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In 2003, I was one of a group of music executives in the country music industry who were appalled at the punishment the broadcast industry handed to the Dixie Chicks for their pure political speech. We formed an organization called MUSIC ROW DEMOCRATS.  Our group grew to include 1500 executives, songwriters, managers, agents and artists in the country music community in Nashville, TN.  

Our mission statement called for us to defend the first amendment rights of our members, and to help dispel the notion that country music was the exclusive playground of Republicans.  Today, two of our premier super-stars, Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill, held a press conference announcing the launch of their new Soul2Soul II tour.  In that press conference they were asked their opinion regarding the relief and rebuilding efforts in New Orleans and along the gulf coast.  (Tim is a native of Louisiana, Faith of Mississippi). Here is a sample of their comments:

The country music artists -- who are natives of the storm ravaged states -- were at times close to tears, and clearly angry when the subject of Katrina came up during a news conference today. They had met with reporters in Nashville to promote their upcoming Soul2Soul II Tour, but when asked about the hurricane cleanup, the stars pulled no punches.
"To me, there's a lot of politics being played and a lot of people trying to put people in bad positions in order to further their agendas," McGraw, a 38-year-old native of Delhi, La., told ABC News Radio.
"When you have people dying because they're poor and black or poor and white, or because of whatever they are -- if that's a number on a political scale -- then that is the most wrong thing. That erases everything that's great about our country."
McGraw specifically criticized President Bush. "There's no reason why someone can't go down there who's supposed to be the leader of the free world ... and say, 'I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done. And you're held accountable, and you're held accountable, and you're held accountable.

You can check out the whole article at

Unfortunately AOL took the editorially irresponsible route by simply asking the question in the headline "Have they gone `Dixie Chicks'?"

We ask you to join us in applauding Tim and Faith for forthrightly USING THEIR VOICE to speak out about an issue that they care about.  Living in this small community for many years, I happen to know that Tim and Faith are both thoughtful, informed and engaged people.  Hopefully they will not suffer the same sort of repercussions that the Dixie Chicks did.  Please help us watch their back and push back if you see any hint of the attack dogs going after them.  Show your support in online polls etc.

Forgive me for asking you to recomend this diary, but lets nip another potential Dixie Chicks situation in the bud.

Originally posted to Buffalo50 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 08:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not a country music fan (4.00)
    but I have met Faith Hill briefly & thought she was very nice.

    Anyway, good for them... maybe they'll supplant Vince & Amy around here.

    Compromise is something you do behind the scenes. Stop doing it in public. -Atrios

    by latts on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:06:06 PM PST

    •  I like country music, and I respect people... (4.00)
      who exercise their right of free speech.
    •  Similar experience (none)
      Met Tim McGraw briefly at a Bed & Breakfast Inn I was staying at (of all places).

      "So this is how liberty dies - with thunderous applause." -- Senator Amidala, "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith", 2005.

      by InsultComicDog on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:29:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the Dixie Chick CMT Message Board (4.00)
        Was the most vitriolic place on earth, webwise, right after the Chicks thing 3 years ago. The flames still flare up every now and them, and I asked the question yesterday on the boards 'Will Tim & Faith be Dixie-Chick'd?'

        Everyone there seems to think it won't happen.

        The country music industry was looking for a reason to reduce Dixie Chick dependency for its continued relevance/revenue. Talented, big mouthed (esp. Natalie), strong opinioned women? They have no place in country music!

        Tim and Faith (bless 'em for their stand) pretty much supply standard, light-rock-pop 'country' fare and are better for the programming bottom line. They won't be Chick'd, they'll be praised for their forthrightness, and maybe maybe bring some country fans around to the fact that Bu$h doesn't have the best interests of the working folks (still country's core demographic) at heart.


        From the fools gold mouthpiece
        The hollow horn plays wasted words

        •  I don't know if I agree with that. (none)
          I don't know if you'll see this, cause obviously I'm posting a few days after the original post, but anyway.

          One thing was clear about the whole Dixie Chicks protest: it was not a 'grassroots' country music fan originated campaign, it was a campaign originated by highly placed Republican partisans (I actually think it was started by some Republican shill talk show host).

          There was an article in Country Weekly magazine about the protest that quoted a country music dj who said something like "all the callers who are phoning up telling me not to play the Dixie Chicks are people I've never heard from before.  I suspect that many of them are just exercising a political agenda and aren't even country music fans."

          I don't think the anti Dixie Chicks campaign was a 'music industry' thing, it was a Republican led campaign designed to silence dissent against Republican presidents by threatening their economic security.  After all, if a country music singer protested a military campaign started by a Democratic President, do you honestly think there would be a big fuss made about it?

  •  I think, I hope, (4.00)
    that the political atmosphere in this country, and in country music, has changed enough to permit that.    Seems like people all over have laid off the jingoism a little.

    I can't say I like Tim McGraw or Faith Hill as much as I do the Dixie Chicks, but I generally don't change the station when they come on, either.  But however I feel about them musically, I'm proud they'll speak their minds.

    •  Addendum: (none)
      Fuck me, I now have "Live Like You Were Dying" stuck in my head.  

      I have an ongoing joke with a friend who hates country music, but loves singing along that song just for the modulation on the final chorus.  She actually called and woke me up singing that on tuesday, and I'm sure I'll hear it from her again tomorrow night.

      It is not my favorite Tim McGraw song.  Not my least favorite, but not my favorite, aside from the link to laughing my ass off listening to my friend sing along.

      •  how about drugs or jesus..... (4.00)
        that one gets stuck in my head too.  and i think to myself... aren't they one in the same?  jesus is a drug isn't he?  in the sense that in an effort to get rid of an addiction, one tends to trade one addiction for another.  like quit smoking, start eating...  give up drugs....  get born again.
      •  Everry time I hear... (none)
        ...that song I sing out, "Live like you're a Viking!" instead. :)

        2006 Dem predictions: +2 Senate, +7 House, +5 Governorships, +2 State Legislatures

        by XStryker on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:49:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As a one-time fan of country music... (none)
      I was appalled at the treatment of the very talented Dixie Chicks because of their political views.  I continue to enjoy their recordings.   I used to enjoy Faith's music, before it became more pop-like.   I hope that there is enough common sense not to attack Tim and Faith, as what they are saying is so plainly true.

      Oh, I do enjoy many country and country influenced artists...particularly Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle.  And I believe they have as much a right to speak out as any of rest of us do.  Listen to "Chicago Wind"...Merle still has some things to say.

      •  Speak Out (none)
        I ain't no legal eagle, and I ain't no phD, but I love good music... any music... including CW. But, I don't have to buy nobody's album if I don't want'a.  If I disagree with their politics, then I won't buy their album. It's just that plain simple. Call that what what'eva ya' want. I call it voting with my wallet.
  •  That's it! (4.00)
    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are terrorist sympathizers.  Let's burn all their records!

    Bullshit. I hate country music but they definitely have a new fan.

    •  Thanks to Sarah R Carter downthread (none)
      I feel like a dipshit for saying I hate country music.  My bad.

      It's definitely a knee-jerk reaction to proclaim dislike for country.  

    •  Hate (none)
      I dislike traffic jams, but love new cars. I dislike long lines in airports, but love arriving at my destination. And I hate rap music, but love listening to CW in my truck with a beautiful sunrise com'n up over the Tennessee hills.
  •  I've been enjoying a good bit of alt-country on XM (none)
    channel 12 recently. The range of political views expressed there is a welcome change from any mainstream radio, country or otherwise.  It isn't monolithic by any means.  We've got Merle Haggard endorsing both pulling out of Iraq and (obliquely) prayer at public events. You've got Steve Earle supporting all things good and true, various artists supporting their drugs of choice, Charlie Daniels endorsing the death penalty for spritting on the side walk (well OK I guess it was something slightly worse than that, maybe graffiti or something on that order), James McMurtry's rightous "We Can't Make it Here," and so on.

    So what's my point?  I guess it is that you get a surprising diversity of opinion among the musicians even while certain commercial venues (Clear Channel in particular) try to reinforce the idea that there is but one acceptable view for country artists. But I don't think Clear Channel et al won that battle. Looking back, the Dixie Chicks got the best of that earlier confrontation. They said Bush was an embarrassment and now most of America agrees with them.  Hill and McGraw exercised their free speech rights and furthermore they said stuff that was true when they did so.  I don't think it will hurt them much.

    •  left-wing country (4.00)
      I often refer to "alt-country" as "left-wing country".  The politics of that circle are almost uniformly left, and out on their sleeves.  Hell, James McMurtry and Steve Earle were playing at Cindy Sheehan's vigil.

      Which reminds me, I really need to finish writing "All Hat, No Cattle", my fake cowboy tribute to a fake cowboy.

      And will someone please pull Charlie Daniels' head out of his ass?  Maybe make him listen to "Long Haired Country Boy" and "Uneasy Rider" until he remembers which side he started on...

      "To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears."
      -Octavia Butler, 1947-2006

      by Leggy Starlitz on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:30:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush doesn't like horses... (4.00)
        ...if I recall correctly.  He may have had a custom cowboy had made for Inauguration Balls, but he won't get on a horse.  Reagan, for all his faults, would at least ride a horse.

        Ain't seen mention of Willie Nelson yet (though I've not read the whole thread yet), he's long-time "left-country" - veggie oil fueled tour bus and all.  Been on the right side of lots of stuff.

        As to Hill & McGraw:  probably "safer" to go off on the Administration over Katrina today than for D-Chicks to be anti-war back in '03.  Different time, different issue, different gestalt entirely.

        Decent of them, right thing to do, but not especially risky - not likely to get them in big trouble.  But definitely the right thing to do when the issue's fading from the national radar, and I salute them for it.

        And good to hear about the diarist's efforts in this arena more generally.

        The Clear Channel version of country is a rather new invention.  Country music's got a strong working class, populist tradition.  Think Tennessee Ernie Ford's Sixteen Tons, for one example from several decades back.

        •  don't forget the Man in Black (none)
          Remember what Johnny Cash said...

          Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
          Why you never see bright colors on my back,
          And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
          Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

          I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
          Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
          I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
          But is there because he's a victim of the times.

          I wear the black for those who never read,
          Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
          About the road to happiness through love and charity,
          Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

          Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
          In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
          But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
          Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

          I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
          For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
          I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
          Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

          And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
          Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
          I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
          Believen' that we all were on their side.

          Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
          And things need changin' everywhere you go,
          But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
          You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

          Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
          And tell the world that everything's OK,
          But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
          'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

          "To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears."
          -Octavia Butler, 1947-2006

          by Leggy Starlitz on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:50:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If you have XM (none)
      You probably don't need this, but there is also internet radio (largely anyway) at boot liquor radio.  I think there are several other internet radio 'stations' as well, but that one is pretty good.
      •  Actually the alt-country on XM was a surprise (none)
        favorite.  I would not have predicted that would be the channel I'd listen most to.  I got it based on the good punk lineup and Air America.  But this particular channel turned out to play lots I liked, lots I had never heard, and in a semi-free-form format that I really enjoy.
  •  howdy (none)
    Thanks for this post. I was glad to hear they were speaking out, and will definitely protest any ignorant soul who says they were wrong to speak against Bush. It made me think that maybe there's hope for all my country-music-loving relatives yet!
    Also, hello from a former Nashville resident! I actually lived in Hermitage, but my sister lived on Music Row. Some good friends of mine worked for Randy Scruggs and one is the VP of Murrah Music. Now my son is wanting to move back since he discovered he can play the guitar like Chet Atkins.

    "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by rioduran on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:26:12 PM PST

  •  the AOL head that I saw (4.00)
    was much better: it said "Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Blast 'Humilating' Katrina Cleanup".

    Actually, the really uplifting news came via a link from that story:

    Springsteen Helps Big Easy Overcome

    I haven't been following the Bruce grapevine for a while now and I didn't know that he's coming out with a large-scale Seeger-inspired folk album.  I'd beem wondering what he was up to when he descended into silence after the last election.  When I read this news I thought, Oh, my stars!  Look out, you motherfuckers!

    Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

    by hrh on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:29:56 PM PST

    •  my heart leaps in my throat (4.00)
      at the idea of Bruce Springsteen singing We Shall Overcome.

      This is the kind of Big Music Moment I have been waiting for.

      At the risk of repeating myself--music and humor are natural advantages for the Blue Team.  They are the only two places where we consistently move people emotionally on our issues better than the other side does.

      I have been saying for years that all the Blue Team needs to do is get half a dozen inspirational protest songs on the lips of America and the battle is ours.

      For Bruce to be drawing inspriation from Pete Seeger and the classic protest music of that folk era is wonderful news.  I know there is some controversy about Seeger's "authorship" of We Shall Overcome but at this point we might as well argue about who wrote the tune to Amazing Grace.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:29:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He already did that (none)
        I stumbled on a Seeger tribute album in my local library, and there's a version of We Shall Overcome done by the Boss.
        It gave me chills.  Wish I could think of the name of the album -- the whole thing was great.

        "I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing Light of your own Being." --Hafiz

        by mskate on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:46:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm so excited for JazzFest! (none)
      My husband and I had just made plans to go for the first weekend when we heard that Bruce had been added to the lineup! Hot damn!

      Please please please do a set with Dylan, Bruce!

      In addition to enjoying some fabulous music and celebrating the resilience of New Orleans, we plan to spend as much money as we can afford with independent local merchants. Come on down and party with us!

      P.S.--Bruce didn't totally descend into silence after the election. If you haven't heard it, check out his most recent release, Devils & Dust--a melancholy, thoughtful album. The title track is haunting.

      Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

      by saucy monkey on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:23:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It helps (4.00)
    It helps to have some artist of their stature come out and say that the Government has failed the people of the Gulf whether they are white or black.  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have a huge following and perhaps this will cause people to wake up and realize that our government is only going to help the rich of us.  I do not listen to Country unless my niece is in my car but I live in Richmond and country is king here.  One of my neighbors recently returned from New Orleans from doing construction for a few months and he says it still looks like a war zone there.  I hate to imagine what is going to happen as soon at the storm season starts. I loved living in New Orleans in the 80's. The city was like none other.
    •  New Orleans will always survive (4.00)
      in one form or another.  The place has INCREDIBLY powerful earth energy.  It surges up from the ground.  When I've walked around there, I've felt it snaking up my legs and rubbing against me like an affectionate cat.  That's why (in my opinion) it's such a powerful place for music, food, culture, etc.  People are drawn there because of this energy.  Just think about it - it's the meeting place of the Mississippi, the mightiest river in the US, and the sea.  Think of all the energy that's merging there.

      Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

      by hrh on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My husband and I are heading down to NOLA (4.00)
      starting tomorrow. We're going to visit our son before we go back to Canada to live. He says the city has been set back 150 years and looks like a post-holocaust setting. You hear a lot of Spanish on the streets from Mexican construction workers. And 80% of the residents are still gone. (A definite for an indefinite -- I don't think he was quoting an exact figure. It's just how it feels.)

      But he also said that for the 20% living there now, Mardi Gras was a blast, the most fun it has ever been. That's because this time people weren't performing for tourists, not even a little bit. They were doing it for themselves, and for the city, and for not surrendering to fate.

      Although we're not huge country music fans, it sounds like we may have to acquire a second CD in the genre. The first was the Dixie Chicks.

      Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

      by Canadian Reader on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:53:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  don't you like the way the media (4.00)
        was all like, is it distasteful for them to have mardi gras....  i was like, fuck you!  anyone who has a problem with what they are doing obviously doesn't live there.  there were people saying if they have 3 mil to clean up the party, then they don't need money from the rest of us.  i was like, wtf!  what would 3 mil do to clean up anything!  

        i saw mardi gras like this:  they have been in limbo for 6 months now.  mardi gras was an opportunity to try to do something.  they need tourists down there.  mardi gras = tourists...  tourists=money...  they are trying to start a reaction that gets them what they need.....  their city rebuilt and their people to be able to come home.

        they are in a connundrum....  they don't know whether the city is going to be fixed.  there is nowhere for residents to live unless they clean it up, and they can't clean it up without people....  and the way it looks right now it sure doesn't look like the people who are wanting to return have anywhere to live right now.  they certainly can't afford an apartment.  and the fema trailers are in arkansas, where they will do the least good.

        •  Besides according to tradition (4.00)
          they were facing 40 days of atonement - frankly since Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast they've done enough atoning for a lifetime.  

          Who are the media people to judge these people.  They have been hanging on by threads for months.  They deserve to have a good time.  I mean if you don't have any fun ever it sure makes it hard to remember what you're working towards.

          People have no clue what it is like to live without their running water on demand, electricity, families, grocery stores, convenience stores etc.  We are very spoiled in America.  We still don't understand what the hell we have done to the average Iraqi's life in Bagdad.  I thought that Katrina's wrath might just clue them in, but so few really get it.

          I appreciate Hill and McGraw just telling the truth.  The truth is that the state of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans is a national embarassment.  I mean after the tsunami in Asia there were communities that very very hard hit but the streets were cleaned within a week.  You can hardly say that about the areas ravaged by Katrina.  It is a national embarassment.

          •  i definitely agree (4.00)
            people in this country seem to want to tell us what we should do based on their experience and reality.  this is true in any area.  they want to make judgements about something they have no understanding of.  who am i to tell people who are living in tents with no light at the end of the tunnel even to give them hope that things will get better what they should be doing.  obviously the government has no intention of doing anything.... they have to try to get things going on their own.  

            it disgusts me how the media sits there in their cushy studio chairs and questions whether these folks should be having a party.  i have a feeling it wasn't that much fun for many of them.  perhaps it was more showing the rest of us that they will survive.  convincing themselves and the rest of the world that they deserve to be there.  they shouldn't have to prove they have a right to be there!  it's ridiculous.  

  •  I will probably seem very out of touch (4.00)
    but I have no idea who either person is. However, it should not matter what their celebrity is or what they do. They showed courage to speak out, not because they are C&W celebrities, but because they are concerned citizens and should be applauded for their courage. Good for them. Hope they sell a billion records or CDs from now on.
    •  Seriously..... (none)
      Very out of touch isn't even strong enough terminology for being that out of touch.  The last time I heard someone say they hadn't heard of Faith Hill, it was 1995....and she's only gotten bigger since then.
      •  I've heard of her (none)
        but don't know her from Adam's off ox. Good to know she's nice and speaks her mind.
      •  Excuse me for not being a C&W fan (none)
        or watch much TV at all. I listen to mostly jazz and R&B man. I can list a few people you never heard of either.
        •  Yes, but ... (none)
          do they have multiple top-ten hits and multi-platinum albums?

          Disagree with Billboard and Arbitron all you like, but there are levels of success that are positively Beatle-esque.

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          by Odysseus on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:04:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am 70 years old (none)
            my music is Trane, Lady Day, Ella, Dizzy, Pops and Billy Eckstine. I do not like award shows, read rags for pop culture or watch TV unless it's sports, science or movies. I appreciate all kinds of music, even C&W, but that kind of music is not played in my neighborhood. I guess I am just not a hip, with it kind of guy.
          •  Sales don't matter. (none)
            Back in the late 70s and 80s I was so immersed in non-mainstream music (punk and other alternative stuff) that I never listened to mainstream radio at all. I would not have been able to name one top selling artist back then. It all depends on your sources of entertainment.

            "God made man, but he used the monkey to do it" - Devo

            by Floja Roja on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 02:56:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sayin' ... (none)
              ... I'm just sayin'.  Frankly, I'm there too.  I haven't listened to music radio in months.   When barely one song in 10 was worth listening to, and one in a hundred that I liked, I just decided to give up.  There is still an objective, real accomplishment to getting the sales numbers.

              "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

              by Odysseus on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:40:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  never (none)
        will i forgive faith hill for what she did to "piece of my heart".  no matter how progressive her politics are.  that was blasphemy.

        The Global Struggle against Violent Extremism begins at home!

        by JLongs on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:47:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos.... (4.00) the work of the Music Row Democrats.  I heard rumors there was an A-list artist who wanted to join, but was afraid of the repercussions by Clear Channel and pseudo-patriotic fans.  I always had a hunch that artist was Tim McGraw, particularly when he gave high praise to Bill Clinton only a few months later and announced his intention to run for the Senate someday.

    I have long been a country fan and view Tim and Faith's pointed criticisms of Bush administration incompetence as not only politically gratifying, but a brilliant act of triangulation that should help the couple's short-term goals of expanding their fan base and their long-term goal of drawing attention to Tim's political ambitions.  It may also provide cover for more liberal-minded country singers (and as you know, there are more than what were led to believe) to criticize Bush and distance themselves from the Republican.  The timing and tone was perfect.  It's business moves like this that separate the superstars of the world (like Tim and Faith) from the rest of us.

  •  Good for them! (none)
    I'm not a huge country music fan either, but they should be applauded for what they said.  Only the most Kool aid drinking Bush partisians could possibly defend the response to Katrina.  

    The big twist on "24" next season is that Pat Robertson will guest star as a terrorist who wants to assassinate people who don't agree with him.

    by mmt006 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:36:25 PM PST

  •  The AOL Headlines Was a Disgrace.... (none)
    There goes that "liberal media" again, alerting all the right-wing sharks about disciplined criticsm of George Bush so they can brand someone else traitors.
    •  I don't think (none)
      It will work this time, for the reasons I stated above.  Beyond that, The Dixie Chicks comments are looking more astute by the day!

      The big twist on "24" next season is that Pat Robertson will guest star as a terrorist who wants to assassinate people who don't agree with him.

      by mmt006 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:43:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah But..... (none)
        ....there's alot of knee-jerk Bush adulation among country music fans.  I can assure you Tim and Faith lost some fans because of those AOL headlines.  As stated above, I still think it was a good move on their part, both in terms of expressing a desperately-needed sigh of exasperation over the miserably mishandled Katrina fiasco, and as a business move by the McGraws to generate interest in commercial country by those who think everyone in the business is a flag-waving Bush-bot.
    •  What Headline (none)
      I clicked the link and either AOL quickly changed it or it was never their. I think its a great article and a great cause but there is nothing mentioning the dixie chicks in the article as well as on the AOL main page. Good article, good that people are speaking out, but no media smear.
  •  I don't like country music (4.00)
    in fact I hate it more than anything.  If I am ever put in Gitmo nothing would cause me to breakdown faster than having to listen to country music, especially Toby Keith aka wingnut dickhead.

    That said, wtg, Faith and Tim---saw the story earlier.  Still feel bad about what happened to the Dixie Chicks.  Didn't spark of facsism at all "hey kids lets go burn these books and records cuz they s'port libruls."

    And good job Buffalo 50 fightin back against da man.

    Don't think people will burn Faith/Tim records cuz they didn't call Bush a name.  The Dchicks though, they had the temerity to "be ashamed that Bush was from Texas."  jeez lucky they didn't call him a coke-sniffin deserter with the brain of a gecko who unfortunately lived in their state of Texas.  Boy then they'd-a really been in trouble.

    mixology 101: one part flag + one part religion + one part dumb = wingnut asshole

    by Bill O Rights on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:56:00 PM PST

    •  Honestly.... (none)
      ....I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can "haaaattte" country music (Toby Keith and Darryl Worley excluded) but love any of the proverbial "classic rock" which sounds exactly like modern country.  Each to their own I guess.  Since 1990, country is the only thing on my radio dial which even vaguely resembles actual music.  
      •  its because i have this problem with my ear (none)
        i can differentiate between tones.

        just kidding, but not really.  Country sounds all the same to me.  I hate the twangy guitars and the twangy voices and ballads about beer, cars and guns just don't float my personal musical boat.  I know this is an oversimple generalization but yeah, no gusto mio.

