Six weeks after Blake Shelton made disparaging comments about country music’s classic and traditional fans calling them “Old Farts & Jackasses,” the issue will not go away. Bob Everhart, a traditional country musician, and the President of the National Traditional Country Music Association since 1976, along with Maggie Penn at the Traditional Music Foundation have banded together with other organizations and individuals to launch an initiative to attempt to remove Blake Shelton from the Grand Ole Opry, and get more traditional country played on the radio.
The group has launched an online petition, and are planning a march, protest, and concert in Nashville on April 17 starting at Tony Rose Park (located at 8 Music Circle East) at 11:00 AM, with the march going down Music Row, ending at the offices of the Country Music Association (CMA). There will also be a free concert of traditional American music by participating musicians.
NTCMA President Bob Everhart took to his blog last week to rant about Blake Shelton’s comments, saying in part:
Abandoning the roots of anything certainly means the death of that enterprise, no matter what it is. “Country’ music came from rural America. The music, the songs, the stories, the plaintive pleas were, and still are, the main reason for it’s existence. Rural America IS ‘country’ music…
Bob also took on Blake Shelton’s insinuation that older people do not buy music, as well as radio consolidation and the way music is rated on charts.
He couldn’t be further from the truth. The biggest ‘bloc’ of potential record buyers in America today is without a doubt the ‘baby boomers.’ Why? Because they are now retiring. Most have retirement plans meaning they have money to spend, unlike a younger America that is having trouble even finding a job. Are they buying into the ‘phony’ world of a pseudo-country music world? No, they are not. Are they buying into anything? Sure, those things they want to do, want to see, want to hear.
America lost a big chunk of ‘honesty’ in the radio business when government allowed huge corporations to buy all the radio stations they wanted in any location. What that means is we only hear what that corporation wants us to hear. It also means that any kind of charting activity is bought and paid for before the records are even in the stores.
The anger of traditional country fans is also palpable in the body of the online petition. “We hope ya’ll will join us in our quest to get our music back. SO COME ON PEOPLE, LETS TAKE OUR MUSIC AND RADIO STATIONS BACK!”