[Marxism] [pen-l] Country Music | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Sat Oct 12 15:50:06 MDT 2019

Louis Proyect wrote

Many people associate country music with those whom Hillary Clinton 
called “deplorables” or those Obama characterized as clinging to their 
guns and religion. I felt that way myself until I got to Houston in 1973 
and began listening to country music driving to work each day. This was 
before the two country stations had become commercialized and 
unlistenable just as is the case with NYC’s WNSH (as in Nashville). You 
could hear Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, and even 
classics from Hank Williams in each and every hour. It also helped that 
my best friend in Houston, the late Nelson Blackstock, was an avid 
country music fan with a large collection. The two of us used to go hear 
Asleep at the Wheel whenever they were in town. This was a Western Swing 
band that played in the style of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. It 
was led by Ray Benson, a Jew from Philadelphia who Nelson adored.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2019/10/12/country-music/
“If it sounds good, it IS good.”
--Duke Ellington

That's how I feel about country music. I didn't like country music when 
I was growing up in the Midwest. I associated it with bad hooch, 
roadside joints and mean-spirited, red-eyed drunks. When I got to 
California in the 50s, I heard the Alabama group Mattox Brothers and 
Rose performing "Laid Around and Played Around This Old Town Too Long' 
and the for its time risque 'Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down', then 
Lester Flatt and the incomparable Earl Scruggs on banjo, the blind Doc 
Watson in Ashland, OR in one of the most eerie cloudbursts I've ever 
been in, then the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's double album 'Will the Circle 
be Unbroken' with gracious old Mother Maybelle Carter, A.P. Carter's 
wife and June Carter's mother, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Earl Scruggs, 
Vassar Clements and Roy Acuff. I had been listening mainly to jazz and 
baroque and other classics, but I decided this too was really good 
music, as was and is a lot of reggae, rock, old and new ballads and rap. 
While much of any original music type, given the nature of the business 
rapidly becomes commercial and vapidly routinized, in every genre 
somebody always comes along who's doing it right. So Duke, yeah.

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