November 2, 2011

What are other examples of Morrissey-in-East-L.A. Syndrome?

In Chicago in the 1990s on lowly public access TV there was a sketch comedy show starring Dale Chapman called "We're Geniuses in France," the joke being that they were nobodies at home. 

Everybody knows that Jerry Lewis is more popular/respected in France than in America. Another example of this phenomenon is the popularity of Morrissey, formerly lead singer of the English 1980s art mope band The Smiths, among East L.A. Chicanos. 

Morrissey is #3 on Stuff Chicanos Like, ahead of the Dodgers and Pretending to Hate Thanksgiving, and behind only the Virgin Mary and Art Laboe. Art is an octogenarian Armenian disk jockey who may have invented the phrase "oldies but goodies." Chicanos traditionally love pre-British Invasion r&b and rock 'n' roll, especially doo-wop. 
They cannot, and I repeat, cannot, get enough of their “Oldies but Goodies”, or their “Memories of El Monte”. Art Laboe, a syndicated radio personality, gets to the core of Chicano culture with his dedication show where you can hear a plethora of Chicano callers from all over the United States call in and say things like “I’d like to dedicate ‘Angel Baby’ to my baby Angel who is locked up, baby, I love you” or “Yeah, I’d like to dedicate ‘These Arms of Mine’ to my hyna Rosie, hope you visit this weekend” or Art Laboe himself will send the dedications, “Little Puppet from Cypress sends his love to Babygirl, says he misses you and can’t wait to be home”.

I think the last time I listened to Art Laboe's dedication show was driving back from Mt. Whitney in 1977 when nothing else was coming in on the AM radio in my dad's Buick. "Angel Baby" was one of the songs dedicated (or maybe it was "Earth Angel," or, now that I think about it, probably both). So, some things never change. 

Doo-wop started out as an African-American vocal harmonizing style, and then spread to Puerto Ricans and Italians in Eastern cities. There were black L.A. doo-wop groups like The Penguins. On the charts, it peaked around 1961, but Mexican-Americans in East L.A. kept the faith. So, loving doo-wop in the 1970s in East L.A. was kind of like loving Morrissey in the 2000s in East L.A.

Anyway, what are some other examples of this phenomenon of individuals being more popular in some other culture than in their own, like Jerry Lewis in France or Morrissey in East. L.A.? Which blacks are more popular with whites than with other blacks? Which whites are more popular with blacks than with whites?

221 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Hendrix?

Plok said...

There was a recent npr story about the surprising love of country and western music among jamacains, but I don't think that quite fits your category.

A lot of modern blues fans tend to be white.

gst said...

Hendrix.

Anonymous said...

Since when did Steve become PC and start calling blacks African Americans?

Anonymous said...

I guess you could classify Bill Clinton as one. A majority of white folks voted against him twice while the overwhelming majority of black folks voted for him twice.

Truth said...

Eric Braeden, the actor who played Victor Newmann on The Young and the Restless was an absolute GOD in the black community 20 years ago. He was referenced by actors on Arsenio Hall, Rappers, etc.

Steve Sailer said...

Okay, Eric Braeden. That's interesting, I'd never heard of him.

Shanghai Ty said...

There's a Canadian named Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. Da Shan) who's a TV show host and performer in China. He's known by roughly 1.3 billion Chinese for his flawless Mandarin.

It's hard to imagine a more extreme instance of fame in another culture combined with utter obscurity in one's home culture.

TGGP said...

Charlie Pride was country, so his audience was going to be predominately white.

Scarface seems to be considered cool by a lot of blacks, but it's not like it's unpopular with whites.

You often reference the Mexican golfers/tennis players of prior decades, and I'd expect their fans were also mostly white.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Brady was so notorious as the black guy white people love ("he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X") that he did an incredibly profane and hilarious sketch on the Dave Chappelle show that depicted him as a Denzel in Training Day-style thug. I've actually met Brady a few times at LA-area movie theaters and he comes across as an incredibly nice guy.

Also, I don't know if Steve has noticed the number of young Mexican-American teens and early 20s people in LA with shirts that celebrate white heavy metal/punk pands from 20 years ago-- Pantera, Metallica, and Danzig, mainly. Does anyone know what that's about?

Steve Sailer said...

I love Wayne Brady!

nooffensebut said...

Black people do not get black rock bands like Fishbone and Living Colour. Chinese men in China are not in the least bit afraid to admit that they love bubble-gum pop groups designed for 12-year-old white girls, like N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Asians appreciate Western pop and classical music more than respectable whites. And, of course, Skrewdriver has a HUGE black following.

slumber_j said...

Prince? I dunno, actually. But I always suspected he was more popular among whites than blacks.

Maya said...

Hispanics like Morrissey? Get out! The Smiths were such a white boy thing. It seems the band was most popular with the not-quite-jocks in high school who moped around in teenage misery, but grew up to be adjusted successful individuals.

As far as things being more popular outside of their culture... When i lived in France, I noticed that sophisticated urban professionals really like American Country music. They treat the same way American yuppies treat jazz by enjoying it during dinner parties, over a bottle of expensive wine.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Dunno. But for reasons which still elude me, even though I have Romanian sons (they hate O-Zone), "Dragostea Din Tei" (The Numa-Numa Song) has been number one in country after country, consecutively, not concurrently, worldwide. It seems to be popular with middleschoolers and at sporting events, no matter the culture, but has long since been regarded as a joke in Romania.

SWPL does refer to "black music that black people no longer listen to," like blues, jazz, and classic hip-hop from the 90's.

Maya said...

Josephine Baker! <-- An African American who became one of France's biggest stars ever.

Jane Birkin who is mostly known for inspiring the ridiculously priced Birkin Bag in the Anglosphere, but is an A-list celebrity in France. She is English.

Brian Molko is an American who was voted the 7th sexiest man alive by the reader of magazines, in Britain, and he is also HUGE all over Europe and Latin America. Not so much here. He is a singer, by the way, in an alternative rock band.

Steve Sailer said...

By the way, "Angel Baby" was written and sung in San Diego in 1960 by 14-year-old Rosie Mendez-Hamlin, who was presumably half Mexican-American. About half of her backup band was Spanish-surnamed. She was inspired by "Earth Angel" by the Penguins, a black L.A. group, so I wasn't just being obtuse in getting them confused. John Lennon and Led Zeppelin namechecked Rosie and the Originals.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that the most admired white man among American blacks is the fictional character Tony Montana. Who's second? Hmm... I don't really know. They do like Clinton, but is he really no. 2? What about Hasselhoff? George Clooney? I'm just guessing now. I'd be interested in other commenters' thoughts on this.

europeasant said...

"driving back from Mt. Whitney in 1977 when nothing else was coming in on the AM radio in my dad's Buick"

What were you and your dad doing at Mt Whitney?I was there in September with my 2 sons.We were on our way to the top.Didn't make it but will try again.Didn't see any black folks there but did see 2 at Yosemite.

Anonymous said...

Many Japanese love black American hip hop culture...

Anonymous said...

I'm the Anonymous who mentioned Tony Montana. How could I forget Brando as the Godfather? He's most likely no. 2. Their top two white guys are fictional. So who's third then?

Marlowe said...

Norman Wisdom (a 50s/early 60s English comedian who appeared in quite a few popular films) was like a god to Albanians while largely forgotten & ignored by the post-60s English.

Steve Sailer said...

I had climbed Mt. Whitney (14,500 ft.), although "climb" makes it sound technical -- I just walked up the trail to the top. Did it over three days and two nights.

Day 1: Drive to the trailhead and sleep there at 8300 feet to acclimatize.

Day 2: Backpack up to Trail Camp at 12,000 feet.

Day 3: To the top without packs, then pick up the packs on the way back down (marmots had gotten into what was left of our food), then back to the car. This is a long day -- the last two miles down were done with flashlights, then a five hour drive home.

Plok said...

Hasslehoff had a German singing career which is odd

Anonymous said...

