Quotable Country – 11/24/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I think she’s perfect; I don’t think there’s anything… she’s gotta have a big ol’ mole on her butt or something, I don’t know. I can’t find anything wrong with her! She’s just perfect.
— Tanya Tucker on Carrie Underwood.

Chicago Harley delivered it to me in Chicago when Travis Tritt and me and Marty Stuart and Charlie Daniels were playing. [The guys] were all kidding me about it that day when they delivered it. I was riding it around the racetrack where we were. I asked Travis to go with me. I asked Marty. They would not ride my pink motorcycle.
But here comes Charlie Daniels, and he says, “Is that your motorcycle? … Well, that’s the prettiest motorcycle I’ve ever seen. Could I ride it?” I went, “Well, sure. Would you make sure you ride it around Travis and Marty’s bus?”
— Tanya Tucker on her pink Harley, currently featured in a Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit.

You can’t get out of it. I had a sweet meeting with them. They were all fired up. They were the sweetest, and they’re all like twelve. They’re the sweetest kids. So young. And so I got the first question, “How do you get out?” And silence. You don’t. You don’t get out.
— Garth Brooks on attempting to opt out of ever being on YouTube.

In some ways, finding new music is like finding a meal at a gas station. Sure, you can grab a candy bar at the front counter, but if you walk to the back of the store, you’ll find something hot that will hold you a little longer.
— In an otherwise interesting update on the uphill battle faced by women at country radio, Taste of Country’s Billy Dukes suggests that the most we should expect of music is that it be comparable to heat-lamped gas station food. Which I guess explains a lot about Townsquare Media’s overall programming philosophy.

The thing that has changed, because of piracy and Spotify and people just not feeling like they need to pay for creative endeavors, is that it’s been harder to sign up bands or artists that we may really like but don’t have the ability in their life, because of jobs or family or something else, to go out on the road 150 days a year. So we just have to kind of politely decline, because there’s no way for us to make that work anymore, which kills me. […]
People seem to walk around like ‘oh piracy’, or ‘oh, I pay my $9.99 a month to Spotify, this is all a victimless crime, all these musicians, they can make all their money from t-shirts and gigs and stuff,’ but it’s just not true. The amount of art that is not getting created, where artists just kind of shrug their shoulders and go ‘I just can’t make this work’ and they just go do something else, that’s really tough, because like I said, we’ve had to pass on some acts that we really like.
— Rob Miller, Bloodshot Records co-founder, in a nice American Songwriter feature on the beloved indie label’s 20th anniversary.

I’ve never had any success [writing] alone, but I don’t do it that much. I think we go back to what we feel like works. I enjoy collaborating. I love the community. Songwriters are so deeply disturbed and yet so interesting. I love the fraternity.
— Lee Thomas Miller, hit songwriter and Nashville Songwriters Association International president.

I did a bunch of Saturdays at a place downtown and did covers for four hours. The breaking point was when a friend of a friend came up to me and said, “Do you ever play original music?” And I thought, “F**k, I gotta stop doing this.”
— Cale Tyson, whose original Cheater’s Wine we reviewed recently.

They are scientific reproductions. If you go back and listen, my voice on ‘She’s in Love With the Boy’ is an impersonation of my 26-year-old self. I’m like, ‘OK, sing a little bit lighter. Sing a little bit younger.’
— Trisha Yearwood on her (ill-advised?) approach to re-recording classics in one of those not-uncommon ‘I really wish I owned my own masters’ moves.

What came to my head when you asked that question was, “I don’t have any regrets.” I don’t look back at my career and go, “I wish I would have cut that song.” And I mean, I’ve had songs on hold that became big hits for other people, and I joke about it, but I think every song goes where it’s supposed to go.
— Trisha Yearwood on her greatest accomplishment in music.

I feel like Reba McEntire came in and stormed all the doors and opened all the doors [for women in country], and somehow, in the last 10 years, somebody started closing the doors back.
— Yearwood again. Different interview.

I think it’s time for the girls to come back in a little stronger. I made a comment ‘When is it going to get back to a point that you hear two female’s songs in a row on radio. You’ll hear one female and then ten men. I would love for it to get more equal or heavier on the females. It’s time for the girls to come back. We need more females in this business.
— Reba, in a Billboard article last month.

He is a role model. He treats his people well. He’s class, he appreciates everybody that does everything in the process, as big a star as he is. When we’re down in Florida making George’s records and we go to lunch, George and his wife are usually the ones walking around with the pitcher of tea refilling everybody’s drinks — and that’s at a restaurant. That’s not at George’s kitchen. He’s just a down-to-earth guy, and that connects with me.
— Mac McAnally on George Strait.

