In the first essay in Calendar's new Popping Off series, William K. Knoedelseder Jr. defended Paul Simon's decision to record "Graceland" in South Africa, and to use South African musicians. Knoedelseder's commentary, prompted by protests against Simon by students at Howard University, drew spirited response from readers. Here is a sampling of opinion, the overwhelming majority of which supported Simon's actions. Popping Off is an occasional forum commenting on timely issues in pop music.
As an Afro-American, I enjoyed "Graceland" for its haunting beauty, radiant clarity and daring diversity. Simon has bought African music to the American mainstream and made our global village a little smaller.
Strange, I haven't heard any Louisianians protest the use of Zydeco music. I think the way Lionel Richie waters down reggae in his latest single "Sela" is incredibly offensive.