Saturday, August 30, 2014

COUNTRY: PORTRAITS OF AN AMERICAN SOUND AT THE ANNENBERG

DOLLY PARTON, SYMPHONY HALL, BOSTON, 1972
PHOTO: © HENRY HORENSTEIN

This weeks arts and culture column is on the exhibit "Country: Portraits of an American Sound" at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

It begins:

"I’m a country western fan from way back. In the ’70s, I hitchhiked to Nashville to eat at Merchants Lunch, troll the record bins at Ernest Tubbs’, and drink at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, the iconic bar in which Willie Nelson reputedly wrote “Crazy.”

I’ve been to shows at the Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Ole Opry. A friend from Nashville once bought me a full set of Patsy Cline vinyl.

So the current exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography — “Country: Portraits of an American Sound”— is right up my alley"...

READ THE PIECE HERE.

WAITING BACKSTAGE, GRAND OLE OPRY,
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, 1972
© HENRY HORENSTEIN

1 comment:

  1. I wish I grew up listening to some country music as a kid since it would not have been dehumanizing to the likes of Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull. As I got out of grade school, I began to listen to The Who and REM and such, which weren't nearly as bad.
    I did hear from a friend last week as I was climbing Mt. Antero here in Colorado that Garth Brooks won't allow his music to sell on iTunes because they sell songs individually and thus break up the storyline that albums of thoughtful artists convey. I thought, wow, I'm not sure I could recognize a single song of Garth Brooks if I heard it, but at least he's bucking that massive system of raw commercialism! His decision reminds me of Bob Marley's Redemption Song which anyone can search for on You Tube. My favorite version of this is the 3:10 minute version where he is singing the song among some friends. Clearly, the song is about Marley's fierce battle to keep as independent of the massive record label's attempt to enslave him to their economic greed. I think Marley died because he got a toe or foot fungus and his understanding of religion did not allow for medical intervention in the same way most people's religious understandings would. He was, notwithstanding any of his weaknesses, a man of integrity.
    And from the few country songs I have listened to, many of them have this flavor of not being as tainted by our crumbling Western Civilization as so many other forms of the pop type music.

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