My view on the subject has changed over the past 20 years. The father of one of my best friends growing up, a white man from Louisiana, mainly only listens to music created by people of African decent. Whether it be the blues of Mississippi John Hurt or Albert King to the soul of James Brown or Otis Redding. He insists that if the music was made by white people, it should not be labeled as blues. I disagreed at that time and used to have debates wih him, but the older I get, the more I think he was right. Blues music was created by oppressed slaves who were not doing it for money. Does the label ‘blues’ lose meaning when a white guy touches down in a jet with a posse of roadies? Thanks for any opinions on the subject. Hello Stella and Smiley, I agree with both of you, I guess it is just more difficult for me to find authentic, quality sounding blues from other races IMO. Thanks for your answer Miles. White people can have the blues. There was a time I was homeless and living in a tent with a wife and daughter; I’ve had the blues. I’m just saying when I listen to blues music created by non-African descent, there is usually something missing. . It just doesn’t sound as authentic for any reason. Excellent examples everyone. Those are the kind of examples I would debate with my friends’ dad years ago. . SRV, Roy Buchannan. I’m white and been very poor in the past. I’m aware there are millions of white people that are homeless, without a penny to their name. I never meant to imply that white people can’t be poor and depressed with the blues, but I think it is more uncommon for them to be able to channel the blues vibe with the same timeless passion and energy. I agree with you 100% sugaree. I don’t like labels anyway and get lost in the sub-genres out there today. Good music is good music. From what I can tell… There are lots of different points in this to talk about. I think the answer to the most important underlying question is that yes, the society that produced music matters when evaluating music. There is a nice bold absolute statement for you. After that there are a lot of smaller questions that come up that can be quite layered and convoluted and it’s difficult to give answers that are as absolute. Like, does blues lose meaning when a black guy touches down in a jet with a posse of roadies? What about all those oppressed former slaves who absolutely were doing it for money? How much of this is a real difference that you can hear in the music and how much of it is a sort of ambiance that we feel we get from perceived authenticity? And how much of a difference does it really make when that perceived authenticity isn’t really as authentic as we were hoping? Is it nostalgia? And if so- nostalgia for what? I guess when it all comes down to it for me, yes, race matters, but at the same time the only way to evaluate music is on a case by case basis. ok, where was i. . Case by case. . Race matters. . Ok, lets modify that last bit to say that the society you were raised in matters and to a lesser extent race matters. . And then lets do any case by case basis. the carter family• i like the carter family as an example in a lot of ways. To begin with, they are strongly associated with country music and not really associated with blues even though, if you really listen a lot of there songs are very similar to the blues recorded at the time and they had a huge impact on blues going forward. A. P. Himself was known to travel around the Appalachians collecting songs and he had a black friend (whose name escapes me) who would mainly travel with him, helping him to gain the trust of black musicians. The carter family also had a lucrative radio contract, something that certainly effected the sort of act they performed and could be considered an opportunity that probably wouldn’t have come along if they had been an african american act. But ultimately, what makes them have that feel of an act that can transcend race? Sarah’s singing and maybelle’s playing. bobby charles• there is a story that bobby charles did a phone interview with leonard chess where he sang for him a little and convinced chess to sign him. When chess finally met the white cajun musician, he was taken aback in surprise. I also think it is interesting that in a tale that sounds a lot like black musicians, charles was a mild success on the R&B circuit until a white guy named bill haley came along and covered “see you later alligator. ” what makes him transcend race? His singing and playing. johnny otis- he was greek, with olive skin and curly black hair, and could generally pass for a very light skinned black man. “As a kid I decided that if our society dictated that one had to be black or white, I would be black. ” eh. . I was gonna do more but I dont want to any more.