Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In a big country

Music. Everyone has their likes and dislikes. I have made mine known here on a weekly, and sometimes more often, basis. In the greater Twin Cities, though, two -- sometimes three -- stations have flat out dominated the overall ratings for quite some time.

It is only in the last month that country music, not pop, talk or rock, has taken over the top position in the radio ratings. Country station K102 has donned their cowboy hat and marched to the front of the line.

Who, though, listens to country music in a metropolitan area that dwarfs the likes of Kansas City and San Antonio which, due to their geography alone, are more likely to listen to country music? However, no country station in those markets is at the top of the ratings heap.

Is it truly the supposed sex appeal of the current crop of buff guys wearing cowboy hats and slinging guitars that pass themselves off as country music artists that are drawing record numbers of women to country music radio? It surely is more popular, as the ratings would have you believe, than popular office staples of adult contemporary or pop tunes.

One thing is for sure, today's country music can be described as simple pop music twanged up with steel guitars and pretty boys in cowboy hats, western shirts and denim jackets. It isn't what country music truly is. The real country music, should you want to listen, can still be heard in the Twin Cities. BOB 106, best heard in the northwest 'burbs (but listenable in downtown Minneapolis), plays the classics and the new pop-ified country too. Some thing just can't be replaced by all the glam-country in the world. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Reba McIntire and both Hank WIlliams Sr. & Jr. are not just legends but also the true roots and evolution of country music.

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