[Marxism] Ruben Blades letter to NY Times Sunday Book Review
lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 7 10:15:16 MDT 2013
April 4, 2013
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.
The writer is a Panamanian musician, actor and political activist who
has won numerous Grammy Awards.
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