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So......WHAT?


whitefang

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Story in this morning's HUFFPOST LIVE online about John Mellenkamp's "Jack and Diane" supposedly was originally supposed to be a bi-racial couple, but the LABEL made him change it! Supposedly, too, because THEY felt the WORLD wasn't READY for that sort of thing in the early 1980's.

 

Do they mean to say that the world was MORE ready for that sort of thing in 1967 when Janis Ian recorded "Society's Child"?

 

And anyway......WHO gives a shit?

Whitefang

 

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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  • 2 weeks later...

At least in NYC, you see biracial couples all the time, and no one even seems to notice.

 

I DO remember when it was a big deal to a lot of people: there was even a movie, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" about that subject.

 

Re: record companies lacking cojones - well, that's not exactly NEWS, is it??

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Well, like I said. In 1967 Janis Ian released "Society's Child" and it was a big hit!

 

By the early '80's, it could be percieved that people have GROWN enough as to this not being a big deal, subject-wise. My puzzlement comes from wondering WHY at that ime, if this IS true, the label insisted upon the change. Mostly WHY Mellenkamp brings it up 32 YEARS later?

Whitefang

 

PS: Incidentally, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" ALSO came out in 1967.

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Truth be told, America has a bigger race problem than most realize or care to admit. There are still companies that would slow my advancement. Sundown towns are still a thing.

 

This story coming to light shows us that not all record companies were as comfortable with racial issues as others, and that led to interference with the creative process.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Well, like I said. In 1967 Janis Ian released "Society's Child" and it was a big hit!

 

By the early '80's, it could be percieved that people have GROWN enough as to this not being a big deal, subject-wise. My puzzlement comes from wondering WHY at that ime, if this IS true, the label insisted upon the change. Mostly WHY Mellenkamp brings it up 32 YEARS later?

Whitefang

 

PS: Incidentally, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" ALSO came out in 1967.

 

The song Brother Louie by Hot Chocolate 1973, broached the subject with nothing held back in the lyrics and had no trouble with recording labels in the UK and in the US putting it all out there. The band was made up of black and white musicians. Re: Jack and Diane, I guess some record companies in the US just didn't want to be involved in any perceived controversy...Don't know why John took so long to tell his story and until this thread came up, I had no idea it was a racial song...can't tell by the lyrics... :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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  • 2 weeks later...

Reminding me of the lyrics to "I Dig Rock'n'Roll Music" (Peter Paul and Mary):

 

And if you really say it

The radio won't play it

Unless you lay it between the lines

*****

Re: extra glances - my wife is a black woman from Colombia - different culture, but still a black person, and I'm a Caucasian Midwesterner. When we first got married, back in 1987, we lived in Queens NYC, and there were a couple of times people said dumb things to us, like "aren't you worried your kids would be ZEBRAS??" Which struck me as funny, but I didn't translate that remark to Janeth, who might have scratched his EYES out (or at least gave him a piece of her mind, which might be WORSE, LOL).

Much more to the point, my family accepted her with no problems, and vice versa... who cares about what some idiot stranger might think???

But back to the main topic, residual racism is still addressed in songs and raps, but not too much on mainstream radio.

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Larry----you weren't SUPPOSED to know "Jack and Diane" was about a bi-racial couple. THAT'S WHY the lyrics were changed!

 

I just think it sad that in those times, which were purportedly

"enlightened" that someone would use their power to such narrow minded ends.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I get it Fang, that's why I said they succeeded in fooling me until this thread came up. I had no idea about the song being about a bi-racial couple, as far as the secret lyric conspiracy goes... I'm still waiting for you or anyone else to tell us "why he's bringing it up 32 years later?" I guess it's to expose the censorship exercised by certain record companies which caused him to scrap his artistic license in the name of money and getting his record played at that time...

 

Ps. It may have something to do with the Gay marriage controversy as part of the pro argument groups center on the old bi-racial marriage laws that were once on the books being shot down the same way gay marriage laws in many States are being shot down today? But, I'm trying to avoid the political aspects of this muscical discussion...

Take care, Larryz
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But, I'm trying to avoid the political aspects of this muscical discussion...

 

Understood...but it is an inherently political topic. As Bob Dylan said,

 

"Well, it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord

But youre gonna have to serve somebody."

 

And if course, there's the old biblical line about not serving two masters, choosing between God & Mammon.

 

JCM had a choice: edit his song, get paid, and have a career, or leave his song intact and probably fade into obscurity.* He had to choose between integrity now and explanations later.

 

I'm glad he chose the compromise. After all, if nothing else, he could now re-release his hit song as he originally intended it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* and fading away was highly probable- opportunities are rarer than talent.

 

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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JCM had a choice: edit his song, get paid, and have a career, or leave his song intact and probably fade into obscurity.* He had to choose between integrity now and explanations later.

 

I'm glad he chose the compromise. After all, if nothing else, he could now re-release his hit song as he originally intended it.

TOUCHE'

Very good point there! Ya kinda got me. It is ez to talk out the side of ones own neck.

I suppose its a no brainer for most of us when faced with the situation in the real world,

Everyone has to make a living and a name for oneself. At least he has had enough conscience to back pedal.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* and fading away was highly probable- opportunities are rarer than talent.

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Well you could play this at length-George Takei could have `come out` while Star Trek was current. Rob Halford? think that MAY have affected Judas Priest`s image?

Have your say or have a career-pretty stark choice and I think you`d have to be staring down a contract before you could really say what you would do.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Skip, that still doesn't explain why Mellenkamp waited all this time to "come clean" about it. Makes me wonder if there IS any truth to it? I could come up with ALL KINDS of crap to make MY past look better. IF I thought there was good reason to do so....

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I would have chose the contract and the money at the time, as things were a little tougher getting around the censorship issues back in those days...it reminds me of the Stones "let's spend some time together" on Ed Sullivan, as opposed to "let's spend the night together" etc. :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Well that issue could be easily resolved, if the original version still exists. If so what could be the harm in releasing it now? if it was never recorded why not do it? he`s certainly in a position to call his own shots by now, I think it would mean a lot more than just talking about it.

 

In any case only he himself can explain why the wait.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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