Amazon’s ‘For Love & Country’ Film Erases Critical Black Legacies
For Love & Country is a documentary film on Amazon Prime that looks delve into the subject of Black artists and country music by featuring numerous Black contributors currently in the country music space, as well as interviews with certain journalists and scholars, and comments from local Nashville residents about country music and race. Directed by New York-based filmmaker Joshua Kissi, For Love & Country was originally released on April 7th, 2022.
From the mainstream side of the country music realm, For Love & Country features artists such as Breland, Blanco Brown, Shy Carter, Brittney Spencer, and Mickey Guyton among others. From what many would consider the folk or “Americana” side of roots music, the film features Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, and Valerie June. For Love & Country also delves lightly into the history of country music and race, specifically highlighting the legacy of Charley Pride.
Though the film means well, and is generally well-made with superb cinematography and high production value, the approach and information conveyed in the film is problematic to say the least, actively participating in erasing the legacy of Black country artists in a film that purports to be championing them in the name of equity.
When For Love & Country was first released, Saving Country Music screened the film and saw its inherent flaws, but not wanting to influence the momentum of the film, decided to reserve comment. However, in a recent op/ed in CMT where performer and For Love & Country participant Breland falsely claims that country music has a “long and violent history with race” while citing this film as where the evidence for the claim can be found, it necessitated a re-watching, as well as a rebuttal.
SPOILER ALERT: There are no instances of “country music” perpetrating violence on Black people—meaning where someone of color was physically assaulted—let alone a “long and violent” history of such activity. In fact, no instance of violence by country music is cited, or even alluded to in the film, or anywhere else in media, or in history. There most certainly is a history of Black performers having a harder time breaking into the country music industry because of inherent prejudices and misconceptions. But conflating American history with country history is unhelpful to the cause, while perpetrating easily refuted falsehoods like the ones found within For Love & Country erodes the viability of all the arguments the film attempts to make.
Among the many criticisms for the documentary, the first is that the creators curiously excluded country artists that actually sound country and fit intuitively within the genre. Though it’s easy and often unfair to criticize any particular list or work for overlooking certain specific artists, For Love & Country seems to go out of its way to avoid Black performers that embrace the conventional country sound, while exclusively highlighting artists that arguably do not.
Where is Chapel Hart, who recently earned a Golden Ticket on America’s Got Talent, and have been featured on CMT’s Next Women of Country? Where is Saving Country Music 2021 Artist of the Year Charley Crockett? Where is Aaron Vance? Where is Tony Jackson? Where is Wendy Moten and others? They’re nowhere to be found on For Love & Country, even though these are the artists that are infiltrating the country music community, breaking down barriers, and challenging stereotypes successfully, while not alienating the expectations to listeners.
For many of country music’s core audience, they wouldn’t question the country credentials of Chapel Hart or Tony Jackson, while they most certainly call into question Breland and Blanco Brown being characterized as legitimate country stars instead of derivative pop/hip-hop interlopers who migrated into country trying to capitalize off the success of Lil Nas X. For Black artists to make a difference in country music, they must be Black, but they also must be country. Otherwise, their presence in the country music space has no meaning, and is more about marketing.
Even artists who straddle the line between genres, but still include a core country appeal such as The War & Treaty who just recently signed to Universal Music Group Nashville are nowhere to be found For Love & Country. Neither is Yola, who’s seen wide success blending country and soul. But perhaps most shocking is the film even left out arguably the most prominent Black country performer of the current era: Darius Rucker.
You get a sense that these excluded artists did not fit the narrative that the filmmakers wanted to present, which is that Black artists have always been excluded from country music, and that their incorporation is very recent. Sure, perhaps some performers weren’t available to participate in the documentary proper. But if you’re going to tell the story of Black artists in country music, the genre’s embrace of Darius Rucker in 2008—now almost 15 years ago—is nothing less than essential.
Darius Rucker’s move to country resulted in three consecutive #1 albums and four #1 albums in total, as well as ten #1 songs, including his debut single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” which compared to much of today’s country, is a more traditional-sounding track. The problem was that these truths throw the characterization of For Love & Country into question. So instead, Darius Rucker’s entire legacy is ignored, including his Grand Ole Opry membership, his Grammy Award for his rendition of “Wagon Wheel,” and all other accomplishments.
They also ignore Kane Brown and his eight #1s, starting in early 2017. And even though some country purists would scoff at Darius Rucker and especially Kane Brown being considered in the country conversation, both artists at times in their careers have released songs that are unquestionably country, including Kane Brown who gained popularity early on singing covers of Randy Travis and George Strait songs on social media. You get a sense that these artist who actually have a respect for the sonic parameters of country music are seen as Uncle Tom’s in the perspective of this film’s creators.
There are many other Black artists within the Americana realm that also could have been highlighted, from Tré Burt, to Kaia Kater, to Joy Oladokun, Leyla McCalla, Tammi Savoy, Milton Patton, Sunny War, Ben Hunter, Rissi Palmer, Miko Marks, Dom Flemons, AHI, and others. Simply running through a list of all the Black artists in the greater country and roots realm helps to highlight just how inclusive the community has become in recent years. Though it’s unquestionable there still could be more Black artists in country music, and more opportunities for these artists, it’s not 2008 when Darius Rucker first arrived, and Keb’ Mo’ and the Carolina Chocolate Drops were some of the few Black performers in Americana.
Within the first three minutes of the film, the timeline of when Black artists impacted mainstream country music in the modern era is mischaracterized when Jimmie Allen is presented as the first Black artist to have a debut single peak at #1 in country music history, referencing Allen’s “Best Shot,” which hit #1 in November of 2018. This is the first of many false or misleading facts presented in the film. As mentioned previously, Darius Rucker’s debut country single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” from 2008 also debuted at #1. Rewriting the script by a decade, and writing Darius Rucker and Kane Brown out of the country music picture, For Love & Country presents an inaccurate timeline of the importance, success, and integration of Black contributors in today’s country music.
But arguably the worst offense of For Love & Country is the wholesale erasure of Black contributors from country music’s past, most notably Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Charles, Country Music Hall of Famer DeFord Bailey, along with major label artist Stoney Edwards, pioneering Black female artist Linda Martell, “Big” Al Downing who charted multiple Top 20 singles for Warner Bros., appeared on the Grand Ole Opry and Hee-Haw, and was nominated for the ACMs New Artist of the Year, the and others to once again assert the false claim that a rule was in place in country music that only allowed one Black artist to be successful, and that role was fulfilled by Charley Pride. Not only does this claim erase the contributions of other prominent Black country artists, it tokenizes Charley Pride’s success.
Since they can’t erase Charley Pride’s 29 #1 hits, his 1971 CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year (the 5th artist ever to win the award), his two consecutive Male Vocalist of the Year awards in 1971 and 1972 (the 1st ever male two-time winner) as easily as they can the legacy of Ray Charles, Stoney Edwards, and others, they basically chalk Charley Pride’s success up to a smoke screen that the powers that be in country music allowed to happen so they couldn’t be accused of being racist, which ultimately discounts Pride’s accomplishments, including knocking down the color barrier.
For Love & Country was written in part by Elamin Abdelmahmoud, a Sudanese-born, Canadian-based journalist for Buzzfeed. He was also the author of the lengthy, widely-shared feature article “Jason Isbell Is Tired of Country’s Love Affair with White Nostalgia” published in Buzzfeed in mid December of 2021, which included a host of false claims and mischaracterizations, including that country music had been “violent” toward Black women without presenting any supporting instances or evidence. Elamin Abdelmahmoud also falsely claimed in the article, “In the era of Charley Pride, country music’s biggest Black superstar, there was a pervading ethos that country music only has room for one Black star.” This falsehood ended up being carried over into For Love & Country.
When Ray Charles was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, many cited his landmark 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country Music as the reason he deserved the accolade, often citing a quote from Willie Nelson that reads, “I think Ray Charles did as much as anybody when he did his country music album.” But as well-meaning as Willie Nelson was with the quote, he was incorrect. Ray’s Modern Sounds did become a massive #1 hit record in both pop and country, but so did the follow up album Modern Sounds in Country Music Vol. 2 released later in 1962.
But that was just the beginning of Ray’s career in country. Ray Charles also released five country albums for Columbia Records between the years 1983 and 1987. During this era of the career of Ray Charles, he performed country music predominantly, and was considered a country star. Ray Charles scored a #1 album in country with his 1984 release Friendship, a #1 song in country with “Seven Spanish Angels,” and six total Top 20 singles in country just in this specific era in the 80s, including the #6 charting “We Didn’t See a Thing” with George Jones and Chet Atkins. This era of the Ray Charles career is regularly overlooked, despite its top-level successes. This era also overlapped when Charley Pride was still very much active in popular country music as well, dispelling the “country music only has room for one Black star” falsehood.
During the heyday of Charley Pride, you also had a black woman, Anita Pointer, score a #2 song in country with Earl Thomas Conley in 1986 with “Too Many Times.” Linda Martell became the first black solo woman to appear on the Grand Ole Opry in 1970, and appeared on the program a total of 12 times. She also appeared on Hee-Haw and other country programs, and charted multiple singles including “Color Him Father” and “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” in 1969.
