Yea, yea, we've all heard them before. The country music stereotypes that everyone loves to laugh at or use as an excuse not to listen to the genre. But are they really true?
Most stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. Do these nine country music stereotypes deserve the recognition? Are they true? In no particular order...
9. All country songs are about trucks, women, and booze.
This one is simply not true. You are all forgetting about that one song back in 2005... But seriously, country music is about life, singing the truth. Sometimes that truth is about laid-off Detroit factory workers. Sometimes it's about getting drunk on a tailgate.
8. If you play a country song backwards...
...you get you dog back, your woman back, your truck back... This stereotype has been around forever. Just ask Steve Goodman (who wrote David Allen Coe's You Never Even Called Me By My Name). But it's not true. If you play a country song backward, it just sounds like gibberish. Not really music at all. Just awful noise.
7. Only southerners listen to country music.
Yup, that's why tickets sold out so fast that Zac Brown had to schedule extra nights at Fenway Park. That's why you can't stop at a bar in Michigan without hearing Luke Bryan or Florida Georgia Line. No, nobody but southerners like country music. Which leads us to our next point...
6. The only people that listen to country are rednecks and hillbillies.
Not true. There are also drunken sorority girls, lonely housewives, and Australians. Seriously, Australians. But the truth is that people from all walks of life listen to country--from farm hands to politicians to professional athletes. Some of them are even classy.
5. Country musicians aren't real musicians.
Um, yea. Tell that to Brad Paisley. Or Chet Atkins. Or Bonnie Raitt.
4. Country music is just pop with banjos.
Listen, you throw a banjo into the mix, we're talking a whole different sound. Pop music? Pff, please. Country also has steel and pedal guitars, fiddles, mandolins, accordions, and very few drum machines.
3. Country music is dominated by white, Catholic males.
One of the most important principles of country music is that it praises people who are genuine, decent human beings. It's tough to be a genuine, decent human being if you're a bigot or a racist. Sure, country musicians sing about God. But God taught acceptance and love, after all. Country is still working through some issues about race, creed, and sexual orientation, but there are plenty of artists who don't fit this bill.
2. The women are ornery.
Hey man, just because you cheated on your girlfriend and she smashed your headlights with a baseball bat doesn't make her ornery. It actually just makes you a cheater.
1. Country musicians are a few flapjacks short of a stack.
Or they aren't the smartest people in the world. Well, anyone who can simultaneously play an instrument and sing must have something going for them. Heck, not even B.B. King could do that. But go and listen to Sturgill Simpson, or any pro session musician, and you might want to reconsider this stereotype. Also, check out this fascinating analysis which proves that country music is actually the smartest genre of all.