Chet Flippo on ACM Snubs; Chris Scruggs Stands Up For Nashville; Country Music Tragedies

Brody Vercher | March 5th, 2010

  • Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw both got snubbed by the ACM Awards, but Chet Flippo thinks Jason Aldean is the biggest omission from the last of nominees and in his latest Nashville Skyline column he argues his case. His conclusion:

    So, take awards shows on their own terms, you know. Or ignore them completely. Just don’t cite them as gospel. And when they don’t truly reflect country music, let people know that. Remember, these aren’t so much awards ceremonies as they are — first and foremost — TV shows. And the nominees are, more and more, just the cast.

  • PopMatters’ Michael Brett really doesn’t like the Zac Brown Band. Really.
  • Chris Scruggs has a lot of opinions on the music industry and traditions in country music, and in an interview with Nashville Scene‘s Adam Gold, he touched on those opinions, contrasted the recording process with an 80-year-old country singer and an artist like Andrew Bird or M. Ward, and recalled meeting his grandfather Earl Scruggs for the first time recently. And he sticks up for Nashville:

    People say, “Oh, you know, country music went bad,” and they like to blame it on Nashville. People say, “I can’t stand Nashville for what it’s done to country music.” Nashville was the home of Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells. To blame Nashville for the state of country music is like blaming the house for being robbed. People came, cheapened it, and they took away a lot of the magic. That’s not Nashville’s fault, it’s the industry’s fault, and it’s the same industry that’s responsible for a lot of the mediocre rock music you get nowadays too [but people don't go blaming L.A. for that]. Country fans feel so betrayed by Nashville as a city and I’d like to champion Nashville and say that no, Nashville is still a good place. We’ve still got Little Jimmy Dickens and we’ve still got some good things here. It’s the only place in the world where you can see Little Jimmy Dickens at Cracker Barrel randomly on a Saturday morning.

  • CMT provided a sneak peek at the the upcoming episode of Crossroads with a Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffet performance of “Margaritaville.” Other new videos include Eric Church‘s intensely performed, but weak-on-concept “Hell On The Heart,” Katie Armiger‘s “Kiss Me Now,” and Josh Thompson‘s “Way Out Here.”
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame partnered with New Haven Records to release a compilation of inspirational country songs titled Sunday in the Country: 12 Inspiring Hits From Today’s Top Country Artists.
  • At noon Eastern time today Todd Snider will be performing live in concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
  • There’s some spooky stuff going on around John Hiatt‘s house, as relayed by Craig Shelburne:

    “There’s always been some interesting activity behind our barn,” Hiatt told me during a recent interview. “When our kids were little, they wouldn’t go back there at night, and when they did with their friends, they’d come running into the house scared, saying they’d seen eyes.”

  • Merle Haggard bemoans the overuse of Auto-Tune:

    Well, I don’t allow my music to be tampered with; it goes directly to tape with very little sweetening. I don’t believe in a producer; God is my producer. Anyways, I want it to be real so we can do it properly onstage.

  • The LimeWire Music Blog listed country music’s 10 greatest tragedies. (via That Nashville Sound)
  • Music Fog: Chris Knight – “Hell Ain’t Half Full”

  1. Jim Malec
    March 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Garth rode to fame thanks to Clear Channel? When did radio consolidation start happening, Michael?

    It’s also funny to read a guy calling “not country” one of the few mainstream releases of the last couple of years to have any strain of country traditionalism on it. Makes me wonder if he listened to the whole disc, or just the couple of songs he cites.

  2. kevin w
    March 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

    That Zac Brown Band article is horrid.

  3. kevin w
    March 5, 2010 at 11:23 am

    “Garth rode to fame thanks to Clear Channel? When did radio consolidation start happening, Michael?”

    Exactly. That article gave me a headache reading it.
    I’m not sure the writer knows country music like he thinks he does.

  4. Stormy
    March 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Jim: Didn’t Clinton make Powell’s kid head of the FCC and isn’t he the FCC head that started allowing consolidation?

