Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Weinstein, Deena. "The History of Rock's Pasts through Rock Covers." In Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Theory, ed. Andrew Herman, John Sloop, and Thomas Swiss, 137-51. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1998.

Despite its claims of existing in and focusing on the present, rock music has always engaged deep connections with its past. The rock cover song offers us a useful means by which to explore that history, particularly in the way that covers refer not just to "the song itself" (i.e., melody, chords, and lyrics), but to a particular recorded performance of that song. At various stages in rock's history, cover songs have referenced a past which existed at a varying chronological distance. In the early years of the genre in 1950s, it was a very recent past. That past grew increasingly distant over the following decades, with constantly changing meanings for artists and listeners. The motivation behind cover songs in different rock eras included claims to authenticity and displays of virtuosity, as well as the desire to offer parody of or tribute to one's rock forebears.

Works: Georgia Gibbs: Dance with Me Henry (The Wallflower) (139).

Sources: Etta James: The Wallflower (139).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Paul Killinger

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