Thursday, 23 May 2013

Old Farts & Jackasses March for Tradition Petition

The Old Farts & Jackasses March for Traditional Country Music.

Have you been following the "Old Farts and Jackasses" events since the Blake Shelton gaff earlier this year on his GAC interview?

Bob Everhart President of National Traditional Country Music Association (who writes for German Blog CMNI) and Maggie Penn from the Traditional Country Music Foundation set up two petitions requesting:

a) The CMA to pay more attention to traditional music

 b) A plea, give us our country radio stations back

c) To have Blake Shelton's membership in the Grand Ole Opry revoked
One of them had 754 signed the petition with a goal set at 1,000, together they amassed a mere 1,500 signatures.
The plan was a march on Music Row to descend on the Country Music Assn.’s office on April 17, intent on delivering a powerful message about contemporary country’s drift from its traditional sonic roots.
Maggie Penn

They came from Illinois, from Arkansas, from Pennsylvania, from Kentucky and from rural Tennessee. They descended on the Country Music Assn.’s office on April 17.
Quit calling it country and give us some real country,” insisted Traditional Country Music Foundation founder/president Maggie Penn, who dumped the two petitions on the CMA requesting more attention to traditional music. “We’re not telling ’em to drop that [music]. We’re just telling ’em to put it over in the category where it belongs and give us our country radio stations back.”
The demonstration made a compelling argument—for its opponents.

The group that showed up across the street from Music Row’s Joe Talbot Building numbered only a dozen people at their peak. By the time they travelled less than a block to the CMA, half the group had left, and a mere six protesters delivered the signatures.
Weighed against the 66,000 people who showed up for one single show the previous weekend—to see current hit makers Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.—it was a less than convincing demonstration of traditional country fans’ strength!
Can country’s classic sound rebound, as it did in the Randy Travis-led New Traditionalist era of the late 1980s?

Stylistically, the climate at that time was somewhat similar to today’s landscape. A large volume of former pop sounds—represented at the time by synthesized keyboards and such smooth singers as Crystal Gayle and Gary Morris—had a major influence on the genre, leading many traditional fans to become disenfranchised.
That’s the case again in 2013. In the top 20 of the current Country Airplay chart, Aldean’s “1994” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Get Your Shine On” infuse hip-hop elements, Lady Antebellum uses a pop sheen and funky bass on “Downtown,” and the Band Perry’s “DONE.” has been compared by one journalist to Franz Ferdinand’s rockin’ “Take Me Out.”
Even traditional paradigms Brad Paisley and George Strait have beefed up the pop influence, with Paisley using edgy studio techniques on “Beat This Summer” and Strait employing an electronic echo effect on his vocal in.
Last week’s protesters lamented that George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” no longer gets played on contemporary country stations. But, as Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum executive director Kyle Young points out, that song was rich in strings, something that made traditional fans angry with producers Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley just 15 years before Jones recorded that standard.
Country is always changing to mirror present-day tastes, whatever the consumer seems to be interested in hearing,” Young observes. (Source Billboard)
The protesters’ double-digit turnout didn’t make much of a case for a traditional country movement, though their arguments are familiar—preservationist voices have been part of the push and pull of country since its formative days as “old-time music” in the early 20th century.
Maggie Penn is already vowing to lodge a bigger and better campaign next year.

Marty Martel promoter and president of R.O.P.E. (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) and known to UK country fans through the CMA Festival R.O.P.E Annual Event “Breakfast With The Stars” in his “Off The Cuff News” which aired with Wildhorse Entertainment on April 29th spoke about his great friend Maggie Penn saying "Maggie put on a march with a large group of friends"  >> Audio

Looking at the Facebook page for the Traditional Country Music Foundation the group is about preserving traditional country music of the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's.

It states:
If you love and enjoy the traditional country music of yesteryear, then you have come to the right place! ..Remember the days when we could listen to such great performers as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Redd Stewart, Left Frizzel, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Ernie Ashworth, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, Tammy Wynette, Jack Greene, Jean Shepard, Jean Seely, Hank Williams Sr, Hank Snow, Dave Dudley, Wilburn Brothers, Wilma Burgess ........the list is endless.
We cannot hear these artist or others of the era on the radio or television today, even though most are still recording and releasing their music to the media. The "Today's Country" is not the kind of music I call country. So I decided to do something about hearing what I like, and found there are lots of folks who feel the same way!

