I use to hate country music.
It’s true. Perhaps it has something to do with my age or my
generation, but if you are from my generation you’ll have to
admit that today’s country music is not the same as it was
many years ago.
I was born in the mid 50’s and grew up idolizing the Beatles,
the Dave Clark 5, Herman’s Hermits and well… on and on it goes.
In fact, truth be known, I use to put Beatle records on my Hi Fi
Stereo and pretend I was Paul McCartney (my favorite Beatle) and
perform for an imaginary audience.
I don’t even remember my first exposure to country music.
Perhaps it was from watching the popular television show
called “Hee Haw” that featured Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
and of course, Roy Clark.
In any case, the music never appealed to me and certainly
didn’t compare to the Rock ‘n Roll music that we all cherished
in those days.
That steel guitar sound immediately turned me off. I don’t know
why, but it did. Perhaps I associated it with what I concluded
as an inferior type of music.
Ironically, Country music today is my favorite type of music.
In the 70’s my dreams of performing in front of live audiences
in a band came true. No… Country music had not yet taken a
hold of me.
I played in a top 40 band and I can assure you that country
music, if we played any at all, was probably done at the request
of someone very special.
Disco music was a favorite of many people back then and that
included me. I loved the Bee Gees and the transition they made
from their earlier music to the Saturday Night Fever style,
as well as most of the other artists who performed disco in
Donna Summer… Barry White… ahhh… don’t get me started.
Did I mention I love to dance? And let’s not forget Earth, Wind
and Fire! I’m not even sure we can classify their music as disco,
but what ever it was, I loved it and still do.
Well how did I go from a top 40 band and a disco lover to a
country music fan?
Here’s what happened. One night while I was watching the annual
American Music Awards show on TV, the host was showing up in the
audience and randomly asking people who their favorite artist was?
A number of the people said “Garth Brooks.” Well, I knew who he
was and I had heard that he put on one heck of a show in concert…
and I noticed that these people were about my age and seemed to
be at least of average intelligence.
So I got to thinkin’. What am I missing? Perhaps I should give
country music another chance and just see if there’s something
worth listening to. I knew that the steel guitar was still as
annoying as ever to me, but I decided that for the next two weeks,
no matter how annoyed I might get, that I would listen only to
Then after the two weeks were up, I would reassess the situation
and decide if I had wasted my time or not.
Well, what happened was, as each day past, some of the songs began
to grow on me and I started to recognize them, just as I did with
other music and/or radio channels. I recall one in particular was
by Collin Raye called “Love Me.” It’s a beautiful love song.
If you’ve never heard it, try to find a way to listen to that one.
That was when I first started to realize that country music lyrics
are the absolute best in any music genre (just my opinion of course).
By the time the two weeks were up, I had a few of my favorite songs
playing on that channel, and I’ve never looked back. Yes, I use to
hate country music and I still do not like most of the “old” country
songs. But things change. I changed and I feel that country music
has changed too.
Of course, I still love all of the stuff I always loved, and
from time to time there are still a few top 40 songs that I
take a liking to… but, my favorite channel now is 93.1 WPOC,
Baltimore’s country music channel.
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