I did two things last night I usually don’t do, tuned into CBS and watched an awards program. They were actually the same thing as I watched the ACMA Awards last night on CBS. Well, I think it was a country music awards show. Here is my question: Where were the country folks?
Where was the modern Loretta Lynn? You know, a simple country girl who just loves to sing walking the stage in a homemade dress and an out-of-date hairstyle. Where were George Jones and Dolly Parton? Where were Willie, Hank Jr. and Merle? Why are the Country Music Awards being held in Las Vegas and not Nashville, Austin or Branson? The problem is that in country music today the last thing you want to be is country. It used to be “I was country when country wasn’t cool.” But now, to paraphrase the great Mr. Jones, if you are country that isn’t cool.
Miranda Lambert, who won Top Female Vocalist, showed up in a blue dress that was so low cut that I would have been embarrassed to wear it, and then changed into something a little less revealing before the broadcast. Maybe one of her friends told her she had forgotten her t-shirt. Do you think Patsy Cline would have shown up in Dior cut to the navel?
Old school country drank too much, stayed out too late and even smoked a little marijuana once in awhile but had a respect for God and Country. Country used to not only be great music but have a set of values behind the sound. That’s because the artists knew the folks who put their hard earned dollars down for a ticket to a show or a record were mostly middle class, blue collar people who didn’t mind a little messing around but there were lines you didn’t cross.
The Dixie Chicks learned the lesson of who buys country music the hard way. In fact the two of the women who started the group have left the Bush/Toby Keith bashing Natalie Maines behind trying to restart their careers as the Court Yard Hounds.
There are still a ton for great country artists around, Toby Keith, Colin Raye, and George Strait to name just a few. But when you have actor Josh Duhamel handing out ACMA trophies you have a problem. Jeff Bridges played a country singer in one of the top movies last year and he was more authentic than most of the rhinestone cowboys and cowgirls in Las Vegas Sunday night.