        I don't think country is anything like classic rock except the classic rock I don't like.  I will admit to liking some Skynard, some Allman Bros but that is as country as I get.

        I grew up in a farmtown.  grew up on country and square dancing (still have nightmares) so no more for me ever.

        mixology 101: one part flag + one part religion + one part dumb = wingnut asshole

        by Bill O Rights on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:57:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You'll Be Interested.... (none)
 know that the lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd (and his brother from 38 Special) are now part of a country band.  I've been underwhelmed by their material so far, but it's doing pretty well on the charts.  Like I said, classic rock=modern country. ;)
          •  nah i don't care lol (none)
            i do like the continuation of the allman bros though.  i am a huge blues fan and they can jam.  Derek Trucks is unbelievable playing the blues and is the best slide player i've ever heard.

            mixology 101: one part flag + one part religion + one part dumb = wingnut asshole

            by Bill O Rights on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 11:26:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  also (none)
              Skynyrd were also big Jimmy Carter supporters and members have indicated their Dem leanings on several occassions.

              "Democrats have the heart to care."

              by jeepdad on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:06:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i thought it was the Allman Bros (none)
                Skynrd is from Alabama  and the Allmans were from Georgia.  Just to clarify - I believe it was the Allman Bros who were big Carter supporters back in the day.

                And I have tix for tonight's Allman Bro's opening show at the Beacon Theater here in the beautiful Upper West Side of Manhattan (the Bros play 12 - 15 shows every March at the Beacon - an annual tradtion of theirs for about 15 yrs)!  Yippeee!

                Hand me my old guitar, Pass the whiskey 'round

                by htat33 on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:11:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Funny story about the Allman brothers (none)
              About 10 years ago my brother and I were in Georgia visiting my uncle.  He wanted to show us the graveplots he'd just bought for him and his wife in an old, historic Georgia cemetary.

              We passed the lines of Civil War headstones and a lot of interesting and ornate old monuments, often indicating a formr profession, such as a woodcutter; even a kid who had been a fireman's helper.  Near my uncle's plot, I saw a headstone with a guitar engraved on it.

              "This guy must have been a musician," I told my brother.

              "Um, did you ever hear of the Allman Brothers?"

              I hadn't looked at the names on the two headstones.

          •  Yep -- doesn't surprise me one bit (none)
            That some of the Leonard Skynyrd guys are now in a "country" band.  Modern country music just sounds like a more musically conservative variety of 70s southern rock.  Most of what comes out of Nashville and hits the country charts is totally formulaic, like much of popular music these days.  Nashville is pretty much in a money-making creative rut, at least from what I hear when I occasionally browse the local "new country" radio stations.
        •  try Emmylou Harris (none)
      •  disclaimer: not the most well informed opinion... (none)
        But from what I hear when I pick up contemporary country music on the dial (spent a month in rural East Texas last summer) is that it seems to be very vapid pop twanged up a bit.  Every single song is about boy meets girl / celebrate my narrow life themes, and sounds quite similar.  That is NOTHING like the classic rock of Pink Floyd, Neil Young, etc. etc...

        Now maybe there is something I am missing and maybe radio is not representative, but from what I've heard contemporary country is basically vapid pop with a southern accent.  Maybe you can point me somewhere else.  

        It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

        by fizziks on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:48:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you gotta not listen (none)
          to the country crap being churned out for mass consumption.

          Austin is actually where a lot of the really good alt-country and western swing comes from.  Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Willie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Asleep at the Wheel, Junior Brown, Mary Gauthier, Robbie Fulks, Robert Earl Keen (until he played at W's second inaugural celebration), Rodney Crowell, Jimmy Dale Gilmore....

          •  Yes yes yes (none)
            To all of these. Smart, passionate, true.

            And everyone who doesn't know Rodney Crowell already should run off to iTunes right now and get "Earthbound," one of the greatest songs of the last 5 years that hardly anybody's heard (how can you not love a song that includes such lyrics as "Tom Waits, Aretha Franklin, Mary Karr/Walter Kronkite, Seamus Heaney, Ringo Starr/The Dalai Lahma, Charlie Brown make me wanna stick around"); it'll probably stay way up high on my personal all-time beloveds list unless something from "The Outsider" knocks it down once I dig into that album.

        •  Some Truth to That.... (none)
          Things are pretty cyclical.  Right now, the music is becoming more raw and rockish, but in the late 90's (and early 80's for that matter) there was a definite trend towards pop-lite, some of it, some of it crummy.  The constraints of modern commercial music have definitely stifled country's creative boundaries, but there are still some substance that breaks through once in awhile even amongst the blandest commercial acts (like Tim McGraw, who has had some fairly nuanced social commentary in a few of hits).

          I'm far from an expert on musical production, but I sure can't notice much difference in the sound of modern country to the classic rock of the 70's.  The editor at the newspaper I used to work for has a Master's degree in music and also confesses to not being able to recognize the difference, so I defer to him when at all possible on the topic.  Considering that rock acts of the 70's (Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special....and now even Bon Jovi!) have been repacking themselves as country for decades now, it kind of speaks volumes on where their musical allegiance lies today.  Just my two cents.

    •  How do you feel about Bush? (none)
      Ha ha.
      •  um, are they listening? (none)
        Good that way the fucker can see me call him a giant gas-filled douchebag that should be taken to Abu-ghraib, strapped to a steel table with electrodes on his balls, and electrocuted until he gives up what he knows.  Which George, since you don't know anything, is going to make for a long day of torture, courtesy Alberto Gonzalez and Donald Rumsfeld.  Enjoy.

        mixology 101: one part flag + one part religion + one part dumb = wingnut asshole

        by Bill O Rights on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:52:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  FWIW (none)
      I dislike a lot of what passes for country music today-- particularly the Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood,etc. set, which I call "mullet-head country". Musically they rip off the riffs and beat of 70's rock,wrap it in a reactionary mindset, then sing it in a undefinable generic twang that is like fingernails on a chalk board.
      While I grew up loving classic rock, and classical music-- recently I have been increasing drawn to bluegrass, and Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr.(not Jr.) Thats great stuff.

      Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

      by JeffSCinNY on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:38:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That 4 was for your label of (none)
        mullet-head country. There's alot of good country music, both old and new, but I have to agree with your interpretation of certain acts.

        Ironically, I always thought of Tim McGraw as belonging to the mullet-head country group, but he's obviously not as superficial as I believed.

        Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

        by rogun on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:03:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  i used to hate country with a passion (none)
      because my dad listened to it.  he had this way of turning the radio down real low so you couldn't even hear it when anything i was listening to was on, and then turning it up real loud when his country was on.  i suspect that was my reason for the hate.  

      about 11 years ago i started hanging out with this friend who liked country.  it was her car....  and then i found one song i liked.  then another.  til i started actually liking the stuff.  

      i have gotten tired of tim and faith just becaause they are ALWAYS together and singing together.  i still like them.  like their music.  for some reason the constant faith and tim show seems to be rubbing me the wrong way.  but i am glad they are standing up and speaking.  

      frankly, i don't think there will be the backlash like there was for the dixie chicks.  it doesn't seem many of bush's supporters are as willing to go to the mat for him right now. and it was a little bit different.  the chicks were  talking out against the war.  most people agree that te government dropped the ball on katrina and in helping the gulf coast.  even bush supporters.  

      •  my dad too (none)
        He particularly liked Gene Pitney (The Man who Shot the Liberty Valence, Johnny Mathis (He Stopped Loving her Today), Marty Robbins (El Paso).

        I remember when school started, when I was in the 4th grade. It was that summer that Michael Jackson had released Thriller. All the other kids had backpacks, folders, etc - one even had a white glove! All I knew was Crystal Gayle...

        I didn't start appreciating country until later on - maybe around the time I got into the Dead and saw the connections between various forms of traditional music.

        Now, I'm as apt to listen to country as anything else - much more so than anything on contemporary radio/rock stations. I truly hope that we're able to take the kids to see Willie before he stops touring. Family vacation to Farm Aid, maybe? And bring my dad along!

    •  Come on, what did the gecko (none)
      ever do to you?

      Not the church. Not the state. Women will decide their fate.

      by JaciCee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:39:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never liked country music... (4.00)
    but awright, awright - you've won me over!  Heading on over to iTunes to get some new music; of course, Faith and Tim's music.  Heh.

    "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."- "V" in "V for Vendetta

    IMPEACH Bush

    by smugbug on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:05:00 PM PST

    •  There with you (4.00)
      Not that crazy about country (well, the new stuff--I like honky-tonk and bluegrass and such. If I'm going to listen to country, I want it to sound country) but I'm heading over to iTunes to see if there's any Faith Hill or Tim McGraw stuff I can stomach.

      Kudos to these two and to the Music Row Democrats! That's great! Did you all have anything to do with that "I'm Taking My Country Back" song from before the election?  I loved that--it's still on rotation on my mp3 player. Of course, it makes me want to cry bittersweet tears into my beer now, but isn't that what a country song is supposed to do?

      "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." --Eisenhower

      -5.88, -6.82

      by Debby on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:31:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  OLD country music is great (none)
      New country does sound a lot like old rock, but not the old rock I ever liked, and some of the twang sounds a little forced. From Hank SENIOR to Charlie Rich to Waylon Jennings, but from there the pickin's get mighty slim.
    •  Who cares if their good (even if they are) (4.00)
      He's damn hot!  I just look at his CD cover and the swooshing of the blood rushing away from my brain drowns out everything.  ;)


      If 1 in 166 children were kidnapped in America we'd have a national emergency. We do... AUTISM.

      by Sleeps in Trees on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:26:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right On Music Row Dems (4.00)
    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill KICK ASS!

    I'm proud to say I listen to some country/western music now...thanks to Tim and Faith---the Dixie chicks, Johnny Cash and a few other supremely talented artists, I've expanded my horizons into the genre over the last 5 years or so and I am pleasantly surprised and wish I hadn't been so closed before.

    I'm enjoying Tims new cd and I hope to catch the new tour someplace this year. They sell out in minutes so it'll be difficult.

    I have a few friends who listen to nothing but country music and I can now converse and enjoy a political conversation with them having Tim and Faith to fall back on when things grow contentious...that is way cool.

    Tim McGraw for Governor of Tennessee!

  •  Country music is great! (4.00)
    It's so funny to me that people feel the need to point out that they don't like country music.  I think people define away the country music they like by saying that it's not really country.  For example, lots of people like Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash, but they just make some exception, saying, "Oh, but they're not country."  Yes, they are.  And it's OK that you like some country music and not the rest.  Are there any genres for which you like every song?

    And, yes, it's awesome when people speak their minds.


    •  off topic (none)
      Sarah: I have a quick aside I've been wondering about. I'm pissed that the LA event with your dad and grandfather was too far to drive. Would it help if I tried to plug you into people in Santa Barbara? (pacific_john at yahoo dot com).
      •  I'll tell my Dad (none)
        that he's got some interest in Santa Barbara -- he may know some folks around there who are already involved.  If there are enough people, he may schedule another fundraiser.  I'll send him your email address.  Thanks for the support!


        •  'k (4.00)
          It was a random idea on my part - I do have connections with our Rep who I've known since before she was in office. Philosophically, she should be quite supportive of your dad - both she and her husband went to divinity school, for example. The other thing is, SB has been very supportive of our sorts of campaigns, and has some very nice homes for these events. Let me know if you'd like me to kick the tires.
    •  Well Said.... (none)'s almost like a "what would people think if they knew" sort of thing.  I hold my head up high saying I like country music, but it was quite a bit easier five years ago than it is in the Darryl Worley era.
      •  No kidding. (none)
        I'm happy enough to say I like country, but I also know that sometimes I'm using it for shock value, or at least saying it knowing full well that people will be shocked and perhaps a little appalled.

