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"The Two Big Country Music Questions"

These questions pop up a lot...
1. Will our favorite music die out
like Big Bands and Jazz?
2. What is Traditional Country?

First of all,
good music doesn’t die out.
You can buy almost any kind of music you like on CD’s
or hear it on stations like XM satellite radio,
and Indie music stations.
You can even find the original vinyl records on the Internet.

Big Band music and Jazz are still a hit
with their own fans.
There are jazz clubs around Orlando, where we live,
and there is Big Band music all over the place.
New Years Eve that’s about all we heard.

Music isn’t dead just because it’s not on the Billboard charts.
The young people have their own music,
and they buy the CD’s.

This is a good time to say this:
I like most kinds of music, if it’s good.
I do not think Rap is music.
Rap is talking in rhyme with a drum machine.

Hip-Hop is Rap trying to be music.

I would like Opera
if they just wouldn’t sing.
I know this is due to my own ignorance and lack of taste.
I don’t care.

Country Music is not going to die.
Even if they add some new variations we may not like,
the original is still around and available.
There are just more choices.

If we try to compete with Teeny Pop
we will lose.
If we relax and listen to our kind of music,
everybody wins...sort of.

One real problem:
Radio stations don’t play a good variety any more.
They play a narrow list of hits for money,
and I don’t have a solution to that.

Now for the other question.
“Traditional” Country is in the ear of the beholder.
It depends upon what your tradition is.

I like turkey on Thanksgiving.
Some people have lobster every year.
They are both traditions.

When Misty and I “grew up” in Country Music
it was “The Nashville Sound” of the 1960’s and ‘70’s,
so we still like it.
It’s OUR tradition.
We try new things all the time
but you can usually hear the Nashville Sound in there somewhere.

Some people’s tradition is Bluegrass, Acoustic,
Outlaw, Western, Western Swing,
Rockabilly, Southern Gospel,
or maybe even Countrypolitan.
Remember that?

I have a good friend who stopped liking Ray Price
when he did “Danny Boy”.
I asked him why.
He said, “It isn’t country.”
I said this:
“To me, if it’s Ray Price, it’s country.”

If you take a straight-ahead country recording
and dub a string section behind the country instruments,
is it still country?
I think it depends upon the song
and if it’s done tastefully.
It’s okay if you disagree.

I love Willie Nelson’s “What a Wonderful World”, with strings.
To me, if it’s Willie, it’s country.

Country musicians often play jazz...
Hank Garland, Jethro Burns, and Vassar Clements, to name three.
Why not spread your wings if you’ve got ‘em?
Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers had Pop successes.

Music is not a sport,
and in a perfect world
artists would not have to compete with each other.

Most of the “rooting for our team”
is done by the fans
not the artists.

Real artists learn from and enjoy each other.
The fans seem to be more competitive.

Copyright © Jan. 2, 2005, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.


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