I have had an on-again, off-again relationship with Country music all my life and the CMAs last night brought that back to mind. As a kid I think that along with the Duke boys, and my whole country “swagger” was the need to listen to country music. I remember watching performers on Hee Haw and listening to the Grand Ol' Opry on the car radio. While I had a small AM radio that my aunt gave me for Christmas one year and I could pick up Rock on WLS, later I would start to listen to country music and only gave that up when I entered junior high.
And then it was off-again while Christian Rock and real Rock took center stage well into college. But then something shifted again and about mid-way through architecture school I got the hankering for a little twang in my life. That time it stuck, even if it was just one of five channels preset on the car radio. And then I got my truck...and, well, it only seemed appropriate.
And then I met my wife and she loved country music-mostly that girly stuff that hard-core, old-school country musicians wouldn't recognize as real "country", but that was ok. An interesting note is that when our son was a baby and began to fuss in the car on road trips-he only responded to country music-so we'd turn it up load and sing along with Garth or Shania. And so it has continued at our house, and now fittingly, on our farm.
For the most part country music is just good for the soul. There seems to be such a crossover in lyrics in what could be loosely, and at times concretely, understood as spiritual messages in the songs. And a great deal of time-they're just good plain fun. Country music is the sound of America's heartland, and while I don't always agree with the message, it is a window to our soul set to a sound born in the homes of pioneers on our early frontier.