It drew no interest there, but Ron Guhname makes some observations about the list over at Inductivist.
He notes that 28 of the 100 greatest singers are White male Americans.
Only nine of the hundred are White American women, for whatever that is worth.
The vast majority of all the white males have English, Scottish, and/or Irish ancestries. The only men I found with some German in the family line are Bruce Springsteen, Greg Allman, Axl Rose, and Steven Tyler. While Italian Americans like Frank Sinatra dominated big band music, the only vocalists with some reported Italian blood that made this rock-dominated list are Springsteen, Tyler, and Frankie Valli. For such a small group, Jews did just fine with Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Art Garfunkel.
Why so many white southerners? Well, popular music requires singers with soul, naturalness, and unschooled talent, and Scots-Irish men of humble origins seems to have it. I might be tempted to suggest that people with lower average IQs (e.g., blacks) tend to be more in touch with their instincts, but Jews contradict the idea. (Plus, I imagine that successful singers have above average IQs relative to their group). Another possibility is that there is greater extraversion among southerners, an important trait for performing.
Southern men also seem to have voices that are more resonant and lower. This isn't valued particularly with many types of popular music, but country western fans are drawn to it. Buddy Holly didn't have it, but it sure helped Johnny Cash and George Jones.''
First of all I wonder where he obtained the information about the ancestries of the various American males on the list. One of those, Steven Tyler, claims some Cherokee ancestry (as do Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson) although Guhname says Tyler claims some Italian blood and German heritage as well. I guess he is one of those Heinz 57 Americans.
In any case, I think that the ancestry of many of these singers is more a matter of guesswork. Not everybody in the South is of Scots-Irish ancestry, (although Grady McWhiney et al seem to have done a superb job of convincing people that the South is Celtic) and trying to guess someone's heritage via surnames is hit-and-miss, especially with celebrities who often use stage names.
The commenters weigh in:
Commenter 1 says, in reference to the presumed Scots-Irish connection:
Don't you see the same in Great Britain? Most famous rock singers seem to be Irish or Scottish, not English (or at least, Irish & Scottish are over-represented).
You need to be pretty rambunctious to be a popular musician, so a too-civilized race like the English or Germans are going to fare worse than the Scottish.''
Another commenter says that, far from being ''too civilized'', the English were drunkard louts and their German cousins rowdy degenerates:
The English historically have been viewed, quite accurately, as drunkard louts until the Victorians through the early part of Elizabeth II. Most English were drunk most of their lives up until the reforms under Victoria's father King Billy. See Dalrymple's latest column in City Journal. Germans also have historically been viewed as rowdy degenerates -- a full third of German speakers were killed in the Thirty Years War, and unification and rule of law came quite late. Germany was the land of constant Catholic-Protestant strife, a zillion principalities, and lots and lots of weaponry.
First, emotional expression requires deep emotions. A connection to life's events: births, deaths, marriages, romantic disappointment, loneliness, and so on. Middle class WASP society in the North and Midwest had relatively little of that, with the mass-media overwhelming native emotionalism and insulating people from these deep emotions.
White Southerners had relatively little mass-media, a connection to Black music with strong emotional expressionism, often through regional radio, and most importantly a tradition in Church of emotional expression in singing every Sunday. Elvis loved Gospel, for example, and Cash often like Elvis sang in Church.''
No doubt I'm beating a deceased equine, but what do most people think happened to all those English who colonized Jamestown, and eventually spread across all the Southern states? Did they disappear genetically? Were their numerous progeny outnumbered by a vast wave of Scots-Irish or Borderland settlers? Apparently this is the common assumption, but one for which no one seems to present any evidence.
I've done lots of family trees on Southron families (as well as New England families) and I can tell you that a lot of those people with Celtic ''Mc' or "Mac" surnames have plenty of English blood, if not predominantly English blood.
But the English are out of favor at the moment; it's one of those unhip ancestries. Too civilized according to comment #1 above, and drunkard louts according to the other comment. Are the English a Jekyll-and-Hyde race? Apparently. And they can't sing, and they have no rhythm or 'emotional expressionism.''
Does anybody notice a familiar ring to the disparaging stereotypes of the English? It's all very much the kind of slurs that are used against Whites in general: inhibited, uptight, no rhythm or musical talent, no 'soul' or ''emotional expressionism." The English, the Anglo-Saxons, are the quintessential Whites and therefore are decidedly uncool right now.
