Browsing articles tagged with " Old Farts and Jackasses"
Jan
24

The “Old Farts & Jackasses” Phenomenon 1 Year Later

January 24, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  36 Comments

old-farts-and-jackassesOne year ago, after receiving numerous tips from readers that in a previously-aired GAC special about country artist Blake Shelton, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year had some disparaging things to say about classic country music fans, Saving Country Music found the quotes, cued up an article and posted Shelton’s comments verbatim.

Blake Shelton said,

If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.

What happened next was one of the biggest awakenings of classic country fans in recent memory.

The original “Old Farts & Jackasses” article was posted fairly late in the afternoon on January 23rd, 2013, and slowly but surely it started making the rounds on social networks channels as the evening progressed. But it was the next morning when the story caught like wildfire and began to circulate far and wide. The outrage was taken to the next level when the now deceased Ray Price took to his Facebook page to post a scathing comeback to Blake Shelton’s comments:

It’s a shame that I have spend 63 years in this business trying to introduce music to a larger audience and to make it easier for the younger artists who are coming behind me. Every now and then some young artist will record a rock and roll type song , have a hit first time out with kids only. This is why you see stars come with a few hits only and then just fade away believing they are God’s answer to the world. This guy sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him. Stupidity Reigns Supreme!!!!!!! Ray Price (CHIEF “OLD FART” & JACKASS”) ” P.S. YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY AS US OLD-TIMERS. CHECK BACK IN 63 YEARS (THE YEAR 2075) AND LET US KNOW HOW YOUR NAME AND YOUR MUSIC WILL BE REMEMBERED. – Ray Price

But it didn’t stop there. The original “Old Farts & Jackasses” article posted on Saving Country Music was shared and liked on Facebook over 25,000 times. Country DJ’s across the country were talking about it, every major country music news outlet ran a story about it, and some ran two or three as the controversy stretched out for days, creating a massive viral event across multiple media channels. Blake Shelton was forced to make a public apology to Ray Price (though he never officially apologized to the Old Farts & Jackasses themselves). Artists both big and small, traditional and new, independent and mainstream came out to publicly defend or distance from Blake Shelton.

Blake Shelton Awakens the Rage of Traditional Country Music Fans

One of the most notable responses was when Willie Nelson re-named the tour he was currently on to the “Old Farts & Jackasses Tour“. The announcement was complete with a sarcasm-filled press release. An excerpt:

The Old Farts and Jackass tour began in Durham, NC on January 18th at the Durham Performing Arts Center. But now it’s January 20th, excitement is in the air, and Inauguration Day is finally here….After much anticipation Willie  Nelson finally emerged. Dressed in an all black ensemble by American designer Levi Strauss, the co-leader of the Old Fart Party mesmerized the crowd with the first dance, Whiskey River.

The lip synching controversy would take over the headlines later, but the official answer from Nelson’s camp remained no. No Willie Vanillie here ladies and gentlemen, no tricky audio antics. Willie sang it all live. What we have elected to see is just a man, his band, his family and his guitar.  The audience in Atlanta will testify before any congress; country is in good hands.

Many artists took up their pens to write protest songs about the incident. Brandon Fulson wrote “Old Farts & Jackasses“, and Kelly Chambers wrote “Jackasses n’ Old Farts“.

Tom T. Hall and Chuck Redden teamed up to cut “Old Farts, Jackasses, Steel Guitars & Rhyme“:

And Dale Watson wrote the song “Old Fart (A Song For Blake)“:

The effects of Blake Shelton’s Old Farts & Jackasses comments continue even today. Here are some of them:

“Old Farts & Jackasses” An Embraced Term for Classic Country Fans

Blake Shelton may have meant it as an insult, but classic country fans now wear the “Old Farts & Jackasses” moniker with pride, and embrace it as a term of endearment, proudly using it to refer to themselves and other classic and traditional country music fans.

“Old Farts & Jackasses” on Facebook

In the aftermath of Blake Shelton’s comments, a Facebook page was set up for “Old Farts & Jackasses” that has subsequently collected over 97,000 “likes” (Ironically, the Saving Country Music “like” page only has 2,400). The Old Farts & Jackasses page continues to remain active and vibrant, and continues to grow every day.

Dale Watson Launches The “Ameripolitan” Genre

Beyond Dale Watson’s “Old Fart (A Song For Blake)” tune, the Old Farts & Jackasses incident inspired Dale to start the “Ameripolitan” genre, according to the classic country singer. Though Dale had been throwing the term Ameripolitan around for a years, Old Farts & Jackasses is what motivated Dale to get organized behind it.

