Wednesday, June 09, 2004

COWARDS OF THE COUNTY?: The Associated Press has a nice piece on the politics of country music, which considers the oddity of how only pro-war country songs have hit during the "War on Terror" era; it turns out that despite some big-ticket artists releasing songs that are sceptical about Bush's policies, radio stations aren't even bothering to test these with their audience, sticking to the simpler pro-armed intervention flagwavers. AP seems to interpret this as suggesting that country music fans are, as a bloc, pro-war, although it seems slightly more likely that it just demonstrates country music radio stations are, almost to the point of being, you know, politically unbalanced.

AP quotes a poll which shows "country music fans" are "firmly behind the war" - which turns out to be 54% of them; hardly a rousing majority in such a small sample (845 people) - and the sort of figure which might have been easily reversed if the stations they listened to had chosen to give dissenting voices a space on the airwaves. In fact, to barely manage to creep above half approval amongst people fed on a diet of nothing but 'go army, go guns' suggests something of the struggle the Bush White House are having in taking the people with them on their adventures - and would actually hint that AP missed the real story here. But then, they say in their report that Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town is about the Vietnam war, when "that crazy asian war" mentioned in it is clearly Korea.

Kenny Rogers, however, isn't convinced that it's the politics of the anti-war artists which is keeping them off the radio:

I don't know of a successful song that has said 'We need to stop this,'" he said. "But I do think if one were written well and had an honest thought process behind it and was not strictly politically driven, radio would play it."

A call to stop a war that isn't "politically driven", then. Yeah, that would make sense. You could also try writing a Christmas Carol that isn't religious at the same time.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"A Christmas Carol that isn't religious" Like "Jingle Bells," or "Rudolph," or "Frosty," or "The Christmas Song," or "Silver Bells?" I suppose one could quibble about whether they're "carols" or just plain "holiday songs" . . .

And I lurve me some Willie Nelson, but his anti-war song was, sadly, at least as dumb as anything Toby Keith has ever said. Which is to say, everything Toby Keith has ever said.

simon h b said...

Hmm... you might have me there, although I could be pedantic (who, me?) and point out that a Christmas carol is meant to be on a religious theme...

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