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Products for grant HB-262224-19

HB-262224-19
Blackbird Singing: A Cultural History of African-American Musical Conversations with the Beatles
Katie Kapurch, Texas State University - San Marcos

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HB-262224-19

Blackbird Fly: Paul McCartney's Legend, Billy Preston's Gospel, and Lead Belly's Blues (Article)
Title: Blackbird Fly: Paul McCartney's Legend, Billy Preston's Gospel, and Lead Belly's Blues
Author: Katie Kapurch
Author: Jon Marc Smith
Abstract: This article explores the historical context, inspirations, and legacy of Paul McCartney’s 1968 White Album song, “Blackbird.” We discover heretofore unexplored connections to the 1926 pop standard, “Bye Bye Blackbird,” as well as the potential for the Beatles’ song to house a civil rights message, the nest McCartney tries to build for “Blackbird” in this century. To appreciate the song’s availability for civil rights solidarity, we consider Billy Preston, whose cover aligns “Blackbird” with African American culture during the decades in which McCartney was not telling his “Blackbird” legend. Preston’s gospel-infused cover, along with his own bird imagery in “Will It Go Round in Circles,” point toward the theme of flight-as-liberation in African American arts. This bird-theme is also exemplified by the folk ballad “Grey Goose,” famously performed and recorded by Lead Belly, a formative influence on the so-called British Invasion rockers. These connections reveal a thematic and political depth to “Blackbird,” illustrating the song’s indebtedness to African American music and other arts.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://doi.org/10.5325/intelitestud.22.1-2.0005
Primary URL Description: link to journal article
Secondary URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/intelitestud.22.1-2.0005?seq=1
Secondary URL Description: link to journal article on JSTOR database
Access Model: Subscription (to journal)
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Interdisciplinary Literary Studies (ILS)
Publisher: Penn State University Press

Arising to This Moment: Bettye LaVette’s “Blackbirds” (Blog Post)
Title: Arising to This Moment: Bettye LaVette’s “Blackbirds”
Author: Katie Kapurch
Abstract: When Bettye LaVette sings “to be free,” the recent Blues Hall of Fame inductee opens a door and steps into the light. LaVette’s new album Blackbirds is inspired by the African American women she sees as her musical forerunners. The concluding track, “Blackbird,” the Beatles song she has performed in concert for a decade, crowns the record. But don’t read the last chapter first. LaVette’s “Blackbird” is to Blackbirds what “A Day in the Life” is to Pepper. The eight tracks preceding “Blackbird” are interpretations of songs popularized by Black women, such as Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Ruth Brown, and Della Reese. Several came out prior to the album’s August 28 issue. LaVette’s stirring take on “Strange Fruit,” for example, was released in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests this summer.
Date: 08/30/2020
Primary URL: https://www.culturesonar.com/arising-to-this-moment-bettye-lavettes-blackbirds/
Primary URL Description: Link to post on CultureSonar website
Website: CultureSonar

Martha Wash’s “Love and Conflict” – The Album for 2020 (Blog Post)
Title: Martha Wash’s “Love and Conflict” – The Album for 2020
Author: Katie Kapurch
Abstract: For those seeking uplift in this new pandemic world with the old-familiarity of the Stones or the Beatles, Wash’s Love and Conflict is for you—for more reasons than one. Wash is the iconic voice you’ve known for all these years though you might not even realize it. As one-half of the Weather Girls, Wash sang “It’s Raining Men,” a veritable 80s anthem, ubiquitous in aerobics studios and gay dance clubs. Before that, she and fellow Weather Girl, Izora Rhodes-Armstead, flanked Sylvester James as his backup singers, Two Tons O’ Fun.
Date: 05/16/2020
Primary URL: https://www.culturesonar.com/martha-washs-love-and-conflict-the-album-for-2020/
Primary URL Description: Link to CultureSonar website
Website: CultureSonar


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