Author Archives: William Glass

America, Freedom, and Toby Keith

captain-america-and-george-bush-freedomMany people disagree with Toby Keith and his views on what it means to be an American. Artists such as The Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines have been known to speak out against Keith and his personal opinions. A week after 9/11, Toby Keith came out with a single titled “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American).” Keith noted on 60 Minutes II that it only took him 20 minutes to write this song.

I guess 20 minutes was all that was needed to express how Keith was feeling. In the first verse he explains how his father served in the army and how his nation is now under attack. When listening to this song we realize Keith is fully supportive of the war for various reasons. Critics have bashed this song for creating the appearance of Americans to be insensible. According to the CBS News review of the song, Natalie Maines stated that “she was embarrassed George Bush was from Texas” and that the song “made country music seem ignorant” (Leung).

But really, how in any way is this song ignorant? I enjoy listening to Toby Keith for this exact reason. He has a way of bringing out the patriotism for America to his audience. Keith has built his credentials for being a true American and has a great way of expressing it through his music. In fact, after releasing this song, CBS News stated that Keith has never been more famous or wealthy. The year the song dropped he will gross more than $45 million from his music.

Lyrics such as “We’ll put a boot in your ass, It’s the American way”, is one of the specific lines out of the song that has seen criticism for Toby Keith. Seeing this criticism, it makes me wonder what the people who speak out against Keith would want to listen to after 9/11? I was only in first grade when the twin towers went down, but I can assure you that if I were in high school when it happened and had heard this song, I would be so ecstatic to put a boot in the Taliban’s ass. I would not want try to make peace with the terrorists after 9/11, and I don’t understand how any true American can bash Toby Keith for stating how he feels about it.

toby-keith-WI-0109-lg-216x300Keith didn’t stop after seeing that some people did not agree with him. He went on to create an album titled Shock ‘N’ Y’all, which contains a collection of songs that some humanistic people might see as controversial. One specific song is titled “The Taliban Song.” Keith says, “Now, The Taliban song is a funny song. It’s about a peace-loving Afghanistan man who’s trying to get out of Afghanistan while the Taliban evening news report is telling everybody to remain calm.” Keith is representing the patriotic American that’s in most of us and by listening to his music we can relate. So yes, Natalie Maines and friends, justice has been served and the battle has raged, and I hope you’re sorry you messed with Toby Keith because he speaks the truth for the U.S. of A.

Leung, Rebecca. “Courtesy Of The Red, White & Blue.”, 28 Oct. 2003. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. 


Filed under Politics, USA

Alabama’s Own: Hank Williams

Unknown Growing up in Alabama I’ve learned a lot about Hank Williams in my lifetime. Hank was born on September 17, 1923 in the small town of Mount Olive, Alabama. Hank’s family had little money when he was growing up. His family moved around many small towns throughout southern Alabama when he was a boy due to his father working for a lumber company. Hank was born with Spina Bifida Occulta, which led to many drinking and drug problems later in life and his death at the age of 29.

Enough with the boring stuff. Junior year of high school I took a class which was titled Southern Culture. We learned anything and everything there is to learn about the south, 2360756some which include: food, animals, plants, but most importantly music. It was taught by a guy named Phil Proctor, whose a teacher at our high school, but he’s also a musician. His band (The Deluxe Trio) plays anything that you can think of that involves country and or blues. You can find his website here Halfway through the semester Mr. Proctor took our class on a field trip to see one of Hank Williams childhood homes in Georgiana, Alabama.  I know many of ya’ll are probably thinking, “Wow, this is what kids from Alabama do in school.” But no, it was actually really interesting.

Hanks original house in Georgiana burned down while him and his family lived there, but they moved down the road to 127 Rose Street. Georgiana, Alabama is about an hour and a half from my home in Mobile. His home is now turned into a museum, and you can see many valuables in the home that influenced Hank to become who he was. We got to stand on the porch where Hank learned how to play guitar from a street singer named “Teetot”. Being a foolish high schooler I obviously did not take any pictures at the time, and now regret that. Luckily I was able to find some off of the internet…

mdmd1fcl4zg2axmuz4ibHank’s family eventually moved out of this house in 1937 and relocated to Montgomery, Alabama. Even though Hank lived in multiple houses growing up, this home in Georgiana is specifically known to be where his musical success started to take off. Hank Williams died of a heart attack on January 1st, 1953 in the back of a Cadillac. When they found him, he was accompanied with empty beer cans and half written lyrics. I never really realized the influence Hank Williams had on country music before I took this class. His impact on country music has grown since his early death at the age of 29. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, and Dinah Washington have all done covers of his work. His son, Hank Williams Jr., has also done covers of his fathers songs, and also has made a name for himself in the country music industry. In 1961 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame, and in 1985 inducted into the Alabama music hall of fame. I hope this blog has helped you learn a little more about Alabama Native Hank Williams, let me know what ya’ll think!

“Hank Williams.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.

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Filed under Classic Country, Honky Tonk

Country Studyin’

When I’m studying or writing papers, I always have some sort of music playing. Depending on what type of day it is, the music can vary from 90’s hip-hop to blues/jazz, but I always prefer Country Music. Some songs certainly stick out above others, and some songs are not meant to listen to while studying. I try to shoot for the medium-paced soothing country songs to help me focus on my work. Any type of loud/fast up-tempo songs usually distract me from my work. I’m sure there are some that disagree, but as I care to tell it, this is how I prefer to groove while doing school work.IMG_0358

There are certain songs I listen to depending on what type of homework I have to do. This song is a prime example of a not too slowed-down melody that would be great to listen to while writing a paper. Eric Church tells a story that many people can relate to in this song. Personally, I enjoy hearing a story like this while writing papers, it puts you in a better mood and keeps your mind off how much you have left to write. When writing a paper, nobody should listen to a song like Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley. This type of song could potentially put you in a sad mood and make you not want to write any further.

Wayfaring Stranger has been performed by different types of artists such as Jack White, Ed Sheeran and Johnny Cash. I prefer to listen to not only the Johnny Cash version, but any Johnny Cash tunes when i’m studying for an exam for various reasons. There is something about listening to older country music that really helps me concentrate while studying. When I listen to older country songs, I don’t know the words to a lot of them. I think this helps me focus on learning a topic because i’m not singing the words in my head, and these songs are rather used for background music.

This song incorporates my two favorite types of music to listen to while doing homework: Country & Blues. It’s unique to me in many ways, and can be listened to in either writing a paper or studying. First written by Ray Charles, Willie Nelson combines the bluesy rhythms into his own country twang to create a musical masterpiece. It might be a little slower than Sinners Like Me, but it’s an uplifting song that one could listen to while writing a paper. It’s also an older song that could be listened to while studying or reading. The Blues part slows the song down and helps me focus on the object at hand.


Willie Nelson (left) and Ray Charles (right)


Filed under Classic Country, Lists, New Country, Song Analysis