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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
cowboypoet BS: What is Country? (60* d) RE: BS: What is Country? 07 Feb 01

"I'm wondering...who, among the musicians of the last twenty years or so, do you feel has remained most true to the Folk Roots of Country?"

I think an argument could be made for Grandpa Jones. He continued to play clawhammer banjo when nearly everyone else jumped on the Earl Scruggs bandwagon, and a lot of his tunes were traditional, or were based on traditional tunes. ("Whoa, mule, whoa! Whoa, mule, I say! I ain't got time to kiss you now, my mule's a-runnin' away!)

The question of what's Country has fascinated me for years. I grew up in a household where almost nothing else was ever played on record or radio, and I liked a lot of it. I still listen to Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams, and I still love the sounds of those guys in the Nudi suits from, say, 1954 to 1963 -- Ray Price, Carl Smith, Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Buck Owens, et al. Now that I think of it, maybe one of the things I liked best was the variety. Nowadays most all the "Country" singers sound alike to me.

And it's hard to find more entertaining song titles in any other form of popular music, viz. "My Tears Have Washed 'I Love You' From the Blackboard Of My Heart" by Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys (that's not a challenge, dear 'Catters!).

Having said all that, my all-time favorite Country singer and songwriter was Don Gibson. If you ask me "What's Country, as opposed to folk or any other kind of music, and why should I care?" I couldn't tell you in words, but listen to Don Gibson and there's my answer. Whether my answer answers your question is of course for you to decide.

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