IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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Hugh Tracey, authenticity and (African) popular music
Paulette June Coetzee

Last modified: 2013-01-22

Abstract


Hugh Tracey (1903-1977) positioned himself as a discoverer of African music. His dominant representation constructs authentic African music as traditional folk in opposition to Westernised “town music”, often portraying popular urban-based forms as degenerate and inferior. Nonetheless, Tracey recorded hits in partnership with Gallo Records and helped set several artists on the road to commercial success. This paper offers an exploration of the complex relationship between Hugh Tracey and popular music.

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