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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

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    The Final Frontier: Country Music and African America

    First there was Ray Charles:



    Then Charlie Pride:




    Then in the eighties (or nineties?) there was the country hit by John Michael Montgomery: "I Can Love You Like That":



    Which was later covered by two-tone boyband All 4 One:



    They also covered his song "I Swear" to massive success.



    Original:



    Anyway, I'm not a particular fan of smaltzy middle-of-the-road music like this, but a new, magical, commercial, and highly-profitable formula was certainly struck upon, but perhaps it was a bit early for black and white performers to be seen on the same stage together, especially performing country music.

    However recently, Jamie Foxx (who played Ray Charles in Ray) reunited with his ex-roomate Gary Levox and his band Rascal Flatts and got a standing ovation at the 2007 Country Music awards:



    I like the Joe Walsh-like country-rock solo as well. Levox apparently had a cold and couldn't hit the high notes, but the song shows the more sophisticated evolution of this new confluence of soul and country.

    A double-platinum country band, Sugarland, performed a Beyonce hit "Irreplaceable" on the 2007 American Music Awards, with Beyonce:



    Now listen to the original version:



    Now as a result of all that ^, there's this:

    Beyoncé to record country music album?

    Beyoncé Knowles has revealed plans to record an album of country music, according to reports.

    Knowles was reportedly so pleased with her performance alongside country band Sugarland at the American Music Awards that she plans to ditch her traditional R'n'B style on her new LP.



    The singer sang a re-worked version of her hit 'Irreplaceable' at the award ceremony at the weekend.

    And she has reportedly enlisted the help of award winning singer/songwriter Amanda Ghost - the creative force behind James Blunt's hit 'You're Beautiful' - for the project.

    A source close to the popstar has been quoted as saying: "Beyoncé wants to try something completely different.

    "She is a big fan of country music and thought that would be an interesting and exciting way to go. She contacted Amanda early this week and she is going over to work with her on it.

    "She also tested the waters at the American Music Awards last weekend and she is up for it."

    RTÉ.ie Entertainment: Beyoncé to record country music album?
    Things have come a long way since Black Gospel begat Soul and White Gospel begat Hank Williams, but like Foxx and Levox, they have reunited on stage once more, in a very successful and commercial manner.

    On the other hand, there's this:

    Last edited by Hootad Binky; 14-12-2007 at 10:20 AM.
    Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. -Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
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    CMAs expanding traditional ideas of 'pop'


    Carrie Underwood wins "Female Vocalist of the
    Year" at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards.

    As I sat wide-eyed at the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 7, my mind drifted to the late, great Hank Williams. I wondered what he would have thought of the Nashville-meets-Hollywood duet between Rascal Flatts and Jamie Foxx, or peppy 17-year-old Taylor Swift's performance with a sparkly guitar and a giant pink flower. Would he have grimaced at a former reality television show contestant winning "Female Vocalist of the Year" for the second consecutive year? Would he have taken one look at the mish-mash of musical styles and bolted?

    It's easy to glance at the country music industry and make a snap judgment about its state. What was once a one-sound, one-style kind of industry is now perceived by many as a battle of generations: the time-honored artists against the budding contemporary artists. But if you scrap the old-versus-new approach - something few critics and traditionalist fans seem able to do - you might see it differently. Though the industry is not the one Williams left decades ago, it still has real people telling real stories at its heart, only now with a wider horizon and a richer repertoire of music, in which contemporary country music has a substantial place.

    Originating from the smoother "Nashville Sound" that emerged controversially in the 1950s, chart-topping modern country artists from Garth Brooks to Shania Twain to Kenny Chesney have been consistently attacked for their pop appeal. In a world where pop implies commercial and unsubstantial, country pop is viewed by many as poison to the country music industry - but how fair is this? Does a different sound - and a different marketing team - always represent a lack of artistic integrity? Pick up a copy of the latest album by five-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Rascal Flatts and give it a good listen, specifically the gorgeous, soulful duet with Foxx. It's not all candy-coated packaging.

    Instead, the music of many pop-dubbed country artists offers a refreshing and youthful twist on country music. Where they sometimes lack in banjos or old-time rhythms, they compensate with original styles that speak to a new generation of listeners. It's unfortunate that rather than being appreciated for adding depth and color to a well-established industry, these newer artists are considered undeserving show-stealers.