        Prefer alt country and Australian country, but American commercial country is good enough for me.  Miranda Lambert's my new favorite.  Keith Urban is always solid.  Sugarland's not bad.  Alan Jackson.  Ok, I do not like Rascal Flatts.

        •  Mmmmmmiranda.... (none)
          Emphasis on the mmmmm.  She actually came of age on the cable equivalent of American Idol, "Nashville Star" a couple of years ago.  Never saw it but I know she didn't win.  "Kerosene" is one of the rawest, rowdiest country rockers I've heard on radio in years.  Highly recommended.  I actually like much of Rascal Flats stuff even though its fairly boy-band-ish.  To me, Kenny Chesney best represents the vanilla commercialism of modern country.  Hard to hate, hard to love.
          •  Bought the CD for Kerosene, (none)
            then discovered that she was also responsible for "Me and Charlie Talking" which I had liked and not known who it was.  Favorite song is "What about Georgia" though.

            Agree about Kenny Chesney - and lately it's like, he  had an early hit that was all nostalgic, and he did a couple of other songs, went back to the nostalgic thing, had another hit, and now it's just one song after another looking back at the good old days of his frat-boy life.  Seems like he's just about worked his way up to the present - done high school and college anyway - so what's he going to do next?  In about a year are we going to get a song that's all sappy about being divorced for fraud by a coked-up bulimic?

            •  She's Coming to My City.... (none)
              My county fair in southern Minnesota reinvents the wheel every year by pulling in great young country talent and classic rock bands for bargain-basement ticket prices (we had Faith Hill in 1994).  This year, Miranda's coming to my town.

              Good point about Chesney.  Seems like he's been stuck in frat boy mode for at least three years now.

        •  There is some country I like (4.00)
          Nanci Griffith comes to mind... She's pure genius:

          A cafeteria line in Chicago
          The fat man in front of me
          Is calling black people trash to his children
          he's the only trash here I see
          And I'm thinking this man wears a white hood
          in the night when his children should sleep
          But, they slip to their window and they see him
          And they think that white hood's all they need

          But gawd, I HATE HATE HATE Brooks and Dunn! "and that's the honkey tonk truth" ??? Come on.

          I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

          by Swampfoot on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:11:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  on topic: (none)
      In my office, at least, the people who claim to not like country do it on cultural grounds. They interpret the format as punitive toward outsiders, and opposed to civic society. Here in the red part of the Central Coast, you see a lot of very angry pickup truck bumper stickers, including Calvin pissing on "city boys." The new one today: "Liberal: one whose mind is so open their brain fell out." Almost uniformly, the city kids here look at country music with great skepticism. The anti-country sentiment is painted too broadly, but I can see where it comes from.

      And, face it, country music isn't exactly in a renaissance these days, and the post-9/11 FoxNews-ism it's taken on is largely to blame. Artistically and commercially, the format has drawn boundaries for itself with the express intention of crushing innovation and dissent.

      I have a shelf full of the stuff, but literally haven't bought one any country music other than the Dixie Chicks since the day I heard that caustic Darryl Worley song during the only pitch-fork mob call-in I've ever heard on my local station, or any station, for that matter... On a humorous note, the only success of my many attempts to get a letter in the LAT was blasting Toby Keith - for the obvious reasons.

      ... I take one thing back, I've also expanded my Steve Earle collection since 9/11;)

      •  I Think You're Right.... (none)
        ....about country setting boundaries that crushes innovation and dissent.  To some extent, it's always been like that, but once in awhile a true gem sneaks through.  My all-time favorite country singer is Johnny's daughter, Rosanne Cash, who mined considerable uncharted territory in both her commercial run during the 1980's and her more alternative work since.  Doesn't hurt that she's also a proud lefty.
        •  Right! (none)
          In fact, the so called New Country era of Roseanne Cash expanded the format greatly with innovators like Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds, and a large number of others. The current era reminds one, if you're old enough, of the early MTV doldrum years when dozens of bands like Triumph tried to sound like Journey.
          •  Things Have Been Fairly Stale..... (none)
            ...on country radio since the late 1990s.  Things were downright exciting for awhile in the early 90's, but the industry grew fat and lazy the way Krispy Kreme doughnuts has since its heyday.  I don't think I'd be as sour on today's music if there was a higher turnover of songs.  It just seems like the hits nowadays have such obscenely long shelf lives that you never want to hear them again.  Things were never like this up until the last 8-10 years.  The country charts moved much faster than the pop charts back when.  Now they move just as slow.  Strikes me that music piracy is less a problem for long-term CD sales than commercial radio which refuses to speed up the lifespans of songs that plod along on computerized playlists for months and months and months before anyone bothers to find a replacement.
            •  Have you noticed (none)
              that of late certain country songs have made their way over to pop radio once they're already pretty well gone from the country radio rotations?  I'm thinking in particular of Keith Urban's "You'll Think of Me" - country radio had gone through like 3 more of his songs and suddenly that song was all over several pop stations I sometimes listen to.

              Something else I do notice is that country stations seem to be a little more regionalized than pop ones.  I spend time in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Alabama, and often a song that's really popular in one place won't be playing hardly at all in another.  

              •  This Isn't.... (none)
       new of a phenomenon as you'd think.  Back in the early 1980's, top-40 pop music was literally overflowing with country crossovers snatched from country radio after their initial run on the country charts.  Juice Newton was an example of someone who reached higher plateaus on the top charts than her initial country runs.
            •  on turnover: (none)
              The most exciting new material is from Gretchen Wilson and Big&Rich, both sort of indie outsiders. Oh wait, I also have Big&Rich's albums. So much for my iron-clad post-9/11 country embargo.
              •  I don't know... (none)
                Gretchen Wilson seems desperate to represent the "yellow 'support our troops' sticker on the SUV" crowd.  Her lyrics seem pretty disparaging to "blue staters" although that could just be a reaction to the red state backlash after the '04 election.  All in all, she doesn't "speak to my values" so I don't think I need to give her a further listen.  If I'm wrong let me know.

                Hand me my old guitar, Pass the whiskey 'round

                by htat33 on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:25:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yep, in a recent video (none)
                  she had Hank Jr. and Charlie Daniels as guests. Tells you everything you need to know right there.

                  I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

                  by Swampfoot on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:56:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  For the record ... (none)
                  Gretchen Wilson grew up in a blue state.

                  She is what she is. I'm not particularly happy about the way that what she is ended up being co-opted, packaged and marketed as a fashion statement after she made it cool to be an everyday schlep trying to get by (something about "All Jacked Up," off her second album, gives me a sort of Ashton-Kutcher-in-a-trucker-hat vibe), but her first album was pretty gutsy.

                  Country radio likes to play it safe. It has a history of being terrified of its shadow ... so much so that radio stations initially balked at playing Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars, Cadillacs and Hillbilly Music," for fear of offending somebody. I'm sure the same concerns surrounded "Redneck Woman," but the rednecks in question responded to the song -- and to the album -- with a resounding "Hell, yeah."

                  Wilson plays to a segment of society that tends to buy a lot of country music but also tends to be ignored by the genre it loves.

                  Besides ... her songwriting is pure genius. "When It Rains, I Pour" and "When I Think About Cheating" could have beamed in from another era. And I know a lot of people like the narrator of "Redneck Woman."

                  They're good folks, most of 'em.

            •  There is merit to this (none)
              For example, over the past 15 years, the Billboard magazine chart of Top Country Singles & Tracks has shrunk from 100 songs in 1990 to 75 in the mid-1990s to 60 today. This reflects the lack of turnover on radio, which cannot support a list of "current" hits longer than 60.

              Today, on average, between 18 and 20 songs will hit #1 on the country charts in a given year, which is actually more than on any other song-based (as opposed to album-based) chart. The difference today is that it takes them so bloody long to get to that pinnacle. By the time a country song is making the top 10 on the industry charts, most regular listeners are tired of it, even if they like it, and would like to hear something else. But the "radio as background noise" syndrome, where people hear but don't really listen, seems to preclude this. Sad to say, but most surveys suggest that radio listeners (and especially advertisers) prefer the familiar over the new, which is the programmers' rationale for low song turnover.

              For most of the 1980s, there was literally a new #1 song every week, except at the end of the year, where the chart was "frozen" for a week. It seems to me to be a statistical near impossibility for the charts to have that much turnover at the top spot. The charts are probably more "honest" now than they were then, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

              This isn't the first time that country radio has become ossified. In 1960, there were exactly five #1 songs the entire year! And one of those was a holdover from 1959 ("El Paso" by Marty Robbins). The other four are also certified country music classics -- "He'll Have to Go" by Jim Reeves, "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" by Hank Locklin, "Alabam" by Cowboy Copas and "Wings of a Dove" by Ferlin Husky.  

              •  As a Student of Billboard Charts.... (none)
                ....I concur with nearly everything you said.  But I submit that the charts are no more pure now than they were in the early 1980's when there was turnover from the #1 spot every week.  In both circumstances, those who control radio playlists oppressively micromanaged song distribution to radio stations so that extremely few songs were able to succeed if they didn't want them to, and vice versa.  Perhaps there's a hint less micro-regulation of week-to-week movement today, but if programmers want your song to stay at #41 for four weeks in a row to avoid national exposure on a top-40 radio countdown broadcast, it strikes me that they'd be able to pull it off.

                In this era of corporate consolidation, I'm surprised the record companies haven't been able to sink their talons into the ridiculously awful radio industry....forcing them to expand playlists and hasten song turnover for the good of their side of the music business.  It seems as though the charts are moving now at a faster clip than they were in the dreadfully slow days of 2002, where chart stagnancy seemed to be at its all-time worst, so perhaps there's movement back to the good old days where Ronnie Milsap (another on top-five of all-time list) was able to score 40 #1 hits due to the scorching turnover.

                •  Notice that I put (none)
                  "honest" in quotes. There are definitely ways to subvert the system, and you illustrated one of them.

                  Songs move up the charts much more slowly today than they did even 10 years ago. Another rule that Billboard changed not too long ago was the 20-week rule. In the early 1990s, if a song wasn't still moving up, or was dropping, after 20 weeks, it was removed from the charts. That guaranteed some turnover. Today, I think the rule is 25 weeks (almost half a year!), and a song can stay in the top 20 as long as radio can stand to play it, even if it's older than 25 weeks and dropping.

                  I, too, am a student of the charts -- especially the pop charts -- though I am much less of one since the near-demise of the physical single, and especially the 45 rpm record. I still remember the absurd pop charts for a period in 1982 when Rick Springfield's song "What Kind of Fool Am I" (not the show tune, but one of his originals) spent six consecutive weeks at #21. Six straight weeks at #1 or #2 I can see, but six weeks in a row at #21?

    •  It's shameful that people are using this diary (none)
      to complain about country music. Having said that, I am one of those who likes to say that some country music isn't true country music. I came to this conclusion after I quit listening to country music more than a decade ago, because it had become too pop, too commercialized, too conservative and just too silly. It finally got to the point where I would hear more songs I liked on non-country stations than on country radio stations. I've always liked a wide range of genres, but I just got to the point where I couldn't take anymore country. I did make an exception for the Dixie Chicks, however, and I still listen to country performers I liked in the past.

      Btw, let's don't forget about Dolly Pardon. Isn't she somewhat against this administration too?

      Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

      by rogun on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:16:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Buy Blue! (none)
    Amazon: Tim McGraw

    Amazon: Faith Hill

    I'll tell you, I've been railing against country music ever since I heard Have you forgotten? (warning: audio webpage can produce violent outbursts) and Bumper of my SUV, the USMC persecution complex-inducing song that was exposed by a fan club insider as generally fraudulent: at the very least the artist was involved in having fake Marines and fake military family members call in to request the song.

    But now, it time to spend some entertainment cash on good people. Join me in supporting Tim's and Faith's work.

