I just want to note (I made a similar comment regarding this at J. Scott G.'s place) that the unstoppable pop culture juggernaut that started in the U.S. and steamrolled the world is African-American culture. The great home-grown American music forms jazz, blues, rock-and/or-roll, and rap/hip-hop are rooted in the black American experience, and reflect an African-American aesthetic. Black artists such as Josephine Baker were able to forge careers in Europe that they never could have in the segregated U.S.
American popular music is largely African-American music, or attempts by whites to co-opt African-American music. As an aside, music impresario Sam Phillips was unfairly slandered by an unsympathetic critic, while his actual quote (not to mention his C.V.) reveals a more nuanced reality: "If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars."
Reactionaries have always hated innovations in popular music (trying to avoid irrelevance, they eventually warm up to pop music decades after the fact (even twisting logic and lyrical intent to try to claim the mantle of what passed for hip twenty years ago), maybe in a couple of decades they'll warm up to the hippity hop of Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog.
Even punk rock, which was unfairly criticized by ill-informed critics as an attempt to purge the "black" elements from rock-and-roll, is rooted in the aesthetics of the African diaspora, whether 60's girl-group bubblegum pop or Jamaican reggae/dub. Okay, that being said, how about a classic that portended great changes in the American popular music canon?
Now, how about sitting back and listening keenly to another musical biscuit? Rock the Casbah by the Clash is about the power of popular music to subvert authoritarian regimes... it is precisely about soft power, and conservatives have appallingly tried to co-opt it as a war anthem. Uh, John Miller et al., it ain't about rocking the casbah with bombs, ya trolls:
Finally, here's the first part of a Josephine Baker biography (embedding disabled)- documenting the "first shot fired over the world's bow" by a remarkable American artist of African descent.