Hey, I love New York and spend a big chunk of my time there. But it should come as no surprise how ridiculous I find the announcement today by the Country Music Association that the CMA awards will be held in New York in 2005 at Madison Square Gardens and telecast live (as always) on CBS. Something about “taking Nashville to New York” and “media attention” blah, blah, “one year only” blah.
Nearly three years ago, in the first few weeks of this weblog’s life, I made my opinion known on how asinine I thought (and still think) this idea is. I’ll be honest. I know nothing about the country music industry despite my proximity to one of that industry’s leading record labels. But I know enough to know that taking the CMA awards to New York City displays the insecurity and misguided thinking that has dominated the genre since, I don’t know, the 1950s and the introduction of the “Nashville sound.” The desire to be perceived as something un-country, un-hick, mainstream, media-savvy has led to the crap coming out of my beloved hometown.
I say, good riddance. Go to New York. Spend the week there. Do you think you are going to be great ambassadors for Nashville and your “product”? Do you think New York is going to treat you like supermodels during Fashion Week? No way. You’re going to see what a week’s worth of mocking in front of a national audience is like. And you’re going to communicate to your core audience just what they perceive: that you’ve left them in search for someone else.
As for me, I’m very glad the CMA will not be in Nashville next October. I’m happy it will clear the stage for the arrrival of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s awards show and industry gathering in Nashville. Ironically, this association celebrates and perpetuates authentic, accoutiscal and pure music that finds its home in the mountains and farms of America and 18th century Europe. In reality, Nashville’s contemporary county music has more in common with LA or New York studio-produced “product” than with American “old time” and “mountain” music kept alive during the folk revival of the late 1950s and 1960s (ironically, by New Yorkers in large part).
The symbolism of the mainstream country music industry leaving Nashville for New York (temporarily) on the same month the IBMA brings its awards to Nashville is fitting. Country music left Nashville a long time ago. Bluegrass and other authentic American folk music: Welcome Home.
Sidenote: Even before I posted this, one of the rexblog’s seven readers observed that all awards shows suck anyway.
Second sidenote: I guess this blows my chances for blogging credentials to the 2005 CMA awards.
rexblog bumper music:
Murder on Music Row (George Strait)