And most commonly and scandalously overlooked, Stoney Edwards released eight country albums between 1971 and 1991, including six for Capitol Records, and released 26 total singles, including the Top 20 hits “She’s My Rock” (1972) and “Mississippi You’re On My Mind” (1975). Stoney had a successful quarter century career in country music as a Black man, and despite the characterization made in For Love & Country, Stoney Edwards was signed to Capitol Records by well-known producer Ken Nelson specifically because of the success of Charley Pride. Like other producers and managers in country music, Ken Nelson believed that Pride’s success presented a new paradigm in country music they needed to capitalize on. This also was considered part of the calculus when Plantation Records signed Linda Martell, who also released and charted singles and albums simultaneous to Charley Pride.
Incidentally, Saving Country Music published a retrospective on Stoney Edwards to mark the 25th Anniversary of his death on April 5th, 2022, which resolved in a call to re-release his catalog digitally since it had gone ignored in the digital age. Two months later and in honor of Black Music Month, UMG Nashville/UMe officially digitally reissued all six of Stoney’s major label albums. A press release was sent out by UMG celebrating the moment, yet only a few outlets covered it, and it went ignored by journalists and outlets who claim advocacy for African Americans in country music.
Stoney Edwards had a successful career in country music as both a performer and songwriter, with George Jones, Emmylou Harris, and others covering his songs. But as we’ve seen throughout the history of country music, having talent, and being signed to a major label does not guarantee you overwhelming success, regardless of race. Most certainly, Stoney Edwards, Linda Martell, O.B. McClinton, and even Charley Pride faced a greater uphill battle compared to their white counterparts.
But the lack of superstar success for Stoney Edwards and others can’t be assumed to only have to do with race, any more than the success they did enjoy should be discounted just because it didn’t rise to the status of Charley Pride. When Stoney Edwards was signed to Capitol, he was 41, and had suffered serious health setbacks due to an industrial accident earlier in his life. In truth, there was a dearth of Black performers coming forward in country music at that time because of the stereotype that country music was predominantly a white art form. This was just as much of a factor for the lack of Black performers in country music as anything.
And it’s not just Elamin Abdelmahmoud’s writing in For Love & Country that forwards this “one Black star” falsehood that has now become inaccurately synonymous with country music history. It’s also carried forward by the supposed experts the film interviews, underscoring this false characterization, and exacerbating the erasure issue.
“We’ve seen throughout history that representation is not enough, or Charley Pride would have fixed everything,” says activist and journalist Andrea Williams at the 58-minute mark of the film. “There have always been moments where you see this kind of push of Black artists trying to get in, but then ultimately being shut out. Charley Pride becomes this massive success, so of course other Black people think this is my opportunity. But the walls came down pretty quickly because there could only be one.”
But of course, there was more than one, while the names of the artists who tried to get in at that time and didn’t seems to be resigned to one that For Love & Country could find: Frankie Staton. In the film, Frankie Staton says about Charley Pride, “It solidified the powers that be the ability to say, ‘We’re not prejudice, we have Charley Pride. We have a Black man in country music. I want to quote Dr. Cleve Francis on this. He said, ‘Some 30 million Black people. We shook the country music tree, and one brother fell out, when I know there were many more trying.'”
With that quote, Cleve Francis and Frankie Staton erase that Hall of Fame legacy of DeFord Bailey, who performed on the Grand Ole Opry for 16 years, and was the first ever performer on the show. They erase Ray Charles and Stoney Edwards. They erase Linda Martell, who performed on the Grand Ole Opry when segregation was still an issue throughout the American South, not to mention scores of other Black artists, including ones who may have never seen major mainstream success, but still contributed, including Dr. Cleve Francis himself.
Cleve Francis is a cardiologist from Louisiana, who paused his medical career in the late 80s and early 90s to release four studio albums, including three for major label EMI imprint Liberty Records, which is now known as Capitol Nashville. Dr. Francis was signed to the the label by famous producer Jimmy Bowen. Unfortunately for Cleve, his singles didn’t fare well, and he chose to return to cardiology. But country music gave him a major label deal, which once again disproves the “one Black artist” theory, and Cleve’s own quote. And of course, For Love & Country includes the Cleve Francis quote, but no information on the Dr. Cleve Francis career in country music.
Clearly, and without question, Black performers looking to break through in country music have always been at a disadvantage. For Love & Country does a good job illustrating this with first hand accounts from Black artists about their experiences that should make everyone in the country music community take pause, and ponder the “othering” that has happened to Black contributors for decades.
For Love & Country also does a good job delving into why this “othering” has occurred, including the bifurcating of country music down racial lines in the prewar era for marketing purposes, the misconception that pervades throughout popular culture that country music is exclusively white, along with the enhanced difficulties for Black performers to find traction and support in the country music industry and marketplace.
But another reason the general public believes that Black artists don’t belong in country music is because the legacies of prominent Black contributors continue to be downgraded or outright erased in the public record. And no, it’s not white supremacists or the country music industry that is participating in this Black erasure, it is the activist class made up of a cloistered set of echo-chambered journalists and academics who see country music as a fruitful refraction point for forwarding their professional careers, sowing clout in social circles, and finding traction to launch viral tweets on Twitter.
This creates a regime of perverse incentives for the activist class that created and contributed to For Love & Country that we have now seen play out on numerous occasions, where Black contributions are either erased to embellish injustices, or to celebrate “firsts” that had been accomplished years previous. The false narratives surrounding Lil Nas X’s removal from the Billboard country charts, the assertion that Mickey Guyton was the first black woman to play the ACM Awards in 2020, or that Wu Tang Clan was the first ever black act (or first hip-hop act) to ever play the Ryman Auditorium in 2018, along with many other examples are where we’ve seen this in action, further spreading the idea that Black artists in country are either completely unwelcome, or an entirely new phenomenon, which ultimately becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy by dis-incentivizing potential future artists from pursuing careers in country music, and from Black listeners becoming a part of country music’s audience, exacerbating the inventory issue that is part of the reason for a lack of Black representation in country.
There is also a political motivation for some of these activists who simply see the racial quotient as a proxy to forwarding their plans to undermine the values of country music’s more conservative fan base, to then supplant those values with their own value system through highlighting performers they feel are more like-minded to their cause. It’s not necessarily the political motivation itself, but the surreptitious nature that makes their use of the race issue in country music troublesome, and is also likely the reason these same journalists and academics exclude certain Black country contributors from their narratives—wary these specific Black artists do not share their political perspective.
“Historically, the country music industry has really capitalized on finding a base audience of white conservatives, and that is a pocket of consumers that doesn’t exist across the board elsewhere,” says journalist and professor Amanda Martinez, who has taught country history classes. “In the late 1970s, the U.S. took a really conservative turn. The cowboy came back into fashion. And this was coupled with Ronald Reagan assuming the presidency in 1980, and he sells himself as a cowboy. And in turn, the country music industry and the CMA in particular rally leaned into those associations.”
But this is a very stereotyped version of country history, and one that excludes one of the most prominent and important movements that emerged 40 years ago. It was during the Reagan 80s when the progressive sound and approach of artists such as Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Earle took root in country music, and found great commercial success, including recognition from the CMA. These artists planted the seeds for what ultimately would become alt-country, and what we call Americana today.
These progressive country artists at times took very left-leaning perspectives on current events, and that is what we see today in the Americana class of performers and fans. By including artists such as Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah in the cast of For Love & Country, it’s imperative to also cite the Americana community of which they are a part of. It’s these two artists who give the most harrowing accounts of being judged for being Black in the music industry, and specifically for playing the banjo. But those weren’t country music experiences. Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah weren’t experiencing this discrimination on Music Row. These are experiences these artists faced in the folk and Americana realms, and in an environment dominated by professed liberals.
Let’s also not forget that it was during this same era of the Reagan 80s that Ray Charles signed his five-album deal with Columbia Records, and was charting albums and singles, refuting the idea that it was during this era that anti-Black conservatives took root in country music. Charley Pride also remained active during this era, charting seven #1 singles.
Professor and journalist Amanda Martinez goes on to say in the film, “By the 1990s, country music was the most popular format on the radio. And of course, it all funnels back to radio, because radio is the most influential force within the country music business.”
But this again forwards misconceptions and erasing elements upon the country narrative. Common among the activist class is a very base understanding of country music as being almost myopically centered around radio and Nashville. For Love & Country underscores this misconception as one of the films core assertions.
As Saving Country Music explained recently in the article “Quit Claiming Mainstream Country Radio is the Only Way To Success,” only focusing on radio systemically downgrades contributors who are not on the format as if they don’t exist. It’s a form of erasure in itself. Mainstream country radio at this point is a niche market appealing to a niche audience that is in no way representative of country music at large, accounting for less than 1% of the practicing musicians in the genre. Using radio panels to represent the entire population of country performers is an easily-refuted red herring that similar to the “one Black artist” mantra continues to be employed irresponsibly, and in a way that eliminates an entire class of country music creators.
The 2nd biggest artist in all of country music at the moment is Zach Bryan according to the Billboard Country Albums chart, and he’s virtually non-existent on radio. Tyler Childers has minted three Certified Platinum records and a Double Platinum record without radio. Kacey Musgraves won the CMA, ACM, country Grammy, and all-genre Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her album Golden Hour without significant radio play.
Radio play is not the only measurement of success in country music, or even acceptance within the genre, and hasn’t been for years. And the country music landscape is much more omnivorous than just Nashville. Though Nashville is certainly the most important epicenter in country music, there is a whole scene in Texas, with superstars selling out arenas, its own radio network, touring circuit, festivals, awards, and recording infrastructure.
So the ultimate question is, why do we continue to see the erasure of Black and Brown contributors and accomplishments in country music, and commonly from the same crop of activist journalists and academics who proport to be for resetting the legacy of Black artists in the genre? Some of it might have to do with ignorance, and lack of a depth of knowledge about country music.
