Do people really hate Country Music?

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rvacountrysinger
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22 Jul 2015, 12:02 pm

My favorite genre is Country, but I'm not a fan of what I have been hearing in the last 10 years. But I do love Country Music and I don't see why others don't share my enthusiasm for it. I try listening to other genres and I get bored with them quickly. Most other music sounds like noise to me. Country Music has so much personality and something about it in the art of the performance style makes me feel warm inside, like a summer's day. To me its music in its purest form.

I really feel other genres are inferior to Country Music, but most people think Country Music is inferior. I feel as an outsider this way.



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22 Jul 2015, 12:17 pm

I think what turns most people off about modern country is related to the old cliche when someone says they "like all music except for country and rap": they care less about the music and more about the cultural implications. Most people will readily admit that they like singers like Johnny Cash, but when it comes to more modern artists who more strongly reflect the blue-collar "country lifestyle" (which typically entails righter-leaning politics), that can turn off more than a few people who don't identify with those perspectives.

I have a lot of respect for *early* country and western (i.e. 1920s-1940s) as I actually have some family roots in some popular singing groups from the time, and I also find quite a lot of merit in the 1970s era of Willie Nelson and George Jones, but modern country is personally rather bland and unengaging to my ears. Personal taste is personal taste.



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22 Jul 2015, 3:33 pm

Skibz888 wrote:
I think what turns most people off about modern country is related to the old cliche when someone says they "like all music except for country and rap": they care less about the music and more about the cultural implications. Most people will readily admit that they like singers like Johnny Cash, but when it comes to more modern artists who more strongly reflect the blue-collar "country lifestyle" (which typically entails righter-leaning politics), that can turn off more than a few people who don't identify with those perspectives.

I have a lot of respect for *early* country and western (i.e. 1920s-1940s) as I actually have some family roots in some popular singing groups from the time, and I also find quite a lot of merit in the 1970s era of Willie Nelson and George Jones, but modern country is personally rather bland and unengaging to my ears. Personal taste is personal taste.


Isn't Rock n' Roll blue collar? Also, a lot of Pop music is very sleazy.
I don't associate Country as being blue collar necessarily. To me its just a style of music that I love.
I was raised in an Upper Middle class family and we all are big Country Music Fans. To me Country Music is more wholesome music that seems more innocent and people who dress up more and go to church. That is Country Music to me.

I think Johnny Cash is terrible. But there are so many great Country artists. I like early 90s Country the best because I was 12 years old in 1991 and we got cable TV and Country Music Television. I feel like today's Country Music is far too commercialized. The lyrics are lacking. But I don't care if its considered right wing- I am a Conservative myself, but politics have nothing to do with good songs. I just like the way Country music is performed when its done right.

I just don't like indie Rock or any of that type of music because its trying too hard and lacking in personality. The Beatles are horrid! Pop Rock is very bland to me. But I can't really tell the difference between Today's Country and Pop Music. I don't see why people don't like Pop music. Its worse than the bad Country.



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22 Jul 2015, 4:00 pm

Interesting, because I think if there's any country singer who would have the biggest following with non-country fans, it would be Johnny Cash. Like, he and Hank Williams have huge fanbases in punk rock and hard rock, for example. I think most of the country artists from the 1950s-1970s (Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, etc.) tend to have wider appeal to non-country audiences because they weren't as far removed from the mainstream pop music of the time...nowadays, country is very much its own exclusive entity and it rarely, if ever, bleeds over into the non-country mainstream.

Likewise, there are many genres which have branched off from country to find success on their own musical merits. Rockabilly and psychobilly are huge scenes unto themselves, roots rock/Southern rock/heartland rock bands rarely cross over into country audiences despite boasting a prominent influence, and the tag of "alternative country" applied to bands like Wilco or the Old '97s is far more within the spectrum of alternative rock than country.

Country music, much like the very broad labels of "rock" and "pop" which encompass their own myriad of sub-genres and styles, is pretty much its own empire. It's not inconceivable to imagine it doesn't always appeal to a wider demographic, much like how the basic concepts of "rock" and "pop" don't always appeal to everyone.



