Author Archives: Daniella

About Daniella

My name is Daniella Torres but you can call me Danni for short. I am a second year Human Development and Family Sciences major from South Houston, Texas. When it comes to my taste in music, I pretty much listen to everything with the exception of hard rock. I started listening to country music in about 7th or 8th grade. Although I enjoy country music, I am not really aware of its history/origins; however, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge on the different subgenres of country music along with their histories.

The Most Important in Country Music?

johnnycWith this being my last blog post of the school year, I wondered what I would write about. After doing quite a bit of brainstorming and still coming up with nothing I decided to search the internet for a topic that might catch me by surprise. While searching, I came across a post that listed “The 10 Most Important People in Country Music.” This was something that caught my attention because I feel that an argument can be made as to who the most influential or most important people in country music are.

raycI remember at the beginning of this course Dusty gave us a list of several artists and bands and asked us to list the top ten people who we thought were most influential to the genre of country music. When we did this exercise I was actually pretty surprised to find out that artists such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Aerosmith had such big influences on country music (according to CMT). There were also artists on the list who I would’ve guessed to be higher up and artists who, in my opinion, should’ve been a bit lower.

One of the things that the AXS article mentions which I agree with is the fact that the sound of country music has changed so much over the course of the years. Their inclusion of George Strait, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash as some of the greatest contributors to country music is also something that I can easily agree with. However, there are some artists who I question why they are considered the “most important” in country music.

The list of artists doesn’t seem to have an order as to which artist is most and least important on their list. A short description is given about each artist and/or their music as to why they are considered to be important or to have made significant contributions to the genre. The artists noted for being the most important in country music include: Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, The Judds, Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Faith Hill, George Strait, and last but not least Hank Williams.

While I’m not trying to be mean, I feel that Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift could easily have been replaced by someone who has been around longer and has made a bigger impact on country music such as Willie Nelson, Reba, or even Elvis. I actually found it rather amusing that the reason AXS provided for Luke Bryan’s importance to country music was because of his “signature booty shake” and his ability to “make grown women swoon” with his song lyrics. This might just be my personal opinion but I think it should take more than booty shaking in order to make it onto a list of country’s most important figures.

luke bryan shake it lukebryan women

Feel free to let me know what you think of the list compiled by AXS. Who do you think should’ve been included in this list and who do you think should’ve been left off?

Bailey, Tiffany. “The 10 Most Important People in Country Music.” AXS. 24 Mar. 2015. Web. 3 May 2015.


Filed under Lists, Reflection

Where Did Clay Walker Go?

Although I consider myself a fan of country music, I would not consider myself to being anywhere close to being an expert on this genre of music. Growing up, one of the first artists that I clearly remember listening to along with Keith Urban was Clay Walker. I was able to see him perform once at the Houston Rodeo and then again at the Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion in the Woodlands.

Coming in to the course I had no idea of what I could really expect, nor did I know which artists we would be discussing in class. Although I didn’t have a clue about who we would be covering this semester, I am a bit surprised by the fact that Clay Walker has not been mentioned once throughout the course thus far. Clay Walker was one of the very first artists that I came across when I first started listening to country music. Because I don’t know much about the genre, I decided to take it upon myself to do a bit of research on him to see if I could figure out why he might not be as popular as other artists.

Clay Walker began his professional career in country music began in 1993 with the release of his debut album Clay Walker. As of today, he has released a total of eleven albums with four of them that went platinum and two that went gold. His most recent album titled She Won’t be Lonely Long was released in 2010 which brings up the question: “Where did Clay Walker go?” After doing a little research I discovered that Clay Walker was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when he was only 26 years old and he has been trying to deal with it since then. Since his diagnosis he has attempted to make contributions towards the cure of this disease by  donating money as well as raising awareness about MS through his charity Band Against MS. Although it appears that he has gotten his symptoms of MS under control, the disease only continues to progress as he ages; this might explain why he hasn’t made much of a presence in the country music scene for the past five years.

I decided to put together a few of my favorite songs by Clay Walker for you guys to enjoy.

I would have to say that “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” is my favorite Clay Walker song. It always reminds me of my dad because it features Freddy Fender and for me it just brings back memories of the stories he would tell us about him growing up in Corpus and listening to Freddy Fender all the time. I also like this song because he sings part of it in Spanish and its different from any other song on the album.