  5. Trailer
    March 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I’m not much of a fighter and not nearly the redneck I portray on the Internet, but I’d like to put a boot in Michael Brett’s ass for multiple reasons. What a dick.

  6. Jon
    March 5, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hey, Stormy, can you guess in which year the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed?

  7. Steve M.
    March 5, 2010 at 11:59 am

    God bless Merle Haggard.

  8. Stormy
    March 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Jon: 1784 right?

  9. Michelle
    March 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Stormy, it was NOT it was 1785!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for the feedback. The rise of Garth Brooks and the consolidation of media in the ’90s does go hand in hand. Also, Bill Clinton is the Best Republican President Ever. I wasn’t making a political point about the telecommunications act. It was horrid, like banking deregulation.

    I urge you to give me good reason, though, that today’s country music shouldn’t be labeled ‘race’ music, just as r&b was in the ’40s and ’50s.

  11. Barry Mazor
    March 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    NOT the 50s. For the record, the “race music” term was used from the blues recordings of the 20s through the mid-40s. The term had been considered a positive one by African-Americans, and then, as with a lot of verbal fashions, got to be seen as less so–which is when R&B was brought into charts to replace it. (As C&W replaced hillbilly).

  12. Chris N.
    March 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’ve always wondered if there weren’t at least a few American soldiers who didn’t care for the idea that they were risking their lives so that Zac Brown could eat chicken and wear “jeans that fit just right.”

  13. Rick
    March 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry will feature Chuck Wicks, Marty Rayborn, Mandy Barnett, & Montgomery Genty. The Saturday Opry will feature Emily West, Del McCoury, Little Texas, and Sammy Kershaw.
    Schedule: http://www.opry.com/shows/ThisWeek.html

    Saturday night’s Ernest Tubb Record Shop Midnite Jamboree show will feature Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys & Girl! I hope they let Amanda sing her version of the Carpenter’s song “Top Of The World” off Jesse’s latest album.
    Link: http://www.etrecordshop.com/

    As for the term “race records”, Chip Taylor uses it freely in his concerts to describe the music he fell in love with as a kid back in the early 1950’s growing up in Yonkers. Its not a term you hear used much by anyone else these days…

  14. Sam G.
    March 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    If Zac Brown has to wear poor-fitting jeans that show plumber’s crack, the terrorists have won.

  15. Jon
    March 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    The rise of Garth Brooks and the consolidation of media in the ’90s does go hand in hand.

    Dude repeating a factually inaccurate statement doesn’t improve it any. In 1995, the year before the Telecommunications Act was passed, Clear Channel owned a grand total of 43 radio stations in all formats; on the other hand, there were over 2,300 full-time country stations in the US, at which Brooks had already had 15 of his 18 #1 hits.

    The point isn’t to defend Brooks, nor to deny that consolidation of radio ownership affected the music business (in more than just country). The point is that in this respect – as in many others throughout the PopMatters diatribe – there’s a consistent lack of respect for the facts that renders the whole thing suspect. Dwight Yoakam was singing odes to rural life in the early 80s? Well, no, that’s wrong on multiple counts – but hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good rant, especially when the ultimate point is to charge “today’s country” with being fundamentally racist?

    I urge you to give me good reason, though, that today’s country music shouldn’t be labeled ‘race’ music, just as r&b was in the ’40s and ’50s.

    Barry’s already addressed the factual sloppiness in that particular sentence, and the larger question is, what good reason is there to think that *yesterday’s* country music from Strait, Yoakam et. al., was any less deserving of the label? Just how many African-American artists and audience members were you seeing when you were doing your “sociological field work” watching country music awards shows in the early 80s? In fact, it’s reasonable to ask just what the hell you know of this subject at all, in any respect?

    Honestly, there are plenty of solid criticisms to be made of today’s country, or of the country music industry, or of the music industry in general (which is where that racial segmentation bidness took place starting back in, oh, about the 1920s). That sorry piece of crap, however, came nowhere close.