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22 Jul 2015, 4:57 pm

I readily admit, I dislike Country music; and a great deal of that is due to the conservative politics that have so readily attached itself to it. Particularly with the rights' courtship with conservative white southerners, and the out and out denigration of Rock (which many southern conservatives of yesteryear had decried as "n*gger music"). Recently, when Ted Cruz had been asked what music he listened to, he said he used to like Rock, till 9/11, then claimed he saw more patriotism displayed by Country artists. That of course is a load of bull. But politics isn't the only reason for my dislike: if you get rid of lyrics about how you want to die because your wife ran off with your best friend, taking your dog and pickup along with them, all you've got left is twang twang twang. I've had enough of my own suicidal depression in my past, that I don't need reason to think anymore about it.


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22 Jul 2015, 5:23 pm

I like all sorts of music. My Pa would play Johnny Cash when I was younger, but I wasn't around HS kids who liked it so in my later teens it was mainly Rock. Then I went to some country bars in my early 20's and TRIED to learn line dancing since it was fun and you didn't really need a partner for it. I liked Garth Brooks. I probably would like country music again if I got used to the songs and the people. I like the more upbeat songs. There seem to be so many country songs about love gone bad. Why is that?

I do think you're right about the people who like country music being more "wholesome" and "churchgoing". I don't know if that is true or not, but those were the kind of people that I met in the country bars I went to.


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22 Jul 2015, 5:44 pm

nurseangela wrote:
There seem to be so many country songs about love gone bad. Why is that?


Country music did evolve out of the blues. It was originally the music of the poor and working class and thus reflected more themes of struggle, loss and hardship. At least, that's my theory.

nurseangela wrote:
I do think you're right about the people who like country music being more "wholesome" and "churchgoing". I don't know if that is true or not, but those were the kind of people that I met in the country bars I went to.


I think the stereotype commonly associated with modern country music is more "beer-swillin', truck-drivin' patriotic good ol' boys" than it is anything "wholesome"...that would go more towards the Christian music scene which, ironically, is far more dominated by pop and rock than country. I've never heard a country song played on Christian radio stations.



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22 Jul 2015, 5:52 pm

Not a Fan of Country-Muzax. Now give us something we can Break-Dance to then you be talkin' ! :D


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22 Jul 2015, 6:01 pm

Ban-Dodger wrote:
Not a Fan of Country-Muzax. Now give us something we can Break-Dance to then you be talkin' ! :D


Wikipedia tells me there's a sub-genre called "Bro-country" which is a style of country "taking influence from 21st-century hip hop, rock, pop and electronic music".

I'm not even remotely brave enough to want to listen to what that even sounds like.



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22 Jul 2015, 6:19 pm

Skibz888 wrote:
nurseangela wrote:
There seem to be so many country songs about love gone bad. Why is that?


Country music did evolve out of the blues. It was originally the music of the poor and working class and thus reflected more themes of struggle, loss and hardship. At least, that's my theory.

nurseangela wrote:
I do think you're right about the people who like country music being more "wholesome" and "churchgoing". I don't know if that is true or not, but those were the kind of people that I met in the country bars I went to.


I think the stereotype commonly associated with modern country music is more "beer-swillin', truck-drivin' patriotic good ol' boys" than it is anything "wholesome"...that would go more towards the Christian music scene which, ironically, is far more dominated by pop and rock than country. I've never heard a country song played on Christian radio stations.


Actually "beer-swillin', truck-drivin', patriotic good ol'boys" is wholesome when it comes to music. That reminds me of The Dukes of Hazzard! :D All other kinds of music (except for classical and Christian) are usually known for their heavy drugs and drinking (and it's not beer).


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22 Jul 2015, 6:44 pm

What is normally called country music, is nothing more than rock with a Nasville, Austin, or Bakersfield twang. If you want REAL country music, try bluegrass. Bluegrass, at least heartens back to the pipes and harps of the Celts (namely Scotland and Ireland.)



