What I’m posting is certain to piss some people off, make some uncomfortable, and cause some to cry foul.
RE: PBS Country series.
First: Ken Burns is a Nat’l treasure. 2. There is some Country music I love, some I utterly detest. 3. I consider the cultural evolution of Country Music woefully lacking. 4. Glossing over the truth doesn’t make history go away.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM= (this is goes under the Bill Maher trope- I can’t Prove it, but I know it’s true)—>
The music selection for the after lynching barn dances was most certainly NOT Little Richard, Miles Davis or Sachmo- ALL of whom were active, to some degree, during the ‘Golden Age of Country -1940’s -50’s- 60’s.
The unwillingness of the Country Music establishment to deal with racism head-on, or discuss much past ‘momma, diddy n’ the farm’ or ‘don’t get above yer raisins’ is pretty telling.
Artists, I generally give a pass- except that Country music artists seemed pretty unwilling to buck the system, (yeah- even with Charlie Pride) past the bottom $$$ line. Until ‘Outlaw’ and ‘Americana’ came along, the societal evolution within the Country Music industry was practically NON-EXISTENT. Few, if any, Country Artists can claim to have openly fought, wrote or performed in solidarity of Civil Rights.
Fight me, but you’ll lose on this.
Money generated by myth was the God driving the Country Music industry.(Sadly-IMO- It drives the entire Music industry in every genre, at present.)
The one thing setting Country apart from Jazz, Blues, and R&R is the unwillingness of Country Music to speak the uncomfortable TRUTH in defiance of ‘up-bringing’ and the assumptions governing ‘appropriate conduct’; or use of our right of freedom of expression in alleviating the suffering of another race, another country, another RELIGION.
I don’t harp on this to get ‘Woke’ credentials or snowflake trophies- it’s simply the truth.
In this country it takes guts to speak out as an Artist, or a citizen and defend an unpopular position. Imagination and innovation are rarely rewarded by established power structures.
Go forth, my friends, and be fucn BOLD. The Arts are our last best hope for speaking Truth to ‘Power’.
Let’s not piss it away on jive trivialities, myths, or quotidian comfort.