Sunday, April 17, 2016
What happened to country music?
I am not a historian of the antebellum South or of country music but I imagine a southern mansion in the evening on a big plantation (no, I don't condone slavery), ruled benevolently by a real southern gentlemen, listening after dinner to live chamber music from Europe, but then as the evening progresses, and as the bourbon flows, a country fiddler perhaps from Appalachia starts playing an old American-Irish-Scottish tune with everyone loudly joining in. That is the sort of traditional agreement between the low and high arts that I imagine at the traditional beginning of country music.
Now we have the exact opposite of the values of a country gentleman, we have swaggering country singers full of obvious arrogance, glorifying drunkenness and promiscuity, with barely disguised imitations of the black rappers who now set the pop trends.
What happened? The controlled Big Media happened, promoting constant attacks against traditional American culture, using movies, television, and every other form of popular expression to sell their decadence. The southern gentleman and traditional culture are now everywhere depicted as nothing but evil.
There is still a small contingent of traditional country and bluegrass music but they are not the ones making money, and they are not the ones featured in the Las Vegas orgies masquerading as country music award shows. I would like to see a list of the producers and promoters---really defilers---of country music, I'll bet they are originally from New York or Los Angeles.
I would like to see American country music come back, but this time also infused with old Irish and Scottish instruments, flutes, tambourines, even an occasional refined bagpipe---wouldn't the urban dudes like that? But then, I would also like to see a return to the unfinished classical music tradition, which atonal "music" and other decadent trends have been corrupting for way too long.