Billy Joe Shaver Rivals For The Title Of Greatest Country Music Pistolero
- James Kelly brought up the issue of “young vs. old” and “new vs. traditional” at the Opry in a piece titled “Are Country Legends too Old to Cut the Mustard?” He cites artists like Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson who have taken creative chances to create a resurgence in their careers while other like Stonewall Jackson thought they’d be able to ride out on their Opry membership.
Alas, things changed. The country industry boomed in the early 1990s and a new crop of young artists emerged, more likely to follow the business model of rock than country. As revenues increased, so did the demands of the fans. And the Opry management made adjustments to address their desires. As a result, hot new acts were allowed to perform on the Opry without paying the dues expected in the past. As Opry attendance increased, the old-timers saw their face time decrease.
- The Houston Press says that perhaps Billy Joe Shaver is the greatest country music pistolero of all time, then goes on to list a few singers who might rival him. Such artists include Johnny Rodriguez, Johnny Paycheck, and George Jones.
The Paycheck incident is very much like Shaver’s…Legend has it that Paycheck and his victim were disputing the relative merits of turtle soup vs. venison when Paycheck finally had enough. “I don’t like you and I’m going to mess you up,” he is alleged to have said, before shooting the man in the head.
- Citizen-Times has a Q&A with Kenny Rogers in which they ask him “what is the secret to finding a great song?”
I tend to find songs with stories that connect with me. “The Gambler” is a song that goes way beyond gambling. It’s a philosophy of life, about knowing when to walk away from something. “Lucille” was a wonderful story about a guy caught in bad situation. When I first started in this business, music was about the message and little about the messenger. Now, it’s about the messenger and not the message. Not that it’s wrong. Either one is OK with me.
- The Tennessean has an authorless opinion piece filed in the business section about the CMT Music Awards. Whoever wrote the article has some pent up hostility towards Jeff Foxworthy.
As much as it may want to, CMT can’t position itself as the only place in country music where the Dixie Chicks, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash are celebrated figures while at the same time it invites a hack comedian to attack and ridicule some of these artists’ values on one of its biggest nights.
Maybe I’m part of Foxworthy’s targeted audience, because I didn’t find anything particularly insulting. Most of it appeared to be tongue-in-cheek humor similar to what all comedians use when they’re hosting an awards ceremony. Or maybe the media needs to stop being so worried about others being politically correct all the time and quit attacking those they don’t agree with. Thicker skin much?
- Update: One of our readers, Gloria, sent in a link that brings us much concern. The CMT Music Awards used Foxworthy as a diversion to blind the fans from much more pressing matters, matters such as these. Country music has been hijacked.
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Barry Mazor: It may be over-stated, in arriving at practically a single explanation of everything, but Adam Gussow's book on lynching and …
- Leeann: Wow! Heavy topic and horrifying indeed! "Beer for My Horses" was all fun and games until that reference, I'll have …
- Barry Mazor: Everything else aside, the way that reporter fills us in, with must-have, pointless generational snark included, about who this "Little …
- luckyoldsun: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" seems to be about a lynching--even if there's something about a judge …
- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- bob: Powerful songs. I read the book "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison about a dozen years ago. …
- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."