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Children of the Ghetto: Black Music in Britain vol 2

Volume 2, which covers the period from the late 1960s through to the end of the 1980s, explores the points of transition from the playing of Black musics in Britain that originated elsewhere to the emergence of an indigenously Black British music that responded to the situation of being born, or at least growing up in Britain.

£19.99

Author(s)
Kevin Le Gendre
ISBN
9781845235642
Pages
300
Price
£19.99
Classification
Music, Politics, Cultural Studies, History, Interviews
Setting
United Kingdom
Date published
7 Dec 2023

Volume 1, Don’t Stop the Carnival, which covers the centuries from John Blanke the Black Tudor trumpeter up to the 1960s, is principally about people who brought existing Black musics to Britain, including spirituals, gospel, blues, calypso and South African jazz, where some at least found a more congenial home for their music than the still colonial, Jim Crow or white minority rule countries they came from. Volume 2, which covers the period from the late 1960s through to the end of the 1980s, explores the points of transition from the playing of Black musics in Britain that originated elsewhere to the emergence of an indigenously Black British music that responded to the situation of being born, or at least growing up in Britain, of the experience of the virulent racism in schools and in the wider society when, after Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech, dockers marches and the regrouping of racist and fascist organisations, both white xenophobes and Black settlers realised the latter were here to stay. Le Gendre sees the emergence of the ‘indigenous’ in the blending of Caribbean and rock and pop in the music of the Peddlars, Eddie Grant and the Equals, Blue Mink, the jazz-blues rock fusion of CCS, the jazz, reggae funk of Cymande; the experimental music of mixed Black and white groups such as Rip, Rig and Panic and African Head Charge; the Britishing of West African music in Osibisa, the British reggae of Dennis Bovell, Matumbe, Misty in Roots, Aswad, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Lovers Rock; and in jazz, Courtney Pine and the Jazz Warriors. There are discussions of the impact of gatekeepers such as the BBC on Black musics, the opportunities and limitations offered by clubs and other music venues, and the debates around the performance of Black musics by white British performers.

 

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Kevin Le Gendre

Kevin Le Gendre is a journalist and broadcaster and writer with a special interest in black music. Deputy editor of Echoes, he contributes to a wide range of publications that include Jazzwise, MusicWeek, Vibrations and The Independent On Sunday and also appears as a commentator and critic on radio programmes such as BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line-Up and BBC Radio 4's Front Row.

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