[Marxism] Ruben Blades letter to NY Times Sunday Book Review

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 7 10:15:16 MDT 2013


April 4, 2013
Whose Success?

To the Editor:

Tom Carson’s review of Clive Davis’s “Soundtrack of My Life” (March 17) 
states: “As the head of Columbia Records in the 1960s, he discovered, 
among others, Janis Joplin.” Record executives do not discover artists: 
they stumble upon them. Not even Christopher Columbus would have had the 
chutzpah to claim he “made” America.

Undisputedly, Davis contributed to making such talents publicly known. 
But at whose expense? Joplin probably never received her fair share of 
royalty payments and may never have owned her masters; nor is it likely 
that her family inherited the full financial fruits of her work.

These usually go to people who can’t sing, can’t write, can’t play and 
yet end up millionaires, while true artists, like Rodriguez, end up 
broke and ripped-off.

That record executives step forward to usurp credit for artists’ success 
is not uncommon. More disconcerting is that their self-serving accounts 
are considered worthy of review in your pages.

RUBÉN BLADES
New York
The writer is a Panamanian musician, actor and political activist who 
has won numerous Grammy Awards.




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