I notice this about the list of the 100 greatest singers.
Of the first 20 names, 12 are black, (including #1, the very 'best', Aretha Franklin).
In all, 40 of the 100 are black, if I've added the numbers up correctly. That is 40 percent, obviously.
Blacks make up 12-13 percent of our population. Are they underrepresented here or overrepresented? Obviously the latter, as usual in the media.
So how do we decide on the 'greatest singers' of all time -- a rather overblown claim? It's all subjective, of course. Who is 'great' or who is the greatest -- of all time, no less -- depends on one's tastes, and on how one defines 'great.'
I'm always having to convince people that White people CAN dance, because everybody repeats the silly line about how "Whites can't dance" because they ''have no rhythm.'' But the fact is, we have accepted a black standard of what is considered 'dancing' or 'rhythm.' We've bought the idea that dancing, to be good, must involve gyrating and undulating to thumping rhythms, and it must consist of movements with the pelvis and the torso. This is not the traditional European style of dance, which usually involves some kind of precision and intricacy, concentrating more on footwork. Why have we decided to judge by another people's standard of what dancing is or should be, and why do we denigrate ourselves, internalizing others' criticisms?
The same applies to singing. Notice that #1 is Aretha Franklin. I will confess that I listened to the popular music of the day when I was a teenager, and I listened to Aretha Franklin's records. Over time, however, I found her voice to be shrill and grating. However that's the style preferred by her people and culture. I suppose that's what most people now consider ''emotionally expressive'', whereas it sounds overwrought and grating to some of us with different esthetic standards.
I would say the same about the style of Janis Joplin, who was a White woman -- who adopted black role models.
Most of the 'great' singers on the list, if they are White, were singers who to some extent affected black vocal styles and mannerisms. Case in point: Mick Jagger, whose imitation of black enunciation and vocal styles was downright embarrassing to me even as a teenager. I somehow saw that for a White man to mimic a black man so blatantly was rather cringeworthy.
If a black man sang 'White' he would be called an Uncle Tom or some other name; what do we call the Mick Jaggers and the Janis Joplins who seemed to think they were black people in White skins?
I know the popular assertion is that rock music in particular was a 'black genre' or at least heavily influenced by black music such as the blues and black Gospel music. However I don't buy that; I think rock 'n roll, at least in its original incarnation, was very much a White Southern genre. I think rockabilly was one of the early forms of rock and that it was more a mutated form of hillbilly or 'country' music, influenced by 'swing' and jazz. Whether they, too, were essentially 'black' in origin is something that is assumed but not proven.
Incidentally, Gospel music, though considered a black cultural development, is now being discussed as having a British Isles origin.
Which of these makes more sense: that blacks would be influenced by the majority culture they encountered when they first arrived in America, or that White Americans would emulate black African styles?
As for rockabilly, few if any blacks ever performed it or listened to it.
Similarly, rock 'n roll eventually became a White musical form, with few blacks participating in it. By the 70s, blacks had branched off into disco and funk, leaving rock strictly to White musicians.
Where are most of the world's rock fans? Not in Africa. Rock fans are primarily in White countries, though Japan has large numbers of rock aficionados. If rock is such a black genre, why has it been so ignored in Africa? Why don't they recognize it as ''their'' music?
And to return to the question of the un-musical English, I wonder why it is that some of the best blues guitarists have been from the UK?
And how many great blues guitarists have come out of Africa? None that I know of, unless by way of America.
The English people created a great deal of beautiful traditional music. I've often thought that the English have a great musical gift, especially for beautiful and haunting melodies. We live in an age in which Celtic is the flavor of the month, and the English are the redheaded stepchild of the family. This is unjust. And in part it's because of political agendas; many people for political reasons prefer to associate themselves with the glamorous, romanticized Celts rather than the English. It's all very much in the spirit of the 'Celtic Twilight' movement of a century and more ago, with its ethereal and prettied-up image of the old Celtic culture.
I think historical revisionism and political correctness have warped our ideas of the origins of our musical styles. Afrocentrism is not just something that is taught by wacky professors teaching that ancient Africans had aircraft and built the pyramids. We are so invested in trying to give credit where it is not due that we have rewritten our musical history too.
It's time we revisit the stereotypes and the myths about our musical heritage. It's time we stopped being culturally colonized, and internalizing someone else's cultural standards.