If you asked me before this semester what my favorite music genre was, country music wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, I have been surrounded and submerged by country music my whole life. My family thrives on the sound of George Strait and finds inspirational messages in songs by Trace Adkins. I live in a country music world, but still country music wouldn’t have fazed me.
If you ask me today what my favorite music genre was, it would be hard for me to not pick country music. I have grown up with country music and have several favorite country songs, but now I appreciate country music. I understand its differences and likeliness to other genres and love it just the same. This boot-scootin’, jean-wearin’, heart-breakin’ genre is not only about boot-scootin;, jean-wearin’ and heart-breakin’, but so much more.
Here are some ways I experienced country music this semester:
Watching the CMAs – My oh my, do I love award shows! Award shows really get me goin’ and this year’s CMAs were one of my favorites without a doubt (this is coming to you from someone who watches EVERY award show, EVERY year). As I’ve stated in a previous blog post, I love Justin Timberlake and Justin Timberlake performed with Chris Stapleton so that was just the best. In all seriousness though, the best part of the CMAs was seeing all of these random pairings of performers perform together. The fact that Fall Out Boy was at the CMAs is beside me. The Country Music Association really made a point to prove to viewers that country music can push the envelope and work with other genres to create something really great.
Exploring Old Country Records – When I got a record player a couple of years ago, my grandparents gave me all of their old records. After realizing there was no Taylor Swift or Justin Timberlake 33’s hidden in the mound of records, I had cast them aside. I hadn’t even touched the stack of dusty, worn out records again until this semester when we I heard some names in class that I sworn I had seen somewhere else. Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Buck Owens, Johhny Paycheck, Wanda Jackson, Kenny Rogers and many more can be found on 33’s in my drawer of vinyl records. Who knew?! I’ve had the best time getting to play these vintage records on my relatively new record player. The best part has been singing along to songs and having my parents or grandparents question my knowledge of the artist or the song. They might be old, and their covers might be falling apart but the music on them is as rich and new as ever. (AND HEY… I actually like them!!!)
Reading Texas Music Magazine – Being a journalism major and a fanatic of all things entertainment (including the music scene), Texas Music Magazine is right up my alley and displays work that I hope to someday emulate. I read the most recent edition from May 2015. This edition covers everything from the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards to David Letterman’s influence on music with his final Late Night show to a Q&A with Texas singer/songwriter Tom Russell. Texas Music Magazine definitely strays toward country music but does incorporate other genres where they see fit (for example, they discuss the naming of pop singer Phil Collins as an Honorary Texan). Texas Music Magazine is a must read for anyone interested in country music or the Texas music scene!
What a long semester of country music it has been, and I’ve loved every minute of it! Shoutout to Dusty for making this class so entertaining, while also teaching us everything there is to know about country music!