The Leopard

Why Don’t People Like Country Music Anymore?

Cameron Kelsey, Opinion Writer

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coun·try mu·sic

/kəntrē ˈmyo͞ozik/



a style and genre of largely string-accompanied American popular music having roots in the folk music of the Southeast and cowboy music of the West, usually vocalized, generally simple in form and harmony, and typified by romantic or melancholy ballads accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, violin, and harmonica.


Out of all genres of American music, country is arguably the most hated and misunderstood. The masses seem to group this incredibly diverse genre of music into one group, twangy banjo music accompanied by lyrics about farms and trucks. Well stereotypes, sadly, can stem from reality, country is a purely American art with rich history and a bright future.

The main qualm people have with country is that it’s chalk full of meaningless lyrics about tractors and the preachers daughter. This claim that country is an unintelligent incoherent mess of a musical genre is just like saying every rock band of all time is no better than Nickelback. While it is true that the genre originated in rural southern and western areas, the art has spread and diversified over the course of it’s life. Since its genesis in the 1920s, the popularity of country/western has fluctuated reaching an all time high from the 40s to the start of the 70s at a point in American history when cowboys were the superheroes of film and the culture was dominated by John Wayne and Gary Cooper. Acts like Hank Williams and a young Johnny Cash told stories of the west and sang beautiful ballads while moving the genre forward. Willie Nelson, one of the all time great country music singer-songwriters, began his career in 1962 in the midst of George Jones and Johnny Cash. Willie is still playing to this day at the ripe old age of 84. So why do people have such a warped view of this great American musical genre?

Pop-Country, that’s why. As the 70s weaned away, giving way to the 1980s country faded into the background, overshadowed by rap and pop. Country remained though, some artists stayed true to the old music, and some began to meld with the pop culture. This began an influx of different musical genres combining with the original country sound. Acts like those of the early 2000s, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, fused with the pop culture of the times and created a brand new genre of music, pop country.

Now this isn’t to say that pop-country is inherently a genre of lesser value it’s just that lumping these two different categories of art is at times, unfair. Many artists bridge the gap between the two time and time again creating yet another layer of confusion. Different people have different opinions about this topic and you may love it but to me, classic country music is a far superior art form.

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7 Responses to “Why Don’t People Like Country Music Anymore?”

  1. Emma Flood on May 24th, 2017 11:49 am

    I love how you spoke your mind about country music. It is so hated and misunderstood by so many people and hopefully this will open them up to the genre.


  2. Bailey Willes on May 24th, 2017 1:46 pm

    I love hearing other opinions, and while I don’t listen to country music and am not drawn to it, I respect your taste and was glad to hear your view. I do agree that it is misunderstood and stereotyped harshly. This was a very insightful piece.


  3. Buddy McClelland on May 24th, 2017 2:00 pm

    I personally don’t listen to country music at all so the country genre world I have no say in it. I do how ever know many people who listen to it and have heard and I will not lie and say I have expressed those same stereotypes due to misunderstanding. But otherwise I have nothing against it cause I myself love the old west and its culture.


  4. Devon O'Brian on May 25th, 2017 8:21 am

    Before you go saying this you must look at the demographic of where you are at. Utah is not gonna have all your country because of where we are at. But if you were to move southeast I feel like they would beg to differ with this article. Although I do believe that people are shying away from the new country scene the legends will still always be played in the good ol’ south.


  5. Sonya on May 25th, 2017 8:41 am

    Country music is always my go to music if im really sick of all the other songs that everyones been listening too or playing.


  6. Alyssa on May 25th, 2017 8:46 am

    I love it! It’s so different from other genres. The lyrics are more relatable and about actual stuff people are going through. Whatever is going on in your life there is always a country song to play to get you through the day.


  7. Jack Eliason on May 25th, 2017 8:59 am

    I love this article because the title stood out to me, most people I know don’t listen to Country music. Do you think that it’s because we live in the city?


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Why Don’t People Like Country Music Anymore?