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22 Jul 2015, 6:57 pm

nurseangela wrote:
Actually "beer-swillin', truck-drivin', patriotic good ol'boys" is wholesome when it comes to music. That reminds me of The Dukes of Hazzard! :D All other kinds of music (except for classical and Christian) are usually known for their heavy drugs and drinking (and it's not beer).


Take any genre of music and you'll find scores of musicians who are both "saints" and "sinners", so to speak. I'd actually argue that country (or at least "classic country" and the heyday of "outlaw country") is very well known for its association with heavy drugs and drinking: Johnny Cash, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Elvis Presley among others all had notorious battles with drug addiction, and Willie Nelson's one of the biggest marijuana advocates in music. Conversely, I'm sure there are plenty of country stars who have led squeaky-clean lives.

Country doesn't exactly carry the same kind of "sex, drugs and rock and roll" vibe that rock does, but I've just personally never equated it with "wholesome". Those words would make me think of The Carpenters or some kind of similarly easy listening.



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22 Jul 2015, 7:07 pm

I agree that the works of the likes of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline are timeless and well worth the listening, however I certainly don't have an ear for "today's country", especially songs that try to imitate arena rock. Some of my dislike is as others pointed out the "values" in modern country music don't reflect my own, but another chunk would be the number of contemporary country artists that simply look and act like burned-out stoners that couldn't cut it in rock and roll.
Give me the peace and love rock and R&B of the sixties and seventies anyday.

FWIW, I really liked the messages of my favourite 60's band, the Turtles...
Image
I don't believe today's country artists sing about the same issues they did. Here's how they looked back "in the day"...
Image

In addition, I could connect with some of the easier artists like the Carpenters (and most of the A&M catalogue as well).


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rvacountrysinger
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22 Jul 2015, 7:45 pm

Meistersinger wrote:
What is normally called country music, is nothing more than rock with a Nasville, Austin, or Bakersfield twang. If you want REAL country music, try bluegrass. Bluegrass, at least heartens back to the pipes and harps of the Celts (namely Scotland and Ireland.)



i have to disagree. Bluegrass is not real Country Music. Bluegrass is something separate and always has been. Country Music has always been more rooted in Popular song construction- strong chorus, verse, etc. Mountain Music is Bluegrass. Country and Western Music is real Country Music.



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22 Jul 2015, 7:49 pm

Skibz888 wrote:
nurseangela wrote:
Actually "beer-swillin', truck-drivin', patriotic good ol'boys" is wholesome when it comes to music. That reminds me of The Dukes of Hazzard! :D All other kinds of music (except for classical and Christian) are usually known for their heavy drugs and drinking (and it's not beer).


Take any genre of music and you'll find scores of musicians who are both "saints" and "sinners", so to speak. I'd actually argue that country (or at least "classic country" and the heyday of "outlaw country") is very well known for its association with heavy drugs and drinking: Johnny Cash, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Elvis Presley among others all had notorious battles with drug addiction, and Willie Nelson's one of the biggest marijuana advocates in music. Conversely, I'm sure there are plenty of country stars who have led squeaky-clean lives.

Country doesn't exactly carry the same kind of "sex, drugs and rock and roll" vibe that rock does, but I've just personally never equated it with "wholesome". Those words would make me think of The Carpenters or some kind of similarly easy listening.


Funny you mention the Carpenters- several of their songs were Country cross overs and even listed as Country music of that Era. I grew up on Country from the 80s and 90s and it was far different from today. So I think the problem is today its a fake Country Music and its just meant to sell records.

The question remains: If everyone says "I like everything but Country" then how is Country Music so Popular? Who is buying the records? According to sound scan, Country Music is selling records, in an Era when record sales have plummeted elsewhere. And Country is the most popular radio station format. So someone is listening to Country Music- even if I don't like it in its current form- maybe people say they hate Country because its too Popular and over played and its "cool" to hate things that are Popular.



Last edited by rvacountrysinger on 22 Jul 2015, 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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22 Jul 2015, 7:50 pm

Ban-Dodger wrote:
Not a Fan of Country-Muzax. Now give us something we can Break-Dance to then you be talkin' ! :D



See, that kind of music to me just sounds like noise or sound effects. Country Music has meaning.