Country Music: Republican or Democrat?
- Bob Doerschuk says Porter Wagoner’s legacy is secure and unique.
“I may not be the world’s greatest singer,” Wagoner said in his 2007 interview with CMA Close Up. “But I know how to sing Country Music. I know what separates Country from other kinds of music. I’ve learned that it’s important, if you’re a singer or an entertainer, to know what you’re doing. You need to study this business as if you were going to be a doctor, a lawyer or a man that makes big decisions. You never do find out all there is to know in your lifetime. But you learn from that process every day – and you don’t forget what you learn.”
Wagoner also revealed the secret to recitations, as told to him by Red Foley:
“He knew how to talk to an audience. He told me one time, ‘You can’t talk over an audience, because there are hundreds of them sitting there. So if you lose their attention, talk softer. They’ll listen harder.’ And it works.”
- Read the preface to Hank Thompson’s biography on his website. The book is expected to be available on November 30th.
- On the New York Times Blog Kurt Campbell says that for Democrats to “gain deeper insights into the soul of America even without leaving the obvious attractions of Blue State life,” they simply need to turn to the nearest country western station.
Scan the hit charts of a recent country countdown. There is the song about a wife struggling to keep her young family together and her composure while her husband fights in Iraq. There is the catchy tune with a poignant verse about a man trying to be a better person in the midst of losing his job and hoping to find his life’s purpose. Another twangy hit describes comforting family traditions passed down from father to son and the insights that come with the passing of time and the turn of generations. Then there is the one about reaching out and putting America’s boot to the posteriors of the terrorist enemies of America.
- Another political article attempts to explore the relationship between political parties and country music.
An alliance called the Music Row Democrats is poised to re-launch itself early next year in an attempt to seize back country music from the Republican camp and spread their message that President George W. Bush’s party does not care about ordinary people.
If you asked me–which you didn’t, but if you did–I’d say that country music belongs to neither party. It’s a genre that represents multiple walks of life, regardless of political affiliations and any attempt to politicize it will only bastardize the genre more than it already is.
- The inspiring rise of Brandon Rhyder. His first two albums failed to boost his career and he took one last stab with his third album–the Walt Wilkins produced Conviction.
- New York Times writer Andrew Beaujon profiles the Red Dirt band Cross Canadian Ragweed.
- Of all the songs on her newest album, Trisha Yearwood says “Sing You Back To Me” is her sentimental favorite. It immediately reminded her of her father. After the record was done she recorded an acoustic version of the song to keep for herself but her producer convinced her that it needed to be on the album.
- Unfortunately Roadhouse Gems from the Texas Sapphires received a low rating from The Austin Chronicle. The superior song selections stand out, but Doug Freeman says the sound quality is pretty abysmal–“like an open-mic bootleg, the poor quality discounts any lo-fi charm, which flattens the vocals and loses the band.”
- The Broken Spoke seems to be quite popular these days, appearing in commercials for Foster’s, Miller Lite, Levi’s, and Wrangler jeans, as well as episodes of Friday Night Lights. It was recently the subject of a segment for the Discovery Channel and a BBC Three program and has been approached to be used as a setting in the independent film The Sno Cone Stand Inc.
- With a new album out on November 27th and no expectations of help from radio Jesse Dayton and Brennen Leigh are searching for alternative approaches for promotion. One approach that I think is pretty creative is a YouTube trailer for the album, Holdin’ Our Own and Other Country Gold Duets.
- Jeff Miller: Yeah, the first time I played Jimmie Rodgers for my wife & daughter- they were aghast that he was singing …
- David Cantwell: I think it more helpful to think of Americana not as a genre but as a format--and, perhaps better, and …
- Juli Thanki: That would definitely be better than Marvel's hilariously terrible Billy Ray Cyrus comic book, released in 1995. http://4thletter.net/2009/02/billy-ray-cyrus-the-marvel-comic-book-yes-really/
- Applejack: "I’m sure there are many ways to lasso in and constrict any genre or format, any of them, so tightly …
- Emily: Wow!! Fabulous! Love those boots and you all look stunning! xo
- Leeann Ward: Bangor is named somewhat commonly in country songs. It's usually their example of the most north you can go: Vince …
- bob: Portland West was almost Boston West. From Names on the Land by George Stewart: "When more people arrived in Oregon, Amos …
- Jack Williams: There's "Eight More Miles To Louisville", where Portland is referred to as Portland East.
- nm: Of course, Bangor is also mentioned in "I've Been Everywhere."
- Stuart Munro: As if that's what this discussion is doing, Barry. I'm for the online commenters thinking about and discussing the music …