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volume 3
november 2000

Promoting social change through audio repetition

Index of the journal Tracking  

  Black musicians as creators and revivalists 1953-1978 Winter, 1989
by B. Lee Cooper
  Olivet College

The songs of black artists were covered widely by white artists. Many times, however, black artists did cover black songs also. Among the hits of Aretha Franklin (left) for instance, we find "Respect" (1967), originally authored by soul singer Otis Redding. In 1968 she charted with Dionne Warwick's "I Say A Little Prayer," Don Covay's "See Saw" and Sam Cooke's "You Send Me." In later years she even succesfully covered songs of white artists like the Beatles ("Eleanor Rigby" - 1968), Simon and Garfunkel ("Bridge Over Troubled Waters" - 1971) and the Rolling Stones ("Jumpin' Jack Flash" - 1986). In this respect she was no exception. Between 1953 and 1978 a fascinating role reversal occurred. During that quarter century black artists shifted from creators to revivalists. To analyze this shift B. Lee Cooper here makes a careful examination of cover recordings and song revivals.

1 A fascinating role reversal. The development of contemporary American music is clearly reflected in the integration of black composers, performers, and their songs into mainstream popular record charts. Between 1953 and 1978 a fascinating role reversal occurred. During that quarter century black artists shifted from creators to revivalists. The same role reversal did not apply to white artists, who tended to evolve along a more consistent audience-acceptance continuum. How can this 25-year cycle of social change best be illustrated? What particular elements of black music dramatically entered the pop spectrum during the fifties, and later gained dominance by the end of the sixties? Why did black artists become more and more conservative during the late seventies? A careful examination of audio repetition — cover recordings and song revivals — offers a great deal of revealing information about changes in social, economic and artistic life in America after 1953.
2 Financial exploitation. The path to popular music success was extremely difficult for black performers during the early 1950s. Unless they were willing to adopt a white- oriented singing style such as that of Nat "King" Cole, black musicians invariably found themselves isolated from dominant recording companies — Decca, Columbia, RCA Victor and Capital — and thus separated from the majority of the record-buying public. Worse yet, when a black artist developed an original, potentially successful tune through a small, independent recording outfit — Savoy, King, Specialty, or Peacock — white artists, including Pat Boone, Gale Storm and The Fontane Sisters, hurriedly supplied the white record-purchasing audience with an acceptable "cover" version of the same tune. This cover phenomenon occurred frequently enough to confirm the suspicions that prejudice, plagiarism and financial exploitation were central factors in American recording industry practices between 1953 and 1956.
  Below are several examples of original recordings by black performers that were duplicated by white artists.
a "At My Front Door"
  • originally charted by The El Dorados (Vee Jay 147) on October 15, 1955
  • cover recording charted by Pat Boone (Dot 15422) on October 29, 1955
b "Church Bells May Ring"
  • originally charted by The Willows (Melba 102) on April, 1956
  • cover recording charted by The Diamonds (Mercury 70835) on April 21, 1956
c "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)"
  • originally charted by The Penguins (Dootone 34-8) on December 25, 1954
  • cover recording charted by The Crew-Cuts (Mercury 70529) on February 5, 1955
  • cover recoding charted by Gloria Mann (Sound 109) on February 12, 1955
d "Eddie My Love"
  • originally charted by The Teen Queens (RPM 453) on March 3, 1956
  • cover recording charted by The Fontane Sisters (Dot 15450) on March 10, 1956
e "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight"
  • originally charted by The Spaniels (Vee-Jay 107) on June 19, 1954
  • cover recording charted by The McGuire Sisters (Coral 61187) on June 26, 1954
