I Diss Rock And Roll Music
I probably heard it when I was a kid – my parents had at least one album on 8-track – but I first recall hearing “I Dig Rock And Roll Music” by folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary when I was 19. I quickly realized it was a, uh, dig at rock music – which they considered lowest common denominator* – as it knocked folk music off the charts. The song referenced the Mamas & the Papas (even emulating their style to some degree), Donovan (with a mild takeoff of his psychedelia), and the Beatles (directly targeting their song “The Word“) while painting them as sellouts who concealed messages in their music that wouldn’t get played on the radio if stated openly.
It’s actually quite a catchy pop-rock song and a favorite of mine.
However, I don’t believe I ever saw or heard this until today…
Cass Elliot aka “Mama Cass” of the Mamas & the Papas teamed up with Sammy Davis Jr. to sing the song criticizing her. I have to wonder if the insertion of Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect” was a bit of firing back at PPM.
Diss tracks were around long before rap.
* For as much craptacular rock music was floating around in 1967, it got much worse afterward, hitting a bottomed-out nadir in the mid 70s.