Brian Molko is an American who was voted the 7th sexiest man alive by the reader of magazines, in Britain, and he is also HUGE all over Europe and Latin America.

Never heard of him. Entered his name in Google Images. Europe is a truly different continent.

Anonymous said...

I've read that Lionel Richie is very popular in the Arab world. It makes perfect sense. Sappy, melodramatic, saccharine-romantic.

Bryan Castañeda said...

I worked at Blockbuster Music in Rowland Heights during the late 90s. We could NOT keep Art Laboe's compilation CDs in stock.

APH said...

The classic/Chicago house music movement started in the early 80s, mainly due to African-American DJs, and largely popular in gay clubs...

By the late 80s, house music became even more popular in the UK - And not really with the gay scene, but instead with teens and 20 somethings who were big into raves...

So although house music evolved from soulful/deep house to acid house, it's still really weird that it became so huge overseas

albert magnus said...

Hawaiian music caught on huge in Sub-saharn africa.

Also, Lionel Richie is still very popular in Arab countries.

B.A. said...

SWPL does refer to "black music that black people no longer listen to," like blues, jazz, and classic hip-hop from the 90's.

I'm still waiting for Lander to cover the topic of "real country music." I'm pretty sure it's SWPLs who are paying for the gas in Willie Nelson's tour bus. This was certainly the case in regards to the last decade and a half of Johnny Cash's career.

europeasant said...

Steve says
"I had climbed Mt. Whitney (14,500 ft.), although "climb" makes it sound technical -- I just walked up the trail to the top. Did it over three days and two nights"

Wow I thought foolishly I could do it in one day.Started at 3 AM and only got to the 13,000 ft level by 11:AM.Next time I'll start at 12 midnight.
By the way you need to win the lottery as they only allow 100 people on the trail each day.
But still I am impressed at your achievement!

clown said...

Hasselhoff's music is popular in Germany, or at least far more popular than it is in the US (I can't even tell you what kind of music he makes). I'm not sure if this is an instance of ethnic pride; the Germans may enjoy claiming him as a cultural ambassador, such as the Hoff is, much like the way the Chinese idolize Yao Ming far greater than his talent would suggest.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Eric Braeden. That's interesting, I'd never heard of him.

You never heard of him? He played angst-y, sympathetic mad scientists in two great cult films of the early 70s that I was sure you knew, Steve: ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES and COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT. Plus I seem to recall your referencing the old 60s TV show RAT PATROL, in which Braeden was the Wehrmacht villain.

Then he vanished into soaps for 25 years. More mainstream audiences didn't rediscover him until the late 90s, when he played John Jacob Astor in Cameron's TITANIC.

I wasn't aware either, though, of his standing in the African-American world-view.

riches said...

Years ago I heard some liberal sneer that whites really like black music if it’s time distant (as AVI @8:23 has just written) OR if it’s geographically distant - think reggae or Paul Simon’s flirtation with African stuff.

OT: I'll bet Rhino Records made $$ boxing those doo-wops that Laboe previously anthologized on LPs

Brian said...

Jesus of Nazareth is the most obvious example I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Edgar Allan Poe in France.
Hitchcock was first appreciated in France as a true artist.
Kurosawa, for a long while, was respected more abroad than in Japan though his films were popular at home.
Beach Boys' PET SOUNDS didn't do well in the US but was a huge hit in UK.
OVER THE TOP the Stallone movie was a bomb in the US but a huge hit in Japan.
Leone was recognized as an artist outside Italy being taken seriously by Italians--though his movies were popular in Italy
Whole bunch of American B-movie directors were first championed in
France before they came to be respected in the US. Sam Fuller comes to mind foremost. But also Nicholas Ray.
Woody Allen's star faded in the US by the late 80s but he continued to be very popular in Europe, especially in France.
John Cassavetes was appreciated far more in Europe.
Ingmar Bergman was respected more abroad than at home.
CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON was a much bigger hit in America than in Asia.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't iSteve supposed to be HUGE in Finland?

Well, the Leningrad Cowboys are Finnish, and I always thought their Sweet Home Alabama was a real head-scratcher.

PS: What's a "Chicano", anyway?

A Sephardic Jew whose ancestors fled Cuba and who now finds itself with just a little too much time on its hands?

Because I simply cannot fathom how your typical Nahuatl/Yucatec/Mixtec/Zapotec aboriginal peasant could possibly give a damn about any of this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Mexicans liking Morrisey. That makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

I think Bubblegum Crisis has a bigger cult following in the US than in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Today, more whites listen to Motown and blues and Jazz than blacks do.

Anonymous said...

In the 90s, Michael Jackson was bigger in Europe than in the US.

Anonymous said...

There's a Canadian named Mark Rowswell (a.k.a. Da Shan) who's a TV show host and performer in China. He's known by roughly 1.3 billion Chinese for his flawless Mandarin.

He's a Charisma Man:

http://charismaman.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsDPkY1EtxQ

Anonymous said...

Generally, if you're conservative or from a small town and have artistic talent, you'll be appreciated more in urban liberal circles.

Anonymous said...

Bob Marley fans seem mostly to be white stoner types.

Anonymous said...

Germans love David Hasselhoff

Dave in Seattle said...

The author William Wharton, who wrote "Birdy" later made into a film with Nicholas Cage, is huge in Poland for some reason. Roughly half the young people I queried said he was their favorite author. No one could explain how he or his books became so popular there.

as said...

Fun post. Also, had no idea about Morrissey and Chicanos.

Steve Sailer said...

"ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES and COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT"

Okay, I liked both those movies, so I should have been familiar with his name.

wren said...

Steve! Sparks fits this category perfectly, and they fit another of your interests - frauteurs.

Plus they are from LA.

From wikipedia:

"Sparks are best known for the song This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us which reached number 2 in the British charts in 1974, "When I'm With You" which topped the French Charts in 1980, and "When Do I Get To Sing 'My Way'" which topped the German and European charts in 1994/95 and was the top airplay record in Germany for 1994."

Few people (that I talk to) seem to be aware of them in the US, even though they've been pumping music out since the late sixties and are still going strong.

agnostic said...

Grace Jones -- hit it huge with the Euro / American new wave scene, not so much among Jamaicans and American blacks.

wren said...

"But still I am impressed at your achievement!"

Europeasant, don't forget that the neandertal seems be strong in Steve.

Reg Cæsar said...

The Flamin' Groovies were Americans who spent half their career in the UK, but were bigger in France than in either of those countries.

Sparks are Californian brothers almost unknown in the US but long resident and more popular in the UK. The Maels pioneered the nerd-heartthrob dyad which later proved so successful for AC/DC and Cheap Trick-- the latter themselves bigger in Japan.

Speaking of Morrissey, check out Sparks' musical poke at him, which I understand that he, Tammy Faye-style, just loved. (And those preparing for Minnesota's SSM catfight next year shouldn't miss "I Married Myself".)

According to Richard Grenier, Rainer-Werner Fassbinder became a joke to his fellow Germans, while still taken seriously among the art-house element here. Charles Bukowski in reverse!

a reader in Japan said...

Way more popular/respected in Japan than in their home cultures:

The Carpenters (They are the best loved foreign band of all time. People seem surprised to learn that they weren't ever as big as the Beatles.)

The Ventures (still tour Japan regularly with TV coverage)

Bon Jovi (THE '80s band here, nobody's heard of U2 or REM)

Steve Sailer said...

"Started at 3 AM and only got to the 13,000 ft level by 11:AM."

That's a 4700 feet of elevation gain, which isn't shabby, especially at that altitude.

That's what my dad did during WWII. He and another guy saved up their gas rationing coupons and left Burbank at 1 am and started hiking in the early morning. They got to Trail Crest at 13,777 feet, with its awesome view, at dusk, and slept there. The next morning, however, the altitude sickness got my dad so badly that he just stayed in his sleeping bag while the other guy did the fairly easy 2.5 miles to the top.

The 2-night way I did Mt. Whitney is less heroic, but more likely to work than a one day assault. But it's hard to get the Wilderness Permit for camping along the trail during the summer.

