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With Beyoncé’s foray into country music, the genre may finally break free from stereotypes that have long dogged it

7 Comments
By William Nash

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*At the same time, country music stations like KYKC in Oklahoma initially refused to play the record because it was “not country.”Many non-listeners stereotype country music as being white, politically conservative, militantly patriotic and rural. And you can certainly find artists and songs that fit that bill.*

The current country singer, maybe MAGA adjacent, is a betrayal of the real tradition of American country/folk music.

That was about resistance and the struggles of workers and the poor in the good ole USA.

Singers like Woodie Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson would not recognize much of the current country playlist.

Add Willie Nelson to that list too.

Good on Beyonce for spreading her wings.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Don't forget Pete Seeger.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Country goes way back before Johnny Cash and Pete Seeger, people who introduced it to middle class Americans. It was sung by dirt poor people - basically the white version of early blues music. Used great drone effects, could be almost trance-like, and common themes were murder, arrest, prison, alcoholism, death and tragedy.

The modern version is just a commercial form of pop music.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The modern version is just a commercial form of pop music.

Modern country is no more commercialized than hip hop, which IMO has strayed further than country from its roots. Beyoncé’s just crossed over from one genre over-commercialized and populated by poseurs to another.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many non-listeners stereotype country music as being white, politically conservative, militantly patriotic and rural.

Many listeners don't know anything about country music. The diversity of the genre - Honky Tonk, Bakersfield sound, Western swing, dark country, Appalachian... Or the diversity of the artist - lots of Latinos - from Freddy Fender to Los Lonely Boys. It is quite a deep genre with many talented artists.

Similarly, the genre has always included a mix of Anglo-American and Black American musical instruments. The banjo, for instance, has African roots and was brought to America by enslaved people.

This is a point that's a bit of a reach and I'm getting a little tired of hearing it. While the ancestor of the banjo may have come from Africa, the music made with it is noting like how is it used in country music. It's like saying jazz has its roots in white music because the saxophone was invented in France by a white man and brought to America later. Just because it has the same instruments doesn't mean it is the same thing.

On a side note, one of the biggest thrills of my life was getting to meet Jerry Reed when I was about 7. He and my daddy went to school together, and while they weren't "friends" later in life, Mr. Reed did recognize him and know his name when we went to one of his shows at Wagon Wheel Willie's. Got a picture of me, my brother, Daddy and Jerry Reed (Snowman from Smokey and the Bandit if you don't know his music).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Many non-listeners stereotype country music as being white, politically conservative, militantly patriotic and rural. 

"country music is raaaaaacist!"

"because something something white person bad something something patriotic conservative and yuuuuuck....rural!"

Bayonsay could pass wind into a mic and it would debut at #1

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The only difference is the category the music is the same!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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