  • cover recording charted by Sunny Gale (RCA Victor 5746) on July 17, 1954
f "Hearts of Stone"
  • originally charted by The Charms (DeLuxe 6062) on November 27, 1954
  • cover recording charted by The Fontane Sisters (Dot 15265) on December 11, 1954
g "I'm Not In Love Again"
  • originally charted by Fats Domino (Imperial 5386) on April 28, 1956
  • cover recording charted by The Fontane Sisters (Dot 15462) on May 26, 1956
h "Ivory Tower"
  • originally charted by Otis Williams and His Charms (DeLuxe 6093) on March 31, 1956
  • cover recording charted by Gale Storm (Dot 15458) on April 28, 1956
i "(My Heart Goes) Ka-Ding Dong"
  • originally charted by The G-Clefs (Pilgrim 715) on July,28, 1956
  • cover recording charted by The Diamonds (Mercury 70934) on September 8, 1956
j "Long Tall Sally"
  • originally charted by Little Richard (Specialty 572) on April 7, 1956
  • cover recording charted by Pat Boone (Dot 15475) on April 14, 1956
k "Rip It Up"
  • originally charted by Little Richard (Specialty 579) on July 7, 1956
  • cover recording charted by Bill Haley and His Comets (Decca 30028) on Augustus 11, 1956
l "See Saw"
  • originally charted by The Moonglows (Chess 1629) on September 1, 1956
  • cover recording charted by Don Cornell (Coral 61721) on November 10, 1956
m "Sh-Boom"
  • originally charted by The Chords (Cat 104) on July 3, 1954
  • cover recording charted by The Crew-Cuts (Mercury 70404) on July, 10, 1954
n "Silhouettes"
  • originally charted by The Rays (Cameo 117) on October 14, 1957
  • cover recording charted by The Diamonds (Mercury 71197) on November 4, 1957
o "Tweedlee Dee"
  • originally charted by LaVern Baker (Atlantic 1047) on January 15, 1955
  • cover recording charted by Georgia Gibbs (Mercury 70517) on January 29, 1955
p "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"
  • originally charted by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers (Gee 1002) on February 11, 1956
  • cover recording charted by The Diamonds (Mercury 70790) on February 18, 1956
  • cover recording charted by Gale Storm (Dot 15448) on March 3, 1956
  • cover recording charted by Gloria Mann (Decca 29832) on March 10, 1956
3 Indirect acknowledgments. The bulk of cover recordings and revivals of black songs by white artists were not intended to inflict terminal financial hardship on Afro-American artists. Rather, they served as indirect acknowledgments of the musical quality and sales attractiveness of original black material by white artists who were supported by more sophisticated record marketing approaches and public distribution resources. Several white performers, including Georgia Gibbs, Elvis Presley, The Crew-Cuts and The Chordettes profited directly and often by producing songs originally released by blacks. For example, The Drifters' "Money Honey," Wynonie Harris' "Good Rockin' Tonight," Junior Parker's "Mystery Train," and Willie Mae Thornton's "Hound Dog" were easily adapted to the Presley repertoire. But beyond these Presley revival recordings are two points of great significance. First, black music — although slightly altered rhythmically and occasionally lyrically contrasted — began to reach beyond the segregated "Rhythm and Blues" charts into Billboard's "Top 100" lists during the 1955-59 period. Second, more and more white singers began to revive classic R&B tunes.
  During the 1960s the careers of performers such as Dion DiMucci and Johnny Rivers were shaped significantly by their ability to adapt black material for contemporary audiences. Dion recorded The Drifters' "Ruby Baby," Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," and even Muddy Waters' blues classic "Hoochie Coochie Man." Meanwhile, Rivers revived several Chuck Berry hits, including "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" and "Memphis Tennessee," as well as tunes previously released by Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Huey Smith and The Clowns, and Major Lance. Songs that had initially attracted attention from a limited audience — records played exclusively on black-oriented radio stations — were suddenly transformed into nationwide hits.
