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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The News Website for Glendale High School

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Country Music is Actually Good, Y’all

The “Everything Except Country” cliche has got to stop!
Look+at+how+much+fun+these+people+are+having%21+Have+you+no+soul%3F%21
Photographer: Paul VanDerWerf
Look at how much fun these people are having! Have you no soul?!

Once upon a time, two people had just met. 

“What kind of music do you listen to?” one of them asked.

“Oh, y’know,” the other said. “Rock, pop, some rap, pretty much everything… except country.”

And they laughed.

What happened here? 

Well, I’ll tell you, my sweet, naive reader. Person #2 listened to two Blake Shelton songs on the radio, and they decided that all country music sounds like trash, and that anyone who admits they listen to it is a redneck.

But that person, (along with ninety percent of all Californian teenagers) is dead wrong. 

And you should give country music a try! Not every country song is about being a God-fearin’, beer-drinkin’, darn-tootin’ Southern boy. 

In this article, I’m going to refer to what we normally associate with country music as “country pop,” because that’s pretty much what it is. It’s pop music that takes inspiration from the American folk tradition of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Country music has its roots in many different styles of folk music, but it can primarily be traced back to Appalachian music, which first emerged when European immigrants and enslaved Africans arrived in Appalachia in the 1600’s and 1700’s. Together, they created a unique sound that combined with the Mexican and Indigenous influences from the Southern United States to form early country music. 

Over the years, country music became famous for its ballads, its distinct instruments, and its advocacy for various social issues, such as unfair wages, class divisions, and the effects of colonialism. Modern-day country pop, with its trucks, beer, and hot girls, didn’t emerge until much later.

The widespread notion that country is “the white man’s music,” is not only a stereotypical generalization, but it’s just plain untrue. The contributions of people who were neither white nor male, cannot be overstated. Just like America itself, country music was built on the backs of Black people, immigrants, and the people that were literally already living here.

But why should you actually listen to it?

Because country music is such a broad and diverse genre, and there’s pretty much something for everyone. 

Some of it sounds straight out of a Wild West saloon, and some of it is more akin to the rock-and-roll that we’re all used to. It’s nearly impossible not to find at least a couple songs that you’ll enjoy. 

And of course, it’s got the main appeal of folk music in general: history. When you pull up a country music playlist, you’re being exposed to hundreds of years of musical traditions. In some cases, the ballads you’re listening to are telling real stories about real people that did real things. And it’s important to keep those traditions and people alive. They are all a part of our American identity.

So before you tell people that you listen to “everything except country,” think about what you’re saying. Have you actually heard enough country music to come to that conclusion? Or are you just saying it because everyone else is? (It’s probably the second one. Be honest.)

If, on the other hand, you’d like to expand your horizons and check out some good country music, you should take a look at this freakishly long playlist. It’s got…a lot. 

Stop following the crowd, and be your own person, Nitros! Give country music a chance! 

You’re welcome.

About the Contributor
Hasmik Tumasyan, Staff Writer
Hasmik Tumasyan is a junior at Glendale High School. She is involved with the color guard, Creative Writing Club, and the cinema department on campus. She enjoys listening to music and playing Dungeons & Dragons. Come find her in the art quad at lunch for a fun argument or a tarot reading.
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