Answer song

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An answer song, response song or answer record, is, as the name suggests, a song (usually a recorded track) made in answer to a previous song, normally by another artist. The concept became widespread in blues and R&B recorded music in the 1930s to the 1950s. Answer songs were also extremely popular in country music in the 1950s and 1960s, most often as female responses to an original hit by a male artist.

The original "Hound Dog" song sung by Big Mama Thornton reached number 1 in 1953, and there were six answer songs in response; the most successful of these was "Bear Cat", by Rufus Thomas which reached number 3. That led to a successful copyright lawsuit for $35,000, which is said to have led Sam Phillips of Sun Records to sell Elvis Presley's recording contract to RCA.[1][2]

Today, this practice is most common in hip hop music and filk, especially as the continuation of a feud between performers; the Roxanne Wars was a notable example that resulted in over a hundred answer songs.[3] Answer songs also played a part in the battle over turf in The Bridge Wars.[3] Sometimes, an answer record imitated the original very closely and occasionally, a hit song would be followed up by the same artist.

Examples[edit]

Pre-1950s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970/80/90s[edit]

2000s/10s[edit]

Diss tracks[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Salem, James M. (2001). The late, great Johnny Ace and the transition from R & B to rock 'n' roll'. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06969-2.
  2. ^ "sam phillips and the remix". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13.
  3. ^ a b Hess, Mickey (2009). Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide: Volume 1: East Coast and West Coast. ABC-CLIO. p. xx. ISBN 0-313-34323-3.
  4. ^ "I Wonder Why Bill Bailey Don't Come Home".
  5. ^ "I Used to Be Afraid to Come Home in the Dark".
  6. ^ "I'm Afraid to Come Home in the Dark".
  7. ^ Woody Guthrie: this man is your myth, this man is my myth, section American Hero
  8. ^ "Country Music – Music News, New Songs, Videos, Music Shows and Playlists from CMT". www.cmt.com. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  9. ^ The Big Bopper Archived January 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. hotshotdigital.com
  10. ^ damita jo soulwalking.co.uk
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 255–256. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  12. ^ Alabama Archived July 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. http://music.yahoo.com/
  13. ^ Liz Smith, "Papa Gets Second Chance In New Video", Sarasota Herald-Tribune (October 22, 1986), 5E.
  14. ^ "Mamado & She - I'm Your Wild Thang". Discogs. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Answer Records - everyHit.com". www.everyhit.com. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  16. ^ "As Hundreds Cheer". www.villagevoice.com. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  17. ^ Moring, Mark. "Getting It Right". Christianity Today International. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Discs at dawn - - guardian.co.uk Arts". arts.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Answer Records / Sequels". everyhit.com.
  20. ^ Wright, Jade (September 29, 2011). "Dean Friedman tells Jade Wright why he's planning revenge on Half Man Half Biscuit". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  21. ^ [1],
  22. ^ Hill, Kellus (14 May 2012). "Lecrae - Church Clothes". Da South. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  23. ^ Christine🌹theQueens [@QueensChristine] (15 September 2016). "@AFNoli Beyoncé est indépassable ds l'original car c'est une femme bafouée qui se révolte - dans la mienne, je suis le cheater" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ "Esme Patterson "Woman to Woman"". Greater Than Collective. Retrieved 31 May 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Answer Records / Sequels", list of Answer Songs from everyhit.com
  • B. Lee Cooper and Wayne S. Haney, Response Recordings: An Answer Song Discography, 1950-1990, Scarecrow Press, 1990, ISBN 978-0810823426 (A comprehensive alphabetized list of over 2500 hit tunes that prompted the production of answer songs or other forms of response recordings)
  • Answer Songs, Spotify playlist of some of the answer songs on this page