Fake Herzog said...

The rock group Living Color was always more popular with whites than blacks, even though they were all black (and their lead singer is Danny Glover's son, I think).

George Michael, I think, had a decent black fan base at the end of his career when white folks weren't listening anymore (but I might be thinking of all the gays who love him).

Truth said...

About 15 years ago, Eric Braeden was as popular in the ghetto as Jesse Jackson. No exaggeration.

http://www.blackvictornewman.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWk1-MfymLc

http://www.youtube.com/user/victornewmann

http://www.myspace.com/LilBlackVictorious2010

http://boardreader.com/thread/DAMN_Victor_Newman_is_FINE_kqkhsX24qi866jv3jfh.html

http://www.myspace.com/youngeddiecainjr

Steve Sailer said...

Yes, I can recall an interview with the Mael Brothers of Sparks in 1977 or 1978: they said that none of their hometown friends in L.A. believed they were geniuses in Germany, so they would take their friends to Farmer's Market where the tour buses full of European tourists would go so their friends could seem them getting adulated by tourists.

TGGP said...

The Exploited (punk band from Scotland) sometimes cause riots, often after a show is canceled due to fears of rioting, with the one I usually recall being in Montreal. But there was also a show in L.A with G.B.H which got a bunch of hispanic punks rioting. The only east l.a hispanic hardcore band I can name though is Union 13.

a white woman said...

Eric Braeden--now there's a MAN.

Anonymous said...

"George Michael, I think, had a decent black fan base at the end of his career when white folks weren't listening anymore (but I might be thinking of all the gays who love him)."

I think you're right. Of course, he had a decent straight female base too, until the arrests in the bathrooms continued. Posterboy for obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Boney M was bigger in Europe and among whites than among blacks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5gNYVia2rg

SF said...

Susan Osborne, a very obese singer with a nice, strong voice, has a few odd fans in the US, but very popular in Japan.

Reg Cæsar said...

Years ago I heard some liberal sneer that whites really like black music if it’s time distant... OR if it’s geographically distant... --Riches

True, but it's justified. John McWhorter said he was so proud back in the early '70s when black music was still tuneful, and whites had already descended into their glam metal/stadium rock madness.

I've listened to quite a bit of late-20th-century post-colonial African music, mostly from the Portuguese colonies, but some from the French and English, and it's more melodic and mature than anything coming out of black America now. Or white America, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

" It seems the band [The Smiths] was most popular with the not-quite-jocks in high school who moped around in teenage misery, but grew up to be adjusted successful individuals."

Damn, true of me and others I knew who liked The Smiths in high school.

But I never heard of the chicano love for Morrissey. So weird.

Darfur Miller said...

Blondie is hugely popular in Australia, the UK and Germany, only gays listen to them here.

The Ventures are indeed MONSTER, as big as the Beatles, in Japan.

The late Jim Reeves, a country singer who reminds everyone of J.R. Bob Dobbs of SubGenius fame, was huge in certain African countries and still is.

ogunsiron said...

Movies :
Terrance Hill and Bud Spencer are 2 americans who made it big in italian cinema.
I imagine that no one knows them in north-america.

Music :
La compagnie Créole is a cheezy french caribbean band that's very popular among the French and Quebeckers . Haitians and other french speaking caribbeans have usually never heard of it or hate it.


Don't be surprised about mexicans and other south-americans being into extreme metal and/or punk.
Black music ( except black music that got completely assimilated and isn't seen as black anymore) never got a foothold in Latin America, I think.
A lot of very, very white underground music styles have Latin America as a major market : Black metal, death metal, punk, regular heavy metal, goth, european electronic music like ebm and industrial. What's interesting is that in latino countries where there are lots of blaks but not much black "identity", you get black people who get into white music. Quite a few black people in the Dominican or brazilian metal scenes.

I'm not surprised about the LA mexicans liking Morrissey. I read that they're also quite fond of rockabilly, which is elsewhere a very, very veeeery white genre.

The most surprising place where a heavy metal scene is to be found is in the culturally isolated country called Botswana. They're also quite fond of country and western! They seem to have an attitude about white music that's 100% opposite to that of all other black people.

To the guy who said that some black people like Skrewdriver : Are you being facetious :) ? I do know that a whole lot of nazi skinheads are nevertheless fond of jamaican Ska groups.

Suffocation is one of the most important and influential death metal bands ever. Suffocation has always been approximately half black since the beginning. I imagine that they're not well known in the black community :) Neither is God Forbid, an almost all black metal band that was (is?) pretty big in that genre.

Mylene farmer is a canadian/quebec girl who's utterly unknown at home but who struck it rich in France.

Steve Sailer said...

I spent the summer of 1981 listening to tapes of African pop music that my office mate from Cameroon brought in. It was very pleasant stuff that matched up well with the stuff on the radio in America. My thought at the time was that by Anglo-American pop standards, it was mostly lacking in star power.

Anonymous said...

Practically everyone of all ages in Mexico is familiar with Bon Jovi, and most like them, even now, even before their recent 'comeback'.

DYork said...

I had heard about The Hoff's popularity in Germany as a singer but at least he was very handsome and was a known US TV star.

But Slim Whitman has been the example to me of a near total non-entity among "his own people" who becomes a star to others. At least that's what I've heard.

He apparently was huge in England at one time.

There have been quite a few world champion Grand Prix motorcycle racers from America who were superstars in Europe but virtually unknown in the US outside the motorcycling cultists.

Kevin B said...

Steve,
the below blog posts chronological new-wave/punk YouTube videos from releases of thirty years ago, back-timed from the present. The archive goes back to around 1978. Navigation is a little difficult, but it's a fairly thorough catalog of that scene, as it evolved.

http://newwavetimewarp.tumblr.com/

jaded said...

"My thought at the time was that by Anglo-American pop standards, it was mostly lacking in star power."

This is interesting. As I get older, I find it harder and harder to enjoy music by solo artists who were my favorites in my youth. I prefer listening to all kinds of odd music, instrumental, folk from other countries, instead. I wonder if other people do this too or if they really keep listening to the same music.

Anonymous said...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff

DYork said...

ogunsiron said...

Movies : Terrance Hill and Bud Spencer are 2 americans who made it big in italian cinema.


Actually both are Italian born with Italian birth names. Interesting that they became big stars in Italian movies with their new names.

agnostic said...

A reverse Morrissey is Hope Sandoval, lead singer of Mazzy Star, a somewhat well known alt rock band from the '90s. She's a (white-looking) Mexican from East L.A., but her fans are all Anglo hipsters.

Hopefully Anonymous said...

Barack Obama is an interesting traveler because he started off a black more popular with whites than with blacks vs. Hillary Clinton, a white more popular with blacks than with whites, and during the course of 2008 started veering in opposite directions to the present day (especially true for Obama).

Mr Lomez said...

Nicaraguans love Allen Jackson. At least on the islands.

Not sure if this applies to the rest of Central America or not.

Anonymous said...

"She's a (white-looking) Mexican from East L.A., but her fans are all Anglo hipsters."

I believe she's actually a part Mexican from El Paso whose career was over before there was such thing as a hipster.

at Budokan said...

Where to begin... 1) the great thing about the L&R set is that they appreciate Mozzer for reasons totally opposite of the white fans'. They don't particularly care that he's a vegan Labour-solidarity collegiate-sounding fop; they seemingly like him more as this bathetic "old soul" conservator straight out of a more romantic era. I'm a white guy who was never a fan either way, but it's one of those fun mysteries you never pin down. 2) Watching German TV in the early 90s I was struck by the # of pre-spaghetti Westerns they showed. Perhaps this was for licensing as well as cultural reasons, but I saw firsthand that young BRD women were undergoing a vogue for Navajo jewelry, Canadian dreamcatchers, and other pretty savage knick-knacks in those years. In their spare time Germans seem really really interested in non-German stuff. 3) Wasn't Roy Orbison unaccountably huge in Yugoslavia toward the end of his life, decades after any hits in the States? I think this phenomenon could be more recurring than anomalous. How about examining instances of uncanny global popularity, such as Elvis or blonde game show hostesses? 4) Is it too late for the DNC to sub in Vin Diesel for Barack? 5) A factoid I always enjoyed is that one of the definitive (but shortest-lived) garage bands, ? and the Mysterians, were Great Lakes Chicanos. With all the Sasha Frere-Jones-style aggressive posturing about "black music" vs. "white music" you'd expect cultural cross-pollination was a figment of crimethinkers. But listen closely to Wilson Pickett and you can hear the odd fleeting trace of a Protestant hymn. Vive la différence!

