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Steve Earle quote on Hank Williams & Nashville

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MandolinPaul 29 Sep 99 - 09:12 PM
MandolinPaul 29 Sep 99 - 09:19 PM
Art Thieme 29 Sep 99 - 09:40 PM
Frank of Toledo 29 Sep 99 - 09:57 PM
WyoWoman 29 Sep 99 - 10:12 PM
RWilhelm 30 Sep 99 - 11:24 AM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 30 Sep 99 - 12:09 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Sep 99 - 05:23 PM
Steve Latimer 01 Oct 99 - 10:10 AM
RWilhelm 01 Oct 99 - 11:59 AM
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Subject: Steve Earle quote
From: MandolinPaul
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 09:12 PM

"Hank Williams would never make it in Nashville today."


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: MandolinPaul
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 09:19 PM

OK. I'll start.

I can see both sides of this:

1. I can't stand new country.
2. Would Elvis Presley make it as a rock'n'roller, today? How about Bob Dylan as a singer/songwriter? Muddy Waters as a bluesman?

The times they are a-changing!
No matter how much we may hate it.

I guess I've convinced myself that Mr. Earle is being a bit of an old fart on this point, but I couldn't agree more.

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 09:40 PM

What has changed is that we used to search out the "old farts" and learn from them---look to the past and learn from it. Now we run full speed ahead and choose to ignore that which we used to venerate. Is it wrong? No, it's just different. I do wish it was the way it used to be because folks are ignoring things I thought were valuable---things that I still think are valuable.

Art Thieme

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 09:57 PM

What's ironic about the whole thing is without Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Snow and many others, there're wouldn't be a Nashville and these so-called new product purveyors; I refuse to call them country singers; would be where they should be; somewhere between nowhere and nowhere, if that makes any sense. I won't apologize for my outburst, because I never want to forget the past that helped me become what I am and I second the motion to everything that Art said.

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: WyoWoman
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 10:12 PM

Well, I generally agree, but I do like some of them -- Lee Ann Rimes and Patty Loveless are the two that instantly come to mind. I don't listen to a lot of contemporary country because it makes my teeth itch. But every now and then I hear someone whose music stands out.

It does all sound alike now -- does that make me a certifiable old fart for saying it? Probably.

But I also think it's important not to say categorically that the young 'uns don't want to learn from the old farts. I think when they're exposed to real music, the ones with any smarts recognize the difference and want to learn something. It's just that they NEVER hear anything except the canned crap that passes for music on most of our radio stations and music television.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: RWilhelm
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 11:24 AM

I agree with everthing said so far about Nashville and the country music star system. There are, however, plenty of good, young, country musicians working outside the system. It's sometimes called "Alt Country." They tend to be more roots oriented, more independent, and way more interesting. They get critical acclaim, sell CDs to devoted fans but are completely ignored by mainstream radio and television.

Nashville died years ago. RIP.

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 12:09 PM

I'm not sure this is true. This comment underestimates the ability of Hank and the Industry to succeed at what they do best. He might have easily been taken by today's Nashville machinery, polished, packaged, produced and marketed to the same level of success as he had back then. With his talent he might have absorbed and adopted the stylistic changes necessary to make his songs successful. You just never know.

Of course Earle was probably commenting that Hank's music from years ago wouldn't sell today if it were transplanted in toto into today's market. Probably true, but I don't know if that means anything. Zoot suits probably wouldn't sell either.

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 05:23 PM

I believe that what Steve meant was that Nashville today drives the music from the top down, the top being the A&R Men, the Labels, and TNN. But I think that has been the case for many years. Elvis did rockabilly as well as anyone in his early years, but the same Nashville crowd that was worshipping Williams wouldn't give Presley a second listen. Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam, probably the most honest and talented of the current crop, had to bust in sideways from Rock crossover. In fact, the bands and artists that created the current contemporary country sound all came from the Rock side- Poco, Gram Parsons, Eagles, Emmy Lou Harris, Marshall Tucker, etc. None of them could have made the changes they wrought coming up through the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville system.

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 10:10 AM

Geez, Even Willie Nelson wouldn't make it in Nashville today. Oops sorry, he didn't make it there originally, had to leave the Nashville machine and do things his way to succeed. I think that this is becoming less and less possible these days, the music industry completely dictates what will be released today.

I became interested in music when I was quite young. Back in the late sixties and early seventies you could turn on the radios and hear performers like Dylan, Hendrix, The Band, The Beatles, Stones, Melanie, Richie Havens, Iron Butterfly, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and many others all on the same station even though they often had completely different sounds and styles. Back then music was fresh and people would market songs and artists on the strength of the material. These days the industry will let you choose between The Spice Girls, N'Sync, The Back Street Boyz etc. Can you tell the difference?

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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle quote
From: RWilhelm
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 11:59 AM

A good source for information about country music outside the Nashville mold is "No Depression" magazine. They have a print edition and an on-line edition: No Depression

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