Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Country music is not racist

One of the odd things to me is a feeling at times that I need to defend liking country music, which seems to be colored by concerns about American racism. But the thing is, in my experience, country music has rarely if ever had anything to do with race, and when it does, it has stood out as being peculiar to certain artists, and not the genre itself.

For instance one of my best memories was from when I was a soldier in training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, and us soldiers just loved bars. And one night when we went to a country bar, I had a great night dancing. At one point, holding in my arms a beautiful blonde, one of many wonderful women I danced with that night, I asked her about the willingness of the women to so freely dance, and she said they just liked dancing. Such a simple answer. Her husband was taking a break. No big deal. To my embarrassment I got a little forward, and she just corrected me and I flew straight the rest of the night.

When you look for innovation in American music it's all over the place, but it's worth pointing out that you can usually find it in country music, where you will find any number of other genres considered with covers, can see a wellspring of appreciation for all forms of music. And listen to artists who tell you of inspirations from all over.

I grew up with country music as I grew up in Georgia, USA, so to me it's just natural. I heard country music along with everything else.

And for those who appreciate it, it has so much to offer, especially for those couples that, well, just like to dance.

James Harris
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