Select three songs by White (American or British) country, pop, folk, and gospel artists that have been covered by African American artists and describe the ways in which the interpretations of the two versions are similar and different using the concepts of timbre and mechanics of delivery outlined in this chapter. Select three songs by African American blues, jazz, gospel, and R&B artists covered by White artists and describe the ways in which the performances of the two versions are similar and different.
3 songs by White artist covered by African American Artist by Rolesha Hines
The timbre in the original ‘Georgia On My Mind’ is progressive in building anticipation yet has a sort of a drag to it as the song goes on. The timbre in Ray Charles’ cover is smooth and soulful. He uses repetition of “Georgia” in the intro, especially for extra emphasis. Carmichael’s version didn’t have any obvious mechanics of delivery; however, having the constant trumpet and trombones in the background provides another form of repetition.
Ella’s Sunshine Of Your Love has a more upbeat, dramatic timbre with the help of the trumpet. As a comparison, the original by Cream has a mysterious timbre, almost as if it belongs in the backdrop to an Indiana Jones film. Ella’s gradually increasing pitch throughout the song indicates a mechanics of delivery that involves building on the energy of the instruments.
Stevie Wonder’s cover of We Can Work It Out has a funkier, uplifting timbre compared to the monotonous timbre from the Beatles’ original. The Beatles drag their words and syllables out significantly more for their mechanics of delivery, compared to Stevie who includes the background singers to emphasize the previous lyrics.
Songs by black Artist covered by Black Artist by Asha St. Louis
For “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton covered by Elvis Presley (blues), I would say they are similar because they have the same lyrics but they are also very different. They both have different beats and are sung very differently. Elvis Presley’s version is a much faster and a little bit more aggressive while the original version is ix much slower and has more soul.
The song “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley is covered by Eric Clapton (reggae) they are similar because they both have the same melody/ rhythm. But they are also very different because the original version by Bob Marley is reggae it uses the Jamaican dialect Patwah, while the Covered version sounds Americanized and sounds nothing like reggae.
Lastly, for the song “Tainted Love” by Gloria Jones covered by Soft Cell (Rock) they are both similar because they have the same melody? Beat but they are also very different. The original song was very feminine, much slower, and was an older song. While the covered version sounds more like rock, it was much faster and sounds like it used different instruments to have achieved the same beat.