It’s true. Perhaps it has something to do with my age or my generation, but if you are from my generation you’ll have to admit that today’s country music is not the same as it was many years ago.
I was born in the mid 50’s and grew up idolizing the Beatles, the Dave Clark 5, Herman’s Hermits and well… on and on it goes.
In fact, truth be known, I use to put Beatle records on my Hi Fi Stereo and pretend I was Paul McCartney (my favorite Beatle) and perform for an imaginary audience.
I don’t even remember my first exposure to country music. Perhaps it was from watching the popular television show called “Hee Haw” that featured Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and of course, Roy Clark.
In any case, the music never appealed to me and certainly didn’t compare to the Rock ‘n Roll music that we all cherished in those days.
That steel guitar sound immediately turned me off. I don’t know why, but it did. Perhaps I associated it with what I concluded as an inferior type of music.
Ironically, Country music today is my favorite type of music. In the 70’s my dreams of performing in front of live audiences in a band came true. No… Country music had not yet taken a hold of me.
I played in a top 40 band and I can assure you that country music, if we played any at all, was probably done at the request of someone very special.
Disco music was a favorite of many people back then and that included me. I loved the Bee Gees and the transition they made from their earlier music to the Saturday Night Fever style, as well as most of the other artists who performed disco in those days.
Donna Summer… Barry White… ahhh… don’t get me started.
Did I mention I love to dance? And let’s not forget Earth, Wind and Fire! I’m not even sure we can classify their music as disco, but what ever it was, I loved it and still do.
Well, how did I go from a top 40 band and a disco lover to a country music fan?
Here’s what happened. One night while I was watching the annual American Music Awards show on TV, the host was showing up in the audience and randomly asking people who their favorite artist was?
A number of the people said “Garth Brooks.” Well, I knew who he was and I had heard that he put on one heck of a show in concert… and I noticed that these people were about my age and seemed to be at least of average intelligence.
So I got to thinkin’. What am I missing? Perhaps I should give country music another chance and just see if there’s something worth listening to. I knew that the steel guitar was still as annoying as ever to me, but I decided that for the next two weeks, no matter how annoyed I might get, that I would listen only to country music.
Then after the two weeks were up, I would reassess the situation and decide if I had wasted my time or not.
Well, what happened was, as each day past, some of the songs began to grow on me and I started to recognize them, just as I did with other music and/or radio channels. I recall one in particular was by Collin Raye called “Love Me.” It’s a beautiful love song. If you’ve never heard it, try to find a way to listen to that one.
That was when I first started to realize that country music lyrics are the absolute best in any music genre (just my opinion of course).
By the time the two weeks were up, I had a few of my favorite songs playing on that channel, and I’ve never looked back. Yes, I use to hate country music and I still do not like most of the “old” country songs. But things change. I changed and I feel that country music has changed too.
Of course, I still love all of the stuff I always loved, and from time to time there are still a few top 40 songs that I take a liking to… but, my favorite channel now is 93.1 WPOC, Baltimore’s country music channel.
One thing I failed to mention… I am a huge Michael Jackson fan too! Perhaps that has something to do with my love for dancing.
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