More about American Music

When my husband and I were in Greece this past summer and went down to breakfast that first morning, a woman at a nearby table suddenly burst into a James Brown song. No lyrics, just the hook, bookended by a flood of Greek.

Although we haven’t had members of the native populations bursting into song in other countries, we have heard American music everywhere. Perhaps I should say American/British since the Stones and Led Zeppelin are well represented. As tourists, we hear plenty of the native Greek or Peruvian or other local music but the pop music is all the music we grew up with. And even the Stones and other British Bands we hear have been heavily influenced by the Blues, R and B and so on.

American music is one of our greatest exports, along with our movies.

And the interesting thing is that the ‘melting pot’ of the United States is really obvious in the music. From the Chansons Profanes of the French trappers, to the work songs (the sea shanties and field hollers), the drums of the Native Americans and of course the rhythmic music of the black slaves, American music is a combination that has really gone everywhere. (Think the popularity of Metallica in Japan!)

The history of rock from its beginnings in Blues is well documented but of course there have been other important influences, all ending up in James Brown sung by a Greek.


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