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Taylor Swift Is One Of This Decade’s Best Influence s On Country Music

“Taylor
Swift is one of this decade’s best influences on country music”, was
the statement by Kelvin Fahey, the Canberra Country Music Festival
Director.   Speaking candidly in an interview on Sunday (14 November) he was forthright in his support of the phenomena from Pennsylvania who has sold over 22 million albums over the past five years.  
 
“I’ve
been to many country music functions and talent competitions across
this nation over the past year and have been astounded by her influence
on youth and cover bands.   What
hasn’t surprised me has been the complaints and concerns that this is
“not country” or “crossover will destroy country music”.   I think we have heard it all before.  
 
“People tend to have their own view of what is country music and what isn’t.   They often forget that history is full such concerns from as early as Hank Williams to Nancy Sinatra to Reba McIntyre.   Ten
years ago the same complaints were around Shania Twain, who still holds
the record for best selling album of all time by an female artist in
any genre and of course the best selling country album of all time!  
 
“Critics weren’t so loud about Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.   “Country
crossover” has always been a part of country music which by its very
nature has one of the most diverse competing styles within it ranging
from ballads to gospel to bluegrass to honky tonk to country pop rock
and all shades in between.   Don’t
forget that before rock’n’roll took hold in the late 50s, country
music, including rockabilly, was the mainstay of popular music.   So Country Music has always had a contemporary feel to it and so it should to sustain its relevance.
 
“We
expect that many of the competitors in November’s Country’s Got Talent
competition will seek to emulate Taylor Swift and may of their country
music heroes.  That is perfectly natural and frankly to be expected as we all did the same in past years.
 
“What
I most admire about Taylor Swift is that in age when all the media
focus is on vocalists and their physical presentation, here is a
beautiful woman who is a musician – a real player – who also writes and
sings her own material.   Millions of girls are learning to play guitar, sing and songwrite following her lead.  It doesn’t get better than that.   And she is only 22 years of age!”
 
Kelvin Fahey

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