  The following list of white remakes of songs originated by black artists further demonstrates this point.
a "Baby I Need Your Lovin'"
  • charted by The Four Tops (Motown 1062) on Augustus 15, 1964
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (Imperial 66227) on February 4, 1967
b "Cupid"
  • charted by Sam Cooke (RCA 7883) on June 5, 1961
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (Imperial 66087) on February 20, 1965
c "Drip Drip"
  • charted by The Drifters (Atlantic 1187) on Augustus 11, 1958
  • charted by Dion DiMucci (Columbia 42917) on November 16, 1963
d "Hound Dog"
  • charted by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (Peacock 1612) on March 21, 1953
  • charted by Elvis Presley (RCA 47-6604) on Augustus 4, 1956
e "Johnny B. Goode"
  • charted by Chuck Berry (Chess 1691) on April 28, 1958
  • charted by Dion DiMucci (Columbia 43096) on Augustus 22, 1964
f "Maybellene"
  • charted by Chuck Berry (Chess 1604) on Augustus 20, 1955
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (Imperial 66056) on Augustus 15, 1964
g "Memphis, Tennessee"
  • uncharted song by Chuck Berry (Chess 1729), the B-side of "Back in The U.S.A." which charted on June 22, 1959
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (Imperial 66032) on May 30, 1964
h "Money Honey"
  • charted by Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters (Atlantic 1006) on October 24, 1953
  • charted by Elvis Presley (RCA EPA-821) on May 12, 1956
i "Purple Haze"
  • charted by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Reprise 0597) on Augustus 26, 1967
  • charted by Dion (Laurie 3478) on January 25, 1969
j "Rockin' Pneumonia and The Boogie Woogie Flu"
  • charted by Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns (Ace 530) on Augustus 12, 1957
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (United Artists 50960) on October 7, 1972
k "The Tracks of My Tears"
  • charted by The Miracles (Tamla 54118) on July 17, 1965
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (Imperial 66244) on June 3, 1967
l "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um"
  • charted by Major Lance (OKEH 7187) on January 4, 1964
  • charted by Johnny Rivers (Big Tree 16106) on December 24, 1977
4 Social commentary. Although the most blatant period of white-over-black cover recording activities ended after 1956, the practice of reviving or altering the lyrics of black songs in the hopes of satisfying white audiences continued for several more years. One reason why radio stations refused to play (and hence the white listening public failed to listen and purchase) some black songs released during the mid-1950s was that the lyrics frequently contained earthy, off-color comments or explicit sexual references.
  In 1954 Hank Ballard and The Midnighters recorded several suggestive songs — including "Work With Me Annie" and "Annie Had a Baby" — describing the sexual exploits of a promiscuous young women. The explicit nature of her relationships with her male courtiers was too vivid for the public airwaves. However, the catchy rhythm of Ballard's "Annie" songs prompted a black female artist to produce a lyrically altered song entitled "The Wallflower." This new version eliminated much of the direct sexual commentary in the original "Annie" numbers, while providing a female response to Ballard's male-oriented tunes. The sales success of Etta James' "Wallflower" encouraged Mercury Recording Company staff writers to edit out all of the song's remaining suggestive lyrics in order to create a bouncy, wholesome song entitled, "Dance With Me, Henry." Thus white pop singer Georgia Gibbs produced a truly king-sized pop hit in 1955 while Hank Ballard's tunes and Etta James' song continued to appeal only to a relatively small "race record" audience.
  Another illustration of lyric alteration occurred in the case of one of the most famous early rock 'n' roll hits, "Shake, Rattle and Roll." This song, as first performed by Joe Turner in 1954, describes in detail the sheerness of a sexy women's nightgown ("... the sun comes shinin' through") and her enticing physical endowments ("... I can't believe that whole mess is you") in the bedroom. With slight line changes, which included shifting the setting of the singer's commentary from the boudoir into the kitchen, Bill Haley and The Comets succeeded in transforming Turner's moderately successful Atlantic recording into a smash hit for Decca.
  Other kinds of lyric alterations have been utilized to call attention to social injustices. In 1972, for instance, Roberta Flack interrupted her bluesy version of "Somewhere" with the startling cry — This ain't no West Side Story!" — in order to emphasize the reality of racial inequality in New York City. Curtis Mayfield, in his 1972 "live" performance album, added several lines of rambling social commentary about disc jockey and radio station management censorship that was exercised against The Impressions' hit song "We're A Winner." And Solomon Burke cleverly converted Creedence Clearwater Revival's tale of youthful travel aboard the Mississippi sternwheeler "Proud Mary" into an attack against slavery and the post-Civil War caste system of black servitude.