  •  I wore my cowboy boots with my shorts (4.00)
    when I was a kid! I still have several pairs because I grew up in an agricultural community and spent my summers on my grandparents' ranches in North Dakota. But I was so heart-broken when country seemed to stand for Bush and so I lost interest. My entire family are Democrats too! My rancher grandfather was THE model of what a Democrat really is. Someone who worked hard AND smart all his life to reach success but helped everyone and anyone out who needed it. All the while he was taking care of his family and being a leader in his community too by fundraising, clipping out articles from the paper and taking them into town to have coffee and talk politics. I couldn't believe the country populace was ONLY for Bush and GOP values! I stocked up on the Dixie Chicks when they were attacked. Now, I am REALLY excited to pick up Tim and Faith's cd's as well. I just didn't want to support those I knew were using MY money I would spend on their music to support Bush, his party, and his agenda to start illegal wars, prejudice against me and others (I'm gay too), and destroy everything good and strong about America. So this is a great and informational post of HOPE for me and my friends! I am truly celebrating in my heart and soul they are speaking up!!!! Now I can wear my cowboy boots again in pride and listen to wonderful country music once again too and know I am not alone. let's hope MORE come out! ha (in more ways than one!) Thanks for this post!
    •  I'm With You.... (4.00)
      Lately, I've been doing online searches to see which country artists are contributing to which party.  I wanna make sure I'm not donating any money to active Republicans, which excludes alot of acts, but few of my favorites (unfortunately, Lee Ann Womack is on the shit list).  I had to walk out of a Collin Raye concert (thankfully it was free) when he got on a soapbox spouting jingoistic right-wing drivel.  Sure is nice there are some good guys and gals in the business though who aren't tools of the Rove machinery.
      •  Ooh, give some results? n/t (none)
        •  Well.... (4.00)
          Those who are either solid Democrat or have contributed to at least one high-profile Democrat in the past:

          Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Matraca Berg, Raul Malo (The Mavericks), Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pam Tillis, Hal Ketchum, Kim Richey, Linda Ronstadt, Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Billy Ray Cyrus, Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, John Michael Montgomery, Ricky Van Shelton, Marty Stuart, and the late Johnny Cash.  (and technically Toby Keith, but he's the Zell Miller of country music)


          Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels, Lee Ann Womack, Collin Raye, Brooks and Dunn, Sara Evans, Mark Chesnutt, Oak Ridge Boys, Bellamy Brothers, Randy Travis, Darryl Worley, and Clint Black....there's more but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

          •  Sweet! (none)
            Rodney Crowell for my dad's birthday.  Patty Loveless for something sometime.

            John Michael Montgomery...."Letters from Home" now stuck in head, replacing "Live Like You Were Dying."  Not sure which is preferable.

            Knew about Sara Evans (didn't she play Sean Hannity's birthday party or something), Darryl Worley was kind of obvious, knew about Lee Ann Womack (but got 2 of her songs from itunes anyway - but hey, Willie Nelson was on one so it balances), same with Brooks and Dunn but only got one of their songs.  Travis Tritt you at least have to respect for doing that song with John Mellencamp, but can't say I own anything of his.  

            •  I Forgot.... (none)
     personal all-time fave Rosanne Cash on the Democratic side.  And I left them out because this thread makes it obvious, but Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were Democrats for quite some time before this as well.  I was bummed to find out Lee Ann Womack was a Republican.  She's one of my favorite modern artists.  I still play her Greatest Hits CD (purchased before I learned of her political affiliation) when I'm home alone behind closed doors though. :)

              The only two Republican hard-liners who I wouldn't even waste a handshake on are Darryl Worley (responsible for the most shockingly idiotic country song of all-time) and Charlie Daniels (incredible musical talent but the shrillest right-wing jerk you could dream of meeting).  The rest of the bad guys I harbor no deep-seated resentment towards....but I won't be buying any Sara Evans CD's even though she's had some pretty good material over the years.

              •  Trisha Yearwood (4.00)
                ...she was a good Gore supporter. If you go down the list, I'd bet 2/3 of all country women singers are Dems.
                •  Never Found Anything on Trisha.... (none)
                  ...good to know she's a Dem.  Some of things I've heard her say in the past led me to believe she was probably of the leftist persuasion.  Basically, people that are drawn to the music industry (even country) are more likely to be politically left-of-center.  Conservatives generally don't follow a creative career track when there's millions to be made in the business world and an open position at dad's company.  In fact, I read that in the three zip codes most closely associated with "Music Row" in Nashville, Democratic campaign contributions in 2004 exceeded those to Republicans by a margin of 4-1.
            •  Speaking of Rodney Crowell... (none)
              I heard a great cover of his "'Til I Gain Control Again" done by Van Morrison. When I went online to research what album it was on (a new one, "Pay The Devil"), I ran across another great cover of that song by a Canadian band, Blue Rodeo, on their 1993 album "Six days In July."

              WARNING: When not being directly observed, this post may cease to exist or exist only in a vague and undetermined state.

              by Democarp on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 11:44:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's the only cover song (none)
                Blue Rodeo has ever recorded.

                If you haven't before, please check out the original songs on their discs.

                I've always been amazed that they never really broke out big in the USA. They do have a 'heartland' type of sound, but maybe there's something just too subliminally Canadian about them that doesn't crossover, though I can't figure out what that might be.

                BTW - their message board, which I've posted on occasionally, is the absoulute 'nicest' group of people I've come across on the Internet -- and I mean 'nicest' in the best possible way. And I was also surprised by the number of Americans posting there.

                Strangely (or not so strangely), virtually every American who posts there has a similar story:
                'I was visiting Canada and happened upon this Canadian music station and this band came on.....'

                A little teaser for those unfamiliar with the group -- here's a link to one of their songs. I can never listen to this one without getting all misty eyed. Great story behind it, too.

                I really, really recommend Blue Rodeo.

                You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

                by FrankFrink on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:00:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, I liked that cover so much, I did. (none)
                  I downloaded a couple to see if I liked their other stuff and wow, what a treasure. Why the hell did it take me this long to find them?

                  Now I've got to find a local record store that carries them or will order. Looks like my CD collection will be growing some more.

                  WARNING: When not being directly observed, this post may cease to exist or exist only in a vague and undetermined state.

                  by Democarp on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:45:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's a big time case of them (none)
                    having a profile in the US that's even lower than National Hockey League game broadcasts. And again, I'm not entirely sure why. It might be a record label thing, lack of label support for US releases and touring, maybe they are just too subliminally Canadian.

                    In any case, they, along with a handful of other groups such as The Tragically Hip & 54-40, have shown that Canadian musicians can have a long, succesfull and financially rewarding career without having to go Stateside.

                    Knowing a couple members of Blue Rodeo, I think I can say that the lack of a US breakthrough ceased being an issue with them a long time ago. And their Canadian fanbase is huge (in relative Canadian terms), loyal, dedicated and rabid.

                    But, by all means, spread the word.

                    You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

                    by FrankFrink on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:56:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Crowell's Most Recent CD.... (none)
                ..."Fate's Right Hand" is a gem.  Blasphemous that radio wouldn't play anything from it.  
                •  I can't listen to radio (none)
                  because I spend all my time punching buttons trying to find something worth listening to.

                  We have a great listener supported station where I live, but reception is spotty when I commute down into the valley to work, so it's cd's in the car and my trusty iPod at work. And now, thanks to you, I'll have to go out and buy yet another cd.

                  WARNING: When not being directly observed, this post may cease to exist or exist only in a vague and undetermined state.

                  by Democarp on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 11:45:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Martina? (none)
              Did I miss it, but where's Martina?  Can't believe she'd do the Wal-Mart ads, very disappointing considering a lot of the music she does.

              As to Sara Evans - my hubby was in LOVE with her.  Then he found out she performed at the NRC and he was crushed.  He still holds out hope she'll stop drinking the Kool-Aid, but her husband is supposedly considering running for office in ... WA?

              •  Martina? (none)
                That's a tough one.

                She does seem to support a lot of progressive causes, particularly women's issues, but she has also appears to have a very close connection to Sean Hannity.

                Wikipedia lists her as a Republican celebrity.

                I dunno, to me she's a bit like teh Celine Dion of country ,usic and I don't particularly care much for Celine Dion.

                You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

                by FrankFrink on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:41:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Martina/Sara (none)
                  I've noticed you'll never see her explicitly come out for a political (like, Republican) cause.  You get the impression, what with the Hannity appearances, that she leans in that direction, but you never hear or see her come out in full support of one party or politician.  Unlike, say, Sara Evans, who is an unabashed Republican.  Which I'll bet has something to do with her pseudo-politician husband of hers.  She probably was a Republican anyway, but having a spouse in politics will tend to make you more vocal about your own polticial beliefs.
                •  Martina..... (none)
                  .....said she had political motives for her work with that Sean Hannity event.  She publicly distanced herself from the mounting chatter that she was a there's hope.  Still, the girl's from rural Kansas.  The odds are against us.
          •  I love Tim (none)
            and like Faith.  I got turned onto country by the Dixie Chicks well before Natalie's statement in London.  I own every CD they ever made.

            Then I found McGraw's.  I like Faith, but not as much as I like Tim.

            I really think those remarks about Katrina came out of the blue.  They both came from states ravaged by Katrina.  Neither of them had a privileged childhood.  To watch the criminal incompetence of the Bush Administration during and after Katrina must have broken their hearts.  I don't think they will suffer real repercussions from what they said, simply because too many Americans agree with them.  How could you watch CNN and see people chanting "Help! Help!", listen to the reporters and not feel outrage?

            When the Dixie Chicks were being trampled for speaking out, Travis Tritt came after the Chicks, along with Toby Keith.  I have NEVER bought a CD by Keith, and I will NEVER buy another one by Tritt.  Such assholes.

            The Dixie Chicks toured for John Kerry, with James Taylor, and I went to the concert in Pittsburgh.  I had terrible seats, but it really didn't matter.  It was great to be in an auditorium with Kerry supporters.

            We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

            by Mary Julia on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 11:25:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  question.... (none)
              are you sure about Tritt?  I ADORE the Chicks, and followed this story, but never heard about Travis Tritt saying anything...that doesn't sound like the TT that I thought I knew a little about.

              As for the Chicks...before they had Natalie, they played in Dallas, and played at the big gay annual fundraising party, Razzle Dazzle Dallas, sometime in the mid to late 80's.  

              I rarely listen to country music stations anymore...they play republican boot lickin' licks for the most part.  I get my country fix by buying new (and old) albums of people I know I like and respect.

              •  I don't recall Tritt doing so with a vengeance (none)
                But he did say this:

                "I think the comments were made primarily because it was in front of an audience that agreed with them. But I think if you make those statements over there versus over here it is sort of cowardly and I think it was a cheap shot... The best way to get an entertainer's attention is to hit them in their pocketbooks."


                "I feel it is one of our God-given rights as Americans to speak our minds freely and honestly. ... However, in such a fragile time in the world, with that privilege comes the need to be responsible and mindful of the repercussions."

                Actually quite muted compared with what Toby Keith did, and particularly compared with the way Tritt went after Bill Ray Cyrus back in the day.

                •  that's enough for me... (none)
                  to never buy his music...can't say "again", as I never have....but could have, as I've enjoyed some of it.  But forget it, I'm adding him to the "republican country club"
              •  Read it and weep (none)
                Yes, Tritt was a real asshole. And he wasn't quiet about it.  He encouraged the boycott.

                We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

                by Mary Julia on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:50:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Tritt (none)
                I don't know about Dixie Chicks comments, though I have heard him make some anti-Clinton comments before.  One was back in the 90's (which I found ironic since it was around that time that personal problems in Tritt's life came to light).  The other time was when I was at a country festival in Wisconsin a few years ago, and when he was performing "Sweet Home Alabama," he changed the "Watergate" lyric to something about Clinton.  Which was odd, since this was a few years after Clinton was out of office.

