If you're not doing something different, you're not doing anything.
If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars.
I was trying to establish an identity in music, and black and white had nothing to do with it.
I am a sound freak. I could play around with sound forever.
I grew up on what everybody called a plantation - but believe me, it wasn't a plantation. It was just an old farm. I grew up with a lot of black people working in the fields, and it was during the Depression between 1930 and the war, so we were all poor - black and white.
There was a certain feeling I developed as a young person for black people. Somehow they were able to get pleasure out of things that I couldn't see them enjoying. I heard them sing a lot, and I didn't hear white folks going down the cotton rows singing that much.
I'll never retire. I'm just using up somebody else's oxygen if I retire.
Feeling has as much to say as the words do. You can have the greatest words in the world and if they're not believable, they don't strike a chord and they're not said convincingly, it's not a great song.
I was looking for what was coming from a man's soul and a man's conviction. I didn't care about his past. If it was innate and natural and felt good to him and it communicated.
Teenagers did not have, before rock 'n' roll and rhythm-and-blues - they did not have any type of music they could call their own once they got over 4 or 5 years old until they were well into their 20's and considered adults.
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