Quotable Country – 11/11/12 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I don’t see that a musician should have to take a good picture. I just want to be left alone to make records and sing songs — I hate the age we’re in — what does being a music performer have to do with sexing a lens anyway? Everything, arguably. When I think of good singers of the 20th c., I come up with a pageant of top-tier physical specimens: Sinatra, Crosby, Armstrong, Presley, McCartney. Go on down the roster of golden throats…Ronnie Spector, Lou Christie, Linda Ronstadt, Don and Phil Everly, Johnny Hartman, Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, Norah Jones, Marvin Gaye, every one a f**king beauty! Oh, wait, I’m a country singer. Roy Acuff, Charlie Louvin, John Conlee, Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Grandpa and George Jones, Lefty Frizell, Joe and Rose Maphis…boy, did I pick the right genre.
– – Robbie Fulks, in yet another entertaining blog post on RobbieFulks.com.

All my first hits were based on the fact that I was young and the young pop girls loved me. You had to be halfway good-looking. The benchmark was Elvis.
– – Bobby Bare, telling a slightly different story.

I think writing is the loneliest part of being a musician. If you’re in the studio, you have company and it’s a collaborative thing. But writing, especially if you write by yourself, is the hardest part. I don’t know if that’s why I’ve resisted it. Anybody who writes a song knows it’s hard. For me, it’s hard getting started. I have to literally clear a space on the calendar to do it. And then, you’ve committed and you better come up with a good song.
– – Emmylou Harris on songwriting.

If anyone ever made a song her own, it’s Bonnie Raitt doing “Angel From Montgomery.” There’s just a little something she brings to it, that’s uniquely her, and you can hear that same thing in the versions of other people who’ve done it. You always know they learned that song from her record and not mine. […] No song or songwriter could ever have a greater friend.
– – John Prine on Bonnie Raitt, who celebrated a birthday this past week.

We’re definitely going to do it again. I met a lot of very important people in there. I met Tim’s management and the Big Machine people, and just expect to see some more of this cross-pollination happening.
– – R&B artist Ne-Yo on the prospect of future country collaborations.

… and you know, I’m American. I like getting drunk on Friday, feeling sick on Saturday, and praying for it on Sunday [laughs]. There’s a lot of parts to me.
– – Yessir, that Bucky Covington is one multifaceted guy.

We think that people were afraid they were going to have to go out and buy boots and a cowboy hat and learn line-dancing to be part of the format, when nothing could be further from the truth. When people reference bull riding and hay bales that’s so not us. We’ve spent 20 years trying to cast aside those stereotypes.
– – WKLB music director Ginny Rogers on growing country in the Boston area.

Mike, what’s wrong with wanting to have a beer with Jesus and how is that indicative of left wing politics? I suppose the singer could have a glass of water with Jesus, but there’s always the risk the water might turn into wine as soon as it touches his lips, and wine generally has a higher alcohol content than beer. Besides, I’m sure Jesus, with his “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” attitude, would not want to cheat the state out of precious wine tax revenue.
– – One of many responses to a letter to The Chattanoogan arguing that Thomas Rhett’s “Beer with Jesus” is sacrilegious.

The problem with the list of [CMA] winners?
With the exception of “Over You,” most songs were either not written by the artist who received the award — and credit — or they were co-written with someone else. This is the musical equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize being awarded to an author who employed a ghost writer to compose his or her manuscript.
This shift from classic country, when musicians were far more invested in their lyrics, can be attributed to the rise in popularity of “urban country”…
– – Why I don’t often look to college newspapers for insightful cultural criticism.

ABC’s Country Music Association Awards notched 13.7 million viewers Thursday, a record low that’s down 17% from last year’s ceremony, which aired on a Wednesday.
– – The wholesale changing of the guard at this year’s show might not have paid off quite as ABC hoped.

In Nashville, if you had a song that went over 2 minutes, it was hard to get cut. Marty Robbins changed that, when he came out with ‘El Paso.’ These songs today, I’m not knocking them; it’s their turn. They go on and on and on — and I lose track of the songs and what they’re saying. You get your story and stick to it.
– – Mel Tillis thinks modern country songwriting could bear to be a little more succinct.

I’m fascinated by dark things. I like the juxtaposition of the human condition. For anybody, it’s not a constant state of happiness unless you’re downing Percocet.
– – Lindi Ortega on her penchant for covering dark subject matter.

It took me two years to write some of the songs because I was writing in a direction of art vs. commerce. Obviously, I came out as a commercial country music artist, so I mean, I can’t just all the sudden be underground scene. So I look at it like, ‘well, that’s just the path that luckily I was given, so I just have to somehow make it to where… hopefully your ears don’t bleed.’
– – Jerrod Niemann on trying to strike the right balance.

Well, I’ve had a couple of different eras in my career, and the pendulum kind of swings in Nashville. Things have kind of opened up over the years, but when I first started Nashville didn’t think women could sell any tickets or sell any records. Yeah, tell that to Taylor Swift.
– – Pam Tillis on women in country music.

In other words, Taylor Swift was not satisfied with being the queen of country. She needed to be the queen of EVERYTHING! As if anyone’s gonna remember she sold a million copies of “Red” last week. It’s ultimately a meaningless statistic, only the music matters.
And too much of the music is not country. And now, more than ever since before the Beatles, pop music is seen as disposable. It’s country music that lasts. It’s country acts that last. Taylor Swift could have been the new coal miner’s daughter, er, financial advisor’s daughter, you get my point, she could have been Loretta Lynn. Dolly Parton even. Who never forgot her country fans but did sacrifice country airplay when she went mainstream, became a movie star. Then again, to equate Taylor Swift’s talents with those of Dolly Parton is to believe Snooki can play outfield for the Mets. Then again, with the season they had!
– – Bob Lefsetz is angling to become the subject of another Taylor Swift song, I think.

New posts, by email, whenever we’ve got ’em.


  1. Karen says

    Lindi Ortega’s ‘Cigarettes & Truckstops’ is my current favorite cd, in constant play for the majority of my 2.5 hours of commuting each day. Though I don’t think of the majority of the songs as being overly dark – or maybe that just says something about me . . .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *