Thursday, May 22, 2014


John Ruskin

     What if Frank Sinatra was put out to pasture after ten years of music?  The loss of his greatest body and quality of work.  What if the work of the greats had been a passing fad and we would not have Bach, Beethoven, etc.?  What basis of inspiration and continued human expression would there be without the great legacies of music over the centuries?
     What will be the result, in the future, to popular culture when the Nashville music business has run all the formula talent out into the byways?  Pretty much what you see it is now.
      Johnny Cash was tossed into the garbage heap of Nashville after the 'new order' came in and took the heart and soul out of the business and replaced it with the profit equation of the LA Pop scene.  It took a long time Rock and Roller producer to appreciate the genius of Cash and bring it to an almost cult following until the end of his life when he could no longer be ignored.  What of the others like him and those coming up the line that don't fit the mold?
     What is the state of your music?  Is it only what you are told you like on the radio?  Only by the selections in the Wal Mart and Target music sections?  Or do you follow favorites that require you to be in attendance at live events or buy their CD's and downloads?
     As you do not like to be defined by labels or classifications as an individual, so the music business chafes at the same rigid definitions.  Remember Country and Western?  Are you stuck in the Rock world but it is so rigid in classic, acid, new age, and on and on.  There is no place for the current artist who forges ahead in a mixed style and creating new styles.
     The big Business of radio and music has taken artists that would be doing their finest work now and relegated them to a side attraction, or found in a 'destination' still plying their trade.  Some with their greatest works going unknown.
     This will leave a gap in the world of our kids and grand kids unlike the richness that our parents, grand parents, left to us.  I am not one that is against business but there is a point that the dominance of huge conglomerates detracts from the richness of life that should be ours naturally.
     Some of us buck the trends and go our own way.  My hero's are Barry Ward, Curly Musgrave, Dave Stamy, Judy Coder, Devon Dawson, the Diamond W Wranglers, Sons of the Pioneers, 3 Trails West, Don Edwards, Sons of the San Joaquin, Juni Fisher, and many others you may not have heard of.
      The opinion of Colline Raye, country music star, is that "country music is dead."  To the listening public depending on radio and TV this is true.  Yet Country can be found even in Nashville.  Western is out there.  Rock is out there.  Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic, is there and fresh with new life as well as the classic sounds.  It is just denied a place because of music and radio monopolies.
      What does it take to regain the richness of the arts?  It takes a rebirth of the love of and the support of by the public at large.  It can only be changed when the Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York giants start to realize that the formula that they so worship are false and the people in the end rule with their pocket book and can be dictated to just so long.
      So how do you affect the change?  Simple, allow good music to be a part of your life again and not a background hum that emanates from a device programed by an 'expert' in some far off tower.  Support the genre' and artists you love and make it clear to the radio stations and the music industry that you will spend your dollar and time to your likes and not the herd mentality that they perpetuate.
       I discovered Western and all the varieties of it as what I love.  I also have found Americana which is where 90% of music falls and is a growing movement.  I will choose the freedom of 90% to the dictatorship of 10%.  We just have to make it known.
     Remember when radio was your companion and not a mouthpiece?

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