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Merle Haggard calls contemporary country music 'a bunch of crap'

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by HotRodSteve, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Merle Haggard calls contemporary country music 'a bunch of crap'

    Merle Haggard is one of the most influential and well-respected artists in country music, but when it comes to the younger generation of stars, that admiration isn’t necessarily mutual.

    “I can’t tell what they’re doing,” the country legend says in an interview. “They’re talking about screwing on a pickup tailgate and things of that nature. I don’t find no substance. I don’t find anything you can whistle and nobody even attempts to write a melody. It’s more of that kids stuff. It’s hot right now, but I’ll tell you what, it’s cooling off.”

    There is one performer among the current crop of young singer-songwriters that Haggard admires. He singles out Sturgill Simpson for praise, and even invited him to open the show at Bluestem Center for Arts in Moorhead, Minn. on Sunday.

    “As far as I’m concerned, he’s the only one out there. The rest of them sound like a bunch of (crap) to me. He comes out and does a great show,” Haggard says.

    Then again, Haggard’s radar for great talent hasn’t always been 100 percent accurate. He admits he didn’t understand the appeal of one of country’s all-time greatest artists at first.

    “I didn’t like Johnny Cash,” he says. “I thought he was kind of corny. I wasn’t really a fan.”

    That changed during Haggard’s stint in prison at San Quentin, when Cash performed a gig for the inmates in 1958. “When he came there, he’d been roaring the night before in San Francisco and had blown his voice. He couldn’t talk above a whisper, but he was able to absolutely waylay that crowd,” Haggard recounts. “Five thousand prisoners is a good way to check your talent. I was impressed with his ability to handle that crowd without a voice. I’ll always remember that.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainmen...y-country-sounds-like-bunch-crap/?intcmp=hpff
     
  2. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Keith first, now Merle. Lol
    both have their points though.
     
  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I stand with Merle. I think his descriptions are dead nuts correct.
     
  4. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    You tell 'em Merle!


    "I think I'll just stay here and drink"- A classic that wouldn't even make it to the charts today 'cuz there's no "girl in my truck"... in a 1/2/4/5 progression.
     
  5. asatfan

    asatfan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Merle speaks the truth.
     
  6. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I assume that Merle is talking about top 40 country, as there are other artists out there doing cool stuff besides Sturgill Simpson.

    Just to see what the deal was, I recently put on one of the modern country stations and couldn't believe how bad it was.
     
  7. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Since I'm no expert on anything including modern country music, I find I must trust the instincts of Mr. Haggard in this matter.
     
  8. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    FWIW my grandparents thought Mr. Haggard's music was not "country." Too many drums and electric guitars. ;)

    Also FWIW, I think that I will soon be streaming BootLiquor.com during my morning shower rather than listening to the local "country" station. I will miss the local news and weather though.
     
  9. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    I don't listen to much country music, but I like the older stuff. I work with a guy who like's "today's country" and will put it on the radio once in a while. After about 40 minutes I'm ready to listen to something else. I'm not one to say it's good or bad, I just don't really enjoy listening to it.
     
  10. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1

    I mean, who's going to go against that? Who actually believes that "modern country" is rewarding & worthwhile? Unless there's some 12 year olds lurking...?

    Have to say, from the youTube clips I've seen of Sturgill, I do like his thing.

    I've been doing this recently, too. Really because on my bi-monthly trip to aVille I go through an area that that's all that I can pickup on my radio so have been doing a little recon.

    Out of 10 songs played, only one seems to be halfway catchy but you can almost tell that they are written/arranged (played?) by the same people. No imagination whatsoever. Unfortunately pretty much the deal in music (at that level), formulaic at best. Gotta sell what the kiddies are buying, no doubt if you want to be successful nowadays. Only have to look at the musical climate to know that's reality.
     
  11. highwayman

    highwayman Former Member

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    He's right.....I mean, who controls this stuff anyways? what gets played on the radio and shoved down our throats is going to be popular.If they decided to play more rock on the radio ,it would be popular again,its all controlled by a panel of stuffed shirts........
     
  12. GuitOp81

    GuitOp81 Tele-Holic

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    right or wrong, it's another case of

    [​IMG]
     
  13. prebend

    prebend Tele-Holic

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    It's terrible, stupid, boring music with absolutely infantile lyrics. It's fine if people/kids like it and want to listen to it. Just don't call it "country" music and soil the accomplishments of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, etc.

    Call it something like "Romanticized Rural" music.
     
  14. simonsp

    simonsp Friend of Leo's

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  15. JLC78TELE

    JLC78TELE Tele-Meister

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    My boss puts the office radio on modern country a lot and its basically, 4 artists playing the same songs over and over again. At this point I could probably support an assassination attempt on Luke Bryan.

    However there is a lot of good modern country played on the "Outlaw Country" CM Station that even a rocker like me can get into.
     
    barney91 likes this.
  16. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Poster Extraordinaire

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    At our Saturday night card game we usually play the radio and lately it's been tuned to a local country music station. Once in awhile I'll hear something slightly catchy but it's mostly crap, might as well listen to some pop station. Merle is right and he's at that stage in life where you can tell the truth and not give a **** what anyone else thinks. The emperor has no clothes dammit!
     
  17. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The only people I know that like modern Country/Pop are women. You can guess what the appeal is for them.
     
  18. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    I both highly admire & respect him, just like Keef...it's one man's perspective, but sweeping statements without detail, are generalisations. I don't claim to listen to current top 40 country, but the bits I hear are not something I'm drawn to. It strikes me as formulated & watered down, (the fusion with rock, decrease of traditional instruments, influence of hip hop, repetition, with less melodic content, etc.). When I look for today's country, I turn to alternative/roots/folk/outlaw/Texan sources. There are always exceptions, but this is yet, another man's opinion...Country has that great, troubadour tradition, passed from other times & continents...story telling! In a master's hands, with sympathetic instrumentation, it becomes a magical, transcendent vehicle...an APV to the soul!
     
  19. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    This. My guess is that it's like all music nowadays; there's great music out there but it's not what's being packaged and sold to us. About a year or two ago I read a book about WSM in Nashville, how it came to be and the influence it had on Nashville and how it changed the music industry in general (basically the history of the station). One of the guys who was a major part of the station was quoted toward the end of the book as saying: "Back then music was popular because it was good. Nowadays it's engineered to be popular." That statement has stuck with me ever since.
     
  20. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    There's a clip out there that's been posted on TDPRI several times where they did a mashup of a bunch of contemporary pop country songs, basically playing a segment on one song spliced with a segment of another spliced with a segment of another etc so that there was no break when changing songs. It literally was the same song the entire time.
     
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