Why Americans Don’t Like Pop

Nov 28 2011 @ 1:52pm

A reader writes:

We don't like pop because we're black … sort of.  At least culturally. Think of the major American-born music forms:

Jazz?  Comes from the blues.

Rock n' roll?  Just rhythm n' blues, played by white kids.  From the blues.

Country?  Yup …

… originally "country blues," to distinguish it from "city blues."  Eventually became a new thing, with guitars from Hawaii, fiddles from Ireland, etc.  Jimmy Rodgers, Asa Carter, Johnny Cash – all learned from black guys how to play their music.

Bluegrass?  Good god, man, where's the banjo from?!

The first American popular music was minstrelsy, literally white guys "blacking up" to play "plantation songs."

We don't like pop because it has no blues in it, no gospel, no CHURCH.  It sounds flaky and unserious.  It doesn't speak to that part of our souls named "Africa." So we sit patiently through "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," waiting eagerly for "Back in the USSR" …