Nordic Insider said...

I don't know if this is a true pattern or not, but most of the Persians I knew in L.A. in the 2000s (I knew a lot of them) were all into Duran Duran, but none of them were old enough to have grown up with them in the 1980s.

Also, this is not a person but a television programme, "Dinner for One" in Scandinavia and Germany at Christmas/New Year's. An absolute ritual to sit down and watch, but no one in the English speaking world seems to have heard of it.

Anonymous said...

The black dance/techno artist Faithless is popular among European whites, but unknown among blacks in the UK.

Also, two of the three members of Massive Attack are black, but I've never met a black fan.

Seconding what a previous commenter said about black (or almost black) heavy metal groups like Suffocation.

The lead singer of Sevendust is also unknown among African Americans.

edgy gurl said...

OT: Too bad you're married and/or gay, Sailer. I have an ex-roommate who'd be perfect for you: Phi Beta Kappa, skinny, blonde, a history of thespianism.

Anonymous said...

Jesus of Nazareth is the most obvious example I can think of.

White Christian leaders like the Texan John Haggee also have large black followings.

Remnant said...

Scott Walker at his height was much more popular in England than in the U.S. (the only time I ever heard his song broadcasted was when I was walking through Herod's in London.)

For a reverse example, Tom Jones is more a phenomenon in the U.S. than in Wales.

Anonymous said...

The Chicago/Detroit house scene is a good case study of this. Began as a very Afro-Am thing (eg Marshall Jefferson) and split into tributaries, most prominently a Euro-dominated and therefore ultra-white branch--not specifically exclusionary of blacks, of course; it's just they don't have many of 'em over there.

Since the (brilliant) Los Bros Hernandez were invoked, I'll add that I've wondered about a mild uptick in black readership of superhero Marvel Universe style pop comics. As a teen I perceived that as utterly white, the strong East Asian contingent notwithstanding (this coincided with "the collectors' bubble" of course). Saw many fewer black guys my one time at the San Diego con than I ever did at COMDEX. Reading a review of the X-Men movie by Ta-Nehisi Coates (couldn't tell whether he'd interested his son in it or vice versa) I'm curious if what I vividly remember as a white scene has ever-so-slightly shifted, or if it's just hype. Coates may not be the most statistically representative black guy around.

Julian O'Dea said...

Interesting about Blondie and us Australians. I remember her popularity here. I think some of this may just be whether they happened to appear on local pop music shows like Countdown at the time.

Suzi Quatro is very popular here. She tours here a lot. I saw her in Canberra (capital of Australia) a couple of years ago. Still rocking at nearly 60. She is big in Germany too and is married to a German I believe.

FF said...

Flight of the Conchords are bigger in America than New Zealand.
Please keep them there.

Anonymous said...

OT: Investor's Business Daily channels Steve Sailer:

Smoking-Gun Document Ties Policy To Housing Crisis

sarcastica said...

"The lead singer of Sevendust is also unknown among African Americans."

Yet they are great fans of Kill or Be Killed.

Anonymous said...

google i lean like a cholla.theres a shoutout to the chi lites.

Peter A said...

Most Japanese cultural figures you've heard of are far more popular among SWPLs in the US or Europe than they are in Japan - Kurosawa, Haruki Murakami, Mishima.

When I lived in Russia I was surprised to see that Theodore Dreiser novels were in almost every house. I don't think I know an American who has read Dreiser for fun.

I would also say that Led Zeppelin was more popular in the US than the UK, where the college educated types generally considered them horrible.

On the other hand Queen stayed enormously popular in Europe long after Americans had given up on them. What I found bizarre in Europe in the early 90s is that kids would walk around Germany or Netherlands with Motorhead, AC/DC and Queen patches on the same jacket. In the US Queen was already considered "faggy".

Peter A said...

If you want a real example of how weird a place Germany can be, forget the Hoff - check out these guys

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kelly_Family

They still hold German records for live concert attendance.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the late great and much loved British comic, Benny Hill, is very popular all over Latin America, the former eastern bloc and Soviet Union, Turkey and the middle east.
British actor/comedian Rowan Atkinson (in his Mr. Bean mode), is very popular in China and east Asia.
Rowan Atkinson was better known as 'the Blackadder' in Britain - complete with absurd Richard III haircut.
Was this show ever broadcast in the USA?

Anonymous said...

Talking abou Sparks, one of the two either Ron or Russ, I don't know which, used to wear his hair unfashionably short and sported a 'Hitler' moustache (the other had the standard 1970s bubble perm).
Well anyway performing on the BBC's 'Top of the Pops' (incidentally the late, great Jimmy Savile died the other day), a Mael brother who looked disconcertingly like Hitler or Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, had the odd habit of staring, grimacing and gurning at the camera whilst remaining silent.
Many impressionable women viewers in Britain reported that they were creeped out to the point of terror by Ron/Russ.
He learned about this later.He said that he was only trying to impersonate Charlie Chaplin and not Hitler!

Antioco Dascalon said...

Conan O'Brien is more popular in Finland than in America, mainly because he looks like the president.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PAURdVu0zo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoosdJmR27Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMfLw0FnP0s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozPvk03dwOU

Anonymous said...

kurosawa was respected a lot more by westerners than the japanese.


probably because he was western in both both his intellectual and aesthetic outlook.

bjdubbs said...

THe Bodyguard (Costner/Houston) is almost the national movie in Korea (duty or love? is more of a question in Korea than in the US). Fran Drescher was big in Thailand in the Nanny. Look at which tv shows are syndicated in which foreign markets, that might tell you what's popular overseas but not in the US.

Anonymous said...

Also, I don't know if Steve has noticed the number of young Mexican-American teens and early 20s people in LA with shirts that celebrate white heavy metal/punk pands from 20 years ago-- Pantera, Metallica, and Danzig, mainly. Does anyone know what that's about?

Mexicans and Native Americans have been big on metal since the 80's. An old girlfriend told me that when she ran concessions at a Metallica show in Phoenix back then that most of crowd was those two groups. Metal is still huge in South america. Groups like Iron Maiden and Manowar probably pay their bills just from Brazilian shows. It seems like Brazil is where old punk and metal people go to keep their careers alive.

dearieme said...

"...was when I was walking through Herod's in London": oh come on! It's not "Herod's", it's "Horrid's".

Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, that classic and hilarious British TV sit-com 'On The Buses', dubbed into Serbo-Croat was the most popular show on Yugoslav TV.
'On The Buses' was a comedy based on working-class English slacker bus-drivers who did everything possible to avoid work, and were chased by 'the inspector' or 'Blakey', who as a comic-foil Adolf Hitler lookalike and loser.
I don't know if it ever has been broadcast in the USA, but it was a hilarious and semo-accurate take on 1960s British working class life.
The movie spin-off of On The Buses was the highest grossing British film of 1972 - outgrossing Diamonds Are Forever which cost magnitudes of cash more to make.
British feminists in particular loathe, hate and abominate On The Buses mainly due to the 'Olive' character.
I believe it was popular in Australia too.

Anonymous said...

What about the converse of the Syndrome: when some surly malcontent's film, musical piece, or personage becomes wildly popular up north or in Europe, and then the Brits, French, etc. profess their puzzlement about said genius not being better appreciated back home. Ex: pseudo-Kinison comic Bill Hicks had only a token following in the '80s but became like a god to the UK smart set. It's not really "bonus popularity" if your intended audience couldn't stand you.

