Rumours and Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone arrived in my mailbox when I was in college. The magazine cover featured the latest, hippest artists under the banner, always with a catchy headline and the best photography. Founded in 1967 by Jann Wenner and Ralph Gleason the square publication spoke to generations of music lovers.

However, I did note the lack of Black Artists on the cover was not lost on me. In some ways Rolling Stone, while projecting its forwardness was in a way a product of its segregated times with all the baggage. There were always rumours of the New York based publication‘s prejudices, African American artists not getting featured or interviews. Their frequent Greatest Lists felt weighted in certain biases.

Magazines are not about objectivity, but about their readers. The average RS subscriber was white male, educated.

“I’m always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else’s contempt,,” Toni Morris.

Imagine American Music without Black People! Who invented Rock N Roll? Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Rosetta Tharpe are credited as founders of the genre that would be the basis for Mr. Wenner’s success. Rolling Stone is a title of a Muddy Waters’s song.

As a person gets older, the truth becomes aanchor, true feelings are revealed. During a recent podcast to promote his book, Mr. Jenner (77) admitted his feelings about African Americans artists not being articulate enough to consider them masters alongside white male counterparts U2, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia. In his defense, The co-founder included Joni Mitchell on his inarticulate list. With a liberal like this, who needs a conservative.

Jann has been removed from The Rock and Roll Hall of fame board. Well, at least he will keep his fortune from covering music created by People of Color.