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| February 9, 2003 |
Country Music: Is It Rock & Roll Or Just Travis Tritt?
So here we are, rock 'n rollers from way back. Aren't we the
generation that listened to 6 hour Grateful Dead jams,
,earsplitting Led Zeppelin, subversive Rolling Stones? Weren't
ours the record collections that were so psychedelic you
couldn't even read the lettering on the covers? One of us is not
even ashamed to admit she waited for 48 hours on a cold city
sidewalk for Rolling Stones Tickets. Why then, have so many of
us turned in our Frye boots for cowboy boots? Why are we
two-stepping instead of toking? Why, as Alan Jackson put it
have Boomers "gone country?"
There are many theories about country music's popularity. For
one, country isn't quite as...well, country as it used to be.
There probably isn't one song on the country charts that has
lyrics about freight trains, prison, or dead dogs. (Note-pickup
trucks seem to have replaced trains as the vehicles of choice.)
And, as some purists note, not many country performers today
have the absolute vibrant purity of a Kitty Wells or Patsy Cline
or the sheer originality of Hank Williams.
Country (or modern country as it is now called) is nothing like
what you remember form the 60's and 70's. Were not talking about
Porter Waggoner or Conway Twitty. Today's country features
artists raised when Rock & Roll was king of the airwaves. To
some extent, they bring a fresh new approach to country, one
based in the history of American folk music and influenced by a
generation of rockers.
Also, the lines have blurred between country and rock.We had a
taste of what was to come with the popularity of bands like
Charlie Daniels, The Allman Brothers and The Marshall Tucker
Band. The term "Southern Rock" was an attempt to label these
bands as something other than country, but it gave rise to a
revolution in country music. A rocking country singer like
Travis Tritt is not so far removed from country rockers like
Lynard Skynard. The ballads of "California
rockers" like the Eagles and Poco are pure country. Sing
"Desperado" with a twang and you have country.
Another interesting theory would have it that we boomers,
hitting middle-age, are so depressed , self-absorbed, and
downright whiny, that the only music that suits us is good ole
cry-in-your-beer-tear-your-heart-out country. After all, a
generation that made Carole King and James Taylor stars is a
natural for the rampant emotionality of country music .
Admittedly, there isn't much exciting on the Boomer radio dial.
It seems all those lyrical, melodic tunes of the 60's and 70's
never grew into anything meaningful enough to recognize. And
rock- and -roll as we knew it has morphed into that headbanger
stuff our teenagers listen to. In the faceless world of "Rock &
Roll," the few significant artists are easy to pick out of an
undefined wasteland where the musical icons of our generation
remain simply to attract an older audience.
It would appear that even the recording industry recognizes the
wilderness they have created. Go into any music retailer today;
a huge amount of their business is devoted to converting vinyl
into digital. The thousands of boomer titles now available on CD
are overshadowing the apparent lack of excitement in the
industry and propping up sales figures. It's not surprising
then, that Country has gained a following among musically
So, if country music is your thang, you're not alone. And if you
haven't tried it yet, pour yourself a beer, adjust that radio
dial, and prepare to be hooked. .. or not.
Posted by Pete at February 9, 2003 12:25 PM
Posted on February 9, 2003 9:05 AM
Would anyone be interested in a music company that creates and markets music and media to boomers?
Posted by: David on July 10, 2003 5:48 PM
If it ain't Dead, Tuna, or other old rock, I don;t listen....
Posted by: Joe on July 11, 2003 7:30 AM
I'd like to invite ya'll to take a peak at a Baby Boomer music effort I am testing. I am in the music business in NYC and have been screaming to the majors about the lack of focus on us since I hit town in 1982.
The good news is.... yes, they are finally starting to look at us. Not because of anything else than we are certified BUYERS of music. We don't steal it on line.
The RIAA (industry organization) and Billboard Magazine (industry mag) both are pointing to us as the only viable market out there. "80 million listeners and no place to go" was the Billboard quote.
I am a song writer and will now shamelessly pitch my work at www.mp2rocks.com where you can click and listen. I would love to get some feedback from my middle aged peers.
Best regards to all,
Posted by: Paul on July 11, 2003 7:33 AM
I discovered country thanks to my 19-year-old daughter who took me with her to see Faith Hill and Tim McGraw perform together. Now I have three country and two oldies stations programmed on my radio. I like the foot-stomping tunes (God Blessed Texas), the independent woman tunes (I Keep Looking), the funny tunes (Daddy's Money), the mushy romantic tunes (Keeper of the Stars) and, of course, the breakup tunes (too numerous to even mention.) When my last nestling went off to college, I developed a new outlook on life and decided to have more fun. I guess the country music fits with that.
Posted by: Helen on July 11, 2003 7:36 AM
I agree, Helen... SOME country music is fun. Like the following:
1. Do You Love As Good As You Look?
2. Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?
3. Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life
4. Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In The Bed
5. Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye
6. Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure
7. How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?
8. How Can You Believe Me When I Say I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?
see the rest at:
Posted by: Pete on July 11, 2003 7:38 AM
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