The National Traditional Country Music Association

The National Traditional Country Music Association also found renewed strength for the Old Farts & Jackasses phenomenon, and used it to organize an Old Farts & Jackasses March.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Though Blake Shelton’s comments we’re initially uncalled for and angering, in the end it let the world know that there are plenty of fans of traditional and classic country music that are willing to stand up, be accounted for, and fight for the music they believe in.

Dec
9

Top 10 Biggest Country Music News Stories in 2013

December 9, 2013 - By Trigger  //  News  //  24 Comments

20132013 was a year defined by massive stories in country music. From historic deaths like the passing of country music writer Chet Flippo, artist and producer Tompall Glaser, producer and songwriter “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Willie Nelson guitarist Jody Payne and others, to the feuds that erupted as country music continues to be in the midst of a culture war, 2013 was tumultuous to say the least.

Please note that these top 10 stories are not based off of what Saving Country Music sees as the most important, but the amount of traffic and interest each story received, sometimes accrued over multiple stories on the same subject. So it’s you who chose what the top stories were.

10. Gary Allan Calls Out Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift

gary-allanWith so many call outs and feuds transpiring in 2013, this one tends to get swept under the rug. When asked by Larry King Whether Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are country, Gary Allan responded:

“You know, I would say no. I would say they’re pop artists making a living in the country genre. I also feel like we lost our genre. I don’t feel like I make music for a genre anymore, and I did, you know, 15 years ago. But I think since the Clear Channel’s and the Cumulus’s and the big companies bought up all the chains, now it’s about a demographic. You know, so they’ve kind of sliced everything up, feeding it to the public in demographics.”

Gary Allan later back peddled from his statements pretty hard after it caused a blowup.

9. Tom Petty Calls Modern Country Bad Rock with a Fiddle.

tom-pettyThough there had been a few rumblings from other artists ahead of Tom Petty’s statements, it was his interview with Rolling Stone that got the 2013 Season of Discontent rolling in earnest.

“Well, yeah I mean, I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music, but it does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have. I’m sure there are people playing country that are doing it well, but they’re just not getting the attention that the shittier stuff gets. But that’s the way it always is, isn’t it?

“But I hope that kind of swings around back to where it should be. But I don’t really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up. I’m sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle Eighties where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos.”

8. Jason Aldean Defends Luke Bryan from Zac Brown

jason-aldean-2Luke Bryan’s pop country buddy Jason Aldean came to the rescue when Zac Brown called Luke Bryan’s song “That’s My Kind Of Night” the “worst song ever” (see below). The reaction also stimulated an explosive rant against Jason Aldean from Saving Country Music.

“I hear some other artist are bashing my boy @lukebryan new song, sayin its the worst song they have ever heard…….. To those people runnin their mouths, trust me when i tell u that nobody gives a shit what u think. Its a big ol hit so apparently the fans love it which is what matters. Keep doin ur thing LB!!!”

7. 47th Annual CMA Awards

CMA-AwardsFrom all the usual pop frivolity, to the very unlikely win for Entertainer of the Year by George Strait, the 47th Annual CMA Awards became one of the biggest story lines in 2013, including the Saving Country Music LIVE Blog of the event, and our recap the next day:

“Was it a parting gift for Strait after announcing his final tour? Of course it was. But it doesn’t mean it wasn’t deserved, and it doesn’t mean it isn’t sweet, both for George, and for traditional country fans, even the ones who may not mark themselves as big George Strait supporters. Strait’s win marks the first time in a decade a true country artist has won the trophy.”

6. Willie Nelson Band Bus Crashes

willie-nelson-tour-bus-accidentWillie’s long-time drummer and manager Paul English, his brother, and another crew member of Willie Nelson’s family band sustained minor injuries, but luckily the accident was not as bad as the picture appeared when it first surfaced. As the elder statesman of country music, the safety and health of Willie Nelson is always a concern for country fans.

“One of Willie Nelson’s band buses—not Willie’s famed Honeysuckle Rose—was involved in a bad accident late last night (11-22) in Texas on Interstate 30 in icy, Winter conditions. The accident occurred at roughly 3:30 AM Central time near Sulphur Springs. Multiple injuries have been reported, with multiple band members and/or crew injured, including Willie Nelson’s long-time drummer Paul English who reportedly broke his ankle.”

5. Zac Brown Calls Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind Of Night” The Worst Song Ever

zac-brownThe biggest of the 2013 country music blowups by far, Zac Brown takes Luke Bryan’s booty-shaking country rap to task.

