Saturday Selects: The beauty of country music

ImagePhoto Credit: News Generation

For all you newcomers, and there are A LOT of you, Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month in which I discuss something other than books. This will be my fourth in the series.

I have to be honest with you guys. I sat here at my computer with my blogging playlist playing away and I couldn’t come up with anything I thought was worthy of a post. I’m talking over an hour I did this. I even smacked my head against the armrest of my chair once or twice. But I ultimately decided on country music because, duh it’s amazing, and also because Blake Shelton is tweeting EVERYONE right now. It’s one in the morning here. So let’s get into it.

Before I begin, I’d first like to let you know that I am OBSESSED with country music. I’m not exaggerating one bit. Let me tell you how I first got into the genre because I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here before. And if I have, well I still like the story. So let’s rewind back to the end of 2009. I was in the midst of my senior year of high school. And I met this girl. I won’t tell you anything about her except that she loved country music. Maybe not as much as I do now, but she listened to it far more than anything else. Anyway, my birthday comes at the end of the year and us both being in high school, well a real birthday present was all but out of the question. So she gave me a nice handwritten letter. A pack of gum. A candy cane (for Christmas). A picture of her with her snowman, it had snowed in Houston for the first time in years! AND a list of country songs for me to download and listen to. Let me tell you, this is still the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten. All of those seemingly meaningless things. I STILL have the list she gave me, the picture, and the letter. Don’t ask me why because you can likely assume the correct answer to your own question. It took me a few weeks, but I finally downloaded the songs, it was 18 in total, and put them on a CD and played them in my car. Over and over and over again. That’s how I fell in love with the genre, by listening to a few random country songs on repeat.

I haven’t spoken to you in years, Desirae, but I thank you for introducing me to country music.

Now let’s talk about what makes the genre so great. First, and I know you’ve probably heard this before, EVERY song tells a story. Every single one. I’ve heard songs about suicide and breakups and abuse and partying and having children and everything in the middle. Tell me, have you heard a pop song recently that talks about children? I haven’t. But I also don’t listen to the genre too often. Or what about losing someone close to you? I’m sure there are songs out there in other genres, but you ALWAYS get great stories by way of country music. Always.

I mean, it simply does not get any better than a country love song. It doesn’t. Pop “ballads” are rarely ballads. But I’m not only talking pop, though. Hip-hop, um no. R&B, huh? Rock, does it even exist? I’m not here saying that other genres don’t produce some good music, I’m saying there’s far more to a song than how much radio airplay and downloads it gets. I’m actually a fan of Bruno Mars.

Lastly, one of the major knocks on country music today is that it’s gone so far into the direction of pop. Shut up. Right now, without utilizing the internet, can you tell me just five country singers you consider to be pop country? Just five. Of course I can, but can you? Leaving out Taylor Swift. If you can’t then you’ve just made my point for me. Country music has simply evolved. It doesn’t sound the same as it did 10, 15, or 20 years ago. But if it’s gone pop, then how has George Strait managed to stay relevant over the course of three decades? Or Reba? Or any of the other artists who have been around since long before some of the newcomers were even born. So don’t tell me country music has gone pop, because it hasn’t.

Some of my favorite artists include Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and George Strait.

If you’d like to read the others in the series, here they are:

Saturday Selects: Blogging amidst your social media

Saturday Selects: Tattoos becoming “mainstream?”

Saturday Selects: Farewell to an all-time great

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71 thoughts on “Saturday Selects: The beauty of country music

  1. I’ve never liked Taylor Swift. Ever.

    I have quite an eclectic taste in music, but I do listen to country a bit. My fave country artists are The Band Perry, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Johnny Cash, and Sugarland.

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  2. I was raised on Johnny Cash. Sunday Morning Coming Down, written by the brilliant Kris Kristofferson, is easily one of the saddest and most beautiful songs ever written. When Johnny sings it you are given a window into alcoholism, loneliness, and regret, that is profound. Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. (though a bit nutty) are also among my favourites. I think good writing transcends the genre be it music or literature or any form of art.

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  3. (Your post reminded me of something, so I thought I’d share it.)

    I’m originally from Bristol, TN, which is officially “The Birthplace of Country Music”. My kids were raised there until we moved to Texas last year. So I was surprised when my daughter left voice lessons last week and said, “Mom, do you know how country music got started?” I thought maybe her teacher knew about Bristol’s claim to fame. Instead, my daughter answered, “It started out by people singing bad, and eventually people learned to pronounce their vowels correctly.”
    Nooooo! I quickly set my daughter straight, but haven’t mentioned it to her teacher. I don’t think it really matters since my daughter is learning to sing an Imagine Dragons song.
    Also, I’d like to put in a plug for Scott Miller and the Commonwealth. He has written some great story songs. My favorites are “The Rain” and “Loving that Girl”, but not limited to those. And, no, I don’t work for him. Ha!

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  4. Pingback: Saturday Selects: How do you perceive law enforcement? | Write me a book, John!

  5. Pingback: President Obama Announces eBook Program for Low-Income Children | Write me a book, John!

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