I have discussed my musical talents in past blogs…..but I’ve never expressed my preference of music listening. In my early youth, here in middle midwest America, the second world war had ended as did the Big Band sound. My family were church attenders and the maternal side very active in choir, the paternal side couldn’t carry a tune no matter what size the bucket.
Friday nights found us in front of grandparents TV watching The Hit Parade, with Diana Shore, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Perry Como, etc. Music was played on these disks, called records. Technology was pushing us from 78’s (that’s a speed vs. size) to 33 1/3 rd. High Fidelity was the rage. My father bought this kit and put together this table sized Hi-FI speaker box, with a woofer, crossover and tweeter. (Sidebar!! I’ve talked about name changes in past blogs, like thongs vs. flip-flops, now a tweeter has nothing to do with ‘tweeting’ and everything to do with a range of sounds)
With Hi-Fi, we began listening to Symphonic music, this speaker brought various instruments right into the room. I must say, music selection was not within my level of authority. When I did sneak a listen–early rock and roll, moved me, although I was not particularly found of the English invasion–at the time. College and the 60’s found me into folk music, with Cause Themes. “Remember Alice, is a song about Alice, Alice’s Restaurant“. I easily slid from the folk into country music.
I was listening to a county radio station the other day and this song came on…what it was, I don’t know, but a few bars into the song, the singer broke in Rap. Now, my generation doesn’t Rap, it’s not that we wouldn’t like it, but by the time our brain processes the 5th word, the song is OVER! As this country song was ending, and I was lamenting about the dastardly course correction Country Music was taking, I began to reflect. It wasn’t long ago……hummm, maybe long is relative, if you’re short of 30, but country music has taken many-a course correction. County Music today, is a blending of Rock’n Roll and Contemporary sound. Contemporary??!! Stop and think, John Denver won a CMA for “Back Home Again”–yet his genre was Adult Contemporary.
In the 1930’s, country music had it roots in “Southern Hillbilly”, what we today call Bluegrass, there was also Western Music. These could be found in the local record shops under the Rhythm and Blues genre, along with real Rhythm and Blues music. It wasn’t long before Hillbilly and Western were merged into Country and Western; Red Foley, Hank Williams Sr. The “sound” was quickly merged into Honky Tonk and Rock-a-billy, with the likes of Bob Wills, and little remembered Eddie Cochran.
Ok, Ok, so I’ve skipped the resurgence of NeoCountry, Truck’n Country, and country (if that’s what you want to call it) from the 1990’s forward.
A tear is coming to my eye, I can’t talk about this ANY longer!!! Country Rap, sheesh!! I’ve spent more than a week writing this blog with the links….I’ve gotten wrapped up listening to the music from which I came.
Think I’ll go listen to some old vinyls, you can go listen to…whatever they’re calling it now..