Nashville sound

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ryanking
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Postby ryanking » Mon Apr 15, 2002 11:20 am

Willie Nelson talks about how CBS Records didn't want to release his "Red Headed Stranger" album because it was a spare album, with many songs consisting of mainly guitar and vocal alone. The suits said it sounded like a demo and they wanted to add the "Nashville sound", i.e. chorus-like background vocals, orchestrations, etc. Willie held his own and wouldn't let the suits change a thing, and it turned out he was right. But the suits were backing the proven horse- the Nashville sound sold quite a few records back in the day. Where do your tastes lie? And does the Nashville sound live on today?

D. Phillips
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Postby D. Phillips » Mon Apr 15, 2002 12:19 pm

The Nashville sound barely exists as we once knew it, but the Nashville machine is still grinding up good music. Look at 98% of the garbage coming out of the Country Music Capital. Johnny Cash still can't get airplay on "today's modern country" stations. It's all about the migration of country to pop that started in the 60s, mellowed in the 70s, picked steam again in the 80s, and has hit an all-time low in the last five years. Watering down anything, no matter how good, gets you an inferior result.

But let's not ignore the impact of country on rock. Some of my favorite albums are when rock bands incorporate country influences. From Mike Nesmith's First National Band albums to the Stones in the 70s to the current alt.country flavor of the month. Mike D. of the Vantrells put it best when he said it's great music when rock bands play country and shit music when country bands play rock (pop).

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Mon Apr 15, 2002 1:16 pm

Let's also not forget Dwight Yoakam, who showed up in Nashville in the 80's and was told he was too country for the Grand Ole Opry (I seem to remember an interview with him in which he said the Nashville suits called it 'mutt music'). Dwight 1, suits 0.

So he went back west and started playing in punk clubs and honky tonks, and eventually got signed to a major label.
I never listen to country radio stations so I don't know if he gets much airplay, but back in the day he got a lot of airtime on college stations.

D. Phillips
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Postby D. Phillips » Mon Apr 15, 2002 4:15 pm

And he banged Sharon Stone. Shazaam!

ryanking
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Postby ryanking » Tue Apr 16, 2002 8:34 am

Indeed. Any of you guys ever seen Nashville? The film, not the city.

ryanking
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Postby ryanking » Wed Apr 17, 2002 9:13 am

Where I was going with that was, the film Nashville features many characters who are "country stars", recording and performing with the big orchestra and the big chorus behind them. It struck me that the characters' role was to be "stars", and that their job seemed damn simple, as long as the orchestra and chorus were behind them providing the music.

Even though the characters in Nashville were only characters, I can easily equate them with the real thing when I see some footage of Johnny Cash or Glen Campbell or whoever on those old Nashville variety shows. Or I saw Willie Nelson on the Grand Ole Opry Live with Porter Wagoner last weekend and old Wagoner could barely croak out a tune... it just seemed that more important than the musical ability of the individual, is just standing 'em up there in front of the band playing some old two chord country standard. It seemed that the "star power" was more important than the music. And man, if you were Johnny Cash, asked to get up in front of the cameras in some gaudy ass rhinestone suit, literally throughout the 70s, and sing some atrocious cheatin' duet with whoever Nashville tapped 'cause number one, they're good looking and number two, they can sing alright, god damn, I think, no big surprise that Cash or others might want to self-medicate to get them through the show. I agree with what you're saying Derek about country becoming pop, and during that time, the beauty of country music has been perverted by the forced, unnatural situations in which it is/was presented. It's fucking Pink Floyd the Wall with a country soundtrack.


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