Country and western: (n) another name for country music
When I was a pukey little kid filled with pimples and promise, we called it hillbilly music. It was another thing we were permitted to “be better than” in an environment where our white skin gave us free pass to nearly every privilege.
It was particularly humorous because I lived in a state of the Union in which the hillbillies who made that music were not more than a “state of mind away.”
I grew up with gospel music, which was hillbilly music sung on Sunday, including a Wurlitzer organ. I didn’t care. It was the gospel.
And the gospel, to me at that point, meant four-part singin’, clappin’ and words about my unworthiness but soon inexplicable admission to heavenly bliss.
After I escaped the educational system (when we both breathed a sigh of relief) I ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, surrounded by people who were not hillbillies, but just favored a twinge of “twang to their “thang.”
My opinion soon changed because they liked the music I was writing and offered me opportunities to record it, and even some open doors to perform it.
I never became a huge follower of country and western music, and to this day only enjoy it in small doses.
But the same could be said of Pepto-Bismol. Every once in a while, you need a little to calm your innards.
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