Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who Voted for the Dixie Chicks?

I've been listening to country music since I was about 15 years old. Who was my favorite band? Merle Haggard and the Strangers. The first country album I ever bought was Alabama's debut, simply titled "Alabama." I was listening to Hank Williams Jr. before Monday Night Football ever discovered his rowdy approach to music and I have at least a dozen Chris LaDuex songs in my iTunes library.

So I know a little bit about country music and country music fans are a special culture. So I have a question - who voted for the Dixie Chicks the other night at the Grammys? I doubt they were country music fans or part of the country music culture. The fact is the voters for Grammy Awards are people in the music business. Not fans.

Is it possible that the "chicks" were the benefactors of a political statement by the Grammy voting base? Don't get me wrong, I like their music and can you help but get excited about their look and energy? They are special... but 5 Grammys? Their album wasn't a hit on the country charts so how could it have been THE BEST ALBUM of all the music that the Grammys encompass?

I believe it was a political statement by the Grammy voting base - and that means someone else got the shaft. That's a shame.

The incident that drove the DC's to country music outer darkness (and the top of the music world this week), was an issue of free speech. They can say anything they want about any topic they want from stage... however they can't demand their fans like what they say, not tell them to shove it up their skirts or not "boycott" their music.

Responding negatively and boycotting are a form a free speech just as slamming the president is a form of free speech. We are all subject to negative responses from the people around us when we say things they don't want to hear. Can we say such things - absolutely. Can we demand everyone be "okay" with what we utter - nope.

Sorry chicks, congratulations on the awards for what they are worth coming from other musicians that are politically like-minded, but too many of your previous fans are still not ready to make nice - with you.