The Ever-Rebranding Of Country Music
April 27, 2012
Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville.
When I think of Country music I don't really think necessarily about Keith Uurban, but that might change. Listening to Keith Urban's honesty and love for Country music and the Grand Old Opry this past week was special.
Keith quoted Waylon Jennings ... do you think Hank would have done it this way? Kitty says that's his gold standard for what he does in the recording studio. Like Waylon, Keith does have his own way of doing and seeing Country music.
Keith's hair and tattoos ... well, look at Waylon Jennings ... he wasn't exactly a poster boy for combing your short hair and dressing in a suit. I heard him say more than once, "CMA" ... country my ass.
That style sure worked for Waylon Jennings. Keith Urban takes another approach; he embraces the system. Outsider Keith Urban joins the Grand Old Opry and raises money for the Country Music Hall of Fame. I hope Keith Urban's marriage to the Opry is a long and fruitful one.
It's sometimes feels the traditions of Country music are slipping away. Then you get someone as cool as Keith Urban putting it back on track.
Its blistering guitar lit up my radio late, late Saturday night ... just before Keith Urban came on with this very contemporary sound. You're heard the Riders In The Sky sing, "Tumbling tumbleweeds." In a very strange way, they both work and it said a lot about the contemporary current state of country music.
We live in a Pandora world. People just as liable to listen to Earth Wind And Fire followed by Hank Williams. Many people will be scared to listen to the variety on people's iPods and iPads.
And then you see Lionel Richie's success with this Country duets album look at what that has sold over a half-million in a month. No wonder radio programmers are pulling their hair out.
Carrie Underwood's people are going to try to have it all -- radio airplay and maximum television exposure. She's an Opryhouse member and you won't be able to get away from the Opry performances, Jimmy Kimmel, Dancing with The Stars and Idol ... all of the next few weeks. It will be very interesting to watch the sales on Carrie's brand-new album.
Stagecoach is underway in California; I chose this weekend to go another route much like Keith Urban and others. I'm going to Woodland to see the Beach Boys. Talking about not getting radio help ... the Beach Boys ... let's see how this works out. I cannot wait to report next week.