An Open Letter to Mike Curb

Dear Mike Curb,

I’m writing you in hopes that you would release Hank III’s new album, and furthermore, that you would be fair with his future albums, and maybe give some promotion to the man and the music.

With all due respect, I do not think you understand the scope and the meaning behind Hank III and his music. Yes, he might be a tatted-up, foul-mouthed, loud, hell-raising punk. He might not sell as many albums as your flash-in-the-pan superstars with their airbrushed photos and designer jeans with tube socks stuffed in the crotch. But when your superstar’s one hit is run in the ground by pop radio, where will his fans be? They will be moving on to the next polished and pretty overnight sensation, while the previous superstar is laughed at as he descends into the gutter.

But as for us, we are not Hank III fans and he is not a star. We are his family, and he is our brother, and we are there with him through the high times and the low times. We don’t like him because he’s perfect, we like him because he is like us. Like Hank Williams Sr. sang about, we are all on the Lost Highway, all of us: hellbillies, hillbillies, hippies, and Harley freaks: bound together on this path by Hank III: the exiled heir of the first family of country music.

You might think I’m being dramatic. You might think I’m making too much of this thing. But if you can find a more loyal fan than a Hank III fan, I’ll eat my hat.

You see Mr. Curb, I may not know as much about the inner workings of the country music business as you do, but I do know one thing: the outlaws WILL rise again. The only questions is: are you with us?

Back in the day it was Chet Atkins standing in the way of Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings. When they broke away from him, it gave country music its first ever platinum record, ‘The Outlaws,’ and gave country music its first cross-genre appeal. Now Mr. Curb, you are the symbol of the ‘old guard,’ standing in the way of the new country music outlaws. Country music is hanging on by a thread. All the songs sound the same, sales are down, and your ‘performers’ have no knowledge or respect for the history and heroes that made country music what it is.

Do you smell that smoke? That is our money burning a hole in our pockets, waiting for the next Hank III album to be released. But soon the smoke will be coming from the ruins of the Nashville skyline, if Nashville continues to go down the pop country path. Country music is supposed to be the soul of the South, and the story of the West. But now all we hear is the same tired and empty pop songs with bad lyrics and boring rhythms.

In short, I do not need to write you to say ‘Fuck Curb.’ Because if you do not change your ways, you will fuck yourself.

So I ask, for your sake and ours, please do the right thing and let Hank III do what he was put on this earth to do. Because after all, that is all one human can ask of another.


Kyle ‘The Triggerman’ Coroneos, a Hank III listener.

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