  16. nm
    March 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    OK, I know this is an irrelevant pile-on, so I apologize in advance, but this: Dwight Yoakam, and, my dad’s favorite, Willie Nelson giving unmannered performances — this is just odd. I love them all; I’ve seen them all in concert. And all I can say is anyone who thinks Yoakam and Nelson aren’t among the most mannered of performers, and among the most conscious crafters of their own images and stage behavior, hasn’t been paying the least little bit of attention.

  17. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Jon-

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I believe that anything on the internet that is even partially factually inaccurate should be thrown out in toto. I tried to make an analogy and used the wrong company. Maybe I should have used Viacom. Or TimeWarner.

    I agree though, my point is completely erroneous.

    My editor put the ‘early’ in.

    My bad about the ’50s. I could google and see when that was eliminated from the charts, but I’m sure you’ve already done that, and you’re right.

    Race music was labeled as such for marketing the music, even though a lot of white hipsters and hilbillies also enjoyed. So it didn’t really hold as ‘race’ music in a marketing sense anymore.

    And maybe you’re right. Maybe country has always been race music. But I believe (note: non-fact (which columnists sometimes use when they write columns in their own voice)) that when Sony/BMGs etal. saw how successful Garth was they cloned him many times over on their zombie media outlets. I also don’t remember as much flag sucking by Willie, Waylon, Merle, Randy, and Clint. Yes, I know who Lee Greenwood is.

    When did Chicago and New York cable providers start providing CMT? Google that. I believe (I might be wrong) it would be the ’90s.

    At no point in the column did i claim to know everything about country music. I don’t. Thousands know more.

    But I would love to hear what you think the problems are with country music today. You know what I think.

  18. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Oh and Jon-

    About the racial segmentation of music.

    Prince had the #1 album and movie in the ’80s at the same time. That was not in the ’20s.

    You may think this is just semantics. Everyone has them.

  19. nm
    March 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I also don’t remember as much flag sucking by Willie, Waylon, Merle, Randy, and Clint. Yes, I know who Lee Greenwood is.

    Alright, then, you just don’t know that much about country music. That’s OK, you can learn. Just, maybe, check out some of Haggard’s’s sitting-on-the-porch-surrounded-by-American-flags videos before you opine about it in public, is all.

    When did Chicago and New York cable providers start providing CMT? Google that. I believe (I might be wrong) it would be the ’90s.

    I can’t speak to Chicago, but I moved out of NYC in 2000, and you still couldn’t get CMT there then. Not to mention GAC, which I think we weren’t even aware existed.

  20. Jim Malec
    March 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I’m still stuck on the whole Anti-Garth rant. OK, I know it’s cool for cool people to hate on Garth. But while you’re hating on him and saying how un-country he was, I’m going to go play his records and listen to some cowboy music.

    I mean, it is absolutely preposterous to me how anyone can try to reasonably argue that Garth Brooks represents rock or pop music. I mean, did you listen to the man’s records? Or just “Shameless?” Because if you listen to his records, you’re going to hear some of the most country-sounding music put out by a mainstream artist then or since.

  21. Lewis
    March 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Michael Brett doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. The Zac Brown Band are a country music group and are not and I repeat NOT in the same league as The Blackeyed Peas or any other pop group or singer. Zac Brown does not scream in his songs either. The group doing The Devil Went Down To Georgia on the CMA’s is a perfect example of their musicianship and how great they are. Then again, Michael is not a true fan of country music. I don’t know what planet Michael Brett resides in but it is not this earth.

    Guess Michael has spent too much time listening to rap and pop candy than listening to other forms of music. I’m also guessing that he’s never heard of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Eddy Arnold, Barbara Mandrell or any other person who has made country music in the past.

    Michael has to bring up Garth and Shania, both of whom have used every trick and lie in the book to please someone and gain every record in the book by doing just so. Whether it’s Garth’s so-called “retirement”, his “More Than A Memory” being bought so it could go Number One on its debut week, his Las Vegas concerts, his marriage to Trisha Yearwood and lying about his relationship with her, etc. and Shania’s shutting out her country fans and snubbing her fans in general by living in Switzerland and New Zealand and not having a record released since 2003, one would make you think twice about Garth and Shania in the first place and where their real honesty lies in.

