STORY UNTOLD * THE NUTMEGS * HERALD 452 * USA
Originally calling themselves the Lyres, The Nutmegs formed their group in New Haven, Connecticut in 1953, their first recording, as the Lyres, was Ship Of Love for the J&G label; Story Untold was their first as The Nutmegs.
If, as is thought about many of the Blues songs, there is allegory in the
words of R&B and Soul songs, then, for me, Story Untold offers
a very resonant example. As back in 1955, apart from the official narratives
involving crime and delinquency, the actual voice of the young (or old) African
American from the ghetto had little or no expression in the main stream media.
Many of the only narratives we have on subjects that are unrelated or
unfamiliar to us are the official histories, or myths, which tend to support the
grand narratives i.e.: truth is legitimated in science; progress is a forward
motion and we are better off now than we ever have been; democracy is the best
form of government for the people; that the left is ethically and morally better
than the right; and etc.,.
It is only when we come up against an example of these official stories
on a subject we are familiar with that we feel troubled as they are invariably
wanting. The passion expressed by lead vocalist Leroy Griffin, and the rest of
the group, on this record exemplifies the need and desire of many to tell their own
story, and the feeling of frustration at not having access to official channels
for that story to have legitimation.
And yet the above is a fine example that we have, or can make, our own voices
heard, and that the self is not powerless. What is needed in the face of
corporate, or state ideological reasoning is a personal change of consciousness,
leading to the recognition and valorisation (Verwertung ) of these repressed
forms of history and truth, and the rejection of the others, not in theory but
Renamed A Story Untold the song was also recorded by the Italian American Doo Wop group The Emotions in 1960 (see below).
A STORY UNTOLD * THE EMOTIONS * 20th CENTURY-FOX 430 * USA
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