The Definitive List Of White Music Stolen By Black People

Last week, Onion A.V. Club writer Noel Murray complained about the trend of people rejecting things—food, films, music—as being “for white people.” “The ‘white people are square and bland’ gag is an old one, and for the most part, it’s both harmless and healthy,” Murray wrote. “But increasingly, people aren’t sniping about ‘whiteness’ to be funny, or even defiant—at least not entirely. They’re using the term as a form of criticism, meant to be dismissive. … ‘That sounds like music for white people,’ is another way of saying, ‘That can’t be any good.’ And I do have a problem with that.”

To some degree, we trio of black people agrees with Murray—white people aren’t always lame. In fact, studies show that only about 35 percent of the white population is hopelessly uncool, compared to 27 percent of the black population.

To promote a more perfect harmony between blacks and whites, we’ve put together a list of music taken by black musicians from white musicians. While we’re confident this list won’t eliminate all the racial tension currently dividing America, we hope it lends some credence to Murray’s protestations about white stuff being written off as boring. As you can tell from looking below, that’s simply not the case. White people: Frequently not as dull as you might think.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS

Bing Crosby To Otis Redding

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

Bob Dylan To Jimi Hendrix

STILLNESS IS THE MOVE

Dirty Projectors To Solange

BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE

Michael “Mick” Jackson To Michael Jackson

WE CAN WORK IT OUT

The Beatles To Stevie Wonder

WILD NIGHT

Van Morrison To Me’Shell Ndegeocello/John Mellencamp

THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE

Peggy Seeger To Roberta Flack

BLUEBERRY HILL

Gene Autry To Fats Domino

I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

Dolly Parton To Whitney Houston

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU

Peggy Lee To The Flamingos

PROUD MARY

Creedence Clearwater Revival To Tina & Ike Turner

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER

Simon & Garfunkel To Roberta Flack

JEALOUS GUY

John Lennon To Donny Hathaway

SUMMER BREEZE

Seals & Crofts To The Isley Brothers

I SHALL BE RELEASED

Bob Dylan To Nina Simone

WE GOTTA GET YOU A WOMAN

Todd Rundgren To The Four Tops

BREAKFAST IN BED

Dusty Springfield To Alton & Hortense Ellis

MEMORIES CAN’T WAIT

Talking Heads To Living Colour

NE ME QUITTE PAS

Jacques Brel To Nina Simone

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Sound Of Music To John Coltrane

WALK THIS WAY

Aerosmith To RUN-DMC

LIGHT MY FIRE

The Doors To Al Green And Shirley Bassey

FIRE

Bruce Springsteen To The Pointer Sisters

WALK AWAY RENEE

The Left Banke To The Four Tops

THE WEIGHT

The Band To Aretha Franklin

GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE

The Beatles To Earth, Wind & Fire

SUGAR, SUGAR

The Archies To Wilson Pickett

SLIPPERY PEOPLE

The Talking Heads To The Staple Singers

96 TEARS

? And The Mysterians To Garland Jeffreys

SHE’S ABOUT A MOVER

Sir Douglas Quintet To Otis Clay

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY

Bob Dylan To Howard Tate

MR. BOJANGLES

Jerry Jeff Walker To Sammy Davis Jr.


Cord Jefferson, Aminatou Sow and Shani Hilton are friends with a lot of white people in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, where they live and work.