Conchords suck / hail Queen said...

I think the base prob with this post is: although it might seem strange to you seeing Mexican girls dressing like Exene Cervenka circa 1981 (which, make no mistake, is kinda hot) they don't get what's so weird about it, and probably never could.

Like whenever there's a fuss about some silly Korean ad with incoherent Third Reich imagery thrown in, or other United Nations-level types of faux pas. They do it cuz it looks cool; deeper reasons were absent at the time.

Have thought on this before whilst playing one Grand Theft Auto game which seemed like a bad attempt to distill stereotyped European views of American stereotypes already 20 years out of date.

Anonymous said...

Teena Marie:

"She had so much soul--the only thing white about her was her skin."--Berry Gordy (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/28/teena.marie.dead/)

Also, http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-teena-marie-20101227,0,2805459.story

Anonymous said...

When the internet came along I was surprised to find out that the Chicano Rodriguez was utterly unknown in America. He was huge in South Africa during the 70's. Some South African fans even dedicated a website to him: http://www.sugarman.org/index.html

travis said...

Darius Rucker, the black frontman of Hootie and the Blowfish, won the Grammy for "Best New Country Artist" a couple of years ago. He sold over a million copies of his solo album, most of them to white folks.

Naming a white person that blacks like more than whites is much more difficult. When Pat Riley was coaching the Lakers in the 80's, with his slick backed hair and expensive suits, he was very popular among blacks. Justin Timberlake is popular among blacks, but he's also popular with whites, so he doesn't really fit the category. I'm stumped.

beowulf said...

Actually Eric Braeden double-qualifies-- a white man popular in the black community and a German popular in America, his original name was Hans Gudegast (beyond that, he should be on the isteve radar as both a legal immigrant and an outdoors-loving German). :o)

His alter ego, Victor Newman, has been shot, poisoned, spear-gunned, kidnapped, and presumed dead. But—this is the scary part—you should see the other guys. Victor Newman prevails. Always. He pursues his enemies with Captain Ahab-like monomania, never letting up until he’s exacted revenge...
Originally from Kiel, West Germany, Braeden was born during World War II,the third of four boys. The trauma of growing up amid post-war destruction forever shaped Braeden’s character, ripening him into a tough-as-leather survivor with a sensitive, vulnerable core... Fascinated with the cowboys-and-Indians stories, Braeden developed an early yen to see America.

http://www.umt.edu/montanan/w08/young.asp

jaded said...

Peter Brimelow has a great following in Turkey; Sailer is preferred in China; They love, love, love Jared Taylor in Japan.

Mr. Anon said...

"riches said...

Years ago I heard some liberal sneer that whites really like black music if it’s time distant (as AVI @8:23 has just written) OR if it’s geographically distant - think reggae or Paul Simon’s flirtation with African stuff."

Which is to say: they liked black music when it was actually music. Blacks, in this country at least, haven't made much music in about the last twenty-five years. Rap isn't music - it's just thugs shouting obscenities into a microphone to the accompaniment of a drum-machine.

Anonymous said...

In the 70s, Bronson was a bigger star in Europe, especially Germany, than in the US.

Mexican musical tastes maybe tell us Mexers are a nostalgic sentimental people who like established and 'familiar' things. They are not as obsessed about being cutting edge and hip.
I think it ties in with the Mexer love for El Mariachi music which is shamelessly sentimental.

Though rock music is supposed to be about freedom and liberation, it is kinda repressed or repressive of certain emotions. A rocker is not supposed to be 'old fashioned', 'soft', 'sentimental', nostalgic, etc. And shame on those who feel such emotions(at least according to certain rock critics or in certain scenes.)
He or she's supposed to be new, radical, avant garde, original, etc. Though rappers repeat the same formula over and over, there's still the aura of them not looking back and just trying to top--in outrageousness--what their precedessors did and what their competitors are doing.
It's swim or sink.

In country music or el mariachi music, you can be old-fashioned and nostalgic, but if a rocker did that, he would be seen as 'out of touch'. So, rockers must repress certain feelings and expressions lest they be branded as a 'has-been', 'oldie', 'wuss', etc. So, the liberation of rock also means repression of certain softer emotions deemed by the rock community as 'schlocky'.

Mexicans seem to share less of this sensibility. Whether it's Mariachi music or oldie rock music, Mexicans like stuff that reminds them of the past, rootedness, softer emotions, and just makes them feel good(even if it's not currently cool or hip). Maybe it's because many Mexers in the US came from rural communities where young people often heard what older people did and there was less of a culture of urban hip of what's hot and what's not. If a rural Mexer got some tape of 50s or 60s music, he didn't care if it was out of fashion. He was just grateful that he got any music at all.

A 'cutting edge' rocker would be ashamed to express 'maudlin' emotions--unless it's meant sardonically--, but a Mexican musician or music fan cares less about that stuff. IF it makes them happy, it's happy. I'll bet Mariachi fans will even dig Don Ho.

There could be both a time lag and lack of cutting-edge-repressiveness. I recall a PBS documentary about China in the 80s. It showed a village where people gathered for a public screening of a movie. Though this was the 80s, the people of the village were watching some Zorro movie from the 50s. It seems absurd to us, but not to the villagers. They were happy to see ANY movie.

And it could be traditional European repressive mentality didn't go away but was subliminated into avant-garde-ism or cutting-edge-ism in both high and low culture. If traditional Europeans repressed emotions and expressions that seemed 'anarchic', 'dissonant', and 'disturbing'; the new sensibility demanded repression of the 'old', 'reactionary', 'sentimental'. The cultural vanguard wasn't simply saying there should be room for the new as for the old. They were saying the new must become ever newer and the 'old' must be dismissed, forgotten, and etc.
In much of the latter part of 20th century, the 'best' music schools taught students to hold in utter contempt traditional or tonal music. And in the 70s, rock critics insisted that rock music must be hostile, aggressive, and deviant--thus the rise of punk. With a mindset like this, even if Joe Strummer felt like singing a Carpentersy song, he wouldn't have dared cuz he would have been mocked by critics and fans and peers of his community. He has to be edgy and hostile all the time and had to repress the softer emotions.

bruce banner said...

Funny, in the UK, Morrisey is considered a closeted racist (and homo).
Some of his lyrics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_in_Platforms

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_Front_Disco

He´s on the record saying: " you can't help but feel the Chinese are a sub-species "

Anonymous said...

Bonny Tyler has been popular in Finland for the twenty years that I have going there. At least as far back as last summer I heard "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on the radio, in bars and restaurants and covered by at least two people.

Andrew said...

Leonard Cohen is very popular in Poland. I recall seeing huge, side by side billboards in Warsaw, one for an Alicia Keys concert, one for Leonard Cohen. That would never happen here in Canada.

I think it started in the 80s during the Communist era and has just continued:

http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/warsaw85.html

Anonymous said...

Looks like Occupy Oakland has turned into Loot and Burn Oakland.
Gee... I wonder why.

It's Smoakland now.

Andrew said...

Here's Leonard Cohen with Lech Walesa:

http://1heckofaguy.com/2010/10/11/leonard-cohen-in-poland-visits-with-lech-walesa-backstage-and-grants-video-interview/

astorian said...

Well, here is Austin, there are HUNDREDS of rock groups that play in fron of tiny, indifferent crowds, but who'll smugly tell reporters, "We're HUGE in Norway," or "In Belgium where they really APPRECIATE good music, we're gods."

I'm never sure if they're telling the truth! Regardless, this kind of boast is common enough to have become a cliche.

gwern said...

For Japan, I offer the omnibus: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Big_in_Japan_%28phrase%29

Anonymous said...

Apparently a worldview/culture from the Levant is very popular among Northern Europeans.

syon said...

This is more impressionistic than statistical in character, but it's always seemed to me that Raymond Chandler is a bigger deal in the UK than he is in America.

Dahinda said...

