Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Anyone listen to country?

Wherein wearing a cowboy hat don't mean shit

Jack Sparks is looking for comments before he updates his list of Top 100 Country Songs of All Time. While you're over there, don't miss his description of Larry Cable Guy.

I enjoy reading Jack even though I'm not much of a fan of country music. I do think his thoughts on the industry of Nashville country pretty much apply to the entire music industry. He has convinced me to buy two CDs: the Little Willies and Trailer Bride. I'm also interested in investigating Buck Owens a bit more.

Buck Owens:
I'm going to do things a little differently this year, because I can. For my money, 3 men irreversibly changed the genre. Hank Williams modernized it. Johnny Cash personalized it. And Buck Owens electrified it. If there were cute graphics and org charts and crap like that associated with this list, these 3 men would be at the top, and everyone else would be flowing out from under them, with sharp cutbacks and squiggly lines in between. That's not to say that I'm ignoring everything that came before them in a chronological sense; rather, I think these 3 men did more to shape and finely tune what we think of as country music than most of the stuff that came before them. So if you have your banjo in the back of your Honda Hybrid on your way to the bluegrass festival, don't send me an angry email about all the hillbilly jugband stuff, I don't think I'm making all that outlandish of a statement. As for the songs themselves, they embody 3 very different themes and stories in the Genre. Williams' song is the ultimate pastoral cry of isolationism in a post-WWII overly industrialized world; Johnny's song is the ultimate song of personal suffering and regret; and Buck's song is the kind of misery-laced, in-your-face dance number that made honkytonks blossom like wildflowers for a short time in this country.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home