Thank You America!
Thank you America for all the great stuff you have given us. Out of your melting pot has come a plethora of brilliant stuff!
Just on the Music Scene look of what you have given us! You took African Music, English, Irish and Scottish Folk Music, Canadian French, Native American, Mexican Spanish and Italian to create Blues, Country & Western, R&B, Rockabilly, Rock & Roll, Zydeco, Jazz, Folk, Doo-Wop, Soul, Rap, Acid Rock, Country Rock and Cajun.
So thank you for Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Dale Hawkins, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Son House, Robert Johnson, Clifton Chenier, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Ry Cooder, Arthur Alexander, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, the Doors, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Country Joe and the Fish, NWA, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Big Mama Thornton, J J Cale, Janis Joplin, the Byrds, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sonny Boy Williamson, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Underground and hundreds more.
Then we look at all those wondrous films that have poured out of the studios – 2001 – A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Easy Rider, Soylent Green, Woodstock, The Godfather, Platoon, Apocalypse Now and hundreds more.
Then there’s the great literature and brilliant writers – On the Road by the great Jack Kerouac, the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and writing of William Burroughs, the humour and insight of Kurt Vonnegut, social concern of John Steinbeck, the war with Ernest Hemingway and Norman Mailer, Ken Kesey’s wonderful One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
We can’t forget the myths of the Wild West, Gangsters, The Vietnam War, the Second World War, the Cowboys and Indians, Prohibition, the various Counter Cultures, Civil Rights, the Civil War, the CIA, Wall Street, Assassinations, Road Trips, the Gun Culture and all the other American Mythology that has fed into Literature, Art, Film and Song.
Then there’s Art – the wondrous Pop-Art with Andy Warhol, or Lichtenstein’s Abstracts. There is a popular, dynamic culture that pervades American Art.
Then the landscape – the wondrous Monument Valley, Death Valley, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Canyon De Chelley, Bryce Canyon, the Redwoods, the Cascades, the Rockies the meteor strike and so many more.
The incredible architecture with the New York Skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Fallingwater, the Guggenheim and people like Frank Lloyd Wright.
Who can forget American fashion and style from Hawaiian shirts, Zoot suits, Bermuda Shorts and all the great, bold, colourful clothes that pours out of the Black psyche and gangster panache.
I’m not forgetting food! American has taken food from all over the world and popularised it – from German hamburgers and frankfurters, Italian Pizzas and ice-cream, Cajun Jambalaya, Gumbo and shrimps, Jewish knishes, bagels and lox, Barbeques and French fries.
Of course we have to thank America for its military interventions in World War 1 and 2 – a little late but decisive. Without that help the struggle would have gone on much longer.
There must be loads more great contributions to the culture of the world. I’ve only scratched the surface. America may be young but it’s thrown in a great deal of energy and flair and made quite an impact. The hybrid cultures of black, Hispanic, and European have proved extremely fertile.
Thank you for all those great things!!! America has sure made a huge positive difference to my life. Thank you America!