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  • Country music and patriotism

    All jokes aside about country music, over the years, I've noticed 2 things about country music and patriotism.

    First, no other genre does patriotic songs like country music does. Whether it's Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue", Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" or Charlie Daniels "In America"......the list of patriotic country songs is long and some of the songs are downright stirring.

    Second, I first noticed while I was overseas in the Army that it was country singers coming to visit and perform for us. Same in Desert Storm and lately in Afghanistan. I don't see hip-hop artists or j*** or rock artists....it's country singers.

    Is it a difference in viewpoints? Difference in values and ideals? Difference in upbringing? Or am I completely wrong?

  • #2
    Nope. I was taking a ride on the USS Constellation in the Gulf of Aden when "Alabama" came and did an exellent concert with the USO tours.

    I think you hit the nail on the head.
    "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

    Norman Thomas

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    • #3
      quote:
      I first noticed while I was overseas in the Army that it was country singers coming to visit and perform for us. Same in Desert Storm and lately in Afghanistan. I don't see hip-hop artists or j*** or rock artists....it's country singers.
      If you don't see them, either you're not looking hard enough, or your media sources are not keeping you informed.

      I admit I saw this on MTV (Mainstream TV), but I believe they did a special which followed, among others, Kid Rock and Jennifer Lopez (and I forget who else) on a rock tour of military installations (I'm ashamed to admit I watch MTV ...). The segment I watched featured young servicemen (and women) putting on acts -- some as bands, some doing little skits or what not, and being judged by the "celebraties." Kid Rock was catching a lot of hell from his fellow entertainers by not, shall we say, "curving" the grade he was rating the servicemen and women on.

      And, besides, *everyone* knows that you don't get more patriotic than Neil Diamond's "America"! And for my money, even above that, is a certain old song by Don McLean ... (patriotic may be a stretch, but not I think by much).

      [Edit]

      A few minutes of research can inform about a great many things (who guessed, type "USO" into Google, and go right to their homepage!)

      USO
      "Entertainers"


      quote:
      Recent tours include Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Andy Garcia, Jay Leno, Joan Jett, Mariah Carey, Johnny Gill, Drew Carey, Jessica Simpson, Salma Hayek, Terry Bradshaw, Christie Brinkley, Veronica Webb, Reba McEntire and Wayne Newton.
      (I tried to bold all non-country singers, and italicize all country singers, but some of those names I just don't recognize ... Veronica Webb? Who?)

      Not exactly exclusively country. Kid Rock is best described as a rock/rap artist, Jett is hard rock, Carey is hip-hop/pop, Jessica Simpson is pop ... if you go to that link, you'll see others mentioned, including Ozzy Osbourne (Mr. Pee-on-the-Alamo himself), Blues Traveler (I'm not quite sure HOW you'd classify their stuff) ... and COOLIO!

      So I think it's safe to say that while Nite might have a point about country in general having more patriotic songs (and one can argue that rock and rap groups tend to want to "push" things and not play it safe), the arguement that the USO only ships out country acts is quite nicely debunked

      [ 12-18-2002, 09:01 AM: Message edited by: C in a J ]

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      • #4
        That was a recent act. Nite's point goes much further than this action.

        I developed quite a bit of respect for Kid Rock after he went there. He couldn't speak enough good words for and to the service members and it looked like he was one of the few (on that tour) that actually made an effort to spend time one on one with them.

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        • #5
          quote:
          Nite's point goes much further than this action.
          Well, Nite did say, "...lately in Afghanistan. I don't see hip-hop artists or j*** or rock artists....it's country singers."

          Going back in time ... (you'll have to forgive me, I'm not certain of the classification of some of these bands ...)

          But, just a quick survey:

          Kansas did USO tours in '84, '85, and '86. Cheap Trick did '84 and '85, Doobie Brothers did '84 and '86, Crosby, Stills & Nash went out in 1985 ... New Kids on the Block in '90 ... LaToya Jackson in '90 ... I don't think you could call the Pointer Sisters "country" in '90 ... Bill Joel in '91, Sha Na Na in '91, the Jets in '91 ... (are the Jets country? I don't think I've ever heard of them before).

          So, it's not like rocks and other genres didn't start touring until recently. They've been out there.