“I love Luke Bryan and he’s had some great songs, but this new song is the worst song I’ve ever heard. I know Luke, he’s a friend. ‘My Kind Of Night’ is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. I see it being commercially successful, in what is called country music these days, but I also feel like that the people deserve something better than that. Country fans and country listeners deserve to have something better than that, a song that really has something to say, something that makes you feel something. Good music makes you feel something. When songs make me wanna throw up, it makes me ashamed to even be in the same genre as those songs.”

4. Randy Travis Suffers Heart Problem & Stroke

randy-travisWhen a country music legend is debilitated when he’s still in his mid 50′s, especially one with the voice and talent of Randy Travis, it is nothing short of a travesty. Continuing the pain and intrigue in the story has been the lack of information on just exactly how well Randy is doing, though his father says the situation looks bleak. Thoughts and prayers continue for Randy Travis, and maybe one of the big stories of 2014 will be his recovery and return.

“Country Music singer Randy Travis is in critical condition in a Texas hospital, according to his publicist, and has now suffered a stroke. Travis was admitted the the hospital on Sunday July 7th for complications with viral cardiomyopathy that he acquired recently.

Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or another problem with the heart muscle. It often occurs when the heart cannot pump as well as it should, or with other heart function problems. Most patients with cardiomyopathy eventually suffer from heart failure. Though the term can apply to most diseases affecting the heart, it is usually only reserved for the most severe myocardial disease leading to heart failure.”

3. George Jones Passes Away

george-jonesIn a year of notable country deaths, this is one of the biggest in the history of the genre as arguably the best singer to ever grace country music passes away. From the the news of his death, to the the unveiling of the monument in Nashville, to the historic tribute show that transpired in place of what was supposed to be his last show, the passing of George Jones was one of the biggest stories in 2013, as it should be.

“George Jones, aka, The Possum, has died at age 81. While in the midst of his 60-date farewell tour, Jones was hospitalized for running a slight fever and for having irregular blood pressure, canceling shows in both Atlanta, and Salem, VA. His next show was to be tomorrow, April 27th, in Huntsville, AL. George had been suffering from breathing problems for the last few years. A family member told TMZ, ‘He has been on oxygen for a long while now and his lungs finally just couldn’t do it anymore and they collapsed and he passed away. He couldn’t breathe anymore on his own.’ The official cause of death has been named ‘Hypoxic Respiratory Failure.’”

2. Blake Shelton Calls Classic Country Fans “Old Farts & Jackasses”

blake-sheltonArguably one of the stories we’ll reflect back on as putting Saving Country music on the map, Blake Shelton in a documentary on GAC had some unkind things to say about country music’s classic and traditional country fans, causing Ray Price to respond, Willie Nelson to rename his tour the “Old Farts and Jackasses” tour, and making the term “Old Farts and Jackasses” a term of endearment amongst true country fans heretofore.

“If I am ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, ‘My God, that ain’t country!’ Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.”

1. Wayne Mills Shot & Killed By Chris Ferrell in Nashville

wayne-mills-3Despite all the massive news stories of 2013, this is the one that caused the most intrigue and outrage. From the news of Wayne’s death, to the controversial airing of a Spike TV reality show featuring the bar where Wayne was shot, to the two week wait until the arrest of the shooter Chris Ferrell, to the memorial, it was the biggest story of 2013, that with a potential trial or plea deal looming in the future, may also end up being one of the biggest stories of 2014 as well.

“Outlaw country music singer-songwriter and performer Wayne Mills of the Wayne Mills Band has been pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being shot in the head at 5 AM this morning outside of the Pit and Barrel bar at 515 2nd Ave in Nashville. “God be with us all in this tragedy……” was posted on Wayne’s Facebook page.

“44 year-year-old Jerald Wayne Mills was at the Pit and Barrel early this morning when apparently an altercation erupted with the owner, Chris Michael Ferrell, after Wayne was smoking in a non-smoking area. Everyone else in the bar went outside, and later witnesses heard gunshots fired and called police. Ferrell told police he acted in self-defense.The bar owner has a valid handgun carry permit. Chris Ferrell and Wayne Mills were reportedly good friends, and they were hanging out at the bar after attending the George Jones Tribute earlier in the evening.”

