Quotable Country – 12/17/12 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I don’t understand modern country music. I have some friends in it, and it’s obviously doing very well, but I don’t know of any songs I could whistle. It seems like there oughta be a standard every 10 years, and I haven’t heard one of those in 20 years. There’s a lot of good words. But it seems like we’ve run out of melodies.
– – Merle Haggard.

I can’t do anything else! It sounds like I’m rather dull and I probably am, but you have to consider I’ve been singing professionally since I was 13. [My mother] was a real one-of-a-kind mom, and I was an only child and a spoiled brat. She said, ‘If you’re going to sing, then you don’t need to do all this other stuff. If you don’t know how to cook, you don’t have to.’ My son says I make a mean bowl of cereal.
– – Wanda Jackson is pretty much only qualified to sing.

The 10-episode series Guntucky follows the three generations of the Sumner family who run Knob Creek Gun Range in Knob Creek, Ky. At the range, it’s up to the family to keep things running smoothly as customers use, try out, purchase and sell weapons across a broad spectrum of firearms — from cannons to machine guns. The family will also create shooting scenarios for their guests, hunting down rare and hard to find firearms for anything from a Civil War reenactment to a movie-style mobster scene. Things get crazy when customers get to blow up whatever they can physically bring to the range. Two half-hour episodes of Guntucky will premiere weekly at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
– – Shocker of shockers: Upcoming CMT programming is in exceptionally poor taste.

I’m giving a million percent, but I’m still only getting to about half of where I want to be, and I’m not used to that. I feel really guilty about making any money off of this show tonight, so whatever I’m making is just going to go back into this community.
– – Classy move donating proceeds from an atypically hoarse show in Des Moines to the community, Carrie Underwood. Maybe take some downtime to rest your voice and review how percentages work.

“I remember when country music was George Jones and Dolly Parton,” comedian Ron White reminisced, flanked by his mother, as they presented the breakthrough artist of the year award, which went to Jake Owen.
“Yeah,” mama sighed. “Now it’s the cast of ‘Glee’ with cowboy hats.”
Maybe so, but the older dudes had their moments as well, like when Adkins took the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd, jamming on the band’s “What’s Your Name,” the most notable aspect of the performance being the stone-faced Adkins actually smiling, an act that occurs with the frequency of a Halley’s Comet sighting.
– – The American COUNTRY Music Awards did have something to offer older fans: Lynyrd Skynyrd! Huh.

I think as long as people follow their hearts instead of what they’re told to be, we’ll get to the right place.
– – Marty Stuart on modern country music.

Anything goes now. We’ve taken all symbolism of God and Jesus Christ out of society. We’re forbidding people to pray at ballgames just to say a simple prayer asking the Lord to protect the players. We’re just headed in that ungodly direction that leads to problems for every country that heads in that direction. Look at Russia. It’s a godless country. Look at China. China thinks they’re thriving right now, but they won’t always thrive. They’ll step over the line. Look at all the countries that have gone that route. Look at Cuba. Look at Eastern Europe. It manifests itself in the way of people wanting to be in power.
– – Know that rambling old guy who seems to live at your local coffee shop? It might be Charlie Daniels.

Country music is Monday through Friday, and pop’s about what happens on the weekends.
– – Gary Allan offers a twist on the usual Sunday morning, Saturday night construct.

Shania’s beside herself. This was supposed to be her big comeback after eight years away from the music scene. But now Shania feels like Faith and Tim have eclipsed her moment in the spotlight – and she’s seething! It’s taken Shania everything to get to this point, and now, along come Faith and Tim to spoil her party. She knew they were coming, but she didn’t think they’d try to steal the spotlight like they have.
– – Perez Hilton is making drama of the simultaneous Vegas runs of Shania and Tim & Faith.

From my standpoint, I wouldn’t be surprised not to make two or three more records in my career. I don’t know that, but I do know that each one we put out will stand with the others. I’m a perfectionist and I have a vision for my songs, and getting them from my guitar and what I hear in my head to the recording is a long, arduous process. I’d be surprised if you and I were having a conversation in 10 or 15 years and I was still making records, just because of what it takes out of me.
– – Making slightly above-average records takes a lot out of Eric Church.

We’ve always loved animals. We especially love dogs. My dogs are dogs that non-caring people have driven out into the country and set their loving pet out by the side of the road and driven off.
Certain times we get them and it takes them a while to get over it because it really hurts them. People don’t know what it does to them, but I do. And it takes them along time to get over it, but when they finally realize that it’s all gone behind them, then they come around and they’re happy and they’re your dog. That’s the way it is. Every dog is a good dog if you treat him right.
– – Ray Price is a sweet, sweet man.

She’s stayed relevant and interested in music over the arc of a long career, and has the respect of her fellow musicians and artists. She’s also reinvented herself many times without selling out. That’s awesome. It’s a model for the way I’d like to make decisions in my own career.
– – Kathy Mattea on Emmylou Harris.

Q: You said a controversial comment about Taylor Swift being elected entertainer of the year. What do you think about the new generation of country artists?
A: I can’t believe you’re asking me all these questions. Part of me is very aggravated when you guys do this. But I’m going to tell you what I can tell you now because I’m in a pretty good mood.
I made a comment that when mom and I started in 1984, we were in a car for a year visiting radio stations every day. We would pick certain weeks out of the month and we would visit those radio stations.
It was slow enough that fans can grow into it and make us sort of like the American heroes because they were right there with us. Now there’s not a whole lot of the old-fashioned shaking the hand of the guy who runs the station. Now you can become famous overnight because of YouTube.
– – Wynonna gets a little testy with an interviewer and a little sour-grape-sy about Taylor Swift, who has certainly put in the face time with fans and media types to build her career.