For Love & Country contributor Andrea Williams is primarily a sports writer. Buzzfeed‘s Elamin Abdelmahmoud hosts pop and political podcasts. It doesn’t mean these individuals cannot speak or share their opinions on country music, or bring important perspectives as Black individuals who find passion in this subject matter. But in the case of the For Love & Country film, they should have consulted with individuals with more depth of knowledge about the Black legacy in country music who could tell them it was imperative to mention the legacies of Ray Charles and Darius Rucker at the least. Otherwise, it erodes the important arguments and perspectives For Love and Country looks to share. They should have found perspectives beyond the cloistered Twitter echo chambers many of these elite-class academics and journalists dwell in where falsehoods such as “one Black artist” fester, and are parroted unchallenged in a cloud of cognitive dissonance.
Or, perhaps these individuals do know about Darius Rucker and the country career of Ray Charles. After all, if they claim to be experts on the Black legacy in country music, how couldn’t they? But with perverse incentives to portray things as being worse than they are to create leverage against the country music industry, perhaps the erasure is not as innocent.
Despite not including Darius Rucker, Ray Charles, Stoney Edwards, and others, For Love & Country interviews numerous Black Nashville residents about their perspective on country music. In fact, the main recurring character in the film is a local Nashville native named Mike Floss. Near the end of the film, he states, “It’s not just [about] opportunity, because opportunity just gives you the chance to operate within the parameters that’s already set before you walk in the door. But power gives you the opportunity to do something pure. If we could change that, if we could hold power, that’s the key.”
Power is often what these individuals are after: power over country music’s institutions, power over the CMA, power over the radio format and festivals. Most certainly, Black people should not be excluded from positions of power in country music. But if they assume these positions of power, they should also be of the country community, and advocates for the music as opposed to other objectives. They should know about the important Black contributors and groundbreakers in country music, as opposed to being either ignorant of them, or actively working to erase them for potentially ulterior purposes.
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Amid the formation of the Country Music Association (CMA) and the opening of the original Country Music Hall of Fame in the late 60’s, CMA and Hall of Fame founders Tex Ritter and “Uncle” Joe Allison commissioned the well-known American Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton to make a painting called “The Sources of Country Music” (see below). Currently residing in the Country Music Hall of Fame rotunda, and positioned to be the very first thing you see as you walk into the room, the painting was not only the last work of Thomas Hart Benton, it is also considered to be one of his finest, and it is the most expensive artifact within the Hall of Fame’s possession—even more expensive than the guitar of Hank Williams, or the mandolin of Bill Monroe.
The six foot high and ten foot wide painting portrays a chorus of Gospel singers, two fiddlers for the mountain music influence, two women to represent the female impact on country with one playing a dulcimer, multiple couples near the back dancing, a towering cowboy picking out a Western tune on guitar, and a black man sitting on a stump, playing a banjo. In the background is also a railroad engine, a steamboat, a church, and four African Americans standing on the shore of the river, with their hands outstretched in song.
Tex Ritter, Joe Allison, and Thomas Benton were purposeful and forward thinking with who and what they chose to include in the painting so that no matter what happened in the future, the sources of country music were cemented in time. They specifically made sure to include Black individuals foundational to the sound and formation of country music, along with a banjo whose origins come from Africa and the Caribbean. Perhaps at the time, this was a controversial decision to some who saw country music as primarily a white art form. But today, this artistic representation is just as imperative to fighting back the false perception of some that the Black legacy in country music was erased, despite it being well-ensconced within the tomes of historical literature, as well as institutions such as the Country Music Hall of Fame. You can argue with some who’ve never read the literature and don’t know this history is there, but you can’t argue with a picture.
The problem with the lack of Black participation in country music has always been one of perception. The founders of the CMA, and the historical record has always been expressive and accurate on the importance of Black string band and blues performers to the country music sound. Though For Love & Country does work to attempt to explain this, by focusing more on showcasing modern performers well outside of that sonic heritage, avoiding other performers that reside well within it, while also inaccurately portraying historical truths, the film arguably does just as much harm as good to accurately portraying the role of Black creators in country music.
…and even in the film’s activist approach, it most certainly does not in any way characterize or verify country music having a “long and violent history” towards Black performers, despite the assertion of Breland and CMT.
August 22, 2022 @ 10:36 am
Few people realize that Johnny Cash’s song, “Man in Black,” was actually written about Charley Pride.
August 22, 2022 @ 10:52 am
I don’t think that’s right.
August 22, 2022 @ 10:57 am
Yeah I have to agree with Trig….
August 22, 2022 @ 1:22 pm
No, it’s true. He was first going to name it, “Man In Red,” for Captain Kangaroo, then “Man in Green” in honor of Mr. Green Jeans, but then he saw a photo of Charley Pride, and a hit was born.
August 24, 2022 @ 7:40 am
Your a racists POS
August 24, 2022 @ 10:47 am
Well, there’s only one of me, but what on earth makes you think I am a racist?
(Watch this, folks!)
David: The Duke of Everything
August 22, 2022 @ 5:33 pm
August 22, 2022 @ 10:38 am
Maybe he should take a one way trip to Sudan. I hear it’s such a perfect nice, peaceful and prosperous place. Can’t image why anyone would leave there? Oh and while there PLEASE in this bravery write or create plenty of these fact filled pieces that take on the culture of the place while living there as well. I’m sure it will be a huge hit!
Jer in Idaho
August 22, 2022 @ 4:12 pm
Huh? What in the world does Sudan have to do with American country music? You’re on the wrong continent my guy. Oh, I get it. In an article about Black people, one can never pass up a chance to point out that “Africa is a shithole.” That way you can tell complainers to “go back home!” even though they’ve had nothing to do with that continent for generations? Or is it to infer everything about Black Americans is shit just like “their” continent? Please do explain the relevance of your Africa bashing.
August 22, 2022 @ 5:07 pm
Wow. You didn’t even read the article. A perfect example of a clueless emotional thinker that just broke themself. Must be fun walking around stepping on rakes.
Jer in Idaho
August 22, 2022 @ 5:35 pm
What, the one reference to Elamin Abdelmahmoud? So if you’re from Africa, you’re not allowed to point out or condemn racism?. I’m completely stumped on the logic there bud.
August 22, 2022 @ 6:04 pm
I don’t like the personal criticisms for Elamin Abdelmahmoud, and they are unhelpful to this cause. He has a right to an opinion just like everyone else. But falsely asserting that country music had some sort of unspoken rule that there could only be one Black artist or “star” at a time is so irresponsibly and verifiably false, it should be roundly and vehemently rejected by polite society, and Elamin Abdelmahmoud should apologize for this egregious assertion that is actively erasing the legacy of Black performers in country music.
What an insult to Stoney Edwards and his family. What an insult to Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Charles, and there will be absolutely no apologies, personal reflections, or even dispassionate dialogue shared over this issue. They will simply cast me as a racist so they won’t have to answer for the truth, and that will resolve all issues in their mind. Because they believe they are morally superior, as they exterminate Black contributors from country history.
August 27, 2022 @ 2:17 pm
Its more than that, its ignorant. You hear it all the time, “country music is racist because it doesnt honor those who created the genre: blacks”. Which is absurd and false on so many levels. First country music absolutely honors all genders and races. Second, the genre was created by many people, not solely blacks. German, Irish, Mexican, and Appalachian folks all contributed. To boil it down to “colonizers stole our music, muh capitalism, muh patriarchy” is such a simplistic and sophomoric reading of the history of the genre as to be completely laughable on its face. I want Country to honor all who helped it become what it is, be they white, black or purple. But this sort of revisionist woke PC baby nonsense thats trotted out by people like that is so dumb. Everything to them is boiled down to “America sucks, men suck, straight cis men suck, and capitialism is evil”. Well good luck with that, folks!
Jer in Idaho
August 27, 2022 @ 6:03 pm
Troubadour, I’m with you. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. If you read my comments, I NEVER defended Abdelmahmoud’s assertions or anyone who claims Blacks (alone) created country music. It’s simply not true and one thing I cannot stand is claims of cultural appropriation. Culture is meant to evolve and be shared.
But I also will never stand for “go back to your shithole country.” This is always a racist statement. I served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and can’t stand the xenophobic stereotypes. I will never let that bullshit go, but sorry if anyone misunderstood my issue.
August 22, 2022 @ 10:56 am
All you needed to say is didn’t mention Darius Rucker. That’s either gross incompetence or malice. Everyone knows about Darius. Hell, I was just at the dentist and the hygienist was saying she’s not into country, but she brought up Zac Brown and Darius Rucker.
August 22, 2022 @ 11:30 am
I travel a ridiculous amount for work. And I’m always in lyfts are Ubers. Drivers always ask for my favorite genre of music. I’ve just stopped telling you I like country music and just keep silent and slip my headphones on. It’s annoying most of the time because they will say I’ve been listening to country too. That so and so is good. Usually, when they tell you who they have been listening I know immediately that Mike and the Moonpies will not be their cup of tea.
August 22, 2022 @ 12:05 pm
As I said in the article, it’s real easy whenever someone compiles a list of artists, or puts together a documentary like this to say, “Hey, where’s this person?” and it can also be disingenuous. I can’t blame someone for not knowing about Stoney Edwards or O.B. McClinton, or even Charley Crockett and Tony Jackson. These are not household names.
