[Dixielandjazz] Re: Black & Blue was Blues

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 30 00:18:30 PDT 2003

> s3856lpa at webtv.net (Harold Smith) wrote (polite snip)
> And we don't need lectures from contemporary activists on the meaning of
> the Black Experience, when we can turn to Louis singing "Black and
> Blue".  Sure, it's not a "blues", but it generates the same empathetic
> feeling.

Only because Louis took that song and fooled those who had not seen the show from whence it came. The people, not familiar with "Hot Chocolates" circa 1930 Broadway, who heard the record, assumed he was talking about Black & White relationships. Actually, the song is about the prejudice among light skinned blacks, against dark skinned blacks.

The tune was originally sung in the show by a dark skinned black girl and was aimed at black men who prefer and date light skinned black woman rather than her.

Louis, genius showman as well as genius trumpeter fooled most of the world about its meaning when he made that song "his".

Steve Barbone

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