To go back to the statement you made about Ronnie [Milsap] and Crystal [Gayle], even though they were having hits on the far right side of the pendulum, on the far left side, you still had George Jones, Merle Haggard, John Anderson, so there was a balance there. You don’t have that anymore. That’s the thing I fear.
I don’t mind if someone goes off and does something off the grid of country music. That’s cool. But it’s got to have a balance of some sort, and that’s what I don’t see anymore.
– – Ricky Skaggs wishes the traditional element were more present on radio.

Then I have an album of duets with girls called Who All The Girls Are. I sing with Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash and Barbra Streisand – that’s something I have long wanted to do. There will be 12 collaborations in all, with songs old and new. One song, brought by the producer Buddy Cannon, is a unknown song written by Waylon Jennings, one of the last he wrote, called “She Was No Good To Me.” And I get the chance to sing with Dolly Parton again, on a beautiful song she has written called “From There To The Moon And Back.”
– – Willie Nelson offers some details on an upcoming duets project.

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  1. Chris says

    1. Merle should speak on the ridiculousness of modern ‘country’ music more often
    2. CMT disgusts me to no end
    3. Ron White, his mom and Marty Stuart are spot on
    4. I would appreciate it if Shania, Tim, and Faith exited stage left
    5. Eric Church does not make slightly-above-average records, he makes significantly and obnoxiously-below-average records
    7. In 2012, Taylor Swift taught me that if you have a really wealthy daddy and YouTube, you can be a superstar
    8. Could not agree with Ricky Skaggs more…country music is on life support and this generation is about to pull the plug. Can George Strait, Randy Travis, Ricky, Alan Jackson, et al have reincarnations?

  2. says

    Wanda Jackson considers herself dull? Ha! Good one.

    Every dog is a good dog if you treat him right.

    Yes, yes, yes. One of my biggest pet peaves is when a dog is written off as “bad” because of habits or behavior related to lack of proper training or clearly set boundaries on the part of the owner.

    I definitely relate to Ricky Skaggs above comments. I can appreciate a good pop-country record, but how I wish that the hypenated varieties of country music could coexist with traditional country instead of crowding it out.

    That Willie Nelson duets album sounds very interesting. I look forward to hearing it.

  3. Rick says

    Hag’s comment is especially applicable to Americana music where the concept of a melody seems foreign to the roots rock side of the genre. I’ve realized that the reason I’ve gravitated to bluegrass is because good melodies abound in much of the new stuff coming out but not in the other country related modern music out there.

    I totally agree with Charlie Daniels and understand exactly what he means. As Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote in the early 1800’s “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” With Democrats doing all they could to banish the Bible and biblical morality from US public institutions over the last 60 years or more, we wind up reaping a loser like Obama as a two term president. Once that moral decline snowball starts picking up steam, there is no turing back….

    I agree with Ricky Skaggs about the variety of music that used to be found on the mainstream country radio dial. Besides covering a lot of styles it also didn’t suck and wasn’t completely mediocre like most of today’s contemporary country. There has been both a loss of variety and especially overall quality in mainstream country music in the last couple of decades.

    I do hope Eric Church’s comments become a self-fulfilling prophecy! (lol)

    • Michael A. says

      Quotable Country – 12/24/12 Edition

      “F*ck off.”

      — Michael A. to Rick regarding his tendency to include Hank Jr.-esque political rants in his comments on country music blogs. He’d been so good lately. Such a shame.

  4. andrew leprich says

    The Ricky Skaggs comment nails it. I have a deep love for traditional country music, but I also listen to music that could never be mistaken as traditional. What I want out of mainstream country is good songs and a balance between traditional and progressive sounds. Unfortunately, mainstream country no longer offers either.

    • Luckyoldsun says

      I’ll withhold judgment. I never heard of the reporter and I have no reason to think one way or the other whether that write-up is a fair representation of what went down between them.

  5. Eric says

    “Taylor Swift taught me that if you have a really wealthy daddy”

    Complete and utter bullshit. Taylor Swift’s dad was a stockbroker who was upper-middle-class, not “really wealthy”. Furthermore, Taylor Swift was one of the first artists on Big Machine, back when Big Machine was a small independent record label with little money. She worked hard to build her fan base using Myspace and other online tools.

    Why don’t you instead go after the heirs of genuinely wealthy country singers, such as Hank Williams Jr., Hank 3, or Shooter Jennings? Or the unknown number of artists who got signed by a large record label due to personal or family connections with the label executives?

  6. Sarah says

    The Charlie Daniels quote is an example of an aspect of the country music community that I like to cover my ears and pretend isn’t associated with something I love. If enough of it seeps in, I just listen to Steve Earle until it’s gone.

    I don’t know who Kathy Mattea is, but her quote makes me want to find out.

    I like Stewart, Skaggs, and Haggard’s takes on modern country music. I feel like they all hit the nail on the head.

    Wanda Jackson has endeared herself to soft spot for self-deprecation in my heart, and Wyonna Judd has accomplished the impossible: making a critique of Taylor Swift with which I disagree.

  7. Luckyoldsun says

    One song, brought by the producer Buddy Cannon, is a unknown song written by Waylon Jennings, one of the last he wrote, called “She Was No Good To Me.”

    Actually, it’s called “She Was No Good FOR Me” and Waylon released it on his “Waymore’s Blues Part 2″ CD in the early ’90s. And it’s also on the “Going Down Rockin” CD that they put out last year.


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