But Darius Rucker and Ray Charles are, and the reason they weren’t even mentioned in passing is because their careers blow up the entire narrative this film presents, which is that there was only ever one Black country star (Charley Pride), and then there is the new crop of artists that start with Jimmie Allen in 2018. This is Black erasure by definition, and it happens over and over again. The hubris of the filmmakers to believe they could cancel Darius Rucker’s contributions and distort the modern era timeline by 10 years I think speaks to the ulterior purposes at work here.
August 22, 2022 @ 11:16 am
This is really well done. But you should have put a “Trigger” warning on it, for all the seething you’re likely causing right now with all these….FACTS.
For anyone who agrees with Trigger because they know country music history (unlike the activists that worked on this propaganda film), but you think this kind of mischaracterization and blatant lying are somehow limited to country music, lookup the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.
August 22, 2022 @ 12:46 pm
Yeah, the usual suspects on Twitter are not debating any of the points made here, are not attempting to defend the film, or the decisions to exclude certain artists or why, it’s “go to hell,” “you’re a racist mysogynistic POS,” when I am the one actively working to make sure the legacies of these Black performers are being placed in the proper context, and not forgotten.
The positions I made were well-researched. They were offered in good faith. I don’t think the film is without merit, but it definitely deserved rebuttal and criticism. This is how debate and intellectualism is supposed to work. But to them, they assert their ideologies, and any counter-arguments are brushed off with insults. It’s really a shame, because these are important issues that deserve spirited debate and rigorous dialogue.
August 22, 2022 @ 1:05 pm
“This is how debate and intellectualism is supposed to work. But to them, they assert their ideologies, and any counter-arguments are brushed off with insults. It’s really a shame, because these are important issues that deserve spirited debate and rigorous dialogue.”
And, you did the exact same thing with your comments on the Willie article, 2 days ago.
Trying to raise you up to the utmost, highest standard.
You have it in you. Up to you whether you are going to reach the top of the pinnacle.
You are either shooting for journalistic excellence, or you’re not.
My bet is on you.
August 22, 2022 @ 1:08 pm
Bet you didn’t see that coming at all!
You could ask the guy in blackblock if he read the article but it would be rhetorical.
King Honky Of Crackershire
August 22, 2022 @ 4:29 pm
You should try telling them that you understand and sympathize with their position, and then insist that you’re not a racist. Then, they’ll take you seriously.
August 23, 2022 @ 8:33 pm
This review misunderstands the point of the film completely. This is a film about the experiences of contemporary Black artists in Nashville today and the barriers and double standards they face. No film could be comprehensive in documenting every Black artist in the history of country music, nor should one try. Your “what aboutism,” and the claim here that you are righting the wrongs of this film by naming every Black artist ironically makes the point that there have, in fact, been strikingly few commercially successful Black artists throughout country music’s entire century-long history. The legacy for why that has been the case continues to play out today, in an industry that continues to place extra barriers to success for Black artists—which is precisely what this film documents.
August 23, 2022 @ 9:17 pm
Let’s not kid ourselves here – it is nothing more than another money grab by BLM’ers looking for another way to profit, while screeching, racism.
Those of us out here running with our global buddies, of many ethnicities, & cultures, are having a good time, visiting with each orher, appreciating all the differences (and mostly, sameness) that we bring to the table.
Next screecher. We can do this all night.
The SCM community is vast, worldwide, with a wealth of knowledge from, The Trigger.
Really fun, informative interaction, where so much musical info is passed back & forth.
Talk to me about Rhiannon Giddens.
Let’s start there.
How do you feel about her incredible, They’re Calling Me Home?
The song is a MASTERPIECE
August 23, 2022 @ 9:33 pm
Thanks for chiming in.
I completely agree that “what aboutism” is inherently unfair and unhelpful, and expressed this very thing in the sixth paragraph of the review. I also reinforced this in a comment above, ‘It’s real easy whenever someone compiles a list of artists, or puts together a documentary like this to say, ‘Hey, where’s this person?’ and it can also be disingenuous.”
But that is not what is going on here at all. I did try to list a lot of Black artists from the past and present in this article—though certainly not a complete one—just to take the opportunity to drop these names to hopefully increase name recognition, and give folks some names of artists to look into if they so choose.
But the specific issue that I found most problematic with this film is that it very expressly states there was only “one Black artist” and only “one Black star” in country music before Jimmie Allen. This is an irresponsibly false assertion, and one that is false on a number of different gradients, and a misconception that I have been on record fighting against well before this film was even conceived.
There are three Black performers in the Country Music Hall of Fame: DeFord Bailey, who was the first performer on the Opry, and played on the Opry for 16 years, Ray Charles who released seven major label country albums, and scored #1 songs and #1 albums in country, as well as Charley Pride. This in itself dispels the “one Black artist” falsehood.
There were eight Black country performers signed to major labels and released charting country singles before Jimmie Allen: Ray Charles, Charley Pride, Stoney Edwards, “Big” Al Downing, Cleve Francis, Darius Rucker, Kane Brown, and Mickey Guyton. Not to mention other performers such as Linda Martell and O.B. McClinton who also charted singles and released albums.
Saying there is was only “one Black artist” in country music, then doubling, and tripling down on that narrative like this film does—while not highlighting any of these artists (except Guyton)—reinforces a falsehood that actively erases the legacies of these Black country performers, and ultimately, reinforces a stereotype that Black artists don’t play country music, or shouldn’t play country music, or that Black artists performing country music is a new phenomenon.
I remain shocked as to why individuals who profess themselves as leaders in returning Black artists to their rightful place in country music continue to reinforce this clearly false claim as opposed to challenging it. I remained stupefied that when I challenge it, I am told, “Kyle, go to hell,” like Holly G of the Black Opry responded. I think they would be as insulted as I am—if not more—that the legacies of DeFord Bailey, Ray Charles, and Darius Rucker, and others are being stricken from the record. Remember, in the first 3 minutes of this film, Jimmie Allen is given credit for having the first debut #1 single in country music when Darius Rucker did this a decade before.
It’s very simple: you’ve got to get your facts straight. And unfortunately, the creators of this film reside in echo chambers where mantras such as “one Black artists” spread like a contagion and go unchallenged. And when meaningful, educated, researched, and constrictive criticism is asserted—like in this review—it is cast off as racism.
“The legacy for why that has been the case continues to play out today, in an industry that continues to place extra barriers to success for Black artists—which is precisely what this film documents.”
I 100% agree, and as I said in the review,
“For Love & Country also does a good job delving into why this “othering” has occurred, including the bifurcating of country music down racial lines in the prewar era for marketing purposes, the misconception that pervades throughout popular culture that country music is exclusively white, along with the enhanced difficulties for Black performers to find traction and support in the country music industry and marketplace.
But another reason the general public believes that Black artists don’t belong in country music is because the legacies of prominent Black contributors continue to be downgraded or outright erased in the public record.”
That is what I am fighting back against here, and it should be something we all agree on.
August 24, 2022 @ 8:25 am
The “one Black star” narrative references the reality that, over the past century, there has only been one longterm Black star in country music. You reference Deford Bailey and Ray Charles, but not how they were treated by the industry at the peak of their careers in country music. Bailey was referred to as the Opry’s “mascot” by his colleagues on the Opry and was fired by the early 40s and lived his life out in poverty as a shoe shiner. When Modern Sounds was released in 1962 it was not embraced by Nashville as country. Wesley Rose, who oversaw the rights to many of the songs on the album, even tried to prevent Charles from recording them because he didn’t want them associated with a Black man.
McClinton had to forever live his career in the shadow of Pride as “the other one,” a phrase that references a common refrain in Nashville that there is only room for one Black man at a time (Bobby Braddock has put this in much worse terms, saying “Nashville is a one n-word town”). Edwards, like McClinton only had a string of minor hits. Martell was treated as a novelty by Shelby Singleton who consciously put her, a Black woman, on Plantation Records. Cleve Francis has discussed at length how he was discriminated against in Nashville. Regarding more recent decades, Rucker (who was already a big name in music before coming to country) has fit the “only one Black man in Nashville” narrative, he has filled that void. Guyton, while profiled in the national media and nominated for a Grammy, is still not played on country radio–which is crucial given that it’s the main ticket to commercial success in country music. In recent years Allen has emerged, but again if we frame the history of country music as “only one Black man allowed in Nashville” at a time, we see how he fills that void as Rucker has gotten older.
The common thread in all of this is again what the film documents: the experience of Black artists, on their terms, and how they continue to face racial discrimination by the industry.
The point of the film is not to say “Black country artists exist and have existed”; it takes that as a given (as evidenced by the several contemporary Black country artists in the film). It is to document how they have been received by the industry.
One other thing, there is a key distinction between country music the nebulous/undefinable art form, and country music the business as defined by Nashville. This film is about the latter, and who does and does not have access to the business and all the wealth it creates. As you have acknowledged yourself, Black and Brown artists/fans/influences have always been present in country music and contributed to it. So why have there not been more commercially successful Black (and Brown) artists supported by the industry enough for them to have had sustained, real careers as country artists?? That is the simple question the film asks.
August 24, 2022 @ 2:01 pm
Thanks again for engaging in this issue with discussion as opposed to insult. I believe these are very important issues, and ones that deserve rigorous dialog, and that the gulf between understanding is not as wide as some would characterize, or like to believe. We all care about the Black influence and legacy in country music. The concern here is for how it is being presented.