This isn't pop culture related but I went to a Puerto Rican friend's family Thanksgiving get together once and all of the young guys there were talking about becoming Freemasons. They were really into it and other Puerto Rican guys who showed up at the house, who were family members that were obviously not close to the Freemason wannbes, also knew a lot about the Freemasons and expressed their desire to join when it was brought up later.

Anonymous said...

Morrissey isn't just popular in East L.A. He has a huge fan base in Mexico and among Mexican-Americna youth pretty much everywhere.

Bill Haley was a big star in Mexico long after he'd faded from the scene in he states. In fact, rockabilly is still a big youth culture in Mexico. There are often reports of rockabillies beating up emos down there. But pretty much everyone does. come to think of it, some people might be surprised at how bug the emo culture is in Mexico.

Brian said...

Didn't the average Australian view Steve"the crocodile hunter"Irwin as a national embarrasment?

I'm suprised no one has mentioned the love of Mississippi Delta Blues amongst quite a few British teenagers in the mid-sixties.

Kylie said...

"Also, this is not a person but a television programme, "Dinner for One" in Scandinavia and Germany at Christmas/New Year's. An absolute ritual to sit down and watch, but no one in the English speaking world seems to have heard of it."

Ugh, I watched it a few years ago. Did not get it at all.

I do like Benny Hill and Rowan Atkinson, though.

Truth said...

"pseudo-Kinison comic Bill Hicks had only a token following in the '80s but became like a god to the UK smart set."

Actually he's still very popular here:

http://internetkooks.com/?p=41

Matra said...

Like others I'm baffled by the Morrissey and "Chicanos" thing. I think Steve just made that up for a laugh. Morrissey fans are almost always angst-ridden.

There have been quite a few world champion Grand Prix motorcycle racers from America who were superstars in Europe but virtually unknown in the US outside the motorcycling cultists.

So true. Among the first American sportsmen I ever heard of were Kenny Roberts and Freddie Spencer. Until recently with the rise of basketball the only American sportsmen known in much of the world were boxers and sprinters. Speaking of basketball and motorcycle racing I recall watching a MotoGP race years ago when big fan of the sport Michael Jordan met some of the American riders in the paddock. The European commentators didn't know he was also a celebrity until a caption showed up on the screen.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Edgar Allen Poe was for a long time more esteemed in France than in the United States, where the New England literati of the nineteenth century tended to regard him as a writer of light and vulgar entertainments. Similarly, the pulp-horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was taken more seriously there than in the U.S., where he was dismissed as a hack by the likes of Edmund Wilson, and is still not well regarded by some - witness the harrumphing reviews published here when a volume of Lovecraft's stories was released as part of the Library of America series.

I wonder if the quality of the French translations might have something to do with both cases. I've never read either in French, so can't say. Some writers seem to translate naturally and well into other languages. There are those who claim that the English translations of Borges read better than the original Spanish. Again, never having read them in Spanish, I am in no position to say.

FredR said...

re Nicholas Ray in France, here's Gore Vidal retelling a conversation with Orson Welles:

" Orson was now in full flow. “They [the French] also have the gift of the unexpected letdown. The ultimate Zinger. ‘There are only three great directors in the history of the film,’ they will announce. I smile shyly.” Orson smiles. Cotton was right. Though he doesn’t seem to be sucking in his cheeks, the corners of his mouth are drawn not up but down. “There is D.W. Griffith. I roll my eyes toward Heaven in an ecstasy of agreement. There is Orson Welles. I lower my lids, all modesty—little me? Then,” his voice drops, basso profundissimo, “there is—Nicholas Ray!” Orson erupts in laughter. We meditate on the interview as art form as well as necessity for Orson, “because I don’t lecture any more.”

Matra said...

The late American musician and singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley was quite well known in Europe even before he died. In the US he's only developed a following in the past ten years or so since some of his songs have appeared in Hollywood movies like Vanilla Sky.

The very New York sounding Velvet Underground and Fun Lovin' Criminals were also more popular in Europe than the US.

Suzi Quatro is very popular here. She tours here a lot. I saw her in Canberra (capital of Australia) a couple of years ago. Still rocking at nearly 60. She is big in Germany too and is married to a German I believe.

She was also famous in the UK. American audiences would only know her, if at all, as Leather Tuscadero in Happy Days.

There are also numerous products that are more popular outside their homeland such as Foster's and Stella Artois beer.

Preddy said...

Well, Raquel (Tejada) Welch and Margarita (Cansuela) Hayworth sure seemed to be popular with white and black men!

It's a good point though: after Elvis, I can't think of a white male rock star who had a following in the black community.....

As for white pols, Lyndon Johnson got 97% of the black vote in '64, Humphrey got 95% in '68, RFK was getting almost 100% before his death...but all those records were broken by Obama in 2008 when he 99%...

Anonymous said...

C.S. Lewis is much more popular with evangelicals and Mormons than with Episcopalians.

Kent Derricot and Kent Gilbert are Americans that are celebrities in Japan, unknown in the US.

-osvaldo M.

Drawbacks said...

Reginald D. Hunter, African-American comedian very popular in the UK.
Also, I don't know how famous The Blood Arm, a part-Chicano LA band are in the US, but they've had modest success over here.

Anonymous said...

Clarence Thomas.

-osvaldo M.

Anonymous said...

I followed the example of an earlier commenter and googled Brian Molko. Horrifying.

Anonymous said...

I think this happens to a lot of people. Once popular in their own countries, they lose favor but enjoy second acts in other nations. Or they get a gig in Vegas.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

Maybe the Chinese artist Wei Wei. He seems to be bigger in the West than in China.
Satyajit Ray was the darling of the foreign film festival circuit, not so much in India, not least because his films were in Bengali while most Indians spoke Hindi.

A whole bunch of Iranian film directors are more appreciated in places in Cannes than in the home country.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

Gaddafi was more popular among Stevers than among Libyans.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

Gorby was more beloved by Westerners than by Russians.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

During communism, most Russians didn't care for the films of Eisenstein, which were favored by intellectuals abroad. Most Russians wanted to see more Chaplin.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Mexican culture celebrates death and death imagery.

Look at the skulls and grotesque elements at the Mayan ruins.

This results in love of gloomy Morrisey and Heavy metal T shirts

Notice how "vibrant" Mexicans LOVE to dress alike?

LOTS of Black and gray in every Mexicans closet

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Garden Grove Vietnamese LOVE Depeche Mode

Anonymous said...

Bill Hicks in the UK. About 12 years ago, I was surprised see Hicks on a list of must-have records compiled by Elvis Costello for Vanity Fair magazine. Since that time, it became more and more apparent to me just how big Hicks was (and still is) in the UK. Hicks is a sort of cult figure in the US (mainly on the love-themselves, hate-the-other Americans). I generally don't like misanthropic lefties. They make no sense.

Sean68

Steve Sailer said...

I'm a genius in Finland.

Steve Sailer said...

So, for whites more popular among blacks than among whites, we've got Eric Braeden, Teena Marie, and fictional gangsters played by Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. Anybody else?

Marc B said...

I occasionally went to death/speed metal shows in the early 1990's when I lived in Denver, and more than half of the audience was visibly Mexican while the rest were skinhead looking whites.

"Chicanos traditionally love pre-British Invasion r&b and rock 'n' roll, especially doo-wop."

Me too. There were quite a few really good Chicano R&B/garage rock bands like Cannibal & the Headhunters and Question ? and the Mysterions. I consider "96 Tears" one of the best rock and roll songs of all time.

sister carrie said...

"I don't think I know an American who has read Dreiser for fun."

I did. It was after Sightings did a show on a ghost claiming to be the girl drowned by the protaganist in "American Tragedy." The ghost felt she was cruelly slandered, the facts distorted by film & book. Well, that's nothing new. That usually the Tragedy.

Steve Sailer said...

Jim Jones.

G Joubert said...

Elvis was big amongst black audiences back in the day (say, 1956-1961). They loved him, considered him one of their own.

Speaking of 1977, I believe the Bee Gee's "Staying Alive" hit #1 on the soul charts in 1977.