Bob Everhart recently announced that Ed Bruce will be National Traditional Country Music Association’s first inductee into the Hall of Fame for 2013.
He goes on to say: “Today music called ‘country’ is hardly recognizable as that same genre of music....We have a large membership in our organization that still desire and listen to the music they still call country.  We like to refer to it as ‘rural country’ so as not to have it confused with today’s so-called country music. 
The Everharts

As a frequent contributor to Country Music News International (published by Christian Lamitschka) Mr. Everhart makes no mention of the petition or the march on Music Row.
His recent artist reviews have included Bobby Lee Atkins, Bobby G. Rice (see video performing on the Allen Karl Show (CEO of Century II Records) and Gloria Nihart which he said was “a CD of original patriotic songs I can listen to, understand, and relate to

In a “On The Road With The Everharts” post he said “George Jones, he was the real deal, very unlike what we hear today called country music."
Well at George Jones’ public funeral it must have buoyed Mr Everhart to hear Charlie Daniels from beneath the brim of his white hat, speak of George Jones as a man who “stood head and shoulders above the fray.”“And we all loved him for it.”
Jones was remembered as a traditionalist by renegade Daniels, who said Jones shunned trends, fads and “sounding like the next big thing coming off Music Row.” He just kept being George Jones,” Daniels said. “And in this modern day of follow-the-leader, cookie-cutter, whatever-radio-will-play sameness, George Jones stood head and shoulders above the fray and he kept on doing it his way” >> Audio Link
As can be heard this drew the longest applause and cheers. 
Charlie Daniels

Where the major labels and country radio programmers taking note?
The late George Jones himself is quoted as saying - “Country fans need to support country music by buying albums and concert tickets for traditional artists or the music will just fade away. And that would be really sad.” 
The furore raised by country music superstar, Blake Shelton, when he used the words “old farts and jackasses” was taken out of context by Everhart whose reply was to say:  when he complained that fans of older and more traditional sounding country music were not attending his concerts or buying his CD's”  .... "We took immediate offense," ....”For Mr. Shelton to call me, and all of us who genuinely care for country music of the past 'old farts and jackasses' because we don't care for his music, is an insult mightily hard to ignore”.

Exactly who do Maggie Penn, Bob Everhart and Marty Martel want the CMA and country radio to pay attention to in 2013?
Why stop at the 70’s era of country music?

Are they hoping that some of the names mentioned should step into the limelight of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, perhaps Allen Karl or Donna Cunningham?

These veterans may have been put to pasture by the CMA but haven’t they had their opportunity to shine, their time and make it big? They surely have to make way for new artists to have their shot.

If they are looking for a bigger campaign to get more people on board why are they not championing today’s roster of traditionally influenced acts like. Big Machine’s Greg Bates, RCA’s Chris Young, Mercury’s Easton Corbin and Kacey Musgraves, and Broken Bow’s Dustin Lynch are all relative newcomers who’ve had recent hits and whose music leans toward tradition in one way or another.
Aren’t The Pistol Annies modern day Loretta Lynn’s and why were they not pushing for someone like Ashley Monroe with a traditional sounding but contemporary album whose singles have so far shamefully been overlooked by country radio programmers.
Kellie Pickler’s album “100% Proof” was a traditional set and she was dropped by MCA along with Lee Ann Womack and Ashton Shepherd who can hardly be described as “country-pop”. Now a Black River Entertainment artist Kellie wants to continue in that vein to make a country sounding record and as the winner of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” she is TV celebrity known to millions.
In fact, there are signs that younger listeners are finding ways to incorporate more rootsy music into their personal playlists.
Bluegrass shows can have audiences that split between older fans and a young, hip ticket-buyer.
Even Mumford & Sons can get played on the radio because of the banjo and Miss Taylor Swift picks one up in her live shows and on songs like “Mean”

Is the banjo not a Traditional country instrument and sound?
There seems to be a much better case can be made for those in the traditional country movement?

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