Without question, and to the point where it doesn’t even need to be spoken or enumerated—though it’s not harmful to do—Black country music performers throughout history have faced discrimination, inferior career outcomes, and uphill battles in succeeding in the genre. That is the baseline for all of these discussion. But in my opinion, this is all the more reason you MUST bring up the careers and accomplishments of DeFord Bailey and Ray Charles in the context of the legacy of Black artists in country music. They are in the Country Hall of Fame despite not amassing gaudy sales numbers, or careers that spanned for decades for this very reason.
But again, the “one Black artist at a time” narrative is false. The five major label albums Ray Charles released between 1983-1987, which included multiple #1’s was at the same time Charley Pride remained a relevant figure in country music—and when Ronald Reagan was President, incidentally. The career of Stoney Edwards also coincided with the career of Charley Pride. The quote from Elamin Abdelmahmoud states specifically, “In the era of Charley Pride, country music’s biggest Black superstar, there was a pervading ethos that country music only has room for one Black star.” That is incorrect. According to numerous historical accounts, Ken Nelson at Capitol Records in Los Angeles signed Stoney Edwards specifically due to the success of Charley Pride. And though I will give you that the success of O.B. McClinton and Linda Martel was fleeting and marginal, I would not say the same about Stoney Edwards. Stoney had hits, Stoney released songs that were covered by other prominent artists such as George Jones and Emmylou Harris, and he continues to be celebrated by traditional country fans as one of country music’s greatest singers.
…”is still not played on country radio–which is crucial given that it’s the main ticket to commercial success in country music.”
Again, this is a misconception. Kris Krisatofferson had one #1 song on radio, “Why Me” in 1973. Except for that, he didn’t have a single crack the Top 60 for the rest of his career, and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Johnny Cash had huge swaths of his career where radio ignored him in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and he’s arguably the most recognized country artist of all time. According to numerous consumption-based gradients, Zach Bryan is the 2nd biggest artist in country music right now, and Tyler Childers is in the Top 20. Neither of them have ever had a hit on radio. Same with Kacey Musgraves. Of course radio is a major player in country music, but it is insulting to the artists that built careers without it to act like its the only measurement to success, especially Black artists who face a natural disadvantage on the format.
All that I am arguing for here is that when we broach the subject of Black artists in country music—as well as Brown artists, women, and LGBT members—that we err on the side of giving more information that less. I totally understand the documentary not wanting to delve into the details of the careers of OB McClinton or Stoney Edwards, though I wish it would have. However, if you are going to triple down on the idea that there can only be one Black star in country, at the very least, name those stars. It would have taken 10 seconds to contextualize that a Black man was the first Opry performer ever and is in the Hall of Fame, and that Ray Charles had a Hall of Fame career too. And most definitely, you had to at least speak the name “Darius Rucker,” especially if you were going to falsely state in the first 3 minutes of the film that Jimmie Allen at the first debut #1 single, erasing a 10-year timeline.
These are very simple facts and clarifications that I feel most anyone deeply embedded in the country music community would have communicated to this film’s creators, and would have made for a more credible work. Instead, we saw many of the same false talking points parroted in redundant think pieces about country music and race end up in the final cut of this film, diluting the eventual product. I bring these points up, and talk so deeply about this issue because I care. I’ve been championing remembering the legacies of artists like Stoney Edwards, and forwarding the work of artists like Mickey Guyton, Chapel Hart, and Charley Crockett for years. That’s why I want to see them set in the proper context. But since the only people who’ve been allowed to speak on these matters are academics and their journalist allies connected on Twitter, healthy discussion and constructive criticism has been extricated from the process, with any dissent discounted as stupidity and racism. It’s hurting the cause by making it relevant to a fleeting portion of the country music population, while actual country fans see all of this as some sort of debasing anthropological exercise practiced by intellectual elites on the outside looking into actual country music culture.
August 24, 2022 @ 9:53 am
The point of the film is to shout racism.
You are willfully ignoring the question of Rhiannon Gidden’s astonishing song, They’re Calling Me Home.
Let’s break this down by degrees, so to speak.
A.S. All Shit
B.S. Bullshit Shit
M.S. More Shit
Ph.D. Piled Higher and Deeper
Thinking inside the box is fine in some cases.
Coloring inside the box is fine in some cases.
But, the real education begins when you start thinking outside the box, seeing what is really there.
Thinking it is ok to parrot all of the group think buds, when you might be the flavor of the month, insulates you for only so long.
Stop screeching racism.
Let’s talk about the enormous talent of Rhiannon Giddens.
August 22, 2022 @ 11:22 am
Growing up we were considered lower middle class. I grew up living in a single wide trailer and always had discounted lunch. Most of me and my sisters cloths were Walmart branded.
But when wed go visit family a state a way momma always had us where Tommy Hilfiger branded clothing. She associated that brand with not being lower middle class. And for some reason she thought it would make her family think we had more money than we really did. But you know what we were still just lower middle class.
Our society is so focused on making sure no one thinks that you are racist that they’ve forgotten to not be prejudice. They have no idea that it’s more important just to treat folks like you want to be treated. If you do that there’s no need to worry about how you’re perceived.
As for Breland I’m forced to listen to his music when my wife turns the knob to the highway on XM radio. I feel like he’s the guy that country music uses to prove to everyone else how inclusive they are. And maybe I’m wrong but listening to his songs I feel like he’s making fun of country music. But again his soul purpose isn’t to make good music it’s to be a poster child of Country music inclusivity. Thats why despite having songs that lack any substance he’s still pushed like the best thing since toilet paper. Now excuse me while I go give Charley Crockett a spin.
And… i’d love to know if Breland has any idea who Charley Crockett is?
August 22, 2022 @ 4:45 pm
They probably used to rap together on the new york subway.
August 22, 2022 @ 12:00 pm
Like everything woke, this is all about gaslighting. The people that are so convinced that real history isn’t being conveyed or taught are the ones that carefully mold and fake it to fit their agendas. What a travesty. So fake.
August 22, 2022 @ 12:12 pm
Since the demand for grievance has arguably outstripped the supply, facts are not on their side. Thus the gaslighting.
King Honky Of Crackershire
August 22, 2022 @ 5:11 pm
Wrong. The communists aren’t convinced real history isn’t being taught. They are intentionally teaching false history, in order to destroy. That’s what adherents to the religion of destruction do; they destroy stuff: institutions, buildings, nations, statues, history, people…If it’s in the way, it’s getting destroyed.
August 23, 2022 @ 1:54 am
Wow. When ever this an article about black singers the racists come out and show their ugly faces, and when honkey face says communists he means Intelligent thinking normal human beings who are against racism , see he is too stupid to know the actual meaning of communism, so he makes it up in his own facist delusional head, any way this was a great article and trigger brought up some really good points, I saw the trailer to the movie, it really does not look that good, so I was not planning on watching it any way.
August 27, 2022 @ 2:33 pm
This! Woke mind virus folks are the downfall of this nation. Communists and marxists and woke people have no place at all in country music. I dont want them in the industry. Dont want them in the scene. This music isnt for them. This music is about traditional america values, love of country, of family, of God, and respecting our culture. If that doesnt interest you, you need to find a new genre. I am sick of platforms being given to people like Karen Morris, Mickey and Isbell. All they do is complain, tear down, and lie about history. Can someone explain to me where in Nashville this supposed racist cabal is? They never can point it out. Its this ambiguous all encompassing threat. But it isnt real. Racists exist, in any genre or field. But Mickey and others seem to suggest Nashville is CRAWLING with racists. What evidence is there of that? She gets glowing reviews everywhere, and sang at the Super Bowl, and is interviewed by outlets like NPR who dont care an iota about country generally. Wow, how could the media blackball and blacklist her like that! How dare they! Bre as well. All they do is complain, complain, complain. How about maybe being thankful for being in a genre of such amazing history? Or being thankful you have a contract and are making bank? Woke mind virus is never satisfied. Thats why I never supported BLM and instead support all cops and all their actions. BLM will never be satisfied with anything. Reperations could happen tomorrow and they’d complaint he amount was in the billions instead of the trillions. Id rather support cops not criminals, thugs and hoodlums. I support all officers in the George Floyd case as well as Zimmerman, the Garner cops and the cops in the Jacob Blake case. I support Blue Lives Matter
August 22, 2022 @ 1:56 pm
Watching the documentary as I type…it’s terrible. That’s all I I got, not in the mood for trashing it any further. It certainly does not merit serious discussions of race, or music, or really anything. Looks nice, like Trigger said, I guess? Thats what you say when there’s nothing else nice to say.
August 22, 2022 @ 3:01 pm
Haven’t you heard, Trig?
Taylor Swift invented country music!
Anything before her didn’t happen!
King Honky Of Crackershire
August 22, 2022 @ 3:08 pm
Trigger doesn’t understand what’s going on, because he’s too busy trying to get the splinters, from the fence he’s been sitting on his entire life, out of his scrotum. So I’ll clarify.
A lot of right-wingers like to call communists “the REAL racists”, because of all these silly race games they play. I’ve even made that mistake myself, in the past.
The reality is, communists aren’t racists; they’re communists. They couldn’t care less about race. Race is a tool they can use for destruction, to advance their religion. A communist will call America a racist nation on Monday, and then on Tuesday, they’ll call a black person who opposes them, “a filthy house ni***r”.
This is why this silly communist documentary doesn’t mention any black C(c)ountry singers. The purpose of the documentary isn’t to promoting black C(c)ountry singers. The purpose of the documentary is to advance the religion of destruction, by erasing a truly American institution; that being C(c)ountry music.