                I do give him credit for the Mellencamp duet last year.  He may be about as GOP as they come in Nashville, but at least he bothered to acknowledge that there's another point of view.

          •  Interesting (none)
            I'm a fan of older country, rockabilly, honky tonk and the traditional outlaw stuff (none of this Toby Keith Ford truck "outlaw" junk) but not so much of the light rock with twang that passes for country these days.  It is definitely nice to see that the majority of the artists I recognize and like or at least respect fall into our camp while the hat acts that I loathe typically fall on the other side.  I have to admit I would have figured Faith Hill for a winger.

            Don't get me started on Worley. I remember the first time I heard "Have You Forgotten" and every single lyric either contradicts the previous lyric or is a flat out untruth, not to mention the hook "Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden" is exactly one of the dozens of reasons so many were against the stupid war in the first place.  I remember screaming at the stereo through the entire song while flipping it off.  More dangerous than driving with a cell phone that song is, it should be banned from radio.

          •  that list pretty much defines who (none)
            is listenable, and who isn't.

            Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

            by JeffSCinNY on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:46:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Thats funny as hell Coloradorob (none)
    •  How about cowboy boots and diapers? (4.00)

      I'm still trying to live this one down. Me in maybe 1970?

      I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

      by Swampfoot on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:30:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Always an alternative (4.00)
    There have always been "country" artists who tell it like it is. For example, Steve Earle was mentionmed above. Emmylou Harris has done great work (sometimes along with Steve.)

    [Gawd, I love that woman...]

    Tim O'Brien (who just won a Grammy) has organized several benfits for the Nashville Center for Peace and Justice.

    Tim wrote "More Love" for the Dixie Chicks and Darrell Scott wrote "Long Time Gone."

    Sadly, the crap that gets played on "Hot 100" Clear Channel and Cumulus staions is garbage both in terms of sound and content.

    But there are GREAT alternatives- ya just gotta look a little harder.

    Ben Konop for Lucas County Commissioner

    by Earl from Ohio on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:14:45 PM PST

  •  Happy to see your post - (none)
    I often checked into the Music Row website prior to the 2006 election.  I was intrigued by a group of country musicians standing up and being counted as Democrats.  It was against stereotype - which is usually a good thing.  
    As for Tim & Faith.  I don't currently own any of their albums but will go shopping if they're "Dixie Chicked".  I'll consider it a "vote".  

    Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them - Washington Irving

    by Stein on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:14:59 PM PST

  •  Faith And Tim Speaking The Truth (none)
    Don't see how this will hurt them. I think everyone but the most callous is upset by the distruction of New Orleans and the Gulf. They are speaking out about the state of their home territory and most sane people will respect that.

    Lots of luck to them on their tour and a salute to them for their courage in telling it like it is.

  •  hmmm... (none)
    Well, I generally dislike any and all country music, but I can let that slide considering the cause.  ;)
  •  when Faith Hill called "BULLSHIT" (none)
    believe me, a lot of Mercuns heard it.  Then of course our dear leader blamed it all on Congress (?????).  People heard that too. I might be wrong but I would be willing to bet a few bucks that Rasmussen takes a little dive in the next couple days.

    thanks for posting.

    An election does not make a democracy.

    by seesdifferent on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:40:41 PM PST

  •  could care less about their music (none)
    and i dont think it matters. I recognize the status of Hill and McGraw and I applaud them speaking out. My assumption is that much of their fan base is either not particularly politically aware or leans to the GOP, so its a great thing to have celebrities like them joining the chourus of questioning.

    I like lots of country music: waylon jennings, willie nelson, johnny cash. I even like the country songs from that racist wierdo David Allen Coe.

    I cant stand Faith Hill's music--if you can call it that--and this wont change that. But so what? Tim McGraw's songs sound like muzak to my ears...but so what? Im not talking about them as humans. I know nothing about them as people and even if I did, it wouldn't keep me from yawning while their tunes were played. Im just glad that they spoke up and appreciate them for that.

    so...way to go Tim and Faith! We liberals have a big tent and all artists are welcomed, just as all people are welcomed.

    I cant tell if its a West End musical or Marxism in action.

    by Evolution on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:45:46 PM PST

  •  I love the Dixie Chicks & always will (none)
    Of course, I supported them and was sorry for the campaign against them. It was hardly American. I become more and more fervent in my support of the Bill of Right with each passing day.

    I don't know the music of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw but admire them for speaking out. I heard them on TV tonight - good for them. We have to allow everyone their rights to freedom of speech - whether we agree or not (short of advocating assassination - but that's another topic altogether). And, for what it's worth, I'll check out their music. Who knows? It might be a great addition to my iPod.

    What's going on down on the Gulf Coast is a travesty. We should be taking care of that, take care of our own people.

    We've hardly had any winter here in Central Texas. The wisteria is already blooming - a month early. I should be happy - it's one of my favorite flowers and it's here for such a short time.  We probably won't have any bluebonnets this year because there was no winter rain. We had a nice mild winter, and spring is gentle - not its petulant self. This sounds so delightful, but this is all wrong. It's all out of synch. It's not normal.

    Hurricane season starts in June. The recovery on the Gulf Coast is nowhere near where it should be. It's like the guy on the Daily Show said the other night. I knew Global Warming was a reality; I just didn't think it would come this soon.

    We're blues people. And blues never lets tragedy have the last word. -Wynton Marsalis

    by paluxy1945 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:50:08 PM PST

  •  Born and raised in Va (none)
    and spending my early professional years in Tn I'm happy to admit that I like country and bluegrass. My wife and many friends are music snobs but I'm changing them.

    I'm also happy that finally country music and hopefully soon the NASCAR crowd will speak up for America and what BushCo is doing to us.

    Once we get them on the side of America then we will have the soldiers to take the fight to them in a more viseral manner rather than "thinking" them to death.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 10:58:20 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Buffalo (none)
    For helping to form that organization. For letting us know about this. Please keep alerting us to any specific need to participate in polls.

    And... how about a link to purchase something of theirs, in a way that'd give them the most profits? The news hounds will no doubt be watching their sales, why not give them a boost?

  •  Like a large number of Welsh people (4.00)
    I am a huge country music fan. So what happened to the Dixie Chicks sickened me and I have nothing but praise for the support that you guys have given them.

    I don't know why people say they don't like country music. Unless you are a rabid purist, the genre is so wide that I find it difficult not believe that there isn't something there that you will find meaningful to you.

    I am a keen classicist. You will hear Elgar's Cello Concerto or Mahler's Fifth being played by me as frequently as you will hear me play Mary Chapin Carpenter or John Prine or Emmy Lou Harris. With Mingus and Coltrane mixed in there too.

    It is all food for the soul, each available in their different ways to match the mood at different times.

    Thanks Nashville - part of what makes America still loved.

  •  Howdy Buffalo50 (none)
    I hung around Music Row Democrats awhile, right around election time. Cool folks, and glad to see ya here. I wrote that tune "swing left, sweet pendulum" ...

    too bad it didn't swing a little lefter than it (reportedly) did.

    Right on to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. I like any musical artist with soul. I find them in every genre.

    Keep the pressure on down there.....

  •  Hasn't Tim come out as a Democrat? (none)
    I'm pretty sure that in the past year or so he stated publicly that he's a proud Democrat and may run for office in the future.  I don't think there's any ambiguity about his political leanings.  And if Tim is a Democrat, it stands to reason that Faith would likely be as well.
    •  Yes, he is considering running in TN (none)
      Yee Haw.  This is huge for us and a win we need.  Tim McGraw has stated to a men's magazine a month or so ago, he would be interested in running for Senate or Governor.

      Sen. Tim McGraw or Sen. Lamar Alexander, who do you prefer?   Lamar is such a spineless dolt who is now introducing the line-item veto the SCOTUS struck down 8 years ago, gosh, time for him to go.  

      Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are huge in Tennessee, remember the Nascar dads Dean told us to reach out to and we really did not know how?  Well here is our chance to unite the rural and urban Democrats again.

  •  Here's some more fun from the FEC files: (none)
    Fundrace FEC tool here

    Emmylou Harris - Dean

    Pam Tillis - Kerry

    I ran the list of female artists and only got these two hits.

  •  Tim and Faith are expressing a growing... (none)
    ...sentiment in both Mississippi and Louisiana. There is a whole new level of distrust and general "I'm fed up" attitude towards the government right now. Of course, this is all levels of government--particularly state and federal, as they have both monumentally failed the people.

    I'm not sure if it will result in folks leaving the Republican party or just throwing out the bums we got now and replacing them with new ones.

    Whatever the case, people are hurting badly. Beyond description badly. And it seems as if everyone in the nation has completely moved on. What a luxury.

  •  From an old '00 AP story (none)
    Gore supporters: Pam Tillis, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, John Michael Montgomery, Ricky Van Shelton and Marty Stuart
  •  Chicks and Girls (none)
    When the Dixie Chicks were catching all the backlash, we went down to Charlotte for a Dixie Chicks + Indigo Girls concert, partly because I'm an IG groupie, but also as as a mini-protest to support the Dixie Chicks.  I was a little apprehensive, because at the time there was a lot of rumbling about potential violence and what not at the Dixie Chicks concerts.  But it was fine, lots of security, and there were not protesters or anything.  And the music was great!  

    At IG concerts there are tables set up for purposes such as voter registration.  Can we do something similar at the McGraw Hill concerts and other country concerts with Dem friendly groups?  This looks like a great opportunity to me to hook up with GOTV groups, especially if the performers are on board with it.

  •  I used to love Country Music.... (none)
    And my favorite at one time was Dixie Chicks....they were revolutionary yet old school at the same time.

    When the backlash took place against them I decided Country was out.........still is until they get all their heads back on right.

    "It's Hard Work!" George Bush..."He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." Bejamin Franklin

    by JellyPuddin on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:28:58 AM PST

  •  Country That Doesn't Suck (none)
    Steve Earle
    Dwight Yoakam
    Johnny Cash
    Roseanne Cash
    Dixie Chicks
    Alison Krauss (if you count Bluegrass as Country)
    Nickel Creek (ditto)
    Austin Lounge Lizards (hilarious)
    Willie Nelson (sometimes)
    Gov. Kinky Friedman
    Joe Ely
    John Prine
    Brad Paisley
    Waylon Jennings

    Never cared much for McGraw/Hill (heh), but big thumbs up to them for their outspokenness.

    Alexander found Babylon a mistress easier to enter than to leave. ---Oliver Stone

    by JDRhoades on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:04:56 AM PST

    •  A.L.L.!!!! (none)
      One of my fondest concert memories was seeing the Lounge Lizzards in a small venue in Durango Co. I was sitting at a table with a cold beer maybe 6 feet from the stage, part of a pathetically small audience of perhaps 40 people.
      They are excellent musicians, and funny as hell.
    •  Joe Ely (none)
      As a long time fan of Joe Ely, and someone who has seen him live many times I know he is classified as country, but he is anything but.  He can blow you away with a wall of sound live, and if you have every heard "Love & Danger" you know that he rocks!  To everyone reading, at least find and buy "Love & Danger", you will not be disappointed.  And I second the Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakum.  As for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill I was surprised and happy to see them take a stand.  Although it baffles me that country music stars and fans don't fall more on the side of the democrats, after all we are the party of the little guy.  I guess it is just testimony to how far our party has fallen and why Greenspan may be right, we need a third party candidate who will represent the middle, which I believe is the majority of americans.  People who just want to lead a middle class life, and live in peace.  NO WAR IN IRAN!
      •  Ely is like a lot of Texas country (none)
        It doesn't fit the Nashville mold.

        Jesse Dayton did an outstanding debut album, Raisin' Cain marketed as country that was way outside Nashville's mainstream.

        Toni Price's stuff has ranged from bluesy to twangy - the latter particularly on Sol Power.

        Junior Brown, the Hollisters, etc.