  22. idlewildsouth
    March 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, Michael. That’s a lot of anger. What bothers me is, why did Zac Brown need a reason to sing “America The Beautiful”. Much to the surprise, and dismay, of some people, it’s actually cool to celebrate America anytime of the year. It’s kind of like in high school, our principal had us do the pledge on 9/11. It always bothered me…we’re Americans everyday, why just do the pledge on 9/11? Also, if I’m looking for an artist to collaborate with for the soul purpose of introducing myself to young America, you can bet it won’t be Leon Russell, considering I was the only one I knew that recognized who he was. If young America doesn’t have a clue who Zac Brown is, how did their first few singles go number 1? Clearly someone knows who they are.

  23. Saving Country Music
    March 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Michael Brett has a good point on the race stuff. Popular music has now consolidated into two supergenres: hip hop (black), and country (white).

    As for Garth Brooks, his detractors would be smart to separate Garth the musician, and Garth the marketeer. This music was mainstream, esp. compared to what is defining the genre today. The evils lay behind the taste for greed he left in the genre. It’s easy to point all the blame on Garth, but really a lot of the blame should be pointed at all the people in tall buildings trying to make the next Garth.

  24. Vicki
    March 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Well, I’ll start with the Chet ACM article and say I 100% agree. Yanno I love Carrie but I do not want her to get ETOY. Why? Well, she didn’t tour but also, it’s an embarrassment award. There is no value to that award at all.
    The awards this year have been off. I admit some good but mostly bad. The value of these awards have gone south. Nashville Politics have gone overboard especially when some nominations or awards given do not make any sense at all.

    Now Mr.Brett. What’s with hating Garth and saying Zak Brown has a horrible voice? My first siting of Garth was at the Grammy’s when he performed “Friends in Low Places”. I sat there enthralled, and country for the first time started to mean something. To mean Zak Brown has one of the best baritones (with the exception of maybe Ronny Dunn) that’s out there. It’s pure. I don’t get MR. Brett at all.

  25. Jon
    March 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Michael, given how little you know about country music, how could you not pause for at least a moment or two of contemplation before composing a fairly lengthy piece filled with sweeping characterizations of and broad conclusions about it and its history? Laying out “beliefs” unsullied by more than the most cursory connection to facts, and then inviting folks to show where you’re wrong seems kind of ass-backwards. Or maybe I’m being hopelessly 20th century by thinking that the best way to approach an essay is to learn something about its subject before, rather than after writing it.

  26. merlefan49
    March 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Way to go Merle!

  27. merlefan49
    March 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Tbanks for posting the Chris Knight video :D

  28. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Jon-

    I don’t know anything. OK. You win. I have zero knowledge whatsoever.

    We’ve bagged on the column. “It sucks.” Alright.

    I’m still waiting on what you think is wrong with country music today.

    I’m still waiting on why C&W shouldn’t be called ‘race’ music. Saying it always has been only begs the question.

  29. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    NM-

    Never saw any Merle flag videos. But I have read enough interviews with the man to know when it comes to this country, He’s no reactionary jingo.

    idlewildsouth-

    Zac Brown could do whatever the hell he wants. If you think that his performance on the Grammys had everything to do with patriotism, than you are hopelessly naive. Words mean nothing to me. I can only judge deeds. Anybody can salute the flag. It’s a hollow gesture, like a politician’s flag pin. Doesn’t mean a thing.

  30. idlewildsouth
    March 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    To add to what Jon said, if I may, if you’re going to make such statements with such a broad brush, at least make an attempt to defend your stance, and if you’re not going to, why come here and comment just to say you’re not going to actually have an intellectual discussion about it.

  31. idlewildsouth
    March 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I do understand that most of what we see out of the music industry is all marketing, and it would be naive to believe that anything we hear is sincere, but just like I have no way of knowing that their performance was out of mere patriotism, you also have no way to know it wasn’t. Your statement was that he did it for no reason whatsoever, my issue is that he doesn’t have to have a reason. I didn’t say I thought they did it because they’re such great lovers of America, I just don’t think they have to have a justification beyond wanting to do the song.

