October 2009

Warren Smith: Black Jack David

In Nick Tosches’ book Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock ‘n Roll, the writer talks about Elvis Presley and how the performer was able to take music created by black folks, re-imagine it and dispense something new that moves beyond color: it’s not white or black, it’s gritty music. And Toches is right, as so often he is. There’s nothing shameful about being into Elvis – you should be. The sides he cut for Sun Records are pretty incredible. But another guy recording for that same Memphis label, Warren Smith, put out a spate of work during the ‘50s that should appeal to any fan of music from the decade regardless of race.