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Lecture 3

MUSC 2150 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Zoot Suit, Bill Haley, Fats Domino

Course Code
MUSC 2150
Shannon Carter

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MUSC 2150 - Lecture 5 - January 23 2018
Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle and Roll
Call response patter be Big Joe and the group
Husky vocal timber
Hokum blues
Considering the lyrics ; clearly speaking about his partner… starts out with “get out of the bed
wash your face and hands” — needs to wash her face and hands because they had a messy
night… then demanded her into the kitchen to make food — “way you wear those dresses, the
sun come shining through” because dresses are transparent… a slip was common to wear
always under a dress… he’s telling her she’s slinky/inmodest but he likes it — know’s she’s
the “Devil in nylon hose” so he is pussy whipped…the sex is too good, he can’t leave her
despite knowing she’s no good for him.
This was a big deal for him to know she was a sexual person — in the 40’s women didn’t
voice any sexuality at all
“I’m like a one eyed cat peepin in a seafood store” — one eyed cat (aka penis) — seafood
store (female genitalia) — “I can look at you tell you ain’t no child no more” aka he can tell
she’s not a virgin
Rose on the rhythm and blues chart ; Bill Haley and the Comets did a cover of it; changed the
lyrics — the song was now about a man complaining about his wife — they didn’t have a
messy night, and the shake/rattle/roll was about cooking and not sex — essentially about a
man not getting anything from his wife ; “ I can look at you, tell you don’t love me no more”
means he’s been seeking sex — The woman is against sex: safer for white middle class
America — This version probably made more $$ as it was shown to a larger audience
Influence versus cultural appropriation !
—Blues takes things from tin pan alley whereas mainstream pop makes covers of blues songs
to make money off it!
—Cultural appropriation ; do the people getting taken from have to suffer some sort of
negative effect? If the group is a disadvantaged part of society we should be extremely
cautious about using symbols from their culture without any thought
Paving the Way to Rock and Roll
Demographic shift of the baby boom
Strong independent label sector
Link between rebellion and rock n roll —> blackboard jungle movie
Chart crossing phenomenon covered by Kovach
Prevalence of cover songs and the DJ
Invention of the 7 inch 45 ; 45 means revolutions per minute..invented by RCA in 1949…they
were a lot cheaper to make and a lot less fragile than the big records —> important for
independent labels (1-6 artists)… the 45 allowed them to create more records and ship them
The 45 appealed to youth because it was cheaper to buy
The problem with cover songs… the staggerlee myth —an urban legend amongst middle
class that black men were on the prowl for white virgins and this is what they did; it was a
misunderstanding of the tradition of hokum blues as well as racism
Fats Domino wrote two songs that crossed charts ; one of the first that did it ; “Ain’t That a
Shame” and “Blueberry Hill”
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