    And if we want to talk about being naive, let us discuss your statement that they used Leon Russel to introduce themselves to young America. If that’s not a naive and ill informed assumption, I don’t know what is.

  32. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    idlewildsouth and many others-

    Please re-read the column. For one, I specifically didn’t say that about Leon Russell. If your issues are clarity, please deal with the editor.

  33. Jon
    March 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I’m still waiting on why C&W shouldn’t be called ‘race’ music. Saying it always has been only begs the question.

    Well, no, it doesn’t, because your piece – and, for that matter, at least one of your posts here – is built around a purported contrast in this regard between pre- and post-Garth country. And on the one hand, you understate the race-related undercurrents in country music past (which is a complicated subject in itself) and understate the persistent thread of patriotic-themed performances and material in that same history, and then on the other you understate the “liberal” side of contemporary country when it comes to race – starting with the Garthman himself and going on to the contemporary country equivalent of your Prince reference (a guy by the name of Rucker), and overstate the conservative side of it with respect to politics.

    So no, saying that country music has generally been marketed as music by whites for whites throughout its history does not beg any questions related to an alleged contrast between its past and present in that regard. Instead, it’s central to any discussion thereof. Maybe you should read what you wrote again, because you don’t seem much more familiar with it than you do with country music.

  34. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Jon-

    You were the one said the music industry has been segregated since 1920 in one of your earlier posts.

    My central point is that major corporations now sell white people shitty white music which in no way reflects the past, present, or future of this country. It might as well be as a soundtrack from Mars.

    You bring up Rucker. Rucker can’t even be the central character of his own videos. Some openness.

    Rucker is no less of a carpet-bagger than Zac Brown.

    We can dissemble all night long. I see a white elephant in the room. You say the room was always kind of small.

    I’m still waiting for your problems with modern country music.

  35. Jon
    March 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    My central point is that major corporations now sell white people shitty white music which in no way reflects the past, present, or future of this country.

    And my central point is that everything in that sentence – especially, but not only the word “now” – is either ignorant, disingenous or dishonest, with the sole exception of the word “shitty,” which is nothing more than the reflection of one kid’s taste.

  36. nm
    March 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Michael, you are aware of “The Fightin’ Side of Me”? It was written as a reactionary, jingoistic attack on protests against the Vietnam War. Haggard is kinda sorta embarrassed by it now, I believe. He’s no reactionary jingo now, for sure. He was 40 years ago, though.

  37. Michelle
    March 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Michael Brett, ya might want to go ahead and throw that towel in. Jon is officialy THE WINNER!!

  38. Saving Country Music
    March 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Michael Brett,

    Listen brother, don’t let these pointy nosed pseudo-intellectual country music geeks who hang on the way you conjugate every verb to see if they can point and laugh at it get you down. Nowhere in your piece did you proclaim yourself a country music expert. You were giving you perspective as someone who is observing country music from the outside looking in, which in my opinion, is a much more useful observation.

    I would disagree with some of your assertions, but they’re yours. This is an opinion piece. You are articulating your experiences, not editing the country music Wiki page. And your experiences mirror that of many of Americans, and a growing number of Americans every day. I think a sense of this awakening that country music has lost its way was the overall theme of the piece, and anyone whose not getting a check from a major label, or that isn’t spending their Friday nights lip singing Taylor Swift into their shampoo bottle, would agree.

    Props for hanging your ass out there and giving your opinions unfiltered.

  39. CMW
    March 5, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    More importantly, though… the facial hair on that guitar player in the Chris Knight video is pretty impressive. I’d do that if I could.

  40. Trailer
    March 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I mostly got something in my craw because ZBB is one of the few current country acts that really has a shred of country credibility (okay and the Mississippi minus meth comment). Sure they got their foot in the door with the utterly crappy “Chicken Fried,” but their singles after that have been refreshingly organic and true at least to the spirit, if not the sound, of country. Michael, I appreciate you coming in here and arguing your points so effectively. Can’t say I disagree with too many of your opinions.

  41. Jon
    March 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    You were giving you perspective as someone who is observing country music from the outside looking in, which in my opinion, is a much more useful observation.