Supposedly --I don't know this for a fact, but I've read it-- Justin Bieber has a following among preteen/early teen black girls nowadays.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Roman Catholic Priest "Father" Pfleger is a white man more popular amongst Blacks than with anyone else

Anonymous said...

The Kardashian clan, for the sisters' large posteriors and affection for black athletes.

Truth said...

Joe Cocker, Tom Jones and Dr, John were big in the black community in the 70's, also Paul Michael Glaser (Detective Starsky) was an idol to young blacks when I was growing up, in retrospect I probably attribute to his vague ethinc looks, and no other blacks on dramatic TV at the time.

Anonymous said...

Blondie is hugely popular in Australia, the UK and Germany, only gays listen to them here.

I don't think it lasted beyond her heyday though (Aus). She was before my time but I had a friend whose parents would throw parties pretty much weekly and I can't recall anyone ever even mentioning Blondie, even though similar styles of pop were often played.

There was a community of Romanian Gypsies where I grew up (Aus) of some 150 people. The parents' generation were the biggest Patsy Cline fans going. Some of the boys had a band that played all sorts of 50s/early 60s covers. Great music.

American heavy/glam metal was hugely popular among the eastern european contingent here in the 80s. Of course it was popular among Anglosaxons too, but this was one of the few points of genuine cultural commonality the communities shared at a time of general cultural distance.

Silver

Anonymous said...

I occasionally went to death/speed metal shows in the early 1990's when I lived in Denver, and more than half of the audience was visibly Mexican while the rest were skinhead looking whites.

As in shaved head skinheads (rather than just very white/mean)? Sacrilege. Every metal fan i've ever known takes his long hair very, very seriously.

Silver

syon said...

Preddy said...:"Well, Raquel (Tejada) Welch and Margarita (Cansuela) Hayworth sure seemed to be popular with white and black men! "

Well, since Raquel Welch and Rita Hayworth are both White, that doesn't really work in terms of White men liking them.

Truth said...

...Oh dear me, how could I forget...


Grayson Boucher
is probably the best example of a white man who would cause a traffic jam in Atlanta, but couldn't get selected for a police lineup in his hometown of Vancouver, BC.

Acilius said...

There's the whole phenomenon of "Northern Soul," in which DJs in Manchester and other cities in the north of England vie with each other to find the most obscure possible American R & B artists from the 1960s and 1970s. Lots of ultra-obscure American musicians have gained substantial followings through Northern Soul.The list at this link of "100 Greatest Northern Soul Songs" is misleading; it includes songs by five or six acts that a normal person might have heard of.
http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_songs-Northern_Soul.html

Fake Herozg said...

Jerry Springer.

Londoner said...

Rock bands Foghat (good) and Bush (awful) are virtually unknown in England but made it quite big in the states. Hugh Laurie was a very prominent tv personality here in the 1980s and was never really forgotten, but had been regarded as a washed-up has-been for decades before he surprisingly cracked the US in "House".

Mexico/Latin America has made a surprisingly large contribution to (extreme) metal - some of the most famous names in the genre include Hererra, Cazares, Trujillo, Lombardo, Araya. Even Nordic death/folk metal legends Opeth (an awesome band) for many years had a rhythm section consisting of a Lopez and a Mendes! Brazil has always been one of metal's most important markets.

Having spent quite a lot of time in Germany I'm well aware of the Kelly Family, though almost no one in the English-speaking world is. They creep me out - badly - in almost every way. Their music is quite diverse but always hideous.

Faithless is actually a group, rather than an individual. Rapper Maxi Jazz is black but his bandmates are white. They're a tired old irrelevance now, although they had some hits and good material in the late 1990s - but they always seemed to be more concerned about their achingly trendy multicultural urban image than with making good music. They were actually a quite good example of how house/techno transformed from a fully black genre into an almost fully white one - which may explain why no blacks ever listened to them. Not authentically hip-hop (although a significant proportion of their music was hip-hop). Trance off-sprung from house and is truly huge in northern Europe. It's probably the whitest transnational musical genre outside classical.

Ogunsiron - didn't know about the heavy metal scene in Botswana, but I did see a tv interview with neighbouring Zambia's vice-president the other day - a democratically elected old white guy called Scott.

josh said...

That "death metal" and similar types of music are popular with Mexicans is not all that reassuring.:\ As for blacks,this is not an artist,but the song,"Superstar" by the Carpenters was covered by Loofa and it was a huge hit. Blacks loved it. That really puzzled me.

Anonymous said...

Steve said...

So, for whites more popular among blacks than among whites, we've got Eric Braeden, Teena Marie, and fictional gangsters played by Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. Anybody else?

I get the impression that those are the specific examples you wanted, rather than some country singer being popular in Latvia or whatever.

You should have been more specific.

By the way, the previous commenter who mentioned black teenage girls liking Justin Bieber is right.

travis said...

So, for whites more popular among blacks than among whites, we've got Eric Braeden, Teena Marie, and fictional gangsters played by Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. Anybody else?

An informal survey of several of my black co-workers yielded the name Jon B.

IHTG said...

The Eskimo Limon series of 50's-themed trashy comedies, in Germany.

Lara said...

Sylvester Stallone movies are popular with black audiences.

Anonymous said...

stylistics,delphonics,harld melvin andthe bluuenotes,ojays and the intruders are all popular with cholos in east l.a.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

REMY SHAND is white and was a MASSIVE favorite of US Black audiences prior to his mysterious disappearance from music.

99% of whites could not identify Remy Shand or his music

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Gloria Jones was a BIG Northern Soul singer

White Americans know her only because her hit "Tainted Love" was covered by Soft Cell circa 1981.

Gloria Jones is better known in England as the wife of Marc Bolan- singer for the band T Rex.

T Rex was as big as the Beatles in the UK in 1971.

Most Americans only know the tune "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" but T Rex had many hits in Europe and the UK including "Jeepster" and "Metal Guru"

Gloria Jones was driving Bolan home in a Mini Cooper when she hit a tree killing Bolan.

Roland Bolan -their son- was financially supported by Bolan protege David Bowie in recognition of his artistic debt to T Rex.

He lives in Santa Monica and loves the Smiths

Colby Cosh said...

Foreign things disproportionately popular in Canada: Neil Finn's Aussie/NZ pop group Crowded House and the TV series WKRP In Cincinnati.

Jacob Roberson said...

Aussies have really taken to Appalachian bluegrass. 24/7 radio stations if I remember correctly. Heck my parents moved away from The Racist Crazy White South and still had to have their bluegrass.

Plok said...
Hasslehoff had a German singing career which is odd


German Switzerland too.

Anonymous said...
I've read that Lionel Richie is very popular in the Arab world. It makes perfect sense. Sappy, melodramatic, saccharine-romantic.


Gaddafi? You don't mean Gaddafi right?

Anonymous said...

Herman Cain?


Eric Braedin is from Schleswig-Holstein. Wayne Brady's parents were West Indian. I love the Internet.

Morrissey fandom is not just Latinos. The visual artist Phil Collins (no relation to the pop star) was able to find communities of devoted fans in Colombia, Indonesia and Turkey where he traveled to make videos of them doing karaoke versions of Smiths songs from "The World Won't Listen."

http://www.artlies.org/article.php?id=1601&issue=57&s=1


I know this is getting off-topic, but rockabilly music is huge in Europe. WTF? And devoted Lord of the Rings fans -- "Tolkienists" -- have been subjected to political persecution in Central Asia.

http://www.vice.com/read/bilbo-v8n7

http://books.google.com/books?id=azpIJF_OLjEC&lpg=PA173&ots=oYpTJQCTf5&pg=PA173#v=onepage&q&f=false

Anonymous said...

Charlie Pride. Black country singer who was also very popular with the whites, specificaly Afrikaners, in South Africa.

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

"They love, love, love Jared Taylor in Japan."

Why would Japanese care about Taylor? And Chinese know about Sailer? How?

Bob Roddis said...

