Country music has had a strangely impactful influence on my life. From serving as the feature music on my car rides to school to dominating the atmosphere at the beloved Houston rodeo, it has always pretty much been around. That said, I never really knew much about the history of country music until taking this class. One of the best parts of taking Rhetoric of Country Music is the requirement that I experience interesting country themed activities. Here are the activities I did during the time I was enrolled in this class!
Line Dancing at Rock-a-thon
Just this passed week, my fraternity hosted Rock-a-thon, a philanthropy event in which one person rocks in a chair for 24 straight hours. While this may not be so exciting for the person sitting in the rocking chair, we made sure to include some activities for the audience to enjoy while the rocker rocked. We brought guest speakers, offered cheap food, and even provided an extra rocking chair for anyone who wished to keep our poor rocker company. However, the best part of the event came between hours 22 and 24 when The Enigmatic Strangers, a band featuring several AEPi brothers, performed in front of the crowd. They played line dancing music and everyone danced and had a good time. We raised over $3,400 for the American Cancer Society and had a fun time in the process. Though it was not the focus, country music served an role as part of the festivities. I cannot say for certain that we would have raised as much money as we did without having the final 2 hour stretch of line dancing to the music played by The Enigmatic Strangers.
Who can forget the Houston Rodeo! I have already written about my incredible experience last year at Blake Shelton’s concert. I (of course) went back to the rodeo this year a couple times, but had a somewhat different experience. This year, I went to see Florida Georgia Line and Kenny Chesney. Though I expected Florida Georgia Line to…not meet expectations, I was somewhat disappointed with Kenny Chesney’s performance. He struggled to captivate the crowd, and his songs did not sound great. Though the sound was not entirely his fault because of the acoustics in the building, I did not think he performed like the superstar he is. That said, I have been complaining too much because those nights were really two of the best nights I have had this year! My best friends and I attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and thoroughly enjoyed watching rodeo stars we will not remember . We imagined ourselves having grown up in a rural town, competing in front of thousands of people to hold onto a bucking bronco the longest amount of time. All in all, we loved our trips to the rodeo and cannot wait until next year’s rodeo season.
Watching Walk the Line (2005)
I watched Walk the Line (2005) without high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised with how well Joaquin Phoenix played Johnny Cash, and how much I learned about Cash’s life. The scene when June agreed to marry him seemed forced, but nonetheless brought forth some emotions (my friend might have shed a tear). I thought it was really cool how important music was to rescuing his life, and his performance at the Folsom Prison really hit the nail on the head.
These three experiences greatly impacted my spring semester of 2016. Because of this class, I not only gained knowledge about a music genre I love, but I also made memories I will remember forever. Dusty, thank you for a great semester and good luck next year! It is an honor to have been in your last class at the University of Texas.