          [ 12-18-2002, 09:29 AM: Message edited by: C in a J ]

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          • #6
            Crazy,

            Every non-country act you mentioned did USO tours when their popularity was on the decline (or long after it had happened). Who are the biggest names in music right now? Coolio? I guess the motivation to play for these people could possibly be patriotism, but it's a lot more likely that it was the best gig they could get.

            BTW, I spent a year in Okinawa and there were several concerts. I went to all of them, and even though I don't remember the names of the performers, I remember most of my friends saying the USO always brought "no-name, and washed up" acts unless it was country.
            "But if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive." from Henry V, by Wm. Shakespeare

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            • #7
              quote:
              Every non-country act you mentioned did USO tours when their popularity was on the decline
              Uh, how is that relevent, Bob? The statement wasn't, "why do rock bands only tour when no one listens to them", it was "why do only country bands do USO tours?"

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              • #8
                It's relevant because the context of the statement was made in reference to patriotism.

                The point I was making was that even though you are technically correct that other genres of music are represented in the USO, the reason has nothing to do with patriotism IMO, because the only genre to send currently popular acts to perform is COUNTRY, which is why it SEEMS that Niteshift's original statement is accurate at first glance.

                IOW, a no-name act = no act.
                "But if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive." from Henry V, by Wm. Shakespeare

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                • #9
                  quote:
                  It's relevant because the context of the statement was made in reference to patriotism.
                  No, it was made in context of "only country music bands tour with the USO."

                  You seem not to have done your research on the matter. Both Hootie and the Blowfish and the Gin Blossoms toured in 1995, at the height of their popularity. Metallica was '95 (oh, right, Metallica is a "no name act") ... Sheryl Crow & Paula Cole in '97 ...

                  No, sorry Bob. Your point is taken and beaten into the ground. Your suggestion that only "washed up" rock/rap/r&b groups tours with the USO is "bye-bye." And besides, I'd rather go to an REM concert ("washed up" as they be) then go to, say, a Britney Spears concert. Why? Some music is classic, even if it isn't the newest stuff around.

                  quote:
                  because the only genre to send currently popular acts to perform is COUNTRY
                  Hardly correct. Kid Rock is still VERY popular. So is Jennifer Lopez, and Mariah Carey (although she's been around for awhile) also has a rather substantial following. Now, I realize that YOU might consider Reba McEntire to be more popular than say, Mariah, but simply because they've both been around for a while, and both have a large following, and aren't currently "hot" or "the thing" doesn't slight either of them going with the USO.

                  [ 12-18-2002, 12:02 PM: Message edited by: C in a J ]

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                  • #10
                    Nite,

                    I think in general country singers are more conservative than their counterparts.

                    Most of your MTV rock and roll types aren't exactly registered Republicans. With a few notable exceptions like Ted Nugent.(But Ted's the funny old white guy on MTV)

                    Most of the MTV types are politically closer to Mike Farrell, Ed Asner, Susan Sarandon, they wouldn't be caught dead supporting the troops.

                    [ 12-18-2002, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: lone ranger ]

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                    • #11
                      Country music has always had that down home, American feel to it; so maybe country music artists merely play to that image by touring for the army. Good press and all.
                      Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
                      -Mark Twain

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                      • #12
                        Charlie Daniels, Hank Jr., David Alan Coe, Waylon Jennings and I think it was Alabama used to make it a regular part of their tour to come onto a military base Europe...not one of the civilian auditoriums, but on post...and perform for the troops whether there was a war on or not and no matter what their popularity was at the time. Most of the rock groups went to the regular civilian venues.

                        I'm in no way doubting the sincerity or the motivation for today's artists doing something for USO or the troops, but it seems like the ones who have done things consistently have been country artists.

                        Now, switching gears to the patriotic music. Country, hands down, has always stepped up to plate.

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                        • #13
                          It's just that country is the only good music [Wink]
                          Bill R

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                          • #14
                            Sure, if you like cat meowling.

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                            • #15
                              I like both kinds of music....Country AND Western!
                              TRAVIS ED WILLIAMS
                              Police Officer
                              Mesquite, Texas, P.D.
                              Mesquite, TX
                              Date of Death: 09/23/1974

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