Chapter 19: This week, Danyel Smith talks blue-eyed soul and the musical segregation of the past, the present and how it affects artists’ legacies. She also talks about the difficulty of being a fan of talented white artists like Madonna and Adele knowing the dark history of music. Danyel is later joined by her sister and friend of the show, Raquel Smith, to discuss Raquel’s all-time favorite, Teena Marie.
Danyel starts the podcast with a clear definition of the blue-eyed soul music category ,thanks to the dictionary.com, and is defined as, “Soul music written and performed by white singers in a style derived from the blues.” That’s kind of hilarious because, who invented the blues? Black people. And like Danyel asks, “isn’t this another term for culture vulturism?” Why yes, yes it is.
I love all the content Danyel has, but this might be my absolute favorite because our community holds so much trauma and unfortunate events, that you can’t help but end up in the crossfire of supporting artists without race motivations. As a black woman who loves black music like Danyel, I get the cognitive dissonance that occurs in situations like these. Black people have pioneered so much in our society yet it’s hardly known because of the way our history has been erased or overshadowed by white culture who has the power to take over essentially anything they want. At this point, I know some people are uncomfortable and maybe want to skip this episode, the truth makes you uncomfortable huh? Imagine that being your cultures never-ending tale.
Artists like Adele, Madonna and Teena Marie are discussed and how they may or may not be popular with black girls. I agree with Danyel about my love for Adele, Teena Marie and others like Amy Winehouse.
Dusty Springfield‘s popular song Son Of A Preacher Man was included in the famous movie scene of Pulp Fiction and she’s regarded as the best British pop artist ever. Springfield has been described as having a big husky voice and sound that is like the Motown sound she says inspires her. Springfield has even stated her biggest influence is from Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers. Son Of A Preacher Man was originally supposed to go to Aretha Franklin and you can also hear the influence in the Springfield version.
I’ve never been the biggest Madonna fan simply because I feel she falls into the culture vulture category. I’m in no way discrediting Madonna because I do appreciate what she’s done in her career and breaking barriers. To counteract that, we’ve had a lot of black women be just as courageous and bold but never had the opportunity or support to showcase that part of themselves. I do like Madonna’s song Vogue a lot because I’m a huge fan of ballroom culture, and this song is actually how I got introduced to the culture. Madonna became queen due to this song and the video, but you’ll still hear a lot of minority members in the LGBTIQA+ that surprisingly hold more negative feelings about her stealing elements of this culture and not collaborating with the people of color who popularized the voguing style. Now a specific song that falls into the blue-eyed soul category from Madonna is ______.