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Country music reckons with racial stereotypes and its future

11 Comments
By KRISTIN M. HALL

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Sorry, but not many blacks, especially black youths, aren't interested in this type of music. It's just a tad boring.

The demographics of those living in the countryside is predominantly white and it's the music many prefer.

I rarely hear anyone I know who's into country music degrade a black country music star because of their black.

By the way, the singer Rissi Palmer is on fire!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Most people who live in rural areas are not black. I like country music but, the music now is just a pop version of country. I think there is nothing racist of country music. Its about living and growing up in rural areas. They are just trying to stir up troubles in rural areas because they are doing in urban areas. You look they are taking down Confederate statues and now they are going after people like in Lincoln.

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"Country" music has never been about race, or racism, it's simply that it derives from old northern European folk song forms brought to the US in the 18th century by white immigrants, and appealed mostly to a rural, white audience who heard it over the radio. "Country" is a commercial moniker invented in Nashville by record companies to describe a demographic; those who played traditional acoustic music didn't call it by that name. Hank Williams and the Carter Family certainly didn't.

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expatToday  11:28 am JST

"Country" music has never been about race, or racism, it's simply that it derives from old northern European folk song forms brought to the US in the 18th century by white immigrants, and appealed mostly to a rural, white audience who heard it over the radio. "Country" is a commercial moniker invented in Nashville by record companies to describe a demographic; those who played traditional acoustic music didn't call it by that name. Hank Williams and the Carter Family certainly didn't.

And there were black musicians who played 'field blues' on acoustic guitars as well. Black and white musical genres would be mixed and experimented with by musicians of both races until finally in the postwar era there would be a new style altogether - rock'n'roll!

And today's 'country' is just an arbitrary commercial moniker for the dumb pundits who like to create musical cliques. Today's 'country' involves a bunch of phony 'hat acts' who pretend. The genre has strayed far from the original roots, it's just pop pap for SUV-driving Yuppie soccer mom families who like to fantasize about the 'Wild Wild West'.

those who played traditional acoustic music didn't call it by that name. Hank Williams and the Carter Family certainly didn't.

There is now a rock'n'roll subgenre that does refer to the acoustic music roots. It's called 'Americana' or 'alt-country'. Rock acts like John 'Hoosier' Mellencamp, Wilco, Bottle Rockets, and even as far back as the Grateful Dead have inspired it.

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There's too much racial stereotyping in other music styles as well. Living Colour is an all-Black American band that plays a fusion of heavy metal and funk. Some metalheads were dunderheaded about that despite the fact that heavy metal was inspired by the Black American guitarist Jimi Hendrix and began as just an offshoot of blues-rock which was invited by...............

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Loads of outsiders and edgy types have made country music, Johnny Cash, Creedance, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams etc., so it does not belong to any exclusive group of people who think a man's a man and drives a big pickup etc. etc.

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Johnny Cash was also heavily influenced by the blues - country was not a narrow "white" musical style for him.

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There's too much racial stereotyping in other music styles as well.

To a small point, but not that much, a lot of it has to do with marketing and the agents they have. Groups like Fishbone or 24/7 Spyz could never make it off the ground mainstream, but underground, they were both huge, but the way they were marketed was horrible.

Living Colour is an all-Black American band that plays a fusion of heavy metal and funk. Some metalheads were dunderheaded about that despite the fact that heavy metal was inspired by the Black American guitarist Jimi Hendrix and began as just an offshoot of blues-rock which was invited by...............

Yeah, but that was in the late 80's, you also had John Butcher and Greg Howe some of the most underrated black guitarists out there, but that is all changing, look at Darius Rucker, he was quite successful with Hootie and the Blowfish, but became an absolute smash when he switched to country and let's not forget Johnny Mathis. Remember, Jimi was great, but one of Jimi's main musical influencers on his playing was Ernest Isley of the famous Isley Brothers who is himself a guitar virtuoso and then you have the Godfather of rock, the late Little Richard. So I do think there's hope and change is coming, but I think it's more optics than anything else, once the people see you have talent in a musical genre despite maybe not visually looking the part of the average person or ethnic group listening to it, people will come around and we see this happening all the time. Change does indeed take time.

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Country music these days just sounds like pop music with an occaisional fiddle thrown in.

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kohakuebisuJune 28  01:57 pm JST

Loads of outsiders and edgy types have made country music, Johnny Cash, Creedance, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams etc., so it does not belong to any exclusive group of people who think a man's a man and drives a big pickup etc. etc.

Wearing a cowboy hat and driving a pickup doesn't make you 'country' or a 'cowboy'. George Harrison said that today whoever has the big ego wears the big hat,

oharaToday  11:51 am JST

Country music these days just sounds like pop music with an occaisional fiddle thrown in.

I've been to shows that featured fiddlers - Bryan Ferry, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Lynne's ELO and they are ROCK. And Southern rock/country rockers like 38 Special, Travelling Wilburys and REM are truer to 'country' roots than these 'modern country' posers of today. The Grateful Dead (from California!) is truer to rock's country roots - they are a 'roots rock' band. Today's 'country' is a total joke.

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*@Starpunk:I've been to shows that featured fiddlers - Bryan Ferry, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Lynne's ELO and they are ROCK. And Southern rock/country rockers like 38 Special, Travelling Wilburys and REM are truer to 'country' roots than these 'modern country' posers of today. The Grateful Dead (from California!) is truer to rock's country roots - they are a 'roots rock' band. Today's 'country' is a total joke.*

Agreed!

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