Spent 20 years fighting…what, now?

Ginny Rogers, music director at WKLB in Boston, Mass.:

We think that people were afraid they were going to have to go out and buy boots and a cowboy hat and learn line-dancing to be part of the format, when nothing could be further from the truth…When people reference bull riding and hay bales that’s so not us. We’ve spent 20 years trying to cast aside those stereotypes.

Erm…what stereotypes? Who holds these stereotypes and why haven’t they been laughed off the face of the earth? Such stereotypes might not be as offensive as the ones perpetrated by, say, blackface performers — but they still don’t have any place in civilized society.

What’s that, you say? Why do they have to be negative stereotypes? I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the people talking about spending decades fighting them? I heard it said once upon a time that Southern rural culture was perhaps the last — perhaps the only — culture that people wouldn’t get in trouble for making fun of. (i.e., “Stupid hicks, all they do is bale hay and ride bulls.”) And if those stereotypes are being fought, that would seem to imply that they are negative ones.

Negative or positive, though, either way they’re way off base. As has been noted here before, country music has always held pretty universal appeal, to both urban and rural folks. It’s only been in recent years that country has walled itself off from the non-rural audience with songs like “Bait A Hook” and “Kiss My Country Ass.” As Sabra observed to me, considering that those songs have made such a comeback in recent years, it would seem to have made the job of Rogers and her ilk that much harder.

One wonders how willing they’d be to stop playing those songs and give that airtime back to George Strait & Alan Jackson. Probably not very. Which makes them all pretty hypocritical, don’t you think?

(h/t Country California)

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2 Responses to “Spent 20 years fighting…what, now?”

  1. Borepatch Says:

    WKLB is what I used to listen to when we lived there. It’s a better Country station than anything in Atlanta. I’d cut them some slack. The Country scene is pretty good up in that part of Yankeeland, and they’re part of the reason.

    Yeah, it’s too much Country Pop, but that’s true everywhere.

  2. Sabra Morse Onstott Says:

    It’s just ridiculous to me that the stereotypes are now being clung to so desperately. It’s ridiculous. That’s why I’m always quoting that one song to you: I’m from the big town, man, I ain’t no damn hillbilly.

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