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Collin Raye not happy about Country Music

Raye recently became the latest country singer to speak out about the
country music genre and why he’s not happy about its progression.  He
says talking about the genre and what it has come to these days is
something he’s very passionate about.  “I’m passionate about it because I
love our genre,” he told Fox News.  “I got into country music not to
make a buck, I did it because I love it.  I love the poetry.  I grew up
at a time when Merle Haggard was writing stuff like “Mama’s Hungry Eyes,
“Sing Me Back Home” and Kristofferson was writing “Sunday Morning
Coming Down,” and “Me And Bobby McGee.”  It was poetry.  Collin Raye is
best known for “If You Get There Before I Do” says country music has
been ‘dumbed down’ and that is depressing for him.  “I’m really
depressed at how it has dumbed down to basically just a one dimensional
‘let’s party in the truck, gonna drink some cold beer.’  Raye says it is
the record labels who are to blame.  “It’s the gatekeepers… that we
used to have in Nashville which are the label heads who used to decide
what was good enough to put out and what was not.  And now they have
just totally given in to that.”  I really like Collin Raye’s reference
to country music song lyrics as ‘poetry.’  That’s exactly why we are
going to endeavor to have some ‘poetry’ at LeMars this year.  We’ve even
invited Iowa’s Poet Laureate, Mary Swander, a professor at the
University in Ames to be with us, and she has accepted. We want to build
on this opportunity, so we’ll not only have well recognized poets doing
their thing, we’ll have some amateurs too.  Add to that some Carl
Sandburg readings, and a few other ‘quiet’ things, and we’ll have
another ‘first’ at our festival.  This will all take place in the tipi
village at a very nice staging area just in front of the windmill and
the old cement watering trough.  We’ll also have a little time set aside
for authors who have new books out, hopefully relative to old time
music.  One for sure is Dr. Stuart Frank whose book “Jolly Sailors Bold –
Ballads and Songs of the American Sailor should be very interesting. 
It will be great fun, wish us luck.

Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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