Country music is country music, and the best definition of what country music is, is that you know it when you hear it. It’s self-evident. But the genre has birthed many subgenres, many stylistic movements over the years, and at times has seen a splintering and Balkanization.
Dolly Parton will be one of the next inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The next question is how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will consider country performers for induction moving forward. This moment presents a slippery slope.
Monday morning (8-16) was a moment of firsts for the Country Music Hall of Fame announcing their inductees for the 2021 class. It was the first time in 11 years more than three people were inducted, and the first time both a drummer, and surprisingly, a steel player have made it into the Hall.
To help in the COVID-19 recovery effort, the Hall of Fame is planning a special live streaming event that will match up many of the iconic instruments in the “Precious Jewels” collection and other displays with many of the best artists and players of today.
The fifth installment of the Ken Burns country music documentary zeroed in on the time period between 1964 and 1968, when the United States at large began to be embroiled in tumultuous times, and two separate epicenters in country music began to emerge. Arguably the most egalitarian of the episodes so far, it covered a lot of performers.
While Nashville country was awash in strings and suffering under the oppressive thumb of producers such as Chet Atkins and Billy Sherrill, the dim lights, thick smoke, and loud loud music of The Bakersfield Sound was keeping boots shuffling and country twangy. Unheard Merle Haggard tracks and other rarities are included in new box set.
One of the reasons the the Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the most revered and respected Halls in all the land and specifically in music is because it is so hard to get into. It is always better that you look at a list of Hall inductees and wonder why certain names are not in, instead of looking and wondering why certain names are.