August 22, 2022 @ 7:17 pm
Honky, get OFF Trigger’s ass.
If you have something to say – say it.
Leave the childish insults behind.
Trigger doesn’t owe you, or any of us, anything.
King Honky Of Crackershire
August 23, 2022 @ 4:46 am
The man is hilariously naïve. I’ve never seen someone so skilled, with such access to information, be so unwilling or unable to grasp or comprehend reality.
Look at him going up and down this comments section, trying to convince people that Country music isn’t racist, as if “Country music is racist” were a real premise that communists actually believe or care about.
How do you not make fun of that?
A little communist calls Trig a “f***ing moron”, and Trig devotes 3 paragraphs to trying to convince the little communist that he’s wrong.
It’s just hard to watch.
August 23, 2022 @ 9:59 am
“A little communist calls Trig a “f***ing moron”, and Trig devotes 3 paragraphs to trying to convince the little communist that he’s wrong.”
I regularly piggy back off of comments to make deeper points that I want to get out. I know some are un-convincable.
August 23, 2022 @ 10:19 am
Personally, i believe this is a Most Excellent article.
Kudos to Trig, on so many levels.
Trig did this right.
As we, go through life, we are constantly learning.
“It’s just hard to watch.”
Trig has a heart, just like the rest of us.
Insulting someone is not the way to go.
You have to Earn the right to poke fun at someone. Have a huge history/friendship. (Some friendships happen lightning fast.) So when you Do throw a comment their way, it brings a smile, some joy, laughter. Some want for introspection.
When you get down in the dirt, kick up some dust, that person knows, when the dust settles, you are going to be there, offering a hand up, standing beside them, brushing them off.
Now, someone needs to explain why Rhiannon Giddens isn’t in this “all inclusive” documentary.
Mr. Kissi, he of the Black Is King,
Kissi thinks because Black Is King, production with Beyonce (that i understand had GREAT costumes) is such a hit, why not exploit country music. Strike while the iron is hot. It’s all about the $’s. Look how it worked for the BLM shysters.
Still laughing over that one.
Let alone, the absolute idiocy of the last couple years.
Wishing you a good day, Honky
August 28, 2022 @ 6:31 pm
BLM and woke country sucks.
August 22, 2022 @ 4:55 pm
“So the ultimate question is, why do we continue to see the erasure of Black and Brown contributors and accomplishments in country music, and commonly from the same crop of activist journalists and academics who proport to be for resetting the legacy of Black artists in the genre? Some of it might have to do with ignorance, and lack of a depth of knowledge about country music.”
It isn’t about promoting country music. It’s about demeaning “whitey”, no matter how inaccurate, the dumb asses of this country (and there are many) will believe what they’re told to believe, from every medium.
Follow the money, see the agenda. Hate “whitey” is the current scam… that is problematic.
August 22, 2022 @ 5:45 pm
Don’t bring your nonsense wokism into our country music. Sounds like a disgusting way to erase country music history.
August 22, 2022 @ 5:52 pm
“Breland falsely claims that country music has a ‘long and violent history with race'”
You’re a fucking moron.
King Honky Of Crackershire
August 22, 2022 @ 7:37 pm
I’ll bet you’re 3 shades whiter than Casper the Ghost, and from an upper middle-class neighborhood.
August 22, 2022 @ 10:28 pm
I have been asking all day for someone to justify that Breland quote. Please, someone present ANY instance of “violence” being perpetrated upon Black performers by “country music.” Just one, let alone a “long and violent history” of such instances. And still silence, or insults.
I’ll take “You’re a fucking moron” as verification that you’re intellectually bankrupt, and have no point to make.
That’s all I’ve seen to day in rebuttal: insults. If you think it was justified to leave Ray Charles and Darius Rucker out of this documentary, speak up and tell us why. If you think it’s okay to claim Jimmie Allen had the first #1 debut by a Black artist in 2018 when Darius Rucker did it a decade before, let’s hear it. If you think it’s okay to say there was only “one Black artist” in country music when there’s three of them in the Country Music Hall of Fame, then take that stance and defend it. But there’s none of that. Instead it’s “You’re a fucking moron.” And that’s how you know you’re in the wrong.
August 27, 2022 @ 11:27 am
The quote is bad but its the entire essay that sucks. Breland seems to suggest country music as a whole is outright racist. Karen Morris and Mickey suggested much the same. The problem for them is theres no evidence to back up their claims. Literally none. I love country music. Like LOVE it, love it. I’ll be damned if people like Karen, Breland, or Mickey can tell me about the history of country music or its current fans. Im proud to be a Republican and Trump supporter. I supported Morgan before his incident. And I support him now. I wont apologize for a single bit of that. Nor will I apologize for country music’s supposed horrible history. Precisely because theres nothing to apologize for. Deford got a raw deal. No doubt. But that has zero bearing on me, Deford died before I was even born. I dont know anyone in the Opry membership. The idea that we are supposed to flog ourselves and prostrate ourselves in front of people because of the color of their skin is so gross, and its outright racist. I dont owe Breland a single thing. Make good music, end of story, and we will listen. I wont EVER apologize for being a Trump supporter, being a Republican, and being a fan of country musics entire history. Sorry, Bre!
August 27, 2022 @ 11:48 am
I’m certain Breland read that and accepts your being sorry for not EVER apologizing for being a Trump supporter, being a Republican, and being a fan of country music’s entire history. He’s just embarrassed to admit it here. Thanks for posting this sentiment, not once, not twice, but three times (see below). Keep fighting, sir!
August 27, 2022 @ 2:52 pm
Bre’s quote is trying to suggest half the country is violent and that the genre itself is violent. As Trigger says, theres not a single hate crime in country music history. That doesnt exist, its hyperbole by Bre and woke lies that most just eat up, its bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
Country music isnt a violent genre. And its a shame people like Childers play into it by naming his album that and Bre took her quote from that no doubt. The truth though is Tyler and Bre are wrong. Is country anymore racist in its origin than say Rock or EDM or ska? Why do people like that focus in on one genre? Country music and its musicians and fans have no need to, and shouldn’t apologize or feel bad about revisionist history that Bre and others tout as real when its just SJW tripe. If you make a statement like Bre did you best have the facts. And he doesnt. Its about demonizing half the country, and propping up Bre and others, woke SJW’s as somehow the saviors or TRUE representatives of country music. Nah, bro. I aint playin that.
August 27, 2022 @ 1:30 pm
Is there anyone in country music CURRENTLY who is responsible for some of the more awful decisions regarding race? No one living denied Deford the Opry. Hank sr and The Carter Family openly acknowledged they were taught by black guitarists. Anyone denying that is long dead, just like Hank and The Carter Family are. In what ways is Mickey, or Breland denied a spot at the table in country music or in the music industry in general? Anytime they release anything its front page on Apple Music and Spotify and they get press, favorable press from NYT and other outlets. Mickey sang at the Super Bowl. Apple Music has multiple radio programs specifically for and by BIPOC individuals. Bre if Im not mistaken actually has a Apple Music radio podcast. So where are they getting shut out at? Im all for shouting out those individuals, any individuals be they black, white, purple or green, male or female, who helped country become what it is. But is that not happening? Seems to me woke capital bends over backwards to accommodate the perspective that BIPOC voices matter and need to be heard, often at the exclusion of other just as valid voices. Racism in country, or in any genre or industry is awful. Terrible. But was anyone not aware of that prior to this Amazon thingie? To me it reads as complaining for complainings sake and whatnot. Alot of these sorts of deals often exasterbate racial tensions. Who among country musicians with contracts right now are out and out racists, dyed in the wool, KKK members? I cant think of a single one. They’d have been outed long ago, if not back then, then in the aftermath of the nonsense resulting from George Floyd and the attendant race riots. Aaron lewis or Bocephus or DAC have outspoken politics, but none are racists, and none not even Bocephus who is literal heir to royalty in the genre, has the power to influence racial politics within the genre to deny or blacklist people because of their skin color. Bre seems to think country music needs to have some big conversation and reckoning about race in the industry. Why? Bre’s debut will be breathlessly hyped by every outlet in the genre and even those outside, Im sure NPR and NYT will rate it highly. The day of release AM will have it on its main page and all the playlists. In what way is the country music industry racist? In 1925, sure, I bet there was probably some Klan members around, but in 2022? Really? Bre and Karen Morris and Mickey and Isbell are woke idiots who love to shove their ideology down the throats of a scene that is, will forever be, and should remain a god fearing, stand for the flag, Red stater demographic. Isbell whining about people like me didnt make me turn off the genre, in fact Im more of a fan of the genre now. All it made me do was turn his music off. I had Bre’s album pre-saved. I canceled that and dont plan on listening to it. Similarly any country playlist that includes Karen Morris, Isbell, and Mickey, I just delete their songs from the playlist and move on. Id rather not support woke mind virus folks and woke capital. I will be voting for Trump in 2024, and am damn proud of it. Bre wont make me ashamed of that fact. I stand for the flag.
August 22, 2022 @ 6:01 pm
Glad I decided not to watch such garbage that would insult the intellect of a child. No disrespect to a child. So sick of this crap.
August 22, 2022 @ 8:48 pm
Hey I hope all those horrible racist country music fans don’t find out that an Orthodox Jew wearing a yarmulke on stage just got a standing ovation at the Opry, and the first number of his set was a klezmer tune- what is the world coming to?
More seriously (though the paragraph above is 100 percent true, google “Andy Statman Opry”), Trigger, I’m curious if you think the career of Freddy Fender also counterbalances the “country music has always been totally racist” narrative? FF wasn’t black, but if you’re gonna be racist, you’re probably racist against Latinos too, right?