Braeden was in the so-bad-it‘s-good “100 Rifles” with Jim Brown and Raquel Welch in 1969 under his real name Hans Gudegast playing the Nazi-like German Lt. Franz Von Klemme (except it’s 1912).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Rifles

As mentioned, he was Dr. Hasslien in “Escape from the Planet of the Apes”. (Hasslein shoots Zira in cold blood after she refuses to hand over her infant and then proceeds to fire several shots into the infant; he is immediately shot to death by Cornelius, and falls overboard…..)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_the_Planet_of_the_Apes

Can we all agree that Americans don't seem to like funny German names or words?

I am a Cult, not a Cause. said...

I think Three Stooges, Jerry Lewis, and Adam Sandler, though Jewish, were more popular with dimwit goyim.

Anonymous said...

Lawrence of Arabia

Say Stevler said...

I heard that toward the end of his life Lawrence Welk really got into Parlament Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins and his Rubber Band!

Whiskey said...

Jazz. A lot of the classic Black Jazz musicians have rabid White followings, but Blacks don't even know who they are: Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, the Marsalis family, Branford, Wynton, Ellis, and Delfayo, Sonny Rollins, and of course Louis Armstrong. Probably 90% of all Blacks don't know who Louis Armstrong was. His fanbase remains utterly, utterly White.

Anonymous said...

"As in shaved head skinheads (rather than just very white/mean)? Sacrilege. Every metal fan i've ever known takes his long hair very, very seriously."

That's been out for years. I took my son to see that Swedish Viking Death Metal band Amon Amarth, and it was all what you see now: portly guys with shaved heads, mutton chops, and beards. There were exactly two old-school longhair dudes in the crowd.

I'll agree with Truth on Dr. John. Anything New Orleans is an exception the rule.

Black folks I knew used to love Steve Miller.

Anonymous said...

Was Doo Wop a kind of black barbershop singing?

Anonymous said...

Tina Turner?

Kevin J. said...

Occasionally, you'll see a white person on black comedy television, as Ralphie May on "The Big Black Comedy Show," or Gary Owen, the only white man to have hosted BET's "Comicview."

I don't suspect tokenism, but also, I'm not sure how just how popular they are among black folks.

Anonymous said...

According to wiki, the term 'barbershop singing' is black in origin. So, how ironic that it has become an expression of implicit white identity among many conservative minded people who long for the past.

Whiskey said...

Sparks was the band playing in the finale of the movie "Rollercoaster" with George Segal and Timothy Bottoms and a very young Jodie Foster. They had a hit in the 1980's in a duet with Jane Wiedlin.

Anonymous said...

One of the things that has estranged me, so to speak, from blacks in general is there almost total rejection of anything white (other than the benefits of our technology--e.g., cell phones). I recall from many years ago Bob Costas interviewing Clarence Clemmons and asking him why he thought there were so few black fans for "quality" white musicians such as Springsteen. Clarence shrugged his shoulders, "I dunno, man". Then Costas shrugged his shoulders and moved on. I think blacks have so much antipathy for whites that it manifests itself on the visceral level. Meanwhile, whites make fools of themselves for the most artistically devoid products of black culture imaginable. Why are we like this? On a related note, how many blacks kids do you think have posters of white cultural heroes on their walls vs. white kids with blacks? I imagine any black kid with a poster--of even say Eminem--would be embarassed in front of his black friends.

IHTG said...

Can we all agree that Americans don't seem to like funny German names or words?

Check out the last names of the three most famous slasher movie serial killers:

Krueger
Voorhees (Dutch, still Germanic)
Myers (well, this one can also be Anglo)

Anonymous said...

Jesus is big among gentiles.

Anonymous said...

I recall 20 years ago having a conversation with one of my lit profs in college. The subject was Jack London. I grew up in a fairly left-wing household and was taught to revere London (which I still do). I told this prof that it was my impression that London was not taken seriously as an author worthy of serious study than as a writer of stories for boys and at best shallow philosophizing. My prof said, "Tell the Sorbonne that." LOL. Don't know if that was true or not. I know Mencken admired him immensely. Nietzsche must be the common denominator.

Steve Sailer said...

The Soviets loved Jack London. He was a lefty and he wrote about cold wildernesses. A long time ago I was thumbing through an airline magazine and they had reprinted London's article from the 1890s about his visit to Hawaii in which he more or less introduced surfing to American readers. It was great journalism: a major writer encountering one of the world's most amazing sports.

Julan O'Dea said...

Steve Irwin was well-liked in Australia and his death caused much sadness. But he did seem to appeal to Americans a lot. To us Australians, he was the last and perhaps best in a line of similar TV bushmen. The genre is very familiar to us, to the extent that there was a very funny parody series made a few years ago.

When Steve Irwin died, the expatriate Australian feminist Germaine Greer said something crass and was actually ticked off publicly by a prominent politician on her side of politics. Germaine is an example of a woman more popular in Britain than she is in Australia, where she is seen as pretty much a "ratbag" (crank).

Laban said...

Chicano musical favourites - lots of obscure doo-wop like the Danleers and Sash-Ays

http://www.youtube.com/user/reyesm13#g/u

http://www.youtube.com/user/OldieRolas#g/u

Brenton Wood's "I like the way you love me" is great soul music.

Anonymous said...

Check out the last names of the three most famous slasher movie serial killers:

Krueger
Voorhees (Dutch, still Germanic)
Myers (well, this one can also be Anglo)


I imagine that's due to Ed Gein serving as an inspiration for so many of the early slasher films, including "Psycho" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". And what about Dahmer? Isn't that Germanic?

Anonymous said...

"Jesus is big among gentiles."

We have a winner.

Anonymous said...

Someguy

Asians revere classical music.

Kylie said...

Mississippi John Hurt.

Anonymous said...

Canadian soft-pop singer Craig Ruhnke in Japan.

El Chicano said...

Someone please decode Wiki's Laboe encomium for me:

... his live music stops in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods (i.e. the "live dance" incident in El Monte that brought white El Monte police officers to harassed Black and Chicano teen boys for only dancing with white girls) during the tumultuous 1960s.

Anonymous said...

Lenin was a particularly great admirer of The Iron Heel, probably the first great dystopian novel of the 20th century. London's politics were left for his time; however, by today's standards, he be called a Nazi.

alonzo portfolio said...

In 1988 I was hiking in the Dolomites and stopped for dinner at a cabin full of Germans. One guy at my table begged me to send him some Barry White tapes.

Anonymous said...

Mein Kampf is huge in the Mideast and India:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/5182107/Indian-business-students-snap-up-copies-of-Mein-Kampf.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8660064.stm

Jerry said...

Paolo Coelho is huge in Poland (and I understand elsewhere in Europe as well). One time I was stopping by at a bookstore at the Warsaw train station before getting on the train, and they must have had every book he'd ever written prominently displayed. I imagine it has something to do with their sense of finding some kind of post-Christian or post-established religion spirituality. Some very religious people I know praise "Veronica Decides to Die" in the highest terms.

Jack London was big in Poland, too. My first impressions of America came from reading stories about the hobos in the Collected Works in the early 1980's.

Ingle Ells, Ingle Ells said...

Going thru Aisha Gaddafi's photos at Huffington it looks as if she was really into jolly St. Nick

Turing test said...

I've always wondered why Art Clokey was so popular with American Jews. A golem thing, probably.

Peter A said...

"Bob Costas interviewing Clarence Clemmons and asking him why he thought there were so few black fans for "quality" white musicians such as Springsteen."

Maybe they have taste after all? I am white, love classic rock like the Who, Stones, Zeppelin. I have never "gotten" Springsteen. He has a few good songs but he doesn't rock at all. Actually I think the problem is that there is a pseudo soul/r&b element to Springsteen's music (saxophone in a rock band?) that blacks probably recognize correctly as fake imitation. Bob Seger was similarly annoying back in the 70s/80s.

Anonymous said...

Im British and was certainly aware of Brian Molko (and his band) big in the 1990s amongst indie hipster types.

However he is only half American and was born and raised in Europe. He has a somewhat American accent but that seems to be about it.

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