    •  I'd like to add... (none)
      Asleep at the Wheel!

      I saw them in early September 2001 and they were on their way to DC to play some function for the Prez before 9/11.  I can't fault them for that too much at that time though, since it wasn't quite as nakedely obvious what a disaster this presidency was.  

      I mean, wouldn't it be nice if playing for a president was viewed as an honor once again, regardles of his (her in the future?) party affiliation?    

    •  Marty Robbins, Gene Pitney (none)
      the Highwaymen (Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson too) ...

      The thing about country is that there has always been an anti-establishment bent to it.

      And it's instructive that the best of country music is clearly aligned with Democratic interests.

      Willie Nelson's ' What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth vs. Toby Keith's Angry American? In terms of artistry, staying power, etc?

    •  Also like to add (none)
      Tom Russell, with or without Andrew Hardin.

      And Merle Haggard.

      You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

      by FrankFrink on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:05:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I say... (none)
    It's about gahddamn time....

    Fully two-thirds of Americans are not satisfied with the direction of the country. - Newsweek Sept. 10, 2005

    by Czarvoter on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:06:26 AM PST

  •  What About Kinky? (3.33)
    Country music star, and running for govenor of Texas.

    Give it up for the man!

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:14:19 AM PST

    •  well, maybe not a "star" (none)
      Kinky's great, and if I were a Texan I'd be very tempted to vote independent for the first time in my life, but he ain't exactly a country music "star."  Although CMT has a reality show running around his candidacy.

      There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

      by ThirstyGator on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:06:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kinky sucks (none)
        chris bell just won the democratic primary and will be a worthy candidate if too many people don't waste their votes on kitschy friedman.  during the 2004 campaign, i saw him on one of the cable networks, asked to weigh in; he told the interviewer he reckons we oughtta support our commander in chief.  gag me.  yet i see liberals here in austin driving around with kinky for governor "why the hell not" bumper stickers.  why??  amateurs like him are dangerous in the hands of the corrupt gop texas government.  on the other hand, if the liberals are bluffing and kinky and scotty's mom split perry's vote, i'd be a happy camper.  though, it's more like kinky is to bell what strayhorn is to perry.  kinky's candidacy reminds me of something from a frank zappa song:

        We'll sell him in the movies
        On the tube throughout the year
        We'll sell him by the bucket
        To the Okies drinking beer
        We'll teach him how to walk and talk
        We'll putty up his chin
        We'll print his picture everywhere
        Of course the shmuck will win

        From the heart of Death Valley
        To the ruling of our land
        A simple trick you simple pig
        It's just the way we planned

        you can rearrange my face but you can't rearrange my mind -8.63,-7.28

        by mediaprisoner on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:11:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll Buy You a Sense of Humor (none)
          if you're interested.

          Have you ever listened to Kinky? He's a hoot.

          Kinky Friedman wrote and performed satirical country songs during the 1970s and has been hailed as the Frank Zappa of country music. The son of a University of Texas professor who raised his children on the family ranch, Rio Duckworth...

          Ironic that you quote FZ. Although the quote is 180% out of phase with the Kinky candidacy.

          This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

          by Mr X on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:14:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Alright. MediaPrisoner... (none)
      What do you have against Kinky Friedman?

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:09:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ignore the Above (none)
        I see you replied.

        Kinky Friedman is a very intelligent life-long Texan. He would probably make a better governor than a lot of career politicians.

        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

        by Mr X on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:57:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They got me. I thought Country was a GOP cult (none)

    Thanks, Buffalo50.  Well, they got me too. I thought Country-Music pretty much was an exclusive GOP playground. I'm not a big country fan, but I have also studiously avoided the music in the last five years precisely because I figured it was just a bunch of GOPers singing to each other.

    In terms of a business, I think any time a genre or product gets stamped as being an exclusive province of one political party, that  automatically cuts out about 50 percent of the customers, although given the way the polls are going, it may cut out more than that if Bush and the GOP continues to tank.

    I've often wondered how/if the evangelical church is going to recover from it's long embrace of W. and the GOPers. Not all evangelical churches became politicized, but there was rarely any criticism from the evangelicals against their brethren who became little Christian Soldiers for the GOP. So I think the larger public could be forgiven for seeing evangelical churches as another an exclusive playground for Republicans too.

    So good for you, Buffalo50. Nice to hear there's different voices within the Country-Music industry. Good for you for speaking out---it's the right thing to do and it's the right thing to do long-term for the business too.

    Funny how that's often the case.

    •  divided (4.00)
      The country music world has always had quite a good number of unabashedly liberal folks. After all this is, or at least was, the music of lower class working folks. Like so many other things though, the corporate media has put it's stamp on our impressions. Remember that most of the radio stations in this country are owned by just a few companies, and they are quite conscious of just what they want you to hear.
      Just like it's all too easy to assume that anyone who is a self identified Christian from the south is automatically another Bushbot, don't fall into the trap of assuming all country artists are Republicans.
      •  great point (none)
        and remember too - those stations are closely aligned with the corporatism of the Bush admin. When you look at who led the assault against the Dixie Chicks, it appears to be much more of a ClearChannel than grassroots phenomenon.
  •  My Country Music 2 cents... (none)

    Love Songs From Ground Zero

    by Subway Serenade on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:38:26 AM PST

  •  Looks like other Country singers are Democrats (none)
    I was looking for information on any other country singers who came out for Democrats/Gore/Kerry etc, and found this:

    Looks like more country stars than we think support Dems?

    •  And we already knew about the Dixie Chicks (4.00)
       Dixie Chicks To Release Highly-Anticipated Fourth Album "Taking The Long Way" May 23
      Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms - over almost a decade, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomenon. Now more than ever, the eyes of the world are on them, and with "Taking The Long Way", they come out swinging, surpassing the pressures and expectations history has placed upon them. The nine time Grammy-Award winning Sony Recording artists will release this highly-anticipated fourth album Open Wide/Columbia/Sony BMG on May 23, 2006.

      With "Taking The Long Way", one of the most anticipated albums in recent years, the Dixie Chicks are putting themselves out there like never before. For the first time, every one of the disc's fourteen songs are co-written by the Chicks themselves, exploring themes both deeply private and resoundingly political. Collaborating with legendary producer Rick Rubin (who has worked with everyone from Johnny Cash to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from Run DMC to Neil Diamond), the biggest-selling female band in history has truly pushed themselves to new heights both as writers and as performers.

      "Everything felt more personal this time," says Natalie Maines. "I go back to songs we've done in the past and there's just more maturity, depth, intelligence on these. They just feel more grown-up." Rubin assembled a band including Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, session hero Larry Knechtel, and Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, and matched the Chicks with co-writers including Dan Wilson (who wound up collaborating on six of TAKING THE LONG WAY's songs), Pete Yorn, and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks.

      Inspired by such classic rock artists as the Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the Mamas and the Papas, "Taking The Long Way" adds a sweeping, Southern California vibe to the Chicks' down-home intimacy. That ambition is matched with lyrics addressing everything from small-town narrow-mindedness ("Lubbock or Leave It") to the psychology of celebrity ("Everybody Knows").

      Not just "big for a country band" or "big for a big female band," the Dixie Chicks are multi-platinum selling acts in North America, Europe and Australia as well as one of a mere handful of acts with multiple albums achieving "diamond" status (meaning sales over 10 million copies) - both Wide Open Spaces (1998) and Fly (1999) hit that stratospheric landmark - and have won nine Grammy awards. Their on-stage reputation has helped them sell over $100 million worth of concert tickets, and outspoken songs like "Goodbye, Earl" made it clear that this power trio played by nobody's rules. And that was all before Natalie Maines's comments about a fellow Texan, President George W. Bush, during a London appearance in March, 2003 really put the Dixie Chicks in the headlines. The resultant uproar - complete with boycotts and death threats - is the focus of "Taking The Long Way's" defiant first track, "Not Ready to Make Nice." "The stakes were definitely higher on that song," says Robison. ! "We knew it was special because it "This album was total therapy," says Natalie Maines. "I'm way more at peace now. Writing these songs and saying everything we had to say makes it possible to move on."

      Details are forthcoming on a worldwide Dixie Chicks concert tour that will kick-off this summer.

    •  Dolly Parton, too (none)
      She apparantly told reporters that if she were running for President, she'd want her current manager to run her campaign (basically pointing out all he does for her career and what a great guy he is).  When one of the reporters jokingly asked if she was considering a run in 08, Dolly told him no, we've had enough of boobs in the White House. . . .

      "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

      by catleigh on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:21:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keeping Score (4.00)
    Ok, BushCo has lost William F. Buckley and now they've lost the top of the country music charts.  Who's left for them to lose?

    There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

    by ThirstyGator on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:03:43 AM PST

  •  I was impressed and surprised (4.00)
    when I read this yesterday.  Their comments were very upfront and blistering and they didn't seem to hold back at all.  They are icons in country music circles, so I think their comments are important to note.  I think they are voicing what a majority of the country is already thinking about Katrina and Bush, and their actions might give more folks - particularly more country music fans - the courage to speak up.
  •  The country music industry (none)
    shot themselves in the foot when the shit all over the Dixie Chicks. They were the best cross over artists Music Row had ever seen. Every country artists lost untold amounts of money because of what the people in charge did. I'm glad the Chicks are putting out an album in another genre. As to pinheads like Toby Keith, FUTK!

    And it is "We the people" who must now find once again the ability we once had to play an integral role in saving our Constitution. - Al Gore

    by kitebro on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:43:22 AM PST

  •  Toby Keith, etc. (none)
    I think he was trying to have a bit of fun with the Dixie Chicks dust-up, but he came off as a kind of a jerk.
    And his song that caused a lot of controversy: "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)". I'll be honest with you people. I am a die-hard liberal, but I am also a New Yorker and I cranked up that song every time I heard it and thought that putting a boot in somebody's ass was a pretty good idea.

    Good for Faith Hill and good for the Dixie Chicks (all of whom I love on several levels). And also Tim McGraw. And as a New Yorker (and Mets fan) great respect for Tim's dad Tug. We should all take Tug McGraw's famous phrase as our own - "You Gotta Beleive!"

  •  That's great and all (4.00)
    and it's about time, but they need to speak out more, particularly in their music. As long as they keep writing songs about pick up trucks and cheatin' hearts, I can't take them seriously.

    And if you want to talk about exercising your right to free political speech, you need go no further than the industrial/punk community and these awesome anti-Bush, anti-right wing albums and groups:

    Skinny Puppy - The Greater Wrong of the Right
    Killing Joke - Killing Joke
    Ministry - No W
    Die Warzau - Convenience
    KMFDM - Hau Ruck

    [-7.88/-6.67] Forged Demon - Zen Politics

    by sohei on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:22:56 AM PST

    •  You're Wrong... Every Time (4.00)
      The Ministry album is actually titled "Houses of the Mole." Get it right, you slacker. ^_~
    •  It's a different type of music (none)
      If you don't like songs about pick-up trucks and cheatin' hearts, then don't listen (isn't this what we're always telling conservatives?) As an old-school punk-rock fan, I tend to appreciate that people can sing about whatever they like and I don't have to appreciate their culture to appreciate their opinion.

      Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

      by rogun on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:52:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately (none)
      That list is only partially American.

      Skinny Puppy is from my hometown of Vancouver, BC.
      Killing joke - Brits now based in Iceland.
      KMFDM - French/German

      Die Warzau is from Chicago.
      Ministry - ok, Jourgensen's also from Chicago but aren't some of the other members European.

      Just wish that indutrial/punk list had been all-American.

      You can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea - Tommy Douglas

      by FrankFrink on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:10:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They said what's on everybody's minds (4.00)
    down here. I have more respect for Faith and Tim since I heard what they had to say.  I live down here, and it's true.  You can smell the corruption.  I hear people talk about their bosses taking home freebies, the waste of taxpayers dollars to drive up the price of goods and services, people being run out of their homes and towns, no oversight, the money is flowing for the connected, but the little people are literally forced to beg for handouts from the good people who have come down here to volunteer.  

