One more time, Chet.

Can’t have one without the other, dude.

When some kind of a strange variety show on a network TV channel opens with a song titled “Kiss My Country Ass,” any possible respect for the country music tradition established by the likes of the Carter Family, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash is absolutely thrown under the bus. You want trashy music? You got it. You want some respect for the country audience? Forget it.

Don’t throw demographics at me. I know enough young country fans to know that they respect the realities of country music, and they don’t subscribe to the “I’m so country” brand of pablum being served up now by the record labels to try to cater to and to please mainstream country radio. The audience knows good music and respects good music.

Sorry, but I don’t buy it. If the audience Nashville was catering to enjoyed Real Country Music something tells me we’d be hearing more of it. If the audience Nashville was catering to enjoyed Real Country Music we wouldn’t have acts like Rascal Flatts and Sugarland prattling on the way they do about how they’ve supposedly inspired some cultural discussion or made country music look cool to other people. Songs like “Kiss My Country Ass” are just the other side of that “making country music seem hip and with-it to the core demographic” coin. I hate that song as much as anyone does, but as long as the powers that be aim for that demographic, the phenomenon you deride is going to continue, no matter how long you and your cohorts talk out of both sides of your mouth the way you do.

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