    Consider the reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Carrie Underwood, who sold more than 6 million copies of her debut album and whose sophomore album, Carnival Ride, debuted at No. 1 on the charts. Despite her soaring vocals and hard-earned success since winning "American Idol" in 2005, she is perpetually flogged by country purists for her unconventional rise to fame and, like others, contemporary sound. "On Top 40 stations, nobody cares that you'll have Fergie next to 50 Cent. They're different," Underwood recently said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Why can't you have me next to somebody that's more traditional country?" I pose the same question.

    Working to break these divisions is country artist Reba McEntire, who created an album that recognizes the sweet blend of traditional and nontraditional. In Reba Duets, the Grammy Award-winning McEntire teams with country legend Vince Gill, modern country artist Faith Hill and pop superstar Kelly Clarkson, among others. Her duet with Justin Timberlake, "The Only Promise That Remains," rings with a tenderness that is found only in the most treasured country love songs - and Timberlake penned the song. With an acclaimed, certified platinum album after only one month, McEntire has proven that crossing musical boundaries is worth any discomfort that may follow.

    But perhaps the most remarkable proof that old and new country music can coexist is a snapshot of my row at the CMA Awards. To my right, two elderly women with teased grey hair, heavy makeup and cowboy boots watched intently. A few seats to my left, a hip young couple from Orange County danced and sang aloud. And in the middle sat my sister and me, two American Indians from Texas with no country roots but an overwhelming passion for country music. The elderly women raised their hands in the air for the Eagles, the couple pumped their fists for Brooks and Dunn, I cheered for Martina McBride, and we all stood for George Strait.

    Shania Twain put it eloquently when she said, "Country music is still your grandpa's music, but it's also your daughter's music." It's not one or the other, it's both. While I deeply respect and cherish the country music greats, there is something to be said for the new face of country music. I await the day when country music fans and insiders alike realize that every once and a while - in this industry as well as in life - breaking away from the tried-and-true delivers invaluable results.

    CMAs expanding traditional ideas of 'pop' - Life & Arts
    This superb torch ballad, from the 2007 Country Music Awards, could just as easily be done by Beyonce or any other top-flight R&B/Soul singer:



    I think these black entertainers are now saying "why not sing music like this?" And that's cool.
    Last edited by Hootad Binky; 14-12-2007 at 07:36 AM.

  3. #3
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    Waiting in the Wings documents more than a century of contributions of African-Americans to country music and questions why the genre historically has included few African- American artists. The documentary also profiles five young African-American artists including American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, Curb recording artist Trini Triggs, California songstress Vicki Vann, Pennsylvania native and Star Search finalist Rissi Palmer and Texas musical siblings 17-year-old Buddy and 15-year-old Tina Wright.

    The 90-minute documentary traces the roots of African American influence on country music from the nation’s early days including the split of Southern music in the 1920s to become “hillbilly music” for white audiences and “race music” for black audiences. It also looks at the role black musicians played in shaping country music’s pioneers including the legendary Hank Williams. At age 9, Hank Williams learned to play guitar from local blues man Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne. “Daddy’s 9 years old and getting guitar lessons … if they hadn’t met, there might not have been a Hank Williams,” commented Hank Williams Jr. on the influence the African- American musician had on his father. “I could just close my eyes and visualize them out on the street. Someone asked Daddy if he had any formal musical training and he said, ‘I got all the training I needed from Tee-Tot.’”

    Charley Pride, the most commercially successful African-American in country music history, speaks candidly about the launch of his career during the Civil Rights movement. Pride, signed by RCA in 1965, scored 29 No. 1 hits from 1966-1992 including “Kaw-Liga,” “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.” He was voted the CMA’s male vocalist in 1971 and 1972. Remarking on the current state of African-Americans in country music, Pride tells CMT, “It’s pitiful to have to still be talking that way in 2003, but … I think it’s got to come down to a collective body of Americans. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

    Locke says Curb Records label head Mike Curb has a fresh approach to marketing the new singer. “Mike Curb said, ‘I’m not going to make you pick a genre of music,' and that thrilled me. I was so excited to hear him say that, because that let me know he knew me as a singer; your ultimate goal is to have your music played on the radio … and rather than pigeonhole myself into one genre of music, why not go for the gusto and see what I can do in any genre that I want to tackle?” Added Locke about her future plans, “We don’t want to try to have a country hit right off the bat but gradually, moving into that, I think that is a good way to introduce black artists to the country music world. We get in our comfort zones, and people don’t want to step outside of that, but a good song is a good song.”

    Naomi Judd says, “We’re all Americans. There’s still an imbalance, and when I heard that CMT was doing this documentary, I thought, ‘Well, it’s about time.’ There’s segregation in country music. Programs like this go a long way.”

    CMT.com : Shows : Waiting in the Wings: African Americans in Country Music : About the Show

  4. #4
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    Went checking for some music webboards and found this one in Google's own directory. You'd expect a sizable community on Google, or at least a decent forum.

    Instead I found this trash pit All computer-generated drivel. What;s the best way to find large, well-run forums by subject?



    About this group
    Subscribe to this group

    This is a Usenet group - learn more
    Find or start a Google Group about country.


    >Hi everybody! First of all I want to apologize in advance if this type of post is not allowed. We've seen the web ads or emails regarding free Ipods from freeipods.com (Gratis Networks). I did a Google search and found an article from Wired magazine stating that this is not a scam. Although this is a pyramid-type deal, it appears to be legit. Here's the Wired...

    >Hey everyone, OK, this really works. I saw a bunch of folks posting two months ago with a reference link and laughed, but when those friends of mine started getting their ipods in the mail, I started to think that maybe it was time to hop aboard. All you need is five references to sign up for one of the offers and you CAN cancel it, so it costs you...

    >Australia has brought us another great export. Catherine Britt is awesome. Her single is The Upside Of Being Down. Don't look at her and think, "That's just another pretty face someone gave a record deal, too." She writes her own music and has been playing in Australia for awhile even though she's only 19. No mistaking her country for pop...

    >GET $5 EASILY TO PROMOTE THE SPREADING OF A SUCCESSFUL CLAN TO CHAT PROGRAMS, USENET GROUPS, AND OTHER GAMES. DAMAGE INCORPORATED IS OFFERING A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OFFER. THE FIRST 500 PEOPLE TO REGISTER TO THESE FORUMS:

    >Shania Twain is Irish ! The other day I heard a Shania Twain song on the radio it was trundling on reasonably nicely when a lot of Irish instrumentation appeared on it. I was a bit surprised by this and I was idly thinking to myself she must have some familial connection with the Irish contingent in the U.S.A., forgetting for the moment that she was...

    >Hi Y'all, there's a new Country Artist that I'd like you to check out. Hi name is Joe Merrick and he's a singer / Songwriter from Massachusetts. He might be a Yankee, but the music is amazing! If you click on "Media", you can download songs and Video's of his!...

    Discussions - rec.music.country | Google Groups
    Last edited by Hootad Binky; 14-12-2007 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail

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    methinks you need a hobby, hootad.

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    Well, my main hobby is music.

    Actually, I never really like country music, everyone in my generation just hated it.

    Then in college a friend lent me a tape of Gram Parsons (not Alan Parsons!) with Emylou Harris:



    That changed everything. The music was a return to old-style country, with many simple ballads sung in harmony with Harris, sometimes with a hippy twist.

    Parsons had a strong effect on Keith Richards, and they became friends. Parsons made many important contributions to Exile On Main Street and the song "Dead Flowers" was written for him. Parsons band also opened for the Stones at the infamous Stones Altamont Speedway concert in 1969, when Hells Angels hired as stage security stabbed a man to death right in front of the stage.


    Parsons and Richards at Joshua Tree Monument, where Parsons' body was eventually reburied, after being dug up by roadies postmortem, and burned on a pyre in the desert, much to the horror of his family.

    Being a singer and musician I learned many Gram Parsons songs and still know them today: great to sing in a kitchen, like bluegrass, with just a a couple of guitars or a guitar and a mandolin, melody, harmony.

    So that's how I got into country music. Post-911, Americans have become more sentimental about their music, hence the unexpected success of the cd to this film:



    • Billboard:
      • 2001
        • No. 1 on The Billboard 200
        • No. 1 on Top Country Albums
        • No. 38 on Top Internet Albums
        • No. 1 on Top Soundtracks
      • 2002
        • No. 1 on The Billboard 200
        • No. 3 on Top Canadian Albums
        • No. 1 on Top Country Albums
        • No. 38 on Top Internet Albums
        • No. 1 on Top Soundtracks
    1. "Po' Lazarus", arrangement by Alan Lomax; performed by James Carter and The Prisoners – 4:31
    2. "Big Rock Candy Mountain", written and performed by Harry McClintock – 2:16
    3. "You Are My Sunshine", written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell; performed by Norman Blake – 4:26
    4. "Down to the River to Pray", traditional; performed by Alison Krauss – 2:55
    5. "Man of Constant Sorrow" (radio station version), arrangement by Carter Stanley; performed by Soggy Bottom Boys and Dan Tyminski – 3:10
    6. "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues", written by Skip James; performed by Chris Thomas King – 2:42
    7. "Man of Constant Sorrow", traditional; performed by Norman Blake – 4:28
    8. "Keep on the Sunny Side", written by A.P. Carter; performed by The Whites – 3:33
    9. "I'll Fly Away", written by Albert E. Brumley; performed by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch – 3:57
    10. "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby", arrangement by Alan Lomax, T-Bone Burnett and Gillian Welch; performed by Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch – 1:57
    11. "In the Highways", written by Maybelle Carter; performed by Leah, Sarah, and Hannah Peasall – 1:35
    12. "I Am Weary, Let Me Rest", written by Pete Roberts; performed by The Cox Family – 3:13
    13. "Man of Constant Sorrow", arrangement by Ed Haley; performed by John Hartford – 2:34
    14. "O Death", traditional; performed by Ralph Stanley – 3:19
    15. "In the Jailhouse Now", written by Jimmie Rodgers; performed by Soggy Bottom Boys and Tim Blake Nelson – 3:34
    16. "Man of Constant Sorrow" (with band), arrangement by Carter Stanley; performed by Soggy Bottom Boys and Dan Tyminski – 4:16
    17. "Indian War Whoop", written by Hoyt Ming; performed by John Hartford – 1:30
    18. "Lonesome Valley", traditional; performed by The Fairfield Four – 4:07
    19. "Angel Band", traditional, performed by The Stanley Brothers – 2:15
    Contrary to the Hollywood "common wisdom" that non-contemporary music alienates audiences, the soundtrack CD became a best seller, with more than 5 million copies sold. It won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (for singer Dan Tyminski, whose voice overdubbed George Clooney's in the film on "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow", and Nashville songwriter Harley Allen and the Nashville Bluegrass Band's Pat Enright), and the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "O, Death" by Ralph Stanley.

    O Brother, Where Art Thou? (soundtrack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
    Last edited by Hootad Binky; 15-12-2007 at 01:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Knows fok all
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    I'm well known for doing the achey breakey on very special occations.

  8. #8
    Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb
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    Not a big country fan either, but an album I found in the 70's I thought was pretty good. It was called White Mansions by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.
    Side 1 was all about the South going to war. Side 2 was after the South was defeated. Appealed to my love of history.
    Phuket - Veni Vidi Veni

  9. #9
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    Saw a tribute concert to Willie Nelson on tv a few weeks back, a lot of different performers - quite good. He's so unpretentious, same beat up classical guitar, same hat, same grin.

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    Thailand Expat nedwalk's Avatar
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    isaw the movie about the gram parsons funeral pire, forget the title at the moment though not a bad story, i was aware of parsons prior but not as much to what he was responsible for, he did have a big influence an many musos

  11. #11
    I am in Jail

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    Born and bred on C&W. Patsy Cline...wow.

  12. #12
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    Ever seen KD Lang & the Reclines? Her first band.

    After Parsons joined the Byrds they made "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," one of the first country-rock albums ever. Chris Hillman joined him to form The Flying Burrito Brothers:

    Quote Originally Posted by nedwalk View Post
    isaw the movie about the gram parsons funeral pire, forget the title at the moment though not a bad story, i was aware of parsons prior but not as much to what he was responsible for, he did have a big influence an many musos
    Was it from this recent documentary?



    Check out those body suits, and Emylou Harris, also on the clip ("Love Hurts" - that old Nazareth hit). Interviews with Steve Earle and Willie Nelson and someone who might be Dwight Yoakam.
    Last edited by Hootad Binky; 18-12-2007 at 03:07 AM.

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