Sep
16

12 Reasons to be Positive About Country Music in 2013

September 16, 2013 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  25 Comments

Country music in 2013 feels like the best of times, and the worst of times. While a few top male performers perpetrate untold atrocities on the integrity of the genre, the rise of independent music and infrastructure in the marketplace is now almost to the point where it equals its corporate counterpart. Quality songs and worthy artists are beginning to see more and more support, while current events and new outlets create avenues for substantive music to find its way to hungry ears. It is so easy to focus on the negative because it still seems to pervade the popular consciousness. But here are twelve reasons it is looking up for country music in 2013.

kacey-musgravesKacey Musgraves Nominated for 6 CMA Awards

Yes, Kacey Musgraves. Even if you see her as some Music Row machination meant to offer an alter ego to the Taylor Swift’s of the world (Taylor equals Kacey’s noms with 6 herself), at least mainstream country is now offering a choice to consumers. What Musgraves’ symbolizes is that you don’t have to prove overwhelming commercial success to get noticed. Her biggest hit “Merry Go ‘Round” didn’t even make the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 Country Songs. Musgraves is a songwriter in a traditional sense, even if some of her best, and most-heady material didn’t make her big debut album. The reason she was able to rake up so many nominations is because of her songwriting credits, accounting for half of her CMA considerations. Kacey Musgraves’ 6 CMA nominations proves that regardless of how stupid country music’s leading males are trying to make the genre, in 2013, songs matter.

zac-brownArtists Speaking Out About The State of Country Like Never Before

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it is getting dirty out there, and the more artists that speak out, the more other artists gain the courage to join the chorus. And not to shy away from the fight, Kacey Musgraves could be characterized as leading the charge, coming out multiple times to complain about where country music is headed. Alan Jackson also had some choice words recently, as did Gary Allan, Tom Petty, and most recently Zac Brown. Country music may be crossing more unfortunate lines than ever, but at least it’s genuine artists are being vocal about their dissent.

old-farts-and-jackassesThe Rise of the “Old Farts & Jackasses”

Yes, it was bad that Blake Shelton had to disrespect large segments of country music listeners when he ostensibly called them “old farts and jackasses,” but the backlash that ensued became a unifying element for disenfranchised country fans. Ray Price wrote a blistering letter to Blake Shelton, resulting in Blake having to make a public apology. Dale Watson wrote a song about the whole incident which has since become one of the most popular numbers of his show. An “Old Farts & Jackasses” group on Facebook boasts over 93,000 “likes,” and the list goes on from there. Blake Shelton awakened a beast, and gave it a rallying cry. Who would have thought in 2012 that people would be proudly calling themselves “Old Farts & Jackasses” ?!?

old-crow-medicine-showOld Crow Medicine Show Invited Into The Grand Ole Opry

The days of inducting traditionally-leaning artists and bands seemed to be over with the Grand Ole Opry’s recent membership invitations to Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, and Rascal Flatts. But lo and behold, the Grand Ole Opry can still get it right, inducting an act that has paid their dues many times over, and deserve to be recognized as one of the forefathers to the re-popularization of string bands that has seen the rise of bands like Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and The Lumineers. The news is not only good for Old Crow Medicine Show, but other artists who may not be top tier names in country music, but deserve the distinction.

sturgill-simpsonThe Breakout Success of Sturgill Simpson

It’s so easy to read the headlines and see the top of the Billboard country charts and say that all is lost in the genre. But as long as Sturgill Simpson is out there touring, you can’t say country music is dead. Out on tour with Dwight Yoakam, playing the Grand Ole Opry, inspiring critics from coast to coast and overseas to sing his praises, Sturgill Simpson is giving hope for the future to country fans that has a value beyond his music specifically.

 

nashville-tv-show-abcABC’s Nashville TV Show Becomes a Music Outlet & Educational Tool

Yeah, I’m not too much for the silly cliffhanger drama-laden plot lines either, but Nashville has become an invaluable teacher of how the music business works, specifically on the songwriting side of things. An educated consumer makes better choices, and if they see and understand how backroom politics stultify the creativity and freedom of artists, and how a song goes from inspiration to the big stage, they just may make better choices, and think about where the music they enjoy comes from. Furthermore, Nashville has become a music outlet to a nationwide audience that may otherwise not be exposed to the music of independent artists like Caitlin Rose, Lindi Ortega, Ashley Monroe, Shovels & Rope, and so many more.

hellbound-glory-kid-rock-tour-leroy-2Hellbound Glory Touring with Kid Rock

There are many good, independent country bands that are enjoying a rise in interest in 2013, but there may not be a bigger rags to riches story (so to speak) than Hellbound Glory landing an opening spot on a Kid Rock arena tour. Going from playing half-empty bar rooms to sold-out arenas, Hellbound Glory is seeing the recognition their quality country music has been deserving for years. And the opportunity has been paralleled by bigger crowds and better support even after the arena tour ended.

valerie-juneEast Nashville Becomes An Epicenter of Creativity

Caitlin Rose, Valerie June, Lindi Ortega, Austin Lucas, Amanda Isbell, Cory Branan, Jonny “Corndawg” Fritz, and so many more that call east Nashville home (or at least to some extent) have seen career watermarks and burgeoning interest in 2013. Forget Music Row or the circus downtown, Nashville, not Austin, is the new vibrant epicenter for independent music, and the artists there pushing and supporting each other is fostering a creative environment that regardless for how long it lasts, will be looked back upon fondly in the future as a time and place that got it right, and set the bar for artistry and substance. Add on top of that already-established and influential artists like Jack White and Dan Auerbach, and Nashville is the place to be in 2013.