    Because the less you know about a subject, the more insightful you are about it.

  42. Chris N.
    March 5, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    That poor guy probably had no idea how maddening it is to argue with Jon.

  43. Nicolas
    March 5, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Jason Aldean being snubbed is a bad thing? … Nah, I don’t think so =)

    And I also dislike the Zac Brown Band :D

  44. waynoe
    March 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Look at this slight – “CMT provided a sneak peek at the the upcoming episode of Crossroads with a Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffet performance of “Margaritaville.” Other new videos include Eric Church’s intensely performed, but weak-on-concept “Hell On The Heart,” Katie Armiger’s “Kiss Me Now,” and Josh Thompson’s “Way Out Here.”

    Boy what is it with the continued down-casting of Eric Church? Notice no other snide comments were made concerning others mentioned in this little snippet.

  45. idlewildsouth
    March 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Suit: “Zac, most of young America has no idea who you are. We need to introduce you to them without scaring them off.”

    Zac: “Great, we have a blugrass version of ‘Fuck Tha Police’ ready to go. Ice Cube will make an appearance as long as we promote his next family comedy.”

    Suit: “Yeah, we can’t alienate your country fan base, either. We’re thinking more traditional.’

    Zac: “‘Just the Good ‘Ol Boys’”?”

    Suit: “We were thinking more like ‘America the Beautiful’. With Leon Russell.”

    Zac: “Who?”

    Suit: “Your dad knows who he is.”

    If you weren’t specifically implying that Leon Russell was used to introduce Zac Brown Band to young America, what were you saying?

  46. idlewildsouth
    March 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    And off subject, from Ashley Monroe’s facebook:

    Just sang the truth on stage with Miranda in my hometown.. And just got a text my new record deals done… Could I BE ANY HAPPIER?!?!?!

  47. Michael Brett
    March 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I would like to thank all of you again for your feedback. This has been a very positive experience. I’m up at PopMatters every Friday. If you didn’t like this flavor, I promise next week’s will be different.

    Vayas con juevos,
    Mike

  48. Pierce
    March 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

    “My central point is that major corporations now sell white people shitty white music which in no way reflects the past, present, or future of this country.”

    I know I’m late on this, but I’m with Jon on this one.

    Actually, I think the above statement is ignorant, if not contradictory.

    Listen folks: Country music (and all types of popular music) is a COMMERCIAL creation and has been from essentially Day 1. Welcome to capitalism.

    When America transitioned from a agricultural society to an industrial one, people started moving from the country back into the city where jobs were.

    Country music followed and the music reflected that. For instance, the appeal of Gene Autry and “cowboy” singers was based on nostalgia: people remembering the “simpler” times when they themselves lived in agricultural areas.

    If you look beyond just the visible surface, the trends of country music have always reflected American society to some extent.

  49. kevin w
    March 6, 2010 at 11:02 am

    “I urge you to give me good reason, though, that today’s country music shouldn’t be labeled ‘race’ music, just as r&b was in the ’40s and ’50s.”

    Give me a good reason why any form of music should be called “race music” in 2010.

  50. nm
    March 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Michael Brett sez: I would like to thank all of you again for your feedback. This has been a very positive experience. I’m up at PopMatters every Friday. If you didn’t like this flavor, I promise next week’s will be different.

    Vayas con juevos,
    Mike

    Ah, the internet today. Put up any old nonsense, don’t correct it when inaccuracies are pointed out, leave it up for others to see, and post again on another topic about which one knows nothing the next week. Bloggers at PopMatters don’t get paid for this sort of stuff, do they?

    I would rather read Jon and Jim arguing about the role of the critic any old day than deal with such garbage; at least both of them care about the topic and about accuracy.

  51. Michelle
    March 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I agree NM, but I would like to read an argument between Jon and Brian. That would be really interesting! Then I could decide which one I’m marrying!LOL

  52. Vicki
    March 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Off topic: Gary Allan: Get Off on the Pain

    Tonight on GAC 10:00

  53. Ian
    March 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you Merle Haggard. He needs to start taking shots left and right at Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, etc… about how they are lying to their fans because their music is being dubbed by a machine.

