Time Changes Everything

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival

My roommates and I are all University of Texas students who live in a couple of old houses on a property in West Campus. Although my roommates are all from Dallas, I met them under different circumstances. I went to preschool with one, met another in little league baseball, was in a band in high school with two of them, and met the others in college.

Growing up in Dallas, we were all force-fed country music either by our parents or by the environment itself. The first song I ever remember hearing was Patsy Cline’s version of “You Belong To Me.” When I was a kid, my dad played Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison on the drive to preschool virtually every day. I hated it. If our parents weren’t playing country music, we’d hear it at school, at the baseball game, at the pool, pretty much everywhere we went. I rebelled against country’s early incursions in my life, instead, alongside my peers, opting for The Rolling Stones and other harder hitting classic rock bands. This same story parallels my roommates’ experiences growing up in Dallas. They were all brought up on Waylon and Willie but were instead drawn towards Hendrix and Clapton.

In high school however, things began to change for us. Playing in classic rock bands, we started noticing similarities in sound between country and rock music. A lot of those classic rock stars actually grew up on country music. Jimi Hendrix consistently tuned in to the Grand Ole Opry as a child. When the Rolling Stones came to America to tour in the early 70’s they stayed out on a ranch in West Texas to play out childhood fantasies playing slide guitar and sipping sweet tea on the porch, shaded from the sweltering Texas sun.

My roommates’ had this same musical epiphany. Eventually just like our musical tastes, the guys in my rock band and the bluegrass band I’d joined fell in together. We went back and embraced the music we were given as kids. We’d just as soon play Willie’s “Whiskey River” as Grateful Dead’s “I Know You Rider” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” Music wasn’t really black and white anymore. The lines became blurred between Country, Blues, Rock & Roll, and Rhythm & Blues. I found this change of outlook listening to Johnny Cash’s train songs. One of my roommates found it through the bluegrass music of Bill Monroe while another through Dwight Yoakum and the Texas Tornadoes.

Country music brought us all back to our roots, which in turn led us to take a more open-minded approach to music.

1 Comment

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One Response to Time Changes Everything

  1. Katerina Biancardi

    Loved reading your final product! Your personal story about how you got to know each of your roommates and how you were individually introduced to country music was thoughtful and written well. I think it’s funny how you did not like it originally, but soon found out later some of the artists ya’ll liked were raised on country. Often it’s those “Oh wow, hah” moments that are special experiences. I think the best part of your country music and community story is the end result, about being open-minded towards music. I think that is something we all can be better about in terms of music, and filter to other parts of our lives. Solid work!

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