Changing America
0 comment Sunday, May 18, 2014 |
One more sign of a changing America: this article about the demise of a country music station:
On Thursday, the city lost its last country music broadcaster when KZLA-FM (93.9), self-billed as "America's most listened-to country station," changed its format for the first time in 25 years � to a pop format focusing on beat-heavy R & B and dance tunes.
The Burbank-based station's shift is part of a national trend. Although country fans have long been well-served in Texas, Indiana and other landlocked states, over the past decade stations have completely disappeared in New York, San Francisco and half a dozen other coastal markets.
The shift demonstrates how America's changing ethnicity is remaking media, especially in big cities. Because of their size and loyalty, minority audiences are becoming more coveted by radio companies than white listeners � at least in ethnically diverse metropolitan areas. Once-essential genres such as country, rock and classical music are increasingly being replaced by formats such as pop, hip-hop and talk radio.'' [Italics mine]
This story represents another facet of the passing of traditional America. I can't say I am especially fond of modern country music; it is a far cry from the old-time music from which it is derived, but it is a true American music. Its roots go back to the original colonists from the British Isles. I have noticed that country music has many fans in all parts of the Anglosphere, including Australia; some of the most avid fans I've known have been acquaintances from Down Under and England. It seems that country music resonates more with those of British Isles/ Western European origins. So I suppose that seals the doom of country music in an increasingly non-Anglo-Saxon America. Out with the old, in with the new.
I notice also that the country music moguls in Nashville are attempting to create a new hybrid kind of 'country' which is more 'diverse and inclusive.', for example: 'Big & Rich,' or Tim McGraw's collaboration with rapper Nelly. All this is oh-so-PC, and maybe it's being dictated by those on high in the business, but whatever it is, it ain't country.
Just like everything else these days, 'diversity and inclusion' trump authenticity and tradition.
I also notice, with dismay, that on my cable digital music lineup, there are now more than a dozen Hispanic music channels, and only two (2) country music channels. How does it work, that 13% of the population (and an even smaller percentage of cable subscribers) are catered to at the expense of the majority? Such is America in these topsy-turvy PC times. Politically and culturally, being the majority seems to be meaningless now.
As the above article points out, all the genuinely American musical forms are losing out to 'ethnic' music: urban/hip-hop, rap, and now Mexican music. Even rock music, which we think of as having near-universal popularity, is losing out.
[As a side note, it's widely held that rock music has its roots primarily in Africa, while to me it is obvious that rock has common roots with old-time country and bluegrass music, which is of British Isles origin, although this Wikipedia article claims partly African roots even for old-time music. But the burden of proof should be on those who insist on the African roots of rock or old-time music; where in Africa, past or present, is there a similar or demonstrably related kind of music? Why is rock music not popular in Africa, if it is an essentially African genre? If there is any similarity, which is doubtful, it could be explained by influence in the opposite direction: the slaves picked up British Isles music here in America. Rock music, like country, is most popular in Western countries, as well as Japan, but to my knowledge, rock has very few fans in Africa, and I know of no African rock bands. So I am a doubter on the subject of the 'African roots' of American music. To me, the idea is simply more 'Afrocentrism', an attempt to rewrite history.]
As the country is transformed demographically, we will feel more and more like strangers in our own lands.
So goes vanishing America.