Please indulge me in another experiment. I have no idea how easy or difficult this might be...
I’ve uploaded snippets of four music tracks to my Vox audio stash. Think you can tell, by your ears alone, whether a singer is a Negro... or not a Negro?
This is not a contest, just an experiment. No need for any detective work. Just go by what you hear and feel. I’ll provide the answers over the weekend.
Okay, here are the snippets:
UPDATE (08/03/07): Interesting. Three of you – UBMFAN1, Mark V and Eric – got all of ’em correct. To wit:
A. Not a Negro
D. Not a Negro
Apparently it’s easier for a white singer to “sound black” than for a black singer to “sound white.” Five out of nine listeners were fooled by D – Suzanne Cloud (photo at left). I guess it’s her husky voice.
I was only able to trick four of you with Track C; that’s Thornetta Davis (photo below). And that’s as close as Ms. Davis can sound to white, due evidently to the alt-rock style of that particular song... which I love, by the way.
If I ever try this again, as a for-real contest, I’ll have to work hard to find a black singer who can fake you all out your socks.
Anyways, here are the complete tracks, FYI:
A. “Feel Like Makin’ Love” – Carrie Coltrane
B. “Summer on the Beach” – Evelyn Thomas
C. “And I Spin” – Thornetta Davis
D. “Just My Imagination” – Suzanne Cloud