(Obituary written by Dan Harr)
Having survived through numerous major world conflicts, corporate radio dictations, the birth of hundreds of new and morphed musical genres and the evolution of hard-core “bro-country”, the musical style known as Country Music passed away last night in Nashville at the age of 96 after suffering an ongoing battle with genre identity over the past ten years.
Country Music was born in 1920 as a result of the blending of Appalachian folk, Irish Roots and Blues music in the southern United States. For the first 80 years of life, Country Music found a rock-solid fan base among Republicans and Democrats alike as well as Independents, crossing party lines and providing inspiration for radio, television and film entertainment for decades. However, followers of the genre noticed somewhere around the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that Country Music was suffering from ongoing Genre Identity as new influences began to take root and change the direction Nashville was taking.
With the advent of artists like Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Florida-Georgia Line and others, Nashville began losing its grip on the traditions and roots of what made Country music country. By the late 2000’s, the genre was in full blown identity crisis mode as corporate radio dictated that new artists all come from the same gene pool, thus resulting in incestuous cross-breeding that spelled the demise of the genre.
The final gasping breath of Country Music was heard on November 2, 2016, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville as two acts took the stage together. The Dixie Chicks, that trio of loud-mouthed, America-bashing pop wannabes, performed with Beyonce, an artist with absolutely no country Music connection whatsoever.
Unfortunately, although genrecide occurred on national television, no arrest warrants have been issued. Those claiming to represent Country Music are attempting to justify giving Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks six minutes on stage while, at the same time, cutting short a 1 minute speech by a true country icon, Dolly Parton.
There are numerous survivors of the deceased. However, they find themselves landing on secondary and tertiary radio markets while those who committed the act of murdering the genre are given the prime slots on the airwaves. Fans of the deceased are gathering by candlelight, listening to old vinyl records and cassette tapes in the hope of keeping the genre alive in the memories of those who remember Country Music’s glory days.
In lieu of flowers, please purchase tickets to shows of artists who hold the traditions of Country Music close to their hearts and perform music that represents what the genre was, once upon a time.
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