Was the First Rapper White?

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Every year, at about this time, I begin to pop in my hand-mixed, homemade Christmas CDs and mini-discs, and every time, I am reminded of what I think to be the first rap song ever recorded. Art Carney, of Honeymooners fame, recorded what I believe to be the world’s first rap song in 1954: his version of Twas the Night before Christmas. In this song he definitely “raps,” and he surely doesn’t sound white. You can hear a sample here. At the same time, in 1954, he recorded Santa and the Doodle-Li-Boop, which charted at #24, while Twas the Night Before Christmas remained rather obscure.

Traditionally, the rap music industry recognizes its beginning at sometime about 1979, when that kind of music was actually good. Amazingly enough, this outstanding Carney song can be downloaded off the web.

7:39 pm on November 14, 2004