Monday, October 15, 2007

Pop Racism Revisited

So, due to the slight flurry of discussion on my is-it-racist-(let-alone-true)-to-call-Annie-Lennox-the-greatest-white-soul-singer post, I feel it my duty to alert you to this article, about a young black woman trying to break into the country music scene. Maybe I partly feel it's my duty because I copped out when requested to provide my definition of racism. (I do want you to know, Jasdye, that I have been pondering this ever since; however, I still haven't come up with anything, er, definitive.)

Because I now feel somewhat intimidated by the topic, I guess I don't have much to say about this article, except that I think that Rissi Palmer has a remarkably positive attitude:
She's not looking for favors, she says, just a fair shot. She recalls how Nashville music executives would gush over her demos, then back off when they discovered she was black. Palmer doesn't blame racism, just the realities of the market.
I don't know. That's pretty nice of her. I think I would blame racism. I think that is what would make me say, if I were her, "I totally look forward to the day when it's, 'So Rissi, tell me about the album' as opposed to 'You're black. Tell me how that feels.'" Big kudos to her if she doesn't.

Too bad I'm not a big afficionado or connoisseuse of country music. I haven't heard any of her stuff, and if I had, I'm not sure how I would evaluate it. But if any of you have and are, please feel free to post a review.


jasdye said...

so, wow. yeah, the only african-americans that i know that have done country (as opposed to say, country-gospel - such as Larnell Harris) have been already established soul artists (again, Ray Charles comes to mind) who were not doing the standard pop fare that makes my heart go sick.

i'm guessing that it might have to do with the fact that the big labels are becoming more and more conservative nowadays and don't like to take risks. but it would seem to me that it would be to a label's benefit to have an artist w/ a marketable stchick (a black female country artist! and she sounds like the real thing!).

Jenn said...

Yeah. Also, according to Chris, CW music is more image-centered than any other genre in the business. But I agree--I would think the schtick would sell. But then. What do I know?

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