  Some examples:
a "Work With Me Annie"
  • charted by The Midnighters (Federal 12169) on April 14, 1954
b "Annie Had a Baby"
  • charted by the Midnighters (Federal 12195) on Augustus 25, 1954
c "The Wallflower"
  • charted by Etta James (Modern 947) on February 9, 1955
d "Dance With Me Henry"
  • charted by Georgia Gibbs (Mercury 70572) on March 26, 1955
e "Shake, Rattle and Roll"
  • charted by Joe Turner (Atlantic 1026) on April 28, 1954
  • charted by Bill Haley and His Comets (Decca 29204) on Augustus 21, 1954
f "We're A Winner"
  • charted by The Impressions (ABC 11022) on December 30, 1967
  • uncharted release by Curtis Mayfield (Curtom 1966) in 1971
g "Proud Mary"
  • charted by Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy 619) on January 25, 1969
  • charted by Solomon Burke (Bell 783) on May 3, 1969
  • charted by Ike and Tina Turner (Liberty 56216) on January 30, 1971
5 Musical creativity and artistic tribute. Another interesting trend in song revival practice has been the desire of black performers to return to their musical roots by reproducing hit tunes originally performed by other Afro-American artists. This stylistic vitality has produced many significant popular hits. Aretha Franklin's 1967 success with the tune "Respect," originally authored by talented but ill-fated soul singer Otis Redding, is typical of the black-over-black revival practice. The peculiar genius of Lady Soul also led her to revive two other previously released black hits — Don Covay's "See Saw" and Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer." Before his death in 1967, Redding also offered new renditions of hits originally released by other noted black artists, including James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and Sam Cooke's "Shake," which he dynamically performed in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival.
  The following list of tunes were reintroduced by black artists, who brought innovative rhythm patterns and new vocal styling to established hit songs:
a "C.C. Rider"
  • charted by Chuck Willis (Atlantic 1130) on April 20, 1957
  • charted by LaVern Baker (Atlantic 2167) on December 1, 1962
b "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love"
  • charted by Solomon Burke (Atlantic 2241) on July 18, 1964
  • charted by Wilson Pickett (Atlantic 2381) on February 4, 1967
c "For Your Precious Love"
  • charted by Jerry Butler and The Impressions (Abner 1013) on June 16, 1958
  • charted by Garnet Mimms and The Enchanters (United Artists 658) on November 23, 1963
d "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"
  • charted by Gladys Knight and The Pips (Soul 35039) on October 21, 1967
  • charted by Marvin Gaye (Tamla 54-176) on November 23, 1968
e "I Say A Little Prayer"
  • charted by Dionne Warwick (Scepter 12203) on October 21, 1967
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2546) on Augustus 17, 1968
f "Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)"
  • charted by Benny Spellman (Minit 644) on May 5, 1962
  • charted by The O'Jays (Imperial 66102) on May 8, 1965
g "Living For The City"
  • charted by Stevie Wonder (Tamla 54242) on November 10, 1973
  • charted by Ray Charles (Crossover 981) on September 13, 1975
h "Never Can Say Goodbye"
  • charted by The Jackson 5 (Motown 1179) on April 3, 1971
  • charted by Isaac Hayes (Enterprise 9031) on May 15, 1971
  • charted by Gloria Gaynor (MGM 14748) on November 2, 1974
i "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag"
  • charted by James Brown (King 5999) on July 17, 1965
  • charted by Otis Redding (ATCO 6636) on November 30, 1968
j "Respect"
  • charted by Otis Redding (Volt 128) on September 4, 1965
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2403) on April 29, 1967
k "River Deep — Mountain High"
  • charted by Ike and Tina Turner (Philles 131) on May 28, 1966
  • charted by The Supremes and The Four Tops (Motown 1173) on November 28, 1970
l "See Saw"
  • charted by Don Covay and The Goodtimers (Atlantic 2301)
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2574) on November 23, 1968
m "Shake"
  • charted by Same Cooke (RCA 8486) on January 9, 1965
  • charted by Otis Redding (Vot 149) on May 20, 1967
n "Stagger Lee"
  • charted by Lloyd Price (ABC-Paramount 9972) on December 8, 1958
  • charted by Wilson Pickett (Atlantic 2448) on November 4, 1967
o "The Twist"
  • charted by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters (King 5171) on July 18, 1960)
  • charted by Chubby Checker (Parkway 811) on Augustus 1, 1960
p "You Send Me"
  • charted by Sam Cooke (Keen 34013) on October 21, 1957
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2518) on June 15, 1968
6 Responding to the "new music". Perhaps an even more interesting question concerning the relationship of black music to record revivals is: How did black performers respond to the "new music" from Great Britain during 1964 and after? The answer is obvious. While most white journalists sang the praises of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and other groups from the far side of the Atlantic, black artists recognized them as kindred musical spirits who shared deep respect for songs from the early rhythm 'n' blues tradition. While The Beatles sang the hits of Chuck Berry ("Roll Over Beethoven") and Larry Williams ("Slow Down") and the Stones lauded Slim Harpo ("I'm a Kind Bee") and Marvin Gaye ("Hitch Hike"), American blacks commenced their own restyling of a variety of British song hits. The Beatles provided ample material for Wilson Pickett ("Hey Jude") and Ike and Tina Turner ("Let It Be" and "Get Back"). The Rolling Stones' lyrics also proved appropriate for Muddy Waters ("Let's Spend The Night Together") and Otis Redding ("Satisfaction").
  The use of white material by black musicians was not limited to British songwriting talent, either. As the list below indicates, black performers successfully transformed the record revival practice from a tactic of racial parasitism into a strategy for professional harmony and mutual musical exchange.
a "Abraham, Martin and John"
  • charted by Dion (Laurie 3464) on October 26, 1968
  • charted by Moms Mabley (Mercury 72935 on June 28, 1969
  • charted by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (Tamla 54184) on July 4, 1969
b "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"
  • charted by Simon and Garfunkel (Columbia 45079) on February 7, 1970
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2796) on April 17, 1971
  • charted by Linda Clifford (RSO 921) on March 24, 1979
c "Eleanor Rigby"
  • charted by The Beatles (Capitol 5715) on Augustus 27, 1966
  • charted by Ray Charles (ABC/TRC 11090) on June 8, 1968
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Atlantic 2683) on November 8, 1969
d "For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound?)"
  • charted by The Buffalo Springfield (ATCO 6459) on January 28, 1967
  • charted by The Staple Singers (Epic 10220) on September 23, 1967
e "Hey Jude"
  • charted by The Beatles (Apple 2276) September 14, 1968
  • charted by Wilson Pickett (Atlantic 2591) on December 21, 1968
f "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
  • charted by The Rolling Stones (London 9766) on June 12, 1965
  • charted by Otis Redding (Volt 132) on March 5, 1966
g "Love The One You're With"
  • charted by Stephen Stills (Atlantic 2778) on December 12, 1970
  • charted by the Isley Brothers (T-Neck 930) on June 19, 1971
h "We Can Work It Out"
  • charted by The Beatles (Capitol 5555) on December 18, 1965
  • charted by Stevie Wonder (Tamla 54202) on March 13, 1971
i "Yesterday"
  • charted by The Beatles (Capitol 5498 on September 25, 1965
  • charted by Ray Charles (ABC/TRC 11009) on November 11, 1967
7 Conclusion. Cover recordings and revivals of previously successful songs ultimately broadened the base of the music revolution in the United States from 1953- 1978. Black artists, at first victimized, eventually joined their fellow white performers in financial prosperity through skillful use of the record revival system. The emergence of marvelously creative black rock 'n' roller during the mid-1950s — Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Larry Williams and Bo Diddley — provided a prophetic basis for what was to come during the mid- 1960s — from Detroit, Memphis, New York City and Chicago.
  The homogenization of rock, was accomplished to a great extent during the decade before The Beatles. Just as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the "separate, but equal" theory of education, so too the American record buying public destroyed the old "race record" barrier in popular music after 1954 As this study demonstrates, repetition in recordings proved to be and unexpected blessing for many black performers. The theft of potential sales by white artists who covered rhythm and 'n' blues tunes during the mid-fifties undeniably cost some black singers access to both mainstream fame and popular chart dollars. The integrationist tendency of rock 'n' roll revolution was not to be denied, though. The distinctive musical power of Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price, Clyde McPhatter and dozens of others withstood the early cover challenge and ultimately fostered a vibrant period of black artistic independence.
  Ironically, as the British Invasion lionized many rhythm 'n' blues singers, the recordings of many youthful black stars shifted from creative to revivalist tendencies. This conservative approach, perhaps predictable, was yet another sign of commercial success. It should surprise no one that the late 1980s continue to feature revivalist tunes such as "The Twist" by The Fat Boys. In contemporary music, where songs with established track records offer high hit prospects, black artists and white artists continue to utilize revival tactics to insure Billboard and Cash Box recognition. Repetition is still alive and well!
  Coda: recent revival releases by black recording artists
a "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)"
  • charted by The Penguins (Dootone 348) on December 25, 1954
  • charted by The New Edition (MCA 52905) on Augustus 23, 1986
b "Funny How Time Slips Away"
  • charted by Joe Hinton (Back Beat 541) on Augustus 15, 1964
  • charted by The Spinners (Atlantic 89922) on December 11, 1982
c "In The Midnight Hour"
  • charted by Wilson Pickett (Atlantic 2289) on July, 1965
  • released by Wilson Pickett (Motown 1916) in 1987
d "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
  • charted by The Rolling Stones (London 908) on June 8, 1968
  • charted by Aretha Franklin (Arista 9528) on September 27, 1986
e "Let's Stay Together"
  • charted by Al Green (Hi 2202) on December 4, 1971
  • charted by Tina Turner (Capitol 5322) on January 21, 1984
f "Magic Carpet Ride"
  • charted by Steppenwolf (Dunhill 4161) on October 5, 1968
  • released by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five (Elektra 69380) in 1988
g "My Guy"
  • charted by Mary Wells (Motown 1056) on April 4, 1964
  • charted by Sister Sledge (Cotillion 47000) on January 1, 1982
h "My Toot Toot"
  • charted by Jean Knight (Mirage 99643) on May 4, 1985
  • released by Denise LaSalle (Malaco 2112) in 1985
  • -released by John Fogerty with Rockin' Sidney (Warner Brothers 28535) in 1986
i "Pink Cadillac"
  • uncharted song by Bruce Springsteen (Columnbia 04463), the B-side of "Dancing In The Dark" which charted on May 26, 1984
  • released by Natalie Cole (Manhattan 50117) in 1988
j "Stand By Me"
  • charted by Ben E. King (ATCO 6194) on May 8, 1961
  • charted by Maurice White (Columbia 05571) on Augustus 31, 1985
  • charted by Ben. E. King (Atlantic 89361) on October 4, 1986
k "Tears On My Pillow"
  • charted by Little Anthony and The Imperials (End 1027) on Augustus 11, 1958
  • charted by The New Edition (MCA 53019) on January 31, 1987
l "The Twist"
  • charted by Chubby Checker (Parkway 811) on Augustus 1, 1960
  • released by The Fat Boys (Tin Pan Apple 887571) in 1988
m "Walk This Way"
  • charted by Aerosmith (Columbia 10449) on November 20, 1976
  • charted by Run-D.M.C. (Profile 5112) on July 26, 1986
n "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"
  • charted by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers (Gee 1002) on February 11, 1965
  • charted by Diana Ross (RCA 12349) on October 17, 1981
o "You Send Me"
  • charted by Sam Cooke (Keen 34013) on October 21, 1957
  • charted by The Manhattans (Columbia 04754) on March 2, 1985
  Selected bibliography
  • Ackerman, Paul (1955), "R&B tunes' boom relegates pop field to cover activity." In: Billboard, March 26th, 1955, LXVII, 18, 22.
  • Albert, George, and Frank Hoffmann (comps.) (1986), The cashbox black contemporary singles charts, 1960-1984. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1986.
