I finally started reading "Cash: The Autobiography," and I'm finding it interesting. He was a fascinating man, Johnny. It's amazing how in a couple of chapters you travel with him from a New Deal cotton patch to a summer home in Jamaica. He hasn't gotten to the stuff in-between yet.
Something that resonated with me: I was talking with a friend of mine about this the other day: that country life as I knew it might really be a thing of the past and when music people today, performers and fans alike, talk about being 'country,' they don't mean they know or even care about the land and the life it sustains and regulates. They're talking more about choices--a way to look, a group to belong to, a kind of music to call their own. Which begs a question: Is there anything behind the symbols of modern 'country,' or are the symbols themselves the whole story? Are the hats, the boots, the pickup trucks, and the honky-tonking poses all that's left of a disintegrating culture? Back in Arkansas, a way of life produced a certain kind of music. Does a certain kind of music now produce a way of life? Maybe that's okay. I don't know.
A couple of years ago there was a fellow on one of my music boards who talked about this sort of thing, saying that as a white Southern man he was in a culture that not only was dying, but that people were happy to kill. I realize this is because of a perception that ALL white Southerners were slave-holding racists, but I don't think that's what guys like that are/were talking about. Johnny goes on to say that while he knows a farmer's life still isn't easy, his family considered it the lap of luxury to have moved into a house which had a pre-dug outhouse and glass in the windows. In my own family my grandfather was one of 12 children who grew up working a New Jersey farm, so "country" wasn't strictly limited to the south, of course; I think my friend on the board meant the country culture, that view and outlook, has all been plowed under by guys with gym-perfect pects wearing a cowboy hat.
I wanted to post my Music Layout meme, but it looks like it's screwing up the code on my page somewhere (when I hit the "view it here!" link I get my April 10 post; when I go to "recent entries" it changes the settings on my page), but I like it, so I want to post it... The one in nutmeg3's journal didn't mess things up... I have to figure it out when I'm awake...
And now it's suddenly late and I should go to bed!