Posted: Jan 4, 2008 3:17 am |
Edited by: Rich Balls
I wrote this column about country music for the crappy college paper I work for...I even got a letter from a guy bitching that i was wrong...
here it is:
Country music has become a mockery of itself.
Hank Williams Sr. is spinning and convulsing in his grave.
It seems that for the past decade (or two) pop stars have mutated a classic form of American music into a corny trend.
While Garth Brooks may be the biggest point source of this musical diarrhea, I have a feeling this had been trickling down since the 1970s "Rhinestone Cowboy" days.
If I mention Garth, it wouldn't be fair to leave out Shania Twain. She sealed the deal on the end of decent (popular) country music. Soccer moms and deranged men everywhere were line-dancing their hearts out to "I Feel Like a Woman," which was a typical pop song, only she added the twangy-guitar. This fooled listeners into thinking she was playing some real country music! "Well, she does have that twang! Yee-haw!"
That early '90s outbreak inspired not only line dancing, but also encouraged the purchase of those faux-cowboy button-up shirts, shiny cowboy hats, and gave people across the country the delusion that they were "real cowboys." George Carlin commented on this, something like, "Why don't you dress up like a pirate!"
I admit I'm not an expert on new country music; I only catch fragments of it occasionally, usually at crappy restaurants. Though I have noticed that a lot of the male artists sing lyrics in an exaggerated southern accent, about topics pertinent to the average Joe. Which works out perfectly when it comes time to sell an album.
These country singers are millionaire celebrities, yet they always sing about being blue collar, borderline poor, or just "yer average tax-payin' Amurikan, who has problems juss lock you!"
I'm not buying it. If you look into the record industry you would see these turds are produced and molded into moneymakers. Austin, Texas is a hotbed for wanna-be country singers who realized, if you're really lucky, a little talent could get you a lot of money.
A few years ago, country legend Loretta Lynn recorded an album of original, traditional country songs, that she penned herself (not common for country stars). It received rave reviews, won the Grammy for Best Country Album of the Year ... yet it didn't get any airplay on country radio stations. I guess stations reserve airtime for profitable 9-11 tribute songs by Toby Keith and Alan Jackson who have made a fortune off the deaths of the 9-11 victims. Using a tragedy of that caliber for a career booster is pretty un-American if you ask me, but great for business.
A letter from a pissed off "country" fan!!!
I have been attending LCC for a year and a half, and have enjoyed you and your colleagues editorials. However, your Oct. 22-Nov. 4, 2007 article on pop country music struck a nerve with me. I found your article agreeable as I read your opinions of pop country star Shania Twain's song "I feel like a woman" and how it has "mutated a classic form of American music into a corny trend". However, as a fan of country music I have to strongly disagree with your statements that "rich celebrities" are masquerading as average joes. What makes country music a great American tradition isn't who sings, but the values and way of life that each song conveys. True country music is patriotic and honest, with no regards to whether you live in the middle of America or the middle of LA.
Secondly, your thoughts about two artists Toby Keith and Alan Jackson, using the 9/11 tragedy as a business move to sell records is wrong and degrading to fans of country music everywhere. It is well known that Toby Keith has strongly supported this country and our troops serving overseas. Songs such as "Remember When" from Alan Jackson and Toby Keith's popular "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" or "American Soldier" are songs that have the power to unite people and heal wounds.
I just wanted to voice my thoughts on your editorial, and my feelings about how you chose to comment on some of my favorite artists.
Sincerely, John Cole.