From Leadbelly to Jimmie Rodgers to Kurt Cobain, it's all phony and it's all marketing. So says Jeff Sharlet in New Statesman: Keeping it Unreal.
Who knew that a record producer added "Mississippi" to John Hurt's name to add pizzazz? "Authenticity" is a marketing ploy. One quote:
One of the pioneering producers of "old-time" music in the early 20th century, Ralph Peer, later boasted: "I invented the hillbilly and nigger stuff."
Yes, Blues and Country aren't as authentic as we'd like to imagine. Sharlet, however, does not see fake as necessarily leading to bad music: he likes The Monkees, who didn't even try to conceal their fakeness - which I suppose makes them a paragon of authenticity. Read the piece (link above.)
Image: Leadbelly performing. The Lomaxes made him perform in a prison uniform, for the "authenticity" factor.
In a review of Faking It: The Quest For Authenticity In Popular Music by Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor appearing in England's self-proclaimed socialist New Statesman, Jeff Sharlet argues that "all pop musicians are fakes":Leadbelly, Barker and Taylor reveal, was...
Tracked: Apr 21, 22:39