A heated discussion on 'Race, Gender & the Blues'

Jonny Meister bluesandbeyond@GMAIL.COM
Wed May 23 23:11:57 EDT 2012

Well there's now Lionel Ritchie in country music... and there was a
black cardiologist playing country music Cleve Francis, and of course
there is the Hootie & The Blowfish guy Darius Rucker...

To answer Jimmy's point, the lack of a legal systematic bias doesn't
mean that there isn't a bias. A company that systematically fails to
hire qualified blacks in favor of whites can be hauled into court.
The music fans of a particular genre cannot be sued for choosing one
kind of person over another. Buddy, BB, Cray, and maybe Taj are the
only top-rung blacks, but they aren't as high up the ladder of
success as Eric Clapton or Bonnie Raitt are, or Led Zeppelin was.
Below the top tier, almost always white artists do more business, as
plenty of booking people have admitted to me in frank conversation.
Take a look at the Billboard Blues Chart and see who's charting...

Bonnie Raitt is #1 even though there isn't much blues on the album;
Hugh Laurie is still on there; he's actually not bad... but him
instead of Joe Louis Walker or Bobby Rush?

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