Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Music City Blues

Chris Willman's revealing book Rednecks & Bluenecks reads much like the way Republican's ran the 2004 Presidential election: scare the American people into thinking that the Terrorists will come out at any moment-if you vote for a Democrat. I use this analogy because the best moments of his book about Conservative Nashville and the Democrats who are afraid to come out, paint a Country Music society that will flog anyone that won't follow the rulebook. According to the book, there are a lot of liberals in Nashville. Country radio, who after the Iraq War started in 2003, blacklisted anyone who dare spoke out against Bush wouldn't play an anti-War song today. Yet, as written in the book, not all Nashville executives don't buy Bush's Good 'Ole Boy routine. A Connecticut born, Yale attending Redneck? They believe he's as fake as his Texas drawl. Notice in all the comments above I mention Executives, not artists. Outside of the Dixie Chicks (and in small cases Willie Nelson), no major County act dared speak out against the Good 'Ole Boy President. And when other artists saw what happened to the Chicks, they all cowered. Sure, Alt-Country acts like Steve Earle spoke out. But they don't get played on Country radio anyway. The list of Country Music Democrats that kept their mouth shut was led by Tim McGraw. McGraw has never gone Political on CD, knowing full well it would be commercial suicide. My feeling is that it won't be until Bush is out of office that you'll see prominent Nashville Democrats speak out. Until then there's always the old guard like Merle Haggard whose latest CD, Chicago Wind, includes a line about getting out of Iraq and taking care of business at home. But Haggard, unlike Willie Nelson, is no Democrat. Not a Republican, either. More an Indenpendent. Had this line come from newbie Outlaw Toby Keith it would be startling. Coming from Haggard, it's just another thing to make you ponder when the young Country Music Democrats will stop towing the line.
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