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New York City does not define the U.S.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Here is yet another reason to dislike New York City - as if I needed any more reasons. It seems the last country music station in the Big Apple has shut its doors. No more country for our friends in the big city.

Now New York has all-Spanish stations, hip hop out the you know what, talk radio, heavy metal, etc. But not one country music station is available in New York. Interestingly in upper New York state, country music is the leading radio format. But not in the city.

Across the country there are some 2,000 stations devoted to country music. When Garth Brooks staged a concert in Central Park he drew over 250,000 fans. But country is not "glamorous" enough for the Big Apple so it's off the air.

Unlike hip hop and heavy metal, country music actually has lyrics and a melody. Tonight the Country Music Association will move from Nashville to New York for their annual awards show. They are doing that to try and convince the city folk that their music has appeal, even to urban dwellers. I doubt it will change anything however.

In the world of news and politics (i.e. the New York Times and the national television networks), New York is ground zero. We are given the impression that New York is the trendsetter in all things American. Like the song says, "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." But apparently not country music.

New York does not begin to reflect the soul of this country. It is as distant from our world as Moscow or Paris. For a city that brags of diversity, funny how they can define diversity in their own twisted fashion.

I'm not the biggest fan of country music. But I do know that the simple honest themes of country songs better reflect this nation than hip hop or heavy metal.

The problem is obvious. Country music, to our friends in New York, lacks the sophistication that they believe defines New York City. That however is not the world in which I live. But then again, I hail from a red state and you know how the fine folk in New York feel about us bumpkins in the fly-over land between New York and California.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen