Wonder If She Knew He Respectfully Copied Black Music
Presley publicly cited his debt to African American music, pointing to artists such as B. B. King, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Ivory Joe Hunter, and Fats Domino. In 1956 interview, he named blues singers who “obviously meant a lot to him; how he tried to carry on their music”; also said, “The colored folks been singing it and playing it just like I’m doin’ now, man, for more years than I know. They played it like that in their shanties and in their juke joints and nobody paid it no mind ’til I goosed it up. I got it from them. Down in Tupelo, Mississippi, I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now and I said if I ever got to a place I could feel all old Arthur felt, I’d be a music man like nobody ever saw.”
Little Richard said of Presley: “He was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn’t let black music through. He opened the door for black music.”
White male patriarchal culture uses ‘entertainment racism’ in various ways to destroy Black/African culture. As occurred with Rock N Roll, one way is to ignore what’s indigenously Black/African/Nubian; devalue it; subordinate it as ‘heathen’, ‘savage’, ‘gross’. An exception to the rule, rare is it that a white person, like Elvis, gave full credit to Blacks as the originators of the music he played. He even went further to admit that the music didn’t become acceptable until he, a white man, began to play it.