A Little Bit Country

I told you in a blog post six or seven months ago that I listen only to sports radio in my car. What I have subsequently learned is that I listen to sports radio in my car mostly during football season, and mostly when I’m in Denver. In fact, I haven’t yet quite figured out which radio stations are sports stations here in AZ. We have three or four in Denver, and given the fervor of sports fans in the Phoenix area, I would assume there are several here as well.

So what I find myself listening to in its stead is country music. If you would have told me, say, 30 years ago that I would ever be listening to country music, I would have been quite surprised. I’m not sure why, because beginning in my late 20s and early 30s, I listened to a lot of music from groups like the Eagles, Poco, and Pure Prairie League, all of which are just a hair away from country music.

As I got older, I found myself listening to groups like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I became more and more drawn to bluegrass artists such as Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. I even found I liked Johnny Cash. Yes, folks. I heard the train a’comin’. It was about then that I figured I needed a support group.

Hi, my name is Kris. (Hi Kris.) I like country music. (The first step is admitting you have a problem. And at least you can have a shot and a beer with your music.)

Now there’s almost no country music I won’t listen to.  I’m a country music ho.

Perhaps even more surprising, however, is that my sister Bec has also become a fan of country music, something I would never have thought would happen. I’m not certain, but I don’t even think it was a gradual thing for her. She simply moved to Arizona and turned on KMLE Country @107.9, and the rest is history. Thankfully, the only pickup truck in her family belongs to her son.

I like her explanation, however. She is nostalgic about the music we used to listen to when we were in high school and college. You know, love songs. Songs that told a story. Songs you could sing along with and not be embarrassed to say the words. Nowadays the music consists mostly of electronic sounds and heavy rhythm. And you can sing along, but you better not let your mom hear you.

Country singers still talk about love. Oh, it might be in the back of a pick-up truck while drinking a beer, but there’s usually a degree of romance involved. And some of the titles are clever enough to make me laugh out loud.

Take these for example…..

I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Like Having You Here (Billy Ray Cyrus)
I Still Miss You Baby But My Aim’s Getting Better (Lynn Anderson)
Money Can’t Buy Everything (But It Could Buy Me a Boat) (Chris Janson)

And my new personal favorite

You Look Like I Need a Drink (Justin Moore)

One more thought about music, however. I often say that while I can’t remember the name of my doctor, I can remember the words to every single song released in the 1960s and 70s. And they were all so innocent, I go on to say.

The other day Bill and I were having coffee at the Starbucks in our nearby grocery store and the Muzak was playing 60s music. A familiar song came on and I began singing it quietly under my breath. Suddenly, perhaps for the first time ever, I actually paid attention to the words. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now a grandmother, but I was disgruntled.

Here are a few of the lyrics from Young Girl by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap:

Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line, better run girl, you’re much too young, girl. So hurry home to your mama, I’m sure she wonders where you are, get out of here before I have the time to change my mind…..

The Union Gap present day. They're old guys, just like us!

The Union Gap present day. They’re old guys, just like us!

Sigh. Maybe we weren’t so innocent.