Monday’s Music Moves Me
This week is a freebie week at 4M so I am going to spin a few tunes from the Country. Recently PBS television broadcast the Ken Burns series “Country Music” that traced the history of the genre from it’s beginnings to the early part of this century. While country music had its roots in folk and gospel, the genre has incorporated bluegrass, rock, pop, soul, and jazz into it’s sound over the years. The PBS series was a master piece and if you have any interest in the genre it is a must see. Just for the record, the genre didn’t officially get it’s name until 1949 when “Western” was dropped from Country & Western, leaving us with country music. From time to time a new trend in music will bleed into the country sound. Fortunately, when that sound threatens to dominate and change the industry, a group of artists rise up, get back to the roots, and remind all of us just what country is all about. Personally, I think it may be time for that phenomenon to happen again. the sound has become too pop and too predictable. The current sound seems to be dominated by the beat, the sound, and the party anthem. At one time it was said that a great country song began with three chords and a story. Here are a few stories.
Many experts in country music will tell you that the greatest male vocalist in the history of the genre is George Jones. Others might argue that George Strait holds that position and a few will tell you that sold out stadiums validate Garth Brooks as the best ever. George Jones’ biggest hit was He Stopped Loving Her Today. It is not a break-up song, but a fond farewell from a husband’s passing. When you know the story, it brings a whole new appreciation for the song.
The 90’s saw a resurgence of the classic sound of country and one of the leaders was Alan Jackson. There were no rhinestone suits, no chorus of back up singers, just Alan, three chords and a story.
My favorite female vocalist from the 90’s is Trisha Yearwood. There were several great ladies of country in the 90’s, Martina McBride, and Shania Twain to name a couple, but I thought Trisha could sing the phone book into a top ten tune. Yes, there is a heavy blues influence in this song, but it showcases what I consider the best female vocalist since Linda Ronstadt.
A country set from me wouldn’t be complete without a Dwight Yoakam song. Dwight and Buck Owens brought the “Bakersfield Sound” to country music. There was a little rock n roll, a little hillbilly and a lot of country in the sound. Dwight is one of my favorite artists. What does a break-up bring to your life…Heartaches by the Number. Have a blessed week.