  • Belz, Carl (1972), "Early rock. Crossovers and covers." In: The story of rock, second edition, New York: Harper and Row, 1972, 25-30.
  • Chapple, Steve, and Reebee Garofalo (1977), "Black roots, white fruits. Racism in the music industry." In: Rock 'n' roll is here to pay. The history and politics of the music industry. Chicago Nelson-Hall, Inc., 1977, 231-267.
  • Cooper, B. Lee (1978), "Record revivals as barometers of social change. The historical use of contemporary audio resources." In: JEMF Quarterly, XIV, Spring 1978, 38-44.
  • Cooper, B. Lee (1979), "The song revival revolution of the seventies. Tapping the musical roots of rock." In: Goldmine, November 1979, 42, 126.
  • Cooper, B. Lee (1986), "Sequel songs and response recordings. The answer song in modern American music, 1950-1985." In: International Journal of Instructional Media, 1986, XIII, 227-239.
  • Cooper, B. Lee (1987), "Response recordings as creative repetition. Answer songs and pop parodies in contemporary American music." In: OneTwoThreeFour. A Rock 'n' Roll Quarterly, No. 4, Winter 1987, 79-87.
  • Cooper, B. Lee, and Verdan D. Traylor (1979), "Establishing rock revivals in contemporary music, 1953-1977." In: Goldmine, May 1979, 36, 37-38.
  • Ferrandino, Joe (1972), "Rock culture and the development of social consciousness." In: George H. Lewis (ed.), Side-saddle on the golden calf. Social structure and popular culture in America. Pacific Palisades, California: Goodyear Publishing Company, Inc., 1972, 263-290.
  • Gillett, Charles (1972), "The black market roots of rock." In: R. Serge Denisoff and Richard A. Peterson (eds.), The sounds of social change. Studies in popular culture. Chicago: Rand McNally and Company, 1972, 274-281.
  • Green, Douglas B. (1979), "Country music. An American heritage of musical interplay." In: Billboard, June 9th, 1979, BM 22, 36.
  • Grein, Paul (1980), "Oldies still goodies the second time around." In: Billboard, June 7th, 1980, 16-18.
  • Hoffmann, Frank (comp.) (1986), The literature of rock, 1954-1978. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1986.
  • Hoffmann, Frank, and B. Lee Cooper (comps.) (1986), The literature of rock II, 1979-1983, 2 Volumes. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1986.
  • Kamin, Jonathan (1972), "Taking the roll out of rock 'n' roll. Reverse acculturation." In: Popular Music And Society, Fall 1972, II, 1-17.
  • Lonz, Rich (1975), "50's Covers." In: Record Exchanger, 1975, IV, 18-22.
  • McFarlin, Jim (1986), "Recycled gold." In: The Detroit News, November 2nd, 1986, J1, 8.
  • Moonoogian, George (1973), "Elvis and the Originals." In: Record Exchanger, III, February 16th, 1973.
  • Osborne, Jerry, and Bruce Hamilton (comps.) (1980), Original record collector's Prince guide to Blues, Rhythm & Blues, and Soul. Phoenix, Arizona: O'Sullivan, Woodside and Company, 1980.
  • Pavlow, Big Al (comp.) (1983), The R&B book. A disc-history of Rhythm & Blues. Providence, Rhode Island: Music House Publishing, 1983.
  • Sarlin, Bob (1973), "Rock-and-Roll!" in Turn it up (I can't hear the words). The best of the new singer / songwriters, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973, 29-37.
  • Snyder, Robert (1978), "Cover records. What? When? and Why?" In: Record Digest, I, July 1st, 1978, 3-18.
  • Whitburn, Joel (comp.) (1988), Top R&B singles, 1942-1988. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc., 1988.
  • Wood, Gerry (1977), "Country — R&B Swap Songs." In: Billboard, December 17th, 1977, 1, 62, 67.
  This essay was published in: Tracking: Popular Music Studies,
vol. 2, no. 1 (Winter, 1989)
  1997 © IASPM / USA