Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music Themes

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Racial Issues

Throughout his criticism Marcus, indicates there were a variety of racial issues associated with the creation of rock 'n' roll music. Rock 'n' roll music seems to have stemmed from blues music, a form of music made popular by blacks. In his chapter about Harmonica Frank, Marcus writes how Sam Phillips hopes to find a white singer with a black sound. Although he wasn't sure exactly how it would happen, Phillips seemed to believe it would be this sound that would be the next big thing in music. In the chapter about Elvis, Marcus indicates that Elvis let blacks know that white people could sing their music. In fact when he first began singing, many people thought Elvis was a black person. Marcus touches on the idea that Elvis "stole" the blues sound from the blacks.

Sly Stone is another artist who seemed to deal deeply with...

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This section contains 1,118 words
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Buy the Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music Study Guide
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