Someone over at Variety must be in hot water after a poorly-conceived tweet raised the ire of social media users on Independence Day. A message went out from the music magazine’s Twitter account that read “How Elvis invented rock ‘n’ roll 60 years ago.” Of course, anyone familiar with the likes of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Ike Turner and Little Richard would disagree – and many did, creating the #Varietyheadlines to skewer the claim.
Before long, Variety released a statement:
The word “invented” in the original headline has stirred an angry response from some readers who argue that it diminishes the contributions of many African-American musicians. As the story notes, Presley and Phillips were greatly influenced by a range of musical styles and artists. Crediting a single “inventor” of rock ‘n’ roll is as hard as determining who invented television or the automobile, and the headline on this story was not meant to indicate an absolute in this regard. The July 5, 1954, recording session detailed here marked a turning point in musical history, but in deference to the concerns raised by readers we have adjusted the headline to better reflect the nuance of the story.