I am not your stereotypical gay guy. In country we’re selling a product now that a lot of these guys have never one time even lived; I hear all these guys singing about trucks and tailgates and all this bulls— that I’ve actually done and lived. It’s awesome for me to think that I can be authentic and still be that same redneck kid from Alabama who wasn’t really supposed to be gay but who is, even though it’s taken me half my life to accept that. I think everybody knows somebody that’s gay, even the rednecks. The people that like country music and that are driving the trucks and hunting and fishing probably know somebody that’s gay that’s in the closet. And I’m just a regular guy, so if it makes people think “Oh my God, if you’re gay, then who else might be?,” that’s a good thing.
— ’90s star Ty Herndon, who finally, officially came out this past week.

I was 10, sitting in church and horrified that I might be a homosexual. Whatever that word meant, I knew that I probably was one. And I know there’s a lot of those kids still out there. Telling my story is an opportunity to help just one of them.
They can be loved by God, they can be married one day, they can have a family, they can give their parents grandkids. And they’re not broken, they’re not sinners and they’re perfectly beautiful.
— Herndon again. Chuckle about how not-quite-in-the-closet he was to begin with if you must, but I appreciate how honestly and intelligently he’s gone about starting this conversation. And the cynic in me appreciates that his disclosures do not seem to have been precisely timed to coincide with an album and memoir release.

I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t like Elvis. I’ve never heard anybody say, ‘Oh, I don’t like his singing.’ Everybody loved Elvis, and I just think that’s incredible. He was so different in every way — his voice, his style, the way he moved, the way he looked. He just had this charm and charisma and a lot of sex appeal.
— Dolly Parton.

My intention was not to try to convince any skeptics that my music was country. It’s hard to understand everybody’s definition of what country music is, and mine may not fit the definition of my critics, so it’s kind of pointless for me to get involved in an argument where we just have different ideas about what country music is. In an argument like that, I think two people can [both] be right.
— Sam Hunt.

I mean, I get it. You want to sell records, but if you want to call yourself an artist, your job is how you express yourself. If you’re a painter, you don’t go, “abstract’s really selling, so that’s what I’m going to do.” If you’re really truly an artist, you have to think what you’re meant to paint. I’ve patterned myself after my musical heroes. The name that pops into my head is Emmylou Harris — I think about her song choices, but I don’t know what her album sales have been. I think it’s about the quality she makes and she’s still been very successful. If you record a song that you love, then you’re going to win. But if everyone is telling you it’s going to be a hit record and you hate it, then you have to sing a record you hate every night. And you just sold your soul for the radio.
— Trisha Yearwood, in yet another interview. This edition is like Christmas for Trisha fans.

I think the biggest thing about any of that stuff is escapism. We all have lives, and we all have things going on in them, and there are times you want to get away from them. I think that’s the key, whether it be a song or whether it be a concert. People are coming to that show so they don’t have to be in their life for a while — myself included. When I take that stage I get to separate, too. I’m on that stage. I’m in that moment. I’m committed to that moment. I’m no different than the person sitting there.
— Eric Church on live show as escape valve.

When I listen to country music, I listen to (artists from) the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. I wasn’t a fan of current country music even when we were current. I’ve always gravitated to that. I’ve been known to call (modern country) Disney Country. It’s aimed and directed to young teenagers. They’re the ones spending mama’s money on it.
— Little Texas bassist Duane Propes.

“I’d laugh at it if it weren’t so sad!” she continues, lamenting the maligned bro-country trend that has dominated playlists of late. “It’s true, trucks are a part of a lot of people’s lives. My first car was a Ford pickup. But it’s like we’ve gone from making music to making something else. The things that make country unique are what make it cool. But no one’s interested in doing that anymore. It seems like people don’t give two shits about country music but they move [to Nashville] and make what they want to make.”
— Lee Ann Womack is a superhero.

The lyric and the story is the star of the song. Not so much the production.
— Billy Dean (to middle school students) on country music.

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  1. says

    Maybe I haven’t read enough Ty Herndon interviews, but I was impressed with how articulate/intelligent and even humorous he was in His interviews this week.

  2. CraigR. says

    Loved the last three quotes. Cringed when Ty Herdon claimed he wasn’t ” a stereotypical gay guy”. There is no such thing. That’s his insecurity showing. And Dolly- so right!

  3. Erik North says

    With respect to Trisha’s quote about not having any regrets about her career, I think there’s one caveat. In an interview with the Hartford Courant back in March, she noted that one of her career goals was to sing with her spiritual role model Linda Ronstadt, a goal that she now can’t reach because Linda’s voice was basically wiped out by Parkinson’s, and that it broke her heart to learn of Linda’s diagnosis. So she isn’t exactly regret-free when it comes to a big part of her career, and a big reason for her even wanting to become a singer to begin with.


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