Photo by Wendy Spicher

Photo by Wendy Spicher

“Cowboy” Jack Clement and Bobby Bare Inducted Into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Yes, two very important players in the rise of country music’s “Outlaw” movement finally got their due this year, and it was especially timely for “Cowboy” Jack Clement who would pass away only a few months after the announcement. Though there is still a long list of worthy inductees that many fans worry will never get in, these two men prove that the Outlaws will not be forgotten, and move other important country music icons one step further to being inducted themselves.

outlaw-countryOutlaw Country Music Hall of Fame Coming

If you feel like the Outlaws of country music have not been dealt a fair deal and they need need a new institution to give them the support and recognition they deserve, your wishes were granted in 2013 when it was announced there will be a new Outlaw Country Music Hall of Fame in Lynchburg, Tennessee coming soon. Nashville may have swept their legacy off the streets like common refuse, but at least somewhere the Outlaws will ride eternally.

jason-isbell-southeasternJason Isbell Solidifying Himself As A Premier Songwriter

If you desire more validation that 2013 is the “Year of the Song,” then behold the overwhelming breakout success of Jason Isbell in 2013. Bolstered by his manager Traci Thomas, a bulldog of the Thirty Tigers group, Jason Isbell is becoming the defining songwriter of our generation. If you ever wished you could go back and re-live the heyday of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt in their prime, watching Jason Isbell and his 2013 tear is the next best thing.

dale-watson-david-lettermanDavid Letterman Supporting Roots Artists

With radio becoming less and less accessible through every measure of consolidation by Clear Channel and Cumulus, new outlets must open up to support independent music. And they are in 2013, and sometimes in the most uncanny places. David Letterman not only has been giving his stage over to artists like Dale Watson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Pokey LaFarge, Shovels & Rope, and so many more, he’s been seeking out this talent to play his show as a fan of the music. Where big network TV debuts for independent artists seemed to be a thing of the past, now they seem to be a weekly occurrence.

Jan
29

Willie Nelson Renames Tour “Old Farts & Jackass” Tour

January 29, 2013 - By Trigger  //  News  //  24 Comments

willie-nelsonWilie Nelson, whose currently on a tour of the east coast that started in Durham, North Carolina on January 18th, and included a performance at the Presidential Inauguration on January 21st, has just renamed his tour the “Old Farts & Jackass” tour. The move comes in response to the controversy over Blake Shelton’s recent comments on a GAC Backstory interview, saying in part:

Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do

The somewhat veiled and tongue-and cheek announcement declares Willie Nelson the co-leader of the “Old Fart Party,” and also includes a reference to the ongoing lip-sync controversy involving Beyonce. Read the entire pronouncement below.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

The Old Farts and Jackass tour began in Durham, NC on January 18th at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Then Saturday night Willie Nelson and Family performed in Bowling Green, KY at the Performing Arts Center before heading south to The Tabernacle in Atlanta. But now it’s January 20th, excitement is in the air, and Inauguration Day is finally here.

After the annual Bacon and Egg luncheon, the Swearing Ceremony took center stage as Willie stepped forward and placed his hand on Peg Bible.  The Joint Congressional Committee spoke of the logistics of presenting such an unpresidential event in an old Church and of security concerns that have plagued the event from the beginning. The growing crowd stood in line for hours and wondered. “What will he wear? Willie cut bangs?”

After much anticipation Willie  Nelson finally emerged. Dressed in an all black ensemble by American designer Levi Strauss, the co-leader of the Old Fart Party mesmerized the crowd with the first dance, Whiskey River.

The lip synching controversy would take over the headlines later, but the official answer from Nelson’s camp remained no. No Willie Vanillie here ladies and gentlemen, no tricky audio antics. Willie sang it all live. What we have elected to see is just a man, his band, his family and his guitar.  The audience in Atlanta will testify before any congress; country is in good hands.

 

Old Soul Radio Show
Hillgrass Bluebilly
KOOK

Categories

Archives