A name once tied closely to progressive values, an independent approach to journalism and music, and transparency in media is continually graying the line between what is an ad, and what is an article. It does not bode well for one of the recognizable brand’s in music journalism.
The media landscape in music just got a lot more cloistered, oligarchical, and insular. Announced recently, Rolling Stone’s parent company Penske Media Corp. (or PMC) has entered into a joint venture with Billboard’s parent company called MRC to bring the two biggest music media companies together.
It’s worth noting that Rolling Stone’s new updated version of their “500 Best Albums of All Time” significantly diminishes iconic titles from the classic country canon. Not only were some titles downgraded, some were eliminated entirely.
Charley Pride, Cody Jinks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Jason Isbell, John Prine, Johnny Cash, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Rolling Stone, Shania Twain, Steve Earle, Taylor Swift, The Byrds, Turnpike Troubadours, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
“As far as government politics, hell no!” said original ‘Rolling Stone Country’ Senior Editor Beville Dunkerley in May of 2014, assuring readers the publication would not engage in political discourse as part of its country music coverage. Now that has all changed.
Even Eric Church when he pasted an image of the cover on his Instagram account said, “Read the full interview (don’t be misled by the headline).” Soon vociferous defectors from Eric’s fan club known as the Church Choir were making a ruckus, as were many other country music fans who are calling for an Eric Church boycott.
Belief that celebrity somehow elevates one’s political opinions is exactly how Donald J. Trump got elected President of the United States. You can’t just call for the political activation of the artists of country music, and expect for only the ones that are opposed to Donald Trump to speak up.
Jack White’s criticisms of Rolling Stone, The Foo Fighters, and The Black Keys would probably be taken with a little more weight if they didn’t feel like they were so rooted in spite. But Jack raises a very important topic in how music journalism has evolved over the last few years, especially as print magazines have been forced to move into a more robust online presence.
Taylor Swift, who just made her big switch from country to pop, is the focus of Rolling Stone’s cover story in the latest issue, and the in-depth feature finds Miss Swift dunking in the ocean fully clothed and dropping some very interesting tidbits that could help country music perform its postmortem about why Taylor Swift left and what it really means.
“Garth Brooks did for country music what pantyhose did for finger fucking.” This is the quote that has been attributed to Waylon Jennings that you are likely to see in much greater frequency now that Garth Brooks has come out of retirement. For some, it is the totality of their argument against Garth.The problem is there’s no verifiable records of Waylon ever saying it.
Chris Gaines, David Allan Coe, Ethan Hawke, Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks did for country music what pantyhose did for finger fucking, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Poodie Locke, quote, Rolling Stone, Shooter Jennings, Toby Keith, Todd Snider, Waylon Jennings
Rolling Stone is readying the launch of their brand new, dedicated country music website on June 1st, with a corresponding one-time print edition of Rolling Stone Country on newsstands June 5th featuring country music coverage from page 1 to 70. This bold move by one of music journalism’s most recognized brands could be a big game changer for the way country music is covered.
As first announced in early December of 2013, Rolling Stone is planning a move into the country music realm this year, and in a big way. With a million-dollar website planned and a long-term outlook and commitment, one of the most recognized brands in music journalism will certainly make a splash in the country genre when rollingstone.com/country goes live June 1st.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, just like the great American eagle and the mighty Soviet bear staring each other down and belligerently stockpiling armaments to intimidate one another, the two titans of American radio, Clear Channel and Cumulus Media, have entered a no-holds-barred arms race with country music as the platform, with the ultimate prize being you…
It is sometimes easy to get swept up in moments and convince yourself that it has never been as bad as it is now. But one thing is hard to argue: the amount of loss that occurred in country music in 2013 was to a degree the genre has rarely, or never experienced before. 2013 seemed to be a year of suffering through one unfortunate news story after another.
Braxton Schuffert, Cal Smith, Chet Flippo, George Jones, Hank Williams, Jack Clement, Jack Greene, Jody Payne, Johnny Bush, Johnny Paycheck, Mindy McCready, Patti Page, Pay Price, Roger Miller, Rolling Stone, Slim Whitman, Tammy Wynette, The Andrews Sisters, The Jordanaires, Tompall Glaser, Tony Douglas, Wayne Mills, Willie Nelson
Legacy music and culture magazine Rolling Stone is taking a cue from some of the pop, rock, and cultural personalities it has covered over the years and is “going country” in the second quarter of 2014 with a dedicated country music website looking to employ a full time staff of 10 to 15 people, and put out 8 to 12 articles a day. Rolling Stone plans to spend $1 million on the site in the first year.
Yet another big name country star is speaking out about the current state of country music. This time it is RCA Records’ Jake Owen. “We need more of those kinds of songs in [country music]. “We need more songs than just songs about tailgates and fuckin’ cups and Bacardi and stuff like that. We need songs that get ourselves back to the format that made me love it.”
Yesterday the big story was that Tom Petty had said some disparaging things about the direction of country music to the Rolling Stone. Though Petty’s comments did not mention pop country band Florida Georgia Line or anyone else specifically, it is probably safe to conclude that the duo was included. earlier today on Twitter, Florida Georgia Line responded with, “U think we care?”
If it seems like Saving Country Music is running a story every other day about an artist speaking out on the state of country music, it is because we are, and it’s because they are more and more frequently as modern pop country strives to set a lower standard for itself seemingly every day. Tom Petty is the latest. Following up on an anti modern country rant Petty delivered from the stage of the Beacon Theater in New York City…
Just from reading her resume, Kellie Pickler might look like a country traditionalist’s worst nightmare. She started in beauty pageants, got her musical break on American Idol, and is the reigning champion of another reality show, Dancing With The Stars. But instead of disqualifying her from being able to help save country music, maybe this all makes her the ideal candidate.
Much ado has been made about Rolling Stone giving accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rock star treatment by putting his mug on their latest issue. Though it’s a free country with free press and I would fight for the right of Rolling Stone to put whatever they want on their cover, here are some simple, friendly, alternative ideas of what could have graced the front of Rolling Stone’s July 2013 issue.
Black Sabbath, Boston, Caitlin Rose, Chet Flippo, Cover, David Bowie, George Jones, Hank Williams, Jason Isbell, Johnny Paycheck, Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Pokey LaFarge, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, Rick Rubin, Rolling Stone, Staple Sisters, Taylor Swift, The Band, The Rolling Stone, West TX, Willie Nelson
Chet Flippo’s wife had recently passed away, and today we got the unfortunate news that Chet Flippo has now joined her in the great newsroom in the sky. Every third year the Country Music Hall of Fame inducts a non-performer into its exclusive ranks. If there was ever a journalist that deserved to be included amongst the artists he covered so dutifully for so many years, it would be Chet Flippo.
The comments by Marcus Mumford were made to Rolling Stone in a feature posted today that includes comments from all four members of the UK-based roots rock band. A recurring criticism of Mumford has been that many of the songs on their two albums Sigh No More and Babel sound very similar. According to front man and main songwriter Marcus Mumford, a new direction could involve hip-hop and rapping.