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By Larry Starr, Christopher Waterman

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At the same, a range of styles that are usually lumped together, for marketing purposes, as “alt country” (alternative) provide a rich variety of sounds and approaches to music-making while maintaining their ties to the country tradition. Hank Williams H ank Williams (1923-53) was the most significant country music figure to emerge during the post-World War II period. ” In addition, his songs were successfully covered by contemporary mainstream pop artists, thus demonstrating the wide-ranging appeal of the new country material.

While in formal terms “Have Mercy Baby” is a 12-bar blues, it is essentially a gospel performance dressed up in R&B clothing. With a few changes in the lyrics, McPhatter’s performance would have been perfectly at home in a black Baptist church anywhere in America. To be sure, this mixing of church music with popular music was controversial in some quarters, and McPhatter and later gospel-based R&B singers faced occasional opposition from some church leaders. But in retrospect the postwar confluence of the sacred and secular aspects of black music, and its commercial exploitation by the music business, seem inevitable.

They succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. Although Presley’s television performances were denounced by authorities as vulgar, the shows Left : Chuck Berry broke racial barriers with tunes such as “Johnny B. ” Center: Little Richard is known for his piano stylings and exuberant vocals in “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” and other classics.

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American Popular Music (2008) by Larry Starr, Christopher Waterman


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