Louis Menand Quote About Music – The Free World

Most musicians are much more eclectic than their fans. If he had nothing else to do, Presley sang gospel, as did Jerry Lee Louis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, three other Sam Philips discoveries. (A recording of the four of them jamming in a studio in 1956 was discovered and released several years after Presley’s death.) Muddy Waters sang “Red Sails in the Sunset.” Robert Johnson sang “Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby.” James Brown liked Sinatra and disliked the blues. Leadbelly was a Gene Autry fan. Chuck Berry’s “Maybellee” was a cover of a country and western song called “Ida Red,” recorded in 1938 by a white band, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Race had a lot to do with the music business in the United States. It had much less to do with the music.”
Louis Menand – The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War – 2021

Ideas about the quote above. April 5, 2024

Menand is attempting to show that musicians have diverse tastes in music. Many fans do too. James Brown probably did not dislike the blues. He was the blues. He probably did not like the blues when it is played poorly. A more, and better quote is one credited to Louis Armstrong.

“There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.”
Louis Armstrong

Coleman Hawkins, the iconic tenor saxaphonist of the post World War II era loved to listen to Classical Symphonies and operas on his new stereo. Lot’s of people did.

The redeeming point of Menand’s quote is that musicians often gravitate to all kinds of music. In that way race does not matter.