Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kutcher and Country Music

I love the uproar surrounding the appearance of Ashton Kutcher on the Academy of Country Music Awards program to present Female Vocalist of the Year.  It is refreshing in a way.  Whether he was spoofing the genre or perhaps providing a subtle reminder that country music has strayed from its roots is immaterial.  He had one of the most authentic hats that I saw all night.

Country music is many things.  Like other genres, it is constantly evolving and spinning off other musical styles.  What we call country music today is much like the rock-and-roll of some years back.  It really doesn't matter.  It has evolved until today it appeals to a much wider audience than ever before.

I have seen stories in the media talking about people like Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash and Hank Williams being "real" country.  The writers must be young because those guys were all outlaws in their time.  They were far outside the mainstream of country music. 

I have also seen similar stories about how country music is about drinking beer and raising hell and tractors and pickup trucks.  One line even listed "corn bales" as being country.  Ummm.....if you are clueless about country life, don't comment on it.  It would be "cotton bales" not "corn bales."

Country music is about values common to rural folk.  Well, guess what.  Those values are changing.  God and country are still at the heart of most people in rural America, but, popular culture has seeped into its very pores.  What it boils down to is that the "country" -- or rural America -- of the 50's and 60's isn't the country of today.

Country music isn't just about agriculture.  It isn't just about rural living.  It is about the heart of the people.  I think the greatest measure of a people's heart is what appeals to it.  Bottom line, country music appeals to more hearts today than ever before.  That appeal translates to money.  That's why Mercedes Benz and BMW cars are more common in Nashville than the Toyota Pickup trucks that are manufactured on the Murphreesboro Pike just southeast of the city.  Hmmm......maybe that's the key right there.  Perhaps they should move all the country musicians to Amarillo.

1 comment:

i beati said...

very true but his lack of talent offends me a lot..I am a country girl and it is a thing of the heart as well , a pride anda knowledge of how to contend with a lot of squeamish things. I thought his appearance invasive..just me..