comedian! Maybe he should have 'whited up'?


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:19 PM

Amos n' Andy videos can be bought, and, on very rare occasions, the some of the old shows have been rebroadcast--not as reruns--The elimination of A and A was regarded as a triumph of the civil rights movement, owing to the demeaning stereo types--I was a funny show, and, many of the characters,story lines and gags were recycled on often considerably less funny black comedy shows, from Sanford and Son to Martin Lawrence--

For that matter, a lot of the minstrel show humor is recycled on TV--shows like Golden Girls and Designing Women were nothing more than an Interlocutor, bouncing straight lines off a group of stock character--


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: GUEST,Morena Thabo
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 06:04 PM

Am I the only person alive willing to say I loved watching The Black and White Minstrel Show?   Despite always being unable to sing in tune (I even mime or keep my mouth shut when the National Anthem is played and sung to), I sang along with gusto (the fourth tenor from the left).

Just as I expect an actress playing a queen to be dressed for the part, and Peter Pan's Captain Hook to have a hook not unlike Abu Hamza's, I expected some of the male singers to be blacked up. Of course it was known they were Europeans – one only had to look at their narrow noses.   I am not surprised that blue and yellow make-up was used in black-and-white TV days; yellow filters are used to bring out white clouds when using black-and-white film.

As for "He's been tanning natives, out in Timbuktu", that is just what the Sun does to natives (people born in a certain place) all over the world - to different degrees. The result? Well, look around you.   What if the line had been, "He's been tanning natives out in South West Two" (part of London, m'lud)? Or "Out in Kalamazoo (a town in Michigan, Mr President)?      

When spending a week in the town in 1974 - on a five month overland trip up through Africa - I certainly saw no peanuts being naturally tanned. Which PC European, who most likely could not even say which country Timbuktu is in, thought up that lame line?

Is it racist to say "from here to Timbuktu" to mean a long distance? How about the song "It's a long way to Tipperary"? Offensive to Eireans (that's the southern Irish)?

I felt hurt when Peter Cook and Dudley Moore did their Spotty Muldoon sketch – I had severe acne at the time. Should it have been banned? No!

As for taking offence at Coward's "with assistance from the Jews" line in "The Stately Homes of England", were bankers such as Rothschilds, etc not all Jews? And many if not most pawnbrokers? How can the truth be "racist", unacceptable, offensive"?

Seeing what today's money men (including a fair smattering of Jews - people who told the whole world they were/are "The Chosen People of God") have done with our savings (my £60,000 with RBS is now worth some £3,000), " with assistance from the Jews" could well be changed to "with assistance from the Banks" – or, better still Bankers – spelled with a W.

As for my given name Morena Thabo – it is Sesotho, and translates as Chief or Lord Happiness.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 06:13 PM

I think the New York Times should know how to spell "unalloyed".


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 07:08 PM

"from here to Timbuktu"

Isn't that where the 'Festival in the Desert' is held nowadays? Definitely a long way.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:19 PM

Richard: paddymac did attribute typos to himself

:)
dennis


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 12:06 PM

So a guy gets the chance to write about musical ethics in the New York Times and all he can think of is old, old lyrics that aren't PC anymore?

How about:

playing music so loud and powerful it damages hearing?

using music to promote ethnic hatred?

using music to promote drug abuse
(how many people have died at rock concerts?)

And those are just the biggies...


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Silas
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 12:45 PM

I think it completely WRONG to alter the words of a song. If you are uncomfortable singing a song because of its content, then sing something else. I think only the ultra sensitive would really find anything offensive in any Foster song.These writings are of their time and should be seen as such.


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Subject: RE: Ethics for Performers
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 01:56 PM

Lost me here:

"...for a skinhead crowd eager to hold a racist sing-along and rock-throw."

*eye roll*


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