I know that we cannot
turn back the march of time. Things change as they must with the coming of each generation. What was once new is now old.
The longer one lives the more they see this happening with so many things. Music is no exception. However, some things do
stand the test of time. Sometimes an artist comes along that defies being relegated to history's attic. Their music has a
certain vibrancy, a certain level of talent, that sets them above the ordinary. In pop music, I still haven't heard a singer
that compares to Sinatra. The Beatles and Michael Jackson also come to mind. In Country Music, there are a few that have also
withstood time's test.
earlier days of Country Music the sound was raw, unsophisticated, and delivered with an emotional touch that drove a
dagger right into the listener's heart. That is what Country Music was all about in the first place. Music for common people
and their common situations of life, from humor to sorrow and everything in between. It is my belief that this is no longer
the norm. The music seems to be contrived and formulated, with very little emotional impact. I guess this is to be expected.
As we changed from a rural to a more suburban nation, the music changed with it. As Nashville grew into the mega empire of
Country Music, it was inevitable that the sound would also evolve into something that would appeal to a wider audience. This
change was deliberate. By the time of Hank Williams' death, Country Music was already beginning to shed the overalls and corncob
pipe image. In a way, Nashville probably needed Hank to leave, as he was just too Country. Don't misunderstand me, some great
music came from the "Nashville Sound" that followed Hank and dominated the 60's. The movement back to more traditional
country during the 1970's signaled a return to more traditional sound for a time, but of course it couldn't last. With the
advent of music videos, the final nail was driven into the coffin. Now it seems that good looks are more important than actual
singing talent. By the way, by singing talent I don't just means having a pleasant sounding voice. There is much more to it
than that. The timing, phasing, the slight tear in the voice at exactly the right moment. These are things that can't be forced.
When they are, it sounds so phony it becomes painful to hear. Of course, in this day of compressed music, miniature speakers
and headphones , maybe mass produced schmaltz is all that is wanted anyway. That's too bad, as there is a gold mine of "real"
Country Music just waiting to be re-discovered.
As I said
before, I know we can never go back. I just hope we don't forget what we had at one time. This page is dedicated to that idea.
There are songs here that are over fifty years old, and some not so old. I believe that they give an accurate picture of what
once was. It's ironic that some of the overproduced music of the 1960's and 70's actually doesn't sound so bad when compared
to the lifeless, fresh from the music treadmill sound, that today passes for Country Music. Oh well, time has taken it's
toll, and it is what it is. I'm just glad that the old music still has an audience so that the record companies will continue
to re-release older recordings. At least I know I'm not alone in my beliefs. All the music on this page was converted to Mp3
at a very high bit rate to avoid as much loss as possible and still be a reasonable size.