Wednesday, March 02, 2005

By Crackey and By Gum

Welcome and thanks to the new folks who've been leaving comments and sending me emails. It's much appreciated.

I originally started this blog with the idea of posting strictly old time country and western and any new alt-countryish (whatever that is) stuff what struck my fancy. The best laid plans, I guess, cuz I've been slacking on the c&w. Perhaps it's a steadfast refusal to compartmentalize. I've never understood why one would choose to listen to only one type of music. A rich tapestry, to get all flowery about it.

I say this for a couple of reasons. 1) Got one of the kings of country today. 2) Some knob, goes by the name of Tim McGraw, stated before the Grammys, when inquired about the state of "country western", that they don't call it "western" anymore. It's just "country". Well, what does that mean, Mr. McGraw? Seems to me that that's exactly the kind of ignorance that has made Nashville such a cultural wasteland, a barren processing plant of hats and boots. Western is as integral to country as blues is to rock. The state of country is subject to much debate, and requires many more paragraphs and footnotes than I can provide. Guess I just know what I like, and I like a little western in my stew.

'Nuther feller who might take issue with Mr. McGraw is the legendary Roy Acuff. Thought by many to be the true "King of Country", Acuff's career was rooted in the hillbilly tradition, and he became a star on The Grand Ole Opry. His body of work is massive. And seminal. But perhaps his greatest achievement was the formation of Acuff-Rose, a partnership with Fred Rose, that laid the foundation for music publishing and writer's rights in country and western music. You've heard the Uncle Tupelo song, or seen the tagline on many of c&w's greatest songs.

Couple of tunes by Mr. Acuff for y'all today. The first is my reaction to McGraw, and all the hats in Nashville. The second, "written" by A.P. Carter, is the song most commonly associated with Acuff. Enjoy.

Roy Acuff: Stuck Up Blues (mp3)

Roy Acuff: Wabash Cannonball (mp3)

Attend yr local Barndance or Hayride. Buy locally and independently. Support local artists. Hug a puppy.


countrygrrl said...

couldn't agree more...I know some folk say they dont like country music but they like americana and alt-country. Thing is they dont want to appear fuddy duddy or not cool. I hate that, esp from folk that profess to be into music in a bit way. I have loved lots of western in my stew too, Marty Robbins and even Slim Whitman to name a two. I think its best to be upfront about what you like. Will add these little gems to my collection. Thanx.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%! You're absolutely correct when you say that Nashville has become a cultural wasteland. The number of real, pure C&W songs that have been charted in the last few years can be counted on the fingers of one hand. As for Mr. McGraw, it's obvious that he is no student of his genre, unlike (for example) Marty Stuart.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Donnie said...

While I would agree that Marty is a student of the genre, I don't he's learned a thing. I've always wondered how he was so close to JC and never put out a thing that I wanted to hear more than once. He does know his western wear, I'll give him that.

A relevent question is who is the biggest offender of defiling the once proud genre. Is it McGraw? Some, like Jack Sparks would argue that it's Kenny Chesney.

Wise Kwai said...

Elwood: Say, what kind of music do you usually have here?
Bar lady: Oh, we have both kinds of music - country AND western!