Monday, August 24, 2009

In which I slaughter another sacred cow, maybe...

I gotta say, Reba McEntire has said some off-the-wall things over the years, but this arguably tops anything John Rich could even think of (h/t Country California):

You have to go with the times. Country music today is what pop was back in the '70s. You listen to '70s pop and by gosh, that's country music today.

'70s pop. I know I'm gonna get into all sorts of trouble for stacking the deck here, but off the top of my head, some of the biggest pop hits of the '70s...
The Bee Gees, "Stayin' Alive," 1978
England Dan and John Ford Coley, "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight," 1976
Manfred Mann's Earth Band, "Blinded By the Light," 1977
Mungo Jerry, "In The Summertime," 1970
Seals & Crofts, "Summer Breeze," 1972

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. '70s pop is what country is now, hmm? I mean, I could almost buy the Southern rock being passed off as country now, but most of the rest of what came out in the '70s...I could go so many directions with that idiotic Reba remark that it's not even funny. I could say that she's exactly right and that's yet another reason I've been exploring other genres. I could say that it's another BS rationalization along the lines of what we've also heard from Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. I could ask when the last time was that she won, say, an award for CMA Album of the Year, Female Vocalist or what-have-you. I know what many of you were thinking as you read that, so I'm gonna say this: For all the awards' flaws, for as much as they're overblown, for as much as people mistake winning those awards as evidence of artistic merit, I do think they're a somewhat fair indicator of relevance to the Nashville country music scene. That considered, I think it's pretty funny that anyone would ask Reba for pointers on how to stay relevant. She certainly gave an appropriately absurd answer. I wonder what Reba would say to the continued success (and relevance) of George Strait, who, anachronism that I guess she thinks he is, still covers Bob Wills and Johnny Cash in his live show as opposed to those avant-garde country innovators Mungo Jerry and the Bee Gees. And how about the rise and success of the Texas-red dirt scene in recent years? What would Reba say to that? I'd sure be interested to find out, considering that most if not all of the artists on that scene (and their fans) would be quite likely to call bullshit on what she said.