February 13, 2014

Fire Water sung on American Idol

Actor/activist Sonny Skyhawk brought this news to my attention:

Harry Connick Jr. takes The Wild Magnolias to 'American Idol' viewers

By Dave Walker“American Idol” averaged 11 million viewers nationally during its first hour Wednesday (Feb. 12), so Harry Connick Jr. likely delivered The Wild Magnolias their biggest one-time TV audience ever. It came when former judge Randy Jackson joined the episode via “spontaneous” walk-on a la Bob Hope on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” Connick and Keith Urban then “auditioned” for Jackson, for the purpose of being judged by the top dawg himself.

The song Connick picked: “(Big Chief Like Plenty of) Fire Water,” a 1975 recording by Bo Dollis’ The Wild Magnolias of a Mardi Gras Indians chant. The song is credited on the record, see photo, to The Wild Magnolias and Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton. According to Dan Phillips’ blog Home of the Groove, the song first appeared on the album “They Call Us Wild,” released only in Europe.
As Skyhawk put it on Facebook:Last night on "AMERICAN IDOL,"Harry Connick Jr. sang a song entitled "BIG CHIEF, PLENTY FIRE WATER." What is unfortunate, is that the song feeds into the stereotype of the American Indian people, it degrades and implies that it is ok to demean or make fun of our Native people. Being a resident of New Orleans and, experiencing Mardi Gras, I assume he thought nothing of the lyrics, because after all people do it during Mardi Gras, dress up as Natives, colored feathers and the lot. For the American Indian people of this land now called America, it is not ok or funny. Jennifer Lopez recognized the degradation and stated her disapproval, on stage. I would welcome an apology from Harry, but then that would be an assumption that he saw anything wrong with what the lyrics were about. Our people, our children, and others see and hear these things and assume it is ok, because after all, Harry Connick Jr. said it on television. Rest assured that the FOX NETWORK will hear from our organization.Comment:  For more on American Idol, see Pomo Singer on American Idol.

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