Please note, I’m not claiming anybody is racist, I’m pointing out that a popular Mexican-American singer with success in country could also be used as evidence for the proposition that country has always been more inclusive than its detractors claim.
Trigger, just asking for your thoughts on this.
August 22, 2022 @ 9:33 pm
Linda Rhonstadt, Freddy Fender, Johnny Rodriguez, The Mavericks who won the CMA Vocal Group of the Year twice, they all have contributed to country music’s Hispanic representation, and they are rarely brought up in these discussions. In fact, Amanda Martinez who participated in this film wrote an article for the LA Times last year that basically did what this film did, but with Hispanic country artists. It downplayed the significance of all of these contributors, while ignoring all of the artists of Hispanic origin currently down in Texas. Flatland Cavalry is fronted by Cleto Cordero, and three of the five members are of Hispanic descent. You also have Triston Marez, Bo DePena, Matt Castillo, The Squeezebox Bandits, Omar of Mike and the Moonpies, and many more. JeeseLee Jones is the “Brazillbilly” performer who owns Robert’s Western World in Nashville. And all of these folks have been featured here at Saving Country Music, and some multiple times, while the academics and journalists continue to overlook them because they’re not on the radio, and claim I’m a racist for pointing out how they’re being erased by articles like the one Amanda Martinez wrote.
This erasure is happening over and over again. It’s happening with women, it’s happening with LGBT artists too. They downplay their representation and significance so that country music looks less inclusive than it is, with the only solution being to give these people power so they can right these injustices.
Country music does need to be more inclusive. Glad to hear a Jewish performer appeared on the Opry. All hail Kinky Friedman! But we also need to make sure we’re telling the history of country music accurately and giving artists the credit they’re due, as opposed to hiding their accomplishments to forward an agenda.
August 22, 2022 @ 9:52 pm
Oh, wasn’t thinking of Kinky Friedman. David Grisman and Ray Benson (of Asleep at the Wheel) have played the Opry before, and of course Bob Dylan played with Johnny Cash, but Andy Statman’s recent performance was unique because he’s visibly identifiable as a religious Jew. He’s an absolute monster of the mandolin and was playing with a young bluegrass guitar picker.
Good point about other Latino country musicians which goes to my point.
August 22, 2022 @ 9:57 pm
This article is amazing, Trigger. The time and energy you have clearly put into this is astonishing and makes for a fascinating read.
Ahhhh, this old chestnut: creating something contentious and people just not doing their due diligence. In this case, ensuring they are consulting intensely with the people they are shining a spotlight on.
It’s a problem here in New Zealand too. People making music/tv shows/art etc and not checking things out thoroughly prior to hitting the big red button. Here it is around Maori and Pasifika people/culture and them just often being left out of the conversation, or if they are included, their opinions are not taken into consideration, causing a lot of harm and offense.
We’re messing with people’s culture’s here and what may be something innocuous in my white privileged culture, can cause enormous harm in another’s.
Nobody MEANS for this to happen, but it does and we need to be much more vigilant when it comes to dealing with minority groups in mediums such as film and television.
There is actually enormous focus on this in NZ at the moment and we’re all trying to do better to educate ourselves. It’s not enough to wear a #BLM t-shirt, you need to actually show up and be an ally.
If you are making a documentary about black artists in country music, I would at least hope you are a POC or if you’re not, at least half the people at your table are POC with the authority to speak and advise about such things.
Sounds like the director and all involved had good intentions, but good intentions just don’t cut it.
August 22, 2022 @ 10:29 pm
“It’s a problem here in New Zealand too. People making music/tv shows/art etc and not checking things out thoroughly prior to hitting the big red button. Here it is around Maori and Pasifika people/culture and them just often being left out of the conversation, or if they are included, their opinions are not taken into consideration, causing a lot of harm and offense.”
So COOL to see you mentioning the Maori and Pasifika people.
Dear friend, Dave Pence, University of Hawaii, Diving Safety Officer, loves the Maori.
He and his wife A.C. had the great fortune of being among the Maori people for some time. It is enchanting, hearing him speak of it.
Took an anthropology course at Eastern Michigan, when we were out of the Detroit office. Very in depth study of the Maori’s. It was an evening class. Husband had to take off to D.C. & there i was, hauling a 2 year old to class with me, one evening. (no time to get a sitter).
Our son thought it was great “to be in school” : D and, he almost behaved.
The Maori culture is fascinating.
August 22, 2022 @ 11:30 pm
Kia ora, Di (Hello, Di). Thank you for your very kind message. How awesome that your friend Dave and you know a bit about the Maori culture?!? Crazy. We are a tiny country of 5 million. I’m always amazed when anyone knows anything apart from Hobbits and The All Blacks (I have no interest in either!). Like every other colonised country/continent we have a lot to make up for, and lot to still learn.
The Maori language has been made one of the official languages of NZ and it’s really wonderful to see how it is now very prevalent in mainstream media, it’s everywhere and we are all encouraged to learn it and use it, regardless of our ethnicity.
There’s a young TikTok guy here, he’s from Singapore and speaks fluent te reo Maori. He shares these amazing posts where he goes to events and finds an older Maori person and approaches them and speaks to them in fluent te reo. The look of shock on their faces is priceless …. followed by absolute delight. Their interactions are magical and often end in hongi (touching of the noses) which you would know about.
There’s also a push to change the name of NZ to the original Maori name which is Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud), which I fully support. Old white people hate the idea lol.
I am a 5th or 6th generation Kiwi. According to Ancestry DNA I am 89% Scottish and 11% English. I’ve never been to Scotland or England and I feel zero affinity with those places. However, I do feel incredible affinity with Maori and Pasifika culture. I have no brown blood however they feel incredibly important to my identity as a New Zealander.
I’ve never been to the UK because when you live in the arsehole of the world travel is expensive. I’d much rather spend my money travelling to the US (as I’ve done a dozen odd times) to check out some great country music than learn about old dead white British people with bad teeth.
Well, you know somebody in New Zealand now, Di! If you ever make it down here I’d love to show you around 🙂
You might find this fun: it’s a Maori name generator. You type your name in and it gives you your Maori name. Mine is Kara: https://myname.kupu.co.nz/
ngā mihi (regards)
PS Sorry for hijacking the thread, Trig. I’m sure you’ll forgive us.
August 23, 2022 @ 12:17 am
Thank You SO MUCH for the additional information on the Maori’s, and what is currently going on in NZ.
(Am a sucker for the beautiful scenery of NZ, where a lot of LOTR was filmed.)
Too bad you can’t be here this weekend!
Headed to Conrad Fisher’s farm, in Pennsylvania. A great benefit concert is being held there, this coming Sunday evening.
If you haven’t heard Conrad’s, Trouble With A Hammer, here is the link.
After Pennsylvania, headed to Elkridge, and Annapolis, Maryland, to be with friends. Then, dropping down to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to stay with friends, through the weekend. The friends in Harrisonburg, have a son, Tommy, who owned a home in NZ. He & his wife, loved it there!
Let me know if you plan on flying to the U.S. again
August 23, 2022 @ 5:43 am
One correction. Kane Brown was mentioned in the special, albeit very briefly. Breland said that country music had come a long way and pointed to Sam Hunt and Kane Brown as examples. He also said that he didn’t blame Lil Nas X for leaving the country space after the heat he caught in some country music circles. As if staying in country music was ever his plan. So that’s Breland.
One of the things that drew me in after watching the trailer first was that Valerie June was going to be featured, as I am a big fan. Turned out that the clip of her talking in the trailer was pretty much all that was in the documentary on her and it was toward the very end.
August 23, 2022 @ 7:12 am
The fact that he mentions Sam Hunt as an examples tells me that he’s much less interested in opportunities for artists of color in country music than he is about simply opening the market for the sort of music he makes so that he can make more money.
August 27, 2022 @ 2:12 pm
Its all about pushing an agenda. They dont care about the facts. They want to demonize half the country and justify violence against them. The fact people cant see through this is the shocking part of it.
August 23, 2022 @ 6:57 am
This article will be a great “trigger” for butt-hurt old white people (of which I am one) to get inflamed about. Owning a Charlie Pride record does not mean you’re not a racist. ( And vice-versa)
All that said, relax snowflakes. I’m pretty sure most black people don’t give a damn about any of this.
August 27, 2022 @ 2:56 pm
I know I dont. When I want to hear constructive, coherent, nuanced views of country music, Im just not going to go to Bre or Mickey or Karen Morris. Sorry folks! They all are about pushing a narrative and agenda. I aint buying it.
August 23, 2022 @ 10:48 am
Excellently written and very well documented, this article is an essential reading. Not only a review of Amazon’s “For Love & Country” film, but also a brilliant reminder of the importance of black artists legacy, throughout country music history, from Ray Charles and Charley Pride to Darius Rucker, Mickey Guiton and so much more. If you’re a real country fan, no doubt that black artists legacy is essential. But of course, as Trigger says, to have success, you need to create and play real country, not pop or rap country.
August 24, 2022 @ 10:44 pm
Ok I have lots of thoughts on the topic but I will just point out The Jimmie Allen fact is true to a certain extent. Jimmie is the first black artist to take their debut single to #1. However he is not the first black artist to take their debut “country” single to number one.
Darius had two solo singles before he made the jump into country. This means his debut single did not go to number one.
I see those technicalities used all the time when discussing chart accomplishments.
