One of my kids gave me Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 for Christmas. (I have good kids.)
I’ve never heard of some of the artists in the early volumes, but damned if I don’t know the words to the songs, from the cover versions that were played on the radio in the rural midwest, where I grew up, in the 50’s.
Why covers? Was it marketing, to cover all the bases, and to allow for racism – stations thinking white audiences wouldn’t listen to or buy black music?
Were the covers played in other parts of the country too, or did people living in urban areas and the South hear the originals? Did you have a choice? (I don’t remember ever tuning in anything that sounded like an R&B station in the 50’s, and my radio sometimes brought me Texas and Canada stations.)
We got Bobby Vee (Devil or Angel) and Ray Peterson (Corinna Corinna). Did the rest of the country get The Clovers and Joe Turner?
I don’t remember hearing black artists on the radio or seeing black artists on TV until the late 50’s, early 60’s, but I was hearing these songs, done by other people. I wanna know why.