Exclusive to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame
Column #40 - published December 5, 2000
??? Whatever Happened To
Country Music ???
In the sad musical days of the late 1960s-1970s there always was one refuge
on the radio you could turn to, and get some relief: your local Country &
Johnny Cash saving Country & Western Music throughout all decades.
This spot on your radio dial would always be able to offer you some soulful
numbers by the likes of Johnny Cash, Tom T. Hall, Merle Haggard, Loretta
Lynn, Jerry Reed, Bob Luman, Dolly Parton, Billy Crash Craddock, Conway
Twitty, and many more.
Some of the material -- Cash, Reed, Luman, Craddock, etc.--, even bordered
on Rockabilly, since the artists had 1950s Rockabilly roots which still came
through well into the 1970s and even into the 1980s.
Nat Stuckey with his album from 1969 which includes rock'n'roll classics such
as "Cut Across Shorty", "Hound Dog" and "Roll Over Beethoven".
Great songs could be found all over, "Plastic Saddle", by Nat Stuckey, just
pops into my mind (" I don't want no plastic saddle, let me feeeeeeel the
leather when I ride.....").
But there were ominous signs as well, starting with the language: long ago
Nashville had discarded the term "Hillbilly" as too crude, too low class. At
this point in history Country & Western was about to lose its "Western" half,
because the Nashville establishment had decreed that it was, well, umh, too
crude, too savage!
Western Wear as well, once such an integral part of Hillbilly/Rockabilly
Music and its fans, was being sissified and "Easternized" and suburbanized.
The leather label and the rivets were being removed from classic blue-jeans,
and instead effeminated Europeanized "designer" jeans were taking the place
of the tough he-man Western Lee Riders, Levi 501s, and Wrangler 13 MWZs.
Slowly the sounds deteriorated, till it became hard to listen to Country
Music in the late 1980s, since a lot of it was now indistinguishable from MOR.
But something positive happened: "traditionalists" like George Strait, Randy
Travis, Alan Jackson, The Judds, etc., started to hit, and even
neo-rockabilly types such as Roxanne Cash, Marti Stuart, and Rodney Crowell
were selling millions.
In the late 1980s- early 1990s I thought we were finally starting to see the
light at the end of the tunnel for Country & Western music.
I was wrong. Now we are ten years later, and most of what they try to pass
for "Country" music is pure synthesizer hippie pop schmaltz!!
Singers who cannot sing, indeed pretty boys who wouldn't be able to change
their own diapers without the help of a computer program.
Today the rage are mediocre soulless vocalists who need to have their flat
notes fixed through the help of the software Pro-Tools!!
Sissified, cookie-cutter models, supposed to represent the "country" versions
of the Back Street Boys are popping up all over.
A boring pathetic scene indeed. Hank Williams and Patsy Cline must be
turning in their graves!!
But not all is lost: BR-459 are still kicking within the Country field with
their Rockabilly sound, and of course, we, The Rockabilly Rebels, will never
give up in our struggle to promote Rock'n'Roll, Country & Western, and Rhythm
Always Rollin' The Rollin' Rock,
Rockin' Ronny Weiser
The Rockabilly Rebel Westerner From Las Vegas, The Wild Wild West!
E-Mail Ronny at Rollin' Rock
ROCKIN' RONNY WEISER'S PAGE PAGE -
Original Cool's Ronny Weiser Interview
Ken Burke Reviews Rollin' Rock's Discography
THE ARCHIVES OF
RONNY'S ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME COLUMNS
© 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Col. #39 for 11/00 - KATS LIKE US
Col. #38 for 10/00 - JERRY LEE LEWIS IS 65<
Col. #37 for 09/00 - THE STARLIGHT DRIFTERS
Col. #36 for 08/00 - ALVIS WAYNE AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. #35 for 07/00 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA 2000
Col. #34 for 06/00 - THE CHOP TOPS AT ROLLIN' ROCK!!
Col. #33 for 05/00 - VIVA LAS VEGAS 2000 PIX!
Col. #32 for 04/00 - DRAGSTRIP77: TEARIN' IT UP!
Col. #30 & #31 for 02/00 & 03/00 - VIVA LAS VEGAS 2000!
Col. #29 for 01/00 - ROCKIN' 2000!
Col. #28 for 12/99 - JOHNNY AND THE BLADES AT ROLLIN' ROCK!
Col. #27 for 11/99 - AN UPDATED IMPROVED SOUND?
Col. #26 for 10/99 - TIME TO RECLAIM "THE ROCK"
Col. #26 for 10/99 - TIME TO RECLAIM "THE ROCK"
Col. #25 for 9/99 - YOUNG ROCK AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. #24 for 8/99 - COMETS RECORD AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. #23 for 7/99 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!
Col. #22 for 6/99 - FINLAND IS A ROCKABILLY LAND!
Col. #21 for 5/99 - THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
Col. #20 for 4/99 - ROCKABILLY REBEL: A SHORT HISTORY
Col. #19 for 3/99 - PINBALL MILLIONAIRE
Col. #18 for 1/99 & 2/99 - VIVA LAS VEGAS 1999
Col. #17 - 12/98 - INTERNATIONAL ROCKABILLY REBELS MEET & GREET
Col. #16 - 11/98 - GROOVEY JOE POOVEY: Reminiscing
Col. #15 - 10/98 - CHARLIE FEATHERS
Col. #14 - 9/98 - NARVEL FELTS AT ROLLIN' ROCK!
Col. #13 - 8/98 - IT'S WESTERN WEAR!
Col. #12 - 7/98 - THE JORDANAIRES
Col. #11 - 6/98 - ROCKABILLY HOF - 15,000 HITS!!
Col. #10 - 5/98 - MAC STEVENS RECORDS AT ROLLIN' ROCK
Col. # 9 - 4/98 - VIVA LAS VEGAS
Col. # 8 - 3/98 - KAY WHEELER
Col. # 7 - 2/98 - 10 ROLLIN' ROCK CDs
Col. # 6 - 1/98 - SAM COOKE
Col. # 5 - 12/97 - LAS VEGAS IS A 1950's TOWN
Col. # 4 - 11/97 - GOD BLESS TEXAS
Col. # 3 - 10/97 - FATS DOMINO
Col. # 2 - 9/97 - RAB DISCUSSION GROUP
Col. # 1 - 8/97 - 25 YEARS OF ROLLIN' ROCK RECORDS