The Merits and Perils of Country Music

The radio show I listen to most these days is the Peter Tilden show on KZLA 93.9. Interestingly enough, Peter is a nice Jewish boy from Philadelphia who found himself laid off from talk radio and got a gig in country music, for the country station with the biggest audience in the nation. He's very funny, neurotic, etc., clean and mostly positive.

I used to listen to NPR on the way to work. It turned out that this made me very depressed. All show long, a lot of things going wrong with the country and the world. I started listening to country, and country music is happy music. It really lifted my mood. Then I moved to CEC Home sermons, but those have been few and far between lately due to Bp Adler's travels, so I have been listening to Peter Tilden again.

Country is a lot less nasty than pop/rap/urban music. Much more family friendly. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to have my daughters listen to the songs. Although, truth be told, there are some songs about "cheatin'."

I also have a low tolerance for songs that go "I am so great / all the women know I'm great / everybody on the street gives me props for being great" etc. etc. Substitute appropriate word for "great." Country music usually has a little more of a story than that. They talk about values, God, family, open spaces, etc.

There are some mighty fine singers and musicians. The truth is, nowadays the Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and all the southern rock bands would be considered country. Jimmy Buffett released his first #1 album, on the country charts. Kid Rock has a great country career (OK he is not family friendly but he does have a nice singing voice).

But, alas, sometimes country music can be embarrassing.

Case in point: the other night, I was happily making flower arrangements and watching country music videos when someone came into the room. "Oh, you're watching country music. 'Honky Tonk Badonkadonk'?" Yup, the name of the song was "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk." There's just no response you can make at that point.