Well what can I say about “Fore She Was Mama”? In contrast to the previous songs I chose this one is more of a silly upbeat song about a couple of siblings who were digging around and discovered things about their mom when she was younger. After the boys in the song uncover all of these dirty little secrets they’re shocked and its hard for them to even see her as a young, wild person who she supposedly was because they just see her as their mom.


Filed under Charity, Lists, New Country, Reflection, Texas

Daniella’s Experiences

Coming into this course I really had no idea what to expect except for the fact that we would be covering country music in one way or another. As a part of this course I was able to experience and discover things that I probably would not have done on my own.

Coming into this course I really had no idea what to expect except for the fact that we would be covering country music in one way or another. As a part of this course I was able to experience and discover things that I probably would not have done on my own.

Coming into this course I really had no idea what to expect except for the fact that we would be covering country music in one way or another. As a part of this course I was able to experience and discover things that I probably would not have done on my own.

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Filed under Austin, Class work, Storify

The Good Kind of Country Music

A couple of weekends ago, a handful of my friends and myself packed up a change of clothes, jumped in the car, and made our way to College Station. We were making our way to hang out with a couple of our sorority sisters as well as attend the probate of the brothers of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. I was excited to be taking a mini-road trip to escape the stress of school for the weekend and to clear my mind with a nice drive down some country roads.

Since I was the one who would be driving, that meant that I also had control of the radio. Because I knew that my sisters are not big fans of country music, I took this into consideration and kindly turned the dial to a pop station. We got a good thirty minutes of Adam Levine, Taylor Swift, and Iggy before I had to find another station. Unfortunately (for them), shortly after we passed the Austin city line and made our way further into the country we began to lose signal of the pop station and I was forced to turn to a different station.

After browsing through the stations for quite some time, I finally came across a radio station that caught my attention. “Young,” by Kenney Chesney was playing. When I heard this song I initially had passed the station up but as I realized what song it was that was playing, I quickly returned to the station. It reminded me of intermediate school; eighth grade to be exact. It brought back memories of the group of friends I had in intermediate school, the little rebellious phase we went through, and how we would be going our different ways in high school. This type of country music reminded me of my time as a child, growing up listening to country music on trips to Corpus Christi with my parents and siblings.

Next came some good ole George Strait, Reba, and Garth Brooks. I had missed this kind of country music being played on the radio; today’s country music radio consists of artists like Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt (who I personally wouldn’t even consider country). I couldn’t really remember the last time I had listened to country music on the radio and actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t really until I spent an entire two hours listening to the country artists that I grew up listening to that I realized there was something wrong with today’s country radio. Today’s country music radio stations should follow the lead of this “Classic Country” radio station and I just might start listening to country music on the radio again.


Filed under Classic Country, New Traditionalism

Missing the Houston Rodeo

hlsrIf you are from Houston, Texas and you say you have never been to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, your fellow Houstonians pretty much look at you as if you are from another planet. Such a thing is almost unheard of.

Every year since I can remember, I have attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, with the exception of last year (my first year of college). Unfortunately, this year might be my second year without the rodeo. As a native Houstonian and fan of country music, this truly saddens me. With all that is currently going on in my life, I have learn to prioritize and come to accept the fact that there will always be next year.

Although the rodeo does not begin until March, the hype usually begins when the New Year rolls around. Everyone who is a usual Houston rodeo attendee knows that the lineup is released in mid-January, which causes a suspenseful beginning of the year. As soon as the lineup is released everyone is on the internet already planning out which rodeo concerts they are going to attend.

Every year, like my fellow Houstonians, I partake in this waiting game anxious to discover who will be performing at the rodeo this year. However, this year I did not even bother to participate and instead I slept in just as anyone who is oblivious to the release of the rodeo lineup would do . As much as I wanted to anxiously wait for the lineup to be released, I didn’t want to be disappointed because of the fact that I won’t have the time in my schedule to visit Houston in the month of March.

rodeoAs much as I hate to admit it, I have slowly come to accept the fact that as I grow older the less time I will have for things of leisure such as attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I highly encourage anyone who has never attended the Houston Rodeo to do so at some point in their life. If you are a fan of country music, mutton bustin’, bull riding, and fried foods then the Houston Rodeo is definitely the place for you. Unfortunately tickets have already gone on sale for this year’s shows and most shows are probably sold out, but there is always next year for you to be able to attend. I know there are many other cities who host their own annual rodeo, but I feel that the Houston Rodeo is one of the greatest events (I may be a bit biased) that occurs each year.


Filed under Live Music, Reflection, Texas