It’s similar how I see people say Wynonna started her career with 3 number ones. But to be correct it should say she started her solo career with 3 number ones.
As for the rest I get the intention of the film. I don’t think it’s all that badly done overall. Most films of this ilk tend to be made to push a message and in this case it’s a good message, even if some of the details are fudged. Would be great if they didn’t do that but I can live with that.
On the topic of the “only one black star” at a time. I think it’s most may been true over most of the genres history, depending on what you mean by “star”. Of all the examples you listed of their being a second one, I think Ray is the only one I can kind of agree with him being a star while Charley was still going. But how much of that is because he was already a huge name outside the country genre? Probably a lot of the reason. Same with Darius. I don’t want to discredit their success but it has to be acknowledged that they came in with an advantage.
I think the threshold the film would consider a star is an artist who has a serious shot at say becoming a hall of fame member. Basically sustained success with radio, stoney had two top 20’s, he isn’t going to get into the hall of fame. Same with Linda Martell or Cleve Francis. They had some success but they weren’t really “stars”.
Pre-Darius’ breakthrough, I don’t think there’s any more black performers who are “hall-worthy” based on stats.
And even if we went with other minorities outside the black community there’s only a handful you can add in. This is more the threshold I think the film
Is trying to point out.
If any of my points aren’t clear I’d be happy to do some clarification when I’m not about to pass out in bed haha
On a side note if anyone can answer, is Neal McCoy (Filipino) the only Asian to chart on country?
And as a Native American I would personally love to see more of us make the charts. Last one was Crystal Shawanda I believe. Trigger have you ever done an article looking at Native American performers That I missed? And if not can you? I would love to read an article that digs into that.
August 25, 2022 @ 7:42 am
I certainly understand there are different, nuanced perspectives one can take on “Who is a star?” and “What is a debut single?” My point is that if I’m putting together a documentary on Black country artists, I’m going to err on the side of including more artists to create a clear picture as opposed to less that could result in helping to erase their legacies. There are many minutes in this documentary interviewing local Nashville residents. They could have taken 10 seconds to at least mention that DeFord Bailey and Ray Charles are in the Country Music Hall of Fame, especially if you’re going to drive home the “only one Black artist” opinion over and over again, like they did in the film. Just give that important piece of context so the audience can objectively choose if they want to believe the “one Black artist” mantra or not. This is a film about Black country artists, after all. We all agree these artists faced a greater uphill battle. So why discount them just because they didn’t have 29 #1’s like Charley Pride? Most white artists in country didn’t achieve that. Waylon Jennings had eight. David Allan Coe had zero.
As for Darius Rucker, sure, just like Ray Charles, he had a career outside of country first. But my goodness, to not mention him at all? Ten #1 singles, four #1 albums, a Grand Ole Opry member. Jimmie Allen has spoken for years how big of an inspiration Darius was to him. To me, not even mentioning Darius Rucker just shows that they fit the content to the narrative they wanted to portray as opposed to the reality of country history.
It’s real simple: let’s elevate these Black contributors in country history, not gloss over them because of arbitrary opinions they weren’t successful enough because they didn’t have a ton of #1 singles on radio, which has always been exclusionary to huge swaths of the country performing population.
As for Native American artists, this is where I once again get to talk about Stoney Edwards, who continuously and unfairly gets overlooked. Stoney’s mother Ollie “Red” Edwards was Native American. Born on Christmas Eve 1929 in Seminole County, Oklahoma, Stoney once told historian Peter Guralnick, “I was never really accepted by any race. Sometimes I wished I was black as a skillet or white as a damned sheet, but the way I am it’s always been a motherf***er.”
The career of Stoney Edwards, and the 80s era of Ray Charles are the two elements of Black country history that are systemically and chronically overlooked, and aren’t just about a few top 40 radio singles, but meaningful accomplishments that at least deserve mentioning.
August 27, 2022 @ 2:24 pm
I think it can be boiled down further, no need for that long explanation. The doc is Woke SJW crap, and is pushing an agenda that half the country is outright evil. I dont support country artists or companies that push that crap out. Sorry dude, Im not into apologizing for being a Trump supporter and believer in traditional values and culture. In fact, I think thats a dominant value, its just the media, and Hollywood and now Nashville is infected with this woke mind virus. Hope a cure is found soon for it. Its revisionist SJW nonsense and swill. If you listened to Karen Morris, Mickey or Isbell you’d think the majority of Nashville execs, studio heads, and fellow artists are all open KKK members sworn to oppress. The idea this is given airtime, website time, and is taken seriously is disgraceful. We as half the country need to make it clear, we are not playing that game. Half the country thinks I am evil and an existential threat because of wearing a Red hat, and solely for that. The idea we need to give people like Isbell, Mickey or Karen Morris a platform or dig deep into their beliefs is absolute bologna. The crux of this Amazon piece seems to be white cis country fans and artists are the devil. Im not into legitimizing or engaging with that at all. Its horse puckey.
August 25, 2022 @ 9:10 am
“—and when Ronald Reagan was President, incidentally.”
Trig, if you get the time, will you please explain this part of your sentence, in discussing some of Charley Pride’s accomplishments?
I must be missing something.
Clearly hope i am reading you wrong, here.
August 25, 2022 @ 2:15 pm
I don’t know what you are reading wrong or right, but in the film Amanda Martinez asserted specifically that during the 80s and the Reagan Administration is when country music took a very right-wing turn, and the exclusion of Black country artists was part of that turn. I dispute that characterization because not only was Charley Pride active at that time, so was Ray Charles who was signed to a 5-album country deal.
August 25, 2022 @ 4:29 pm
Thank you for taking the time.
Now i understand.
And, you are totally correct.
Thanks for all you do.
August 27, 2022 @ 11:21 am
Im so tired of woke country. Give me god fearing, standing for the flag and our country, small town, Republican, values any damn day of the week over Karen Morris, Mickey, Sturgill and the like. These people think those of us who vote Red or who have red hats are evil. Why do we support them in turn then? Woke country is trash.
August 27, 2022 @ 11:33 am
Im sorry folks, but I really have a problem with woke country and woke nashville. It REALLY grinds my gears. Karen Morris, Mickey, Sturgill, Jason Isbell arent Nashville or country in their political views, they just arent. I have a real problem with Nashville becoming woke. Its clear to me if you were a new artist, just moved to Nashville. No contract, no label. Just a dream and some country tunes and ambition. And you went to a label and your politics and lyrics aligned with Aaron Lewis, you’d be ignored, not signed, and blacklisted and canceled from the scene. Compare that with the journey of someone like a Karen Morris, Mickey, or whatnot, you have songs that talk about CRT, how white privilege and patriarchy is evil, how capitalism sucks, you’d be signed on the spot, and you’d be on the cover of Rolling Stone and CMT would breathlessly cover you. I find that gross, and thats not nashville or country. I dont want my country stars becoming woke. Theres nothing wrong with standing for the flag and loving America. And I hope more country stars admit this.
August 27, 2022 @ 3:13 pm
Hear, hear! The eighth time is the charm. No way anyone reading won’t see the truth now about how this woke nonsense is infiltrating country music and other hallowed institutions, contradicting American values. You are a town crier, Troubador.
August 29, 2022 @ 11:04 am
The only people you have a point about in here is Darius Rucker and Kane Brown. Otherwise you’ve listed a bunch of nobodies that people don’t care about.
When people complain about the lack of diversity and the outright racism in country music, saying “gosh, such and such played a background instrument on a bunch of records.” Or “such and such sang harmony on some records.” Or *insert this Americana musician nobody knows about.
They are saying the giants of country are white. And are always white. And there’s an industry push to keep it that way.
There’s no Black George Jones, George Strait, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, or Dolly Parton.
Kane Brown and Charley Pride are superstars. But that’s literally it.
there’s no Black equivalent of behind the scene movers and shakers, either – there’s no Black Jimmy Bowen, Joe Galante, or Tony Brown.
Nashville and Nashville music is very white. You naming people nobody gives a shit about to try to claim otherwise doesn’t make it less true. it just makes you sound ignorant.
August 29, 2022 @ 3:56 pm
DeFord Bailey was the first ever performer on the Grand Ole Opry and performed on the Opry for 16 years. Ray Charles released seven country music albums and scored major hits in multiple decades. They both also happen to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. That is not, “gosh, such and such played a background instrument on a bunch of records.” Or “such and such sang harmony on some records.”
Saying “people don’t care about” these artists is pretty insulting to their legacies. I most certainly care about them. They were important contributors to country music, and as someone whose sworn duty is to uphold the historical record, I take offense to this characterization.
“there’s no Black equivalent of behind the scene movers and shakers, either – there’s no Black Jimmy Bowen, Joe Galante, or Tony Brown.”
That is actually a more fair point than anything else you’ve said here. And yes, country music is predominantly white. But you are literally doing what this article is complaining about: discounting the important contributions of Black artists unfairly, and unnecessarily.
Thom’s Country Bunker
August 31, 2022 @ 8:00 am
Rhiannon Giddens did a great series for BBC Radio on the history of black roots within country.
If you’d like a proper, grown-up look at this subject to accompany this brilliant article, you should give her a listen.
September 14, 2022 @ 5:28 am
September 19, 2022 @ 11:38 am
“Where is Saving Country Music 2021 Artist of the Year Charley Crockett? ”
This was my first thought as well. Right after “Where is Hank Snow?”
December 22, 2022 @ 3:00 pm
The film accomplished its agenda: to rewrite history.