Along with diminutively characterizing Barnes as just “another young-ish white man,” ‘Pitchfork’ went after the biography and back story of Barnes, saying he reinforced “the mythology of a white, male, ‘real’ country music [performer] whose legitimacy relies wholly on exclusion.”
Every year the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville seats a variety of names from throughout the country and roots world in what they call their American Currents exhibit. This is the opportunity for artists that you may not normally see an exhibit for get an opportunity to be featured.
Ashley McBryde, Billy Strings, Casey Beathard, Charley Crockett, Country Music Hall of Fame, Darius Rucker, Eddie Stubbs, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Freddy Fender, Hot Country Knights, Jimmie Allen, John Prine, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Rissi Palmer, Sister Sadie
Before the controversy over the removal of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” from the Billboard country charts would roil the country music world with accusations of racism and “black erasure,” it was Beyonce and her song “Daddy Lessons” from 2016 that had many outside of country hot and bothered.
See, this is the reason why showing concern of where and how songs are placed in music charts is so critical, and how making a simple mistake can cause dramatic reverberations throughout the music ecosystem where now you have long-standing institutions and entire genres of music being accused of outright racism.
An artist like Yola is the antidote to such a prognosis; a firewall against the free-range onslaught of cultural sameness pervading popular music. She represents a lushness of perspective, and a re-invigoration of musical diversity, beyond any shallow observances simply based upon skin pigmentation.
When looking at the top of charts in country music—whether based on radio play or consumption—it’s these songs and other similar ones that are dominating, especially recently, and paralleling the trend of women not just being placed on perilous footing, but falling off the precipice of country music’s major indexes.
For many years, the influence and contributions of African American musicians in country music went mostly overlooked, or overshadowed by their Caucasian counterparts. However there has been a recent trend by media and even some artists to overstate the influence of African Americans.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Hank Williams, Jimmie Allen, Jimmie Rodgers, Kane Brown, Leyla McCalla, Mickey Guyton, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Valerie June
This story has been updated. The big news in country music on Wednesday (12-5) was how for the first time in the nearly 30-year history of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, there wasn’t even one woman represented in the Top 20. By Billboard’s charting methods, this is true. And regardless of whatever other clarification points proceed […]