The influence of sixties' rock on its black counterpart is more often overestimated than underestimated. With events occurring on the scale of the Watts riots, the murder of Martin Luther King and the rise of militant groups such as the Panthers, the nature of black Americans' social self-awareness was changing rapidly and profoundly. A new audience, in effect, was emerging that demanded an appropriate perspective in the songs provided for it by its musician-spokesmen. (p. 199)
In general, increased attention began to be paid by black songwriters to developing the kind of literary techniques that had previously tended to remain the province of white balladeers. Smokey Robinson was the master in this...
(The entire section is 698 words.)