Decline Of Country Music
Start writing a post

Decline Of Country Music

Classic Country artists didn’t need to justify their authenticity

Decline Of Country Music

One of my favorite George Jones songs continually asks the question, “Who’s gonna fill their shoes?" With many of the great country artist aging, retiring, or already departed having left only their legacy, who is going to continue their art? Who is going to keep this genre pure and moving? Who is going to continue the rich music traditions set by the Opry?

For the most part this question has yet to be answered. Sure, there are country”superstars like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, and many others. However, the majority of the music that they produce can barely be called country. So many of their songs only continue to fill country stereotypes of dirt roads, bonfires, going to the creek, jacked up trucks, drinking beer, and women in tight jeans. These songs are simply about promoting the stereotypical country lifestyle, instead of actually being country.

Despite this, there are a few modern day country artist have produced some gems such as Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer," Eric Paslay’s “She Don’t Love You," Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This," and Josh Turner’s “Your Man.” To find any modern country song sung by a female artist even semi reminiscent of a traditional country song, it typically has to be a duet like Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley’s “Remind Me.”

Nowadays, the industry tends to direct these women towards the pop side and as sex symbols in order to drive sales. Another issue is women like Reba, who were once traditional country goddesses, but have changed over time in order to stay relevant or, in other more accurate words, sell out.

Classic country artists didn’t feel the need to justify their authenticity through promoting country stereotypes: the guitars, the fiddle, and the lyrics that were relatable to the laymen, this is the foundation of country music and this is what has been lost. That was what made the authentic country sound. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Randy Travis, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, and June Carter Cash were all staples in the classic country era that hold more soul and meaning than most of the modern country being played on the radio. Women were respected and valued for their lyrics and talent and, for the most part, weren’t viewed as only sex symbols.

The lyrics were poetic, unlike today’s mainstream country. For instance, Jason Aldean’s “Burning It Down” includes the lyrics, "With you baby laying right here naked in my bed.” Just because these topics have become more acceptable to talk about in society doesn’t mean they should be crude, poetic artistry has been lost. Topics such as sex and love were also addressed in classic country -- for example, Conway Twitty’s “Love To Lay You Down” leaves more to the imagination when sex is implied, rather than being crassly overt like in modern day country.

Unfortunately, the music industry as a whole is beginning to blend together, as the lines between the different genres blur. Singers are looking for quick and easy money over having a distinct and original sound. In the end, both the singer/artist as well as the consumer suffers. With nothing being distinct or special, the singers are simply creating more competition for themselves and the consumers are left with less options. For this reason, artists like Chris Stapleton and Jamey Johnson received awards for their originality. Chris Stapleton was able to win album of the year, as his music was like a breath of fresh air, while the typical country superstars all sounded alike. With his distinguishable album, Chris Stapleton is an artist forging his own path rather than following the heard. Artists like him give the future of country music some hope, but until there are more like him I’ll continue to listen to my classic country playlist on Spotify rather than take a chance on country music radio.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Pop Culture Needs More Plus Size Protagonists

When almost 70% of American women are a size 14 or bigger, movies like Dumplin' are ridiculously important, while movies like I Feel Pretty just feel ridiculous.


For as long as I can remember, I've been fat. The protagonists in the movies I've watched and the books I've read, however, have not been. . .

Keep Reading... Show less
How I Met My Best Friends In College

Quarantine inspired me to write about my freshman year to keep it positive and focus on all the good things I was able to experience this year! In this article, I will be talking about how I was able to make such amazing friends by simply putting myself out there and trying new things.

Keep Reading... Show less

29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather

Both indoors and outdoors things to do in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather
Dahlia DeHaan

In 2017, I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - one of the most touristy places on the East Coast. And ever since then, I've befriended locals and done some exploring on my own to discover new, fun things to do in Myrtle Beach. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Birthplace of Basketball

The NBA Playoffs are here. It’s kind of funny that my history kind of started out in the same place that basketball’s did too.


Basketball was originally created by James Naismith, a Presbyterian minister who taught P.E. at YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He invented the new game to keep the young men occupied inside during the winter. Borrowing ideas from rugby and a game he used to play as a boy, “duck on the rock”, he thought of nailing up boxes to throw a ball into. He couldn’t find boxes so he used peach baskets instead. The rest of the rules he made up in about an hour.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Met You At The Wrong Time

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.


I met you when I was in middle school and I thought boys still had cooties. I wore flared jeans, Aeropostale shirts, and had the dorkiest braces ever. I cared about what other people thought of me, and I definitely cared a lot about what you thought, too. You were older, and your friends made fun of me when I talked to you. I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did. I sat two rows in front of you in class, and constantly tried to think of reasons to talk to you. Your hair was a curly mess. It still is. You graduated from middle school a year before me, and I missed you. I don’t think you even knew my name.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments