What is country music to you? Do you love it or are you a casual listener? Is the answer to that question a result of where you’re from or a certain community you are a part of? The one community that I identify with that has shaped my outlook on country music for the past four summers is my previous source of pay.
For my previous job, I lifeguarded at our local city pool since the summer after my junior year in high school. I enjoyed it very much not only because I had a lot of friends there but we also got to listen to music while we did our job. We had speakers that played music (when they weren’t broken) and we listened to mainly country music along with some pop stations. When I first started we were told of a couple of stations that we could not play but mostly had free realm of what radio stations, but over the years it was restricted to basically just country music stations. When I first started working I didn’t care too much for country if at all and would have preferred pop/ radio-friendly music hands down. The more I listened, the more it grew on me even though it was mainly the same five country songs all summer. While it made others hate it even more, I actually grew fonder of it. Country music is still not my favorite genre BUT I listen to it a lot now during the summer mainly and like going to concerts.
We, also as a lifeguarding group, would go to country events and bars like Billy Bob’s, in Fort Worth, when artists played and had a great time. (Those of us who were old enough of course, since not all of us were 18.) We went to other country concerts at places like Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, which was fun. A lot of different artists have performed there such as the Randy Rogers Band, Gary Allen, Pat Green, Easton Corbin, and many others. I bought my first pair of boots and Wrangler jeans for a concert at Lone Star Park.
Over my summers at work, I must say one of the songs that sticks out to me the most is Country Girl (also known as Shake it for me) by Luke Bryan. It was a big hit my first summer lifeguarding and EVERYONE knew it because they played it SO much on the radio. The girls absolutely went crazy over it and this was one of the songs that really put Luke Bryan on the national stage and when the average country music fan first heard a song by him. Some of the people who didn’t like country music who I worked with even liked this song and was a song that started the current trend of country music that “isn’t country music” in some people’s eyes. While I admit that I’m still not a fan who knows all about country music, I agree that it is a different type of music compared to older songs. Along with Country Girl, other songs that I remember being overplayed on the radio were Drunk on you also by Luke Bryan and Honey Bee by Blake Shelton. While we always sang along when these songs came on, we always joked around about these songs because they were played so much but that is what made those summer days so memorable.