In response to my comment that "I couldn't care less about the artists; my only interest is the music and the composer," Michael Alford wrote me with a fascinating observation. You may already have read some of this gentleman's work: last month, he published Swindled, an account of the GOP's corruption and abuse of Ron Paul during the presidential primaries.
When he isn't writing, Rev. Alford preaches the Gospel. He told me that my emphasis on music and composers rather than the performers "reminded me of how I prepared and eventually preached a sermon on music a few years back. While studying it out, I noticed an interesting trend. Starting in, by my estimation, the 1920’s or so, the emphasis in music became the performer, not the composer. As music continued to de-evolve, there was less importance on having music with a quality structure and more importance placed on a performer's ability to ‘jazz it up’. Fast-forward to today, in which a song is regularly referred to as the performer's song, such as ‘That’s a Marvin Gaye song’, when Marvin Gaye didn’t write it. I think it's indicative of the shallowing and coarsening of a culture, and proof that people do really value the creature over the creator , even in music."