    People are dying from the stress, heart attacks, complications from disorders, only the strongest will survive through the reconstruction effort.  This is compounded by the big money game, speculators, thousands of foreclosures, illegal immigration, loss of wages, arbitrary curfews and regulations, mountains of paperwork only to be denied help, new building codes that add layers of bureaucracy and little actual protection against future storms, and the bickering over everything from zoning to how many lanes to build the bridges.

    Never mind that the people and cadavour dogs who were hired to sniff out bodies in the ninth ward before houses were to be demolished were sent home for lack of funding.  Now there isn't anyone to do the body searches.   Mississippi doesn't live in a vaccume. The economy culture, and livelihood of New Orleans is part of the coast. We have less people effected, and for the most part, we are making it through this in spite of the poor response and reconstruction effort. What people need to know is that poor blacks and whites are being driven out, relocated, and neglected.  

    The economy of the South is entirely effected by this tragedy, and will continue to threaten stability and civilization down here until we get some serious help in the form of leadership, planning, and oversight.  We are holding down the fort-because this is what you can expect from the government, Chertoff included- in future disaster assistance.  

  •  Are they going to do (none)
    a remake of "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"? only in reverse?  (chuckle)
  •  great Story and I guess the writers at AOL read it (4.00)
    the headline is now
    Faith Hill, Tim McGraw Blast 'Humiliating' Katrina Cleanup
    Country Stars Lash Out in Anger Over Conditions in Storm-Ravaged States
     great work

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:49:46 AM PST

  •  meant Nanci Griffith (none)
    sorry, that's what I get for watching tv, thinking of New Orleans musicians (Tracy Griffin) and attempting to type.
  •  I see a difference (none)
    I see an important difference between what The Dixie Chicks did and what Tim McGraw and Faith Hill did. To me, it matters where you say it. Criticizing your country's leaders to your fellow Americans is one thing, complaing to the world is different.

    I'm not saying there weren't people motivated to put the women back in their place or that corporate media didn't play a political role but I thought it was wrong as soon as I heard where The Dixie Chicks spoke out.

    The times are also very different. The Dixie Chicks misread their fan base and got spanked. I think Tim and Faith read theirs and spoke for them. Same base, change in attitudes.

    -3.13, -2.13, and trying to swim back to the center

    by Tuscarora on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:50:40 AM PST

    •  Dixie Chicks vs. McGraw and Hill (none)
      The truth is the truth irrespective of place. If Natalie Maines had uttered her Bush put-down in AcmeVille USA, the band would still have been spanked. The country did not want to hear the truth then, and a lot of people do not want to hear the truth now. Denial is a powerful thing.
      People of true integrity do not utter the truth because it is popular or expedient. They utter it because it is right.
      Toby Keith behaved like an immature little jerk over the whole Dixie Chicks affair, and I have made a mental note to never buy any of his records until he utters a public mea culpa for his attitude at the time.
      While I applaud McGraw and Hill for their openness now, I am reminded of the old saying from Phil Ochs that many liberals stay 30 degrees to the right when things do not affect them, and only move to 30 degrees to the left when things start to affect them personally. I have a lot more time for artists like Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell (to name but two) who have been consistently speaking out for years.
    •  That's not the way I see it (none)
      The location may not have been the best, but it probably was a spur of the moment kind of thing and I have to wonder if they hadn't previously voiced their opinion elsewhere, only to be ignored then.

      The real difference that I see between the two, however, is that the Dixie Chicks spoke out when it might have made a difference (such as before the 2004 election.) They put their neck on the line and this probably helped to give McGraw and Hill the courage to later follow their lead. I don't know McGraw and Hill's reason(s) for not speaking out earlier, but they might have prevented the grievances they now have with this administration if they had previously had had the foresight that the Dixie Chicks have.

      Don't get me wrong, though, because I respect McGraw and Hill for speaking out, but not as much as I respect the Dixie Chicks for doing so when speaking out against this administration was dangerous to their well-being. McGraw and Hill are just the latest to jump on the country music bandwagon that the Dixie Chicks began.

      Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

      by rogun on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:40:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Logged in To Recommend (none)
    Thanks for posting this Buffalo.  If they go after these artists, I'll make a point of buying their music.  

    I did that after the attacks on the Dixie Chicks (I'm not a country music fan normally) and discovered some great music.

    Bloggin' with a bar of soap and my car window IMPEACH -8.75 / -6.10

    by Alegre on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:55:22 AM PST

  •  I'm not much of a country music fan (4.00)
    but you better believe I ran out and bought the Dixie Chicks' latest when the righteous right came down on them.  I wish more CM artists had supported them at the time.  I'm glad these two are stepping up.  We've got their backs.
  •  Alt country and telling the truth (none)
    Nashville musician Todd Snider from the album East Nashville Skyline

    Conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American male.
    Gay bashin', black fearin', poor fightin', tree killin', regional leaders of the South
    Frat housin', keg tappin', shirt tuckin', back slappin' haters of hippies like me.
    Tree huggin', peace lovin', pot smokin', porn watchin' lazyass hippies like me.
    Tree huggin', love makin', pro choicen, gay weddin', widespread diggin' hippies like me.
    Skin color-blinded, conspiracy-minded, protestors of corporate greed,
    We who have nothing and most likely will `till we all wind up locked up in jails
    By conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American males,.

    Diamonds and dogs, boys and girls, living together in two separate worlds
    Following leaders of mountains of shame, looking for someone to blame.

    Diamonds and dogs, boys and girls, living together in two separate worlds
    Following leaders of mountains of shame, looking for someone to blame.
    I know who I like to blame:

    Conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American males,
    Soul savin', flag wavin', Rush lovin', land pavin' personal friends to the Quayles
    Quite diligently workin' so hard to keep the free reins of this Democracy
    From tree huggin', peace lovin', pot smokin', barefootin' folk-singin' hippies like me.
    Tree huggin', peace lovin', pot smokin', porn watchin' lazyass hippies like me.


    Yul Brynner was a skinhead, they said on the news, but I've never seen Yul Brynner wearing Doctor Marten's shoes

    by THX1138 on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:53:35 AM PST

  •  Don't forget the survey (none)
    Please don't forget to vote in the AOL survey on the story's link:

    Should musicians speak their mind on issues like this?
    Yes    79%
    No    21%

    Do you agree with their assessment?
    Yes    75%
    No    25%

    Total Votes: 44,311

    Yesterday, the "yesses" were well above 85%. Please don't let these polls get Freeped.

  •  Scarborough Country (none)
    I was watching last night and Republican strategist Jack Burkman smeared the hell out of Tim McGraw. When it was brought up that Tim was a Democrat mulling over a career in politics, Burkman called him a hick with a ninth grade education. Scarborough tried to cut him off, but he spewed on an on. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Tim and Faith are the king and queen of country music; Republicans are eating their own. Whether Tim McGraw is a Democrat doesn't matter; his tours sell out within an hour in any venue in the U.S.

    Daryl Worley wrote "Have You Forgotten" during the lead up to the Afghanistan war. It became popular and folks think it is about Iraq, but its not. Al Franken and Worley became friends on a USO tour several years ago. Franken had him on Air America talking about the song and Worley said the song was written right after 9-11.

    •  I Noticed the Same Sentiment.... (none)
      ....on AOL's message board.  The red-state Bush-bots are eating their own, with a significant plurality of respondents denigrating McGraw and Hill as hayseed hicks whose opinion is unworthy of even be listened to.  Many others parroted the usual mindless Republican boilerplate that those suffering from post-Katrina "should get their ass down there and help with the rebuilding themselves rather than blame Bush."  These are the mouthpieces of the party that claims to monopolize the "values voters" smearing them both culturally and financially.  Nothing like seeing these weasels cannibalize their own.
    •  Something tells me (none)
      that Tim's "ninth grade education" has had a greater impact on his intellect than Chimpy's "gentleman's C MBA."

      I am become Dubya, Destroyer of Words...

      by Swampfoot on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 12:15:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  out-of-line rant... (none)
      Well, I don't know who this Burkman is but I'd be happy as hell to beat his rude, cutthroat ass anytime because that bullshit pisses me off terribly.

      On the other hand, it advances the visibility of Tim and Faith as people who have a different perspective than many of their followers and will hopefully make many T&F fans re-think their positions on things.

      I still want to kick this guy Burkmans ASS and I'll sit in jail for a few days for it too. It's time to start kicking ass...i'm tired of these fuckers (gop)

    •  Tim's education (none)
      I don't know where Tim went to school, but as I mentioned earlier, his dad was Tug McGraw, a VERY successful relief pitcher for the NY Mets, and then several other teams. They could have afforded to send Tim to Harvard or Yale. A couple of times.
      •  Dad also... (none)
        ...played for the Philadelphia Phillies, but I digress. :)

        "...the United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes." - George W. Bush

        by Ari Mistral on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:51:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  His Dad.... (none)
        ....was absentee from his life as a boy.  He did not live a privileged upbringing at all.  Tim's mom actually was on welfare for awhile when he was a kid....and I vaguely remember Tim expressing some concern about the welfare reform laws enacted in 1996.
  •  You guys are great! (none)
    I've been familiar with the Music Row Democrats since it began and I think it's great what you guys are doing. I can only imagine that many of us do not appreciate the power that country music has with it's followers and the danger it would pose to Democrats if they simply stood by while Republcans used the genre to advance their political agenda.

    I just want to say thanks! When I think of country music it's people like you guys who come to mind first. I sometimes think that country music has forgotten it's roots and it's nice to see that this isn't true.

    Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

    by rogun on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:08:51 AM PST

  •  Tim McGraw (none)
    I'm not a huge country music fan but I do know who Tim & Faith are. Tim has been very forthcoming about his political stances & ambitions. I've even heard him say that he admired Bill Clinton, which is something not a lot of country music stars would admit. I expect him to run for office some day.
  •  Thanks for the diary (none)
    Buffalo50.  Could you e-mail me at mikepridmore at  Would like to talk to you about arranging a concert tour.  


    Mike Pridmore

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:53:33 AM PST

  •  I grew up listening to country music (none)
    but haven't been able to stomach it since the 04 election.  I know it's not reasonable, or fair since many country musicians are apolitical or don't support Bush, but I couldn't stand to hear it after Bush 'won' his second term.  Every time I hear a country song these days, all I can think of is all the propaganda poured out by Toby Keith and his ilk---ignorance and hate set to music.  Even McGraw performed at the White House or the convention, I forget which.  

    It's nice to know that some country stars are speaking out against this regime of corruption and death, but I still can't stand to hear the music.  The country of my childhood was sentimental and light--now it's been tarnished forever by what the majority of the industry did to whip up 'patriotism' and support for this terrible government.

    "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

    by catleigh on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 11:12:48 AM PST

  •  faith and (none)
    tim , are first rate people, besides country music stars, they spoke what was in their hearts and I am very proud that they did. Love you tim and faith, thankyou for speaking up, and telling it like it is. Love ya both
  •  I'm glad to see this (none)
     as I personally like Tim McGraw, but I have to say that no musical genre manages to be as phony as country music - and it has been since the earliest days, which is why I listen to damned little of it.

     As a guy who loves him some rock and roll (from about '54 or so onward, depending on who you argue with), nothing offends my musical sensibilities more than music written by professional writers released to artists via a class system performed in studio in most cases with a band that won't be on tour with the artist. For every Rodney Crowell, there's 100 Billy Ray Cyrii, and it's just too damned bad that Nashville never got away from the Acuff-Rose top-down style of music management that turns what is a great form of expression into a third-rate sacchirine plastic sweetness.

    I know that this is vitriol. No solution, spleen-venting. But I feel better having screamed. Don't you?

    by Anderson Republican on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:47:23 PM PST

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