Sing with an American accent.

Martin Bailey mbailey at
Wed Jun 27 02:53:19 CDT 2007

Pete said:

> 5. Sing with an American accent. 

I read that phrase yesterday, and heard a good example of it on the way home:

I was playing my new Monterey Pop Festival CD.  Summertime Blues starts, and I can't believe it's The Who singing - they sound so American!  The vocals are completely different to, say, on Live at Leeds, recorded a few years later.  The music is definitely Who though.  But I really thought they had some American guys on stage singing with them.

Granted, Summertime Blues is such an "American" song anyway - really sums up the frustrations of being an American youth at the time.  Plus it has a load of American words in it: dollar, congressman, vacation.

So singing this particular song in a British accent would demean the song.  It would make it sound patronising, like "I'm glad I'm not growing up in America, look at all the problems they have there."

So singing with an American accent certainly has it place - if it fits the song.  But there's no need to do it all the time, as Pete is suggesting.

NB: this 40th Anniversary Monterey Pop Festival 2CD is certainly recommended.  Not only has it got Summertime Blues and My Generation, but there's also live songs from Simon & Garfunkle, Hendrix (who must have flown over from ENGLAND to be there ;-)  ), Buffalo Springfield,  - oh sod it, I'm not going to type them all out, here's the tracklisting copied from Amazon:

Disc: 1     
1. Along Came Mary - The Association 
2. San Franciscan Nights - Eric Burdon & the Animals,  
3. Homeward Bound [#] - Simon & Garfunkel  
4. Sounds of Silence [#] - Simon & Garfunkel  
5. Down on Me - Big Brother & the Holding Company, Janis Joplin   
6. Ball and Chain - Big Brother & the Holding Company, Janis Joplin   
7. Section 43 - Country Joe & the Fish  
8. Born in Chicago - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band  
9. Wine - Electric Flag
10. Bajabula Bone [Healing Song] - Hugh Masekela 
11. Chimes of Freedom - The Byrds 
12. So You Wanna Be a Rock 'N' Roll Star - The Byrds
Disc: 2     
1. Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane 
2. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane  
3. Booker-Loo - Booker T. & the MG's 
4. Shake - Otis Redding   
5. I've Been Loving You (Too Long) - Otis Redding 
6. Dhun: Fast Teental [Excerpt] - Ravi Shankar
7. For What It's Worth [#] - Buffalo Springfield 
8. Summertime Blues - The Who 
9. My Generation - The Who 
10. Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix Experience
11. Like a Rolling Stone - Jimi Hendrix Experience 
12. Straight Shooter - The Mamas & the Papas  
13. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie
14. California Dreamin' - The Mamas & the Papas  

What a fantastic tracklisting that is.

One word review: Groovy.


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