Sunday, February 17, 2008
Article: "Yeah, I Like Country" The Cord Weekly February 14, 2008
As usual, I was floating around looking for interesting things on our beloved country music, and I stumbled upon the above article. It is featured in Wilfrid Laurier University’s official student newspaper in Waterloo, Ontario. The article is written by one of their opinion writers and she basically discusses that basically country music seems to have some type of taboo around it, the stereotypes, and that people shouldn't be ashamed of being country music fans. Now, this article does a fairly good job of explaining things, especially from a the point of view of a fan. However, if I had written this article, I would have taken it a bit further. It is also missing facts about country music that would have supported her thoughts even more.
So, of course, let me fill in the blanks and also elaborate a bit more on some of her remarks.
It's not easy to get the number of radio stations that play country music in Canada, but the best I can, it seems to be close to here in the United States. 900 stations listed on radio-locator.com and most of them list unknown format, but ones that do list a format, 143 are Public Radio, 107 are Adult Contemporary, and 93 are country. So, I'm guessing its pretty close to the same as here in that country has the most radio stations, or at least in the top 3 including news/talk, country, and A/C. Album sales seem to be a little lower compared to the U.S. where country is about the 4th most sold album genre with Alternative, Metal, and R&B above it. So, first and foremost factually, country isn't as popular in Canada than it is in the U.S., so that may be some of the reason country the writer of the article has a point of view that there is some taboo around country. However, still country music is extremely popular in Canada.
Now, lets look a bit at the article.
Alright. This misconception is easy to battle. Been there, done this many times. Country music is about truth and life, period. Yes, there plenty of sad country songs. However, country also has plenty of happy songs, love songs, and songs that just tells a simple story. Its about everything in life from the best times in a party song, to love songs, and yes sad songs, divorce songs, well you name it, there's a country song for your current life moment. That's at the core of country music; the song.
"There is a common misconception about country music that gives it such a bad reputation: every country song is a sob story about a hillbilly whose girl left him, pickup broke down, dog died, or so the story goes."
"Another misconception is that if you listen to country music you automatically become a hick. This is the more covert of the stereotypes. Secretly, I think most people are closet country fans. But, since they’ve spent a good portion of time ridiculing and resisting the genre, now would be a bad time to come out."
"Country music contains more than just the stereotypes it has, though it does have key aspects that set it apart as a genre. These would include the vocal twang, prevalence of the acoustic or steel guitar, a linear story line and – of course – the cowboy hat."
"Country music sidesteps the rule that to be a talented vocalist and
musician, you must also be beautiful."
"..most country musicians aren’t photographed daily by
paparazzi waiting in their bushes. Without the pressures of being in the public eye all the time, it allows the importance of music to rest on what else but the music itself."
Well, the are ware of them. However, the songs that reclaim the stereotypes are written to explore these stereotypes, rather they a simply singing about their life and their thoughts. That's who they are. Nothing more or less."The more different something may be, the more criticism it
will face. Country musicians are aware of the stereotypes they face. They even explore them and re-enact them by way of reclaiming the stereotypes."
"Instead of computer-enhanced catchy tunes and seductive
moves, country music brings back the importance of lyrical works and musical talents."
One thing that the article doesn't discuss is that country music fans should be sure to spread the word and share the music and make new fans. Its easy to do and is important to the music. Try it, you just might make a new friend or a stronger bond with a friend already.
Lastly, I must say, wow what a wonderful article, especially in a college newspaper that will reach many young people that just may make a fan or two out of it. I sure hope so. Amelia Lockhart has to be pretty proud of her writing and of her favorite music. The staff at the paper also should be recognized for allowing it to print. I hope other writers out there will take note and try something like this in their high school or college paper. Lockhart shows that she is dedicated to country music. Thanks for the article...