  54. K
    March 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    “Thank you Merle Haggard. He needs to start taking shots left and right at Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, etc… about how they are lying to their fans because their music is being dubbed by a machine.”

    I’d disagree. Anyone who is paying to see an artist with flawed vocals in concert should know what they’re paying for. After all, tv apperances, youtube videos, etc. are a big part of the reason why someone is able to discover artist, make a judgement on their live performances and whether they’re good enough to see in person.

    If an artist is herrendous at awards shows or on live TV in general and you still chose to put money down to go see them, why should the artist be responsible? They’re not forcing to support them by buying their records and seeing them live.

    In my opinion, if you chose to support an artist or band who proves to be weak vocally, then you’re really giving the artist your money, time, and an ego boost. It makes artists say, “if all these people are paying to see us night after night, we must be great; we don’t need to listen to anyone who says we’re terrible.”

    By the way, I think a lot more goes into enjoying a concert than just the vocals. It’s the production, the ease, banter of the performers, their abilty to engage and interact with those who support them the most. It’s the effort that the performers put into entertaining you; is this person a great performer, or a cheesy entertainer that needs a lot of work? It’s knowing that you connect with the stories the artists tell in their songs.

    I, for example, wouldn’t enjoy a Taylor Swift show because I know she has a lot of younger fans, thus her show would probably appeal to those who like fairytales and castles. That’s not to say she isn’t an excellent performer who puts a lot of thought and energy into making sure her stage show is worth it to her fans, but it depends on what your defintion of entertainment is.

    I have seen Rascal Flatts several times in concert (knowing full well that they’re far from the best vocalists), but there are other things that make up the whole package of a live performance and the effort that performers put into entertaining and interacting with their audience.

  55. Jon
    March 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you Merle Haggard. He needs to start taking shots left and right at Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, etc… about how they are lying to their fans because their music is being dubbed by a machine.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  56. luckyoldsun
    March 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Haggard’s kind of a Glenn Beck politically. He has his moods, which are generally right wing. The guy did a whole song decrying the fact that the Supreme Court said that you can’t stop people from expressing themselves by burning representations of the American flag, for crying out loud.

    But he’s a bit of a loose cannon and seems to be not all that knowledgeable or logical, so he’ll often express opinions that contradict some of his other ones.

    Quintessential Merle is the line “Keep your retirement and your SO-CALLED Social Security; Give me all I’ve got coming to me.”

    So does he want his benefits or doesn’t he?

  57. Paul W Dennis
    March 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I don’t mknow which way Haggard leans- evcen during his younger days, songs such as “Irma Jackson” were enough to create an air of mystery about the Hag’s thought processes. Even today I don’t know – I’d like to think he leans right but I wouldn’t bet even a nickel on that.

    In any event, he is the greatest country artist of all time and likely to remain that way

  58. luckyoldsun
    March 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    “Irma Jackson” was a real eye-opener.
    I’d guess that it was buried on an album and never released as a single, but I wonder how surprised some of his redneck fans must have been when they heard it.

    A couple of other great Merle songs were “The Son of Hickory Holler’s Tramp” on Capital and a later MCA cut called (if I remember correctly) “The Immigrant,” where he sticks up for illegal aliens from Mexico.

    But then he’ll due some cement-headed yahoo tripe like “Me and Crippled Soldiers,” “Where’s All the Freedom” or “Politically Uncorrect” (with Gretchen Wilson) and you’re left scratching your head.

    Whatever Hag’s political proclivities appear to be, you can always find some song or statement where his sentiments seem just the opposite.

  59. Paul W Dennis
    March 11, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Hag couldn’t get Capitol to release Irma Jackson as a single

    “The Son of Hickory Holler’s Tramp” was written by Dallas Frazier and was a cover of Johnny Darrell’s single

  60. jim riley
    February 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    most of the biggest stars that everybody reveres in the history of country music were accused of ruining country music in thier day….country music “purists”are great at one thing: revisionist history….music has got to evolve….you can’t keep writing the same song over and over…can you?

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