country music – changing radio stations

Somewhere in the 1990’s, I grew tired of most of the music playing on pop/rock radio stations.  Other than the occasional oldies played from a time closer to my generation, it was just terrible music coming out.   Having just moved to the Cincinnati area, I hadn’t explored all the local radio stations.  One morning on my way to work, I was stopped at a railroad crossing and decided to scan through the local FM stations.

It didn’t take long until I came across a sound I had not heard before, but the harmonies and lyrics caught my attention.  After the song finished, B-105 came on the air and told my I had just heard Brooks and Dunn singing “That ain’t no way to go”.

I was fascinated and hooked. There was a new genre of music I had only heard about, but the sound reminded of those country/rock groups from the 70’s.  Groups like The Eagles, Poco, Pure Prairie League, Marshall Tucker Band, and one of my local Ohio favorites – McGuffy Lane.  Smooth melodies, great harmonies, honest and simple lyrics of lost loves.

I decided to listen to a couple more songs.  A few that rolled out of the speakers were:  One More Last Chance, What Might Have Been, A Bad Goodbye, and The Song Remembers When.

THEN – some guy with a name I had never heard before began:

Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She’s lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she’s my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last

I wasn’t sure what a “Garth Brooks” was, but I had to know more.  I immediately pushed re-set button on my radio to that station and ran to Walmart on my lunch to find a CD from that Garth guy!

I was hooked.  The songs took me back to simpler time where music seemed to matter more.  A time where lyrics mattered more.  Back to a time when life was easier and gentler.  Once I looked into this country music thing a little deeper, I found songs that hit closer to home than that noise coming out of pop stations.

Some of the lyrics of country music amazing, simple, honest, fun and REAL:

She came to me one evening
Hot cup of coffee and a smile
In a dress that I was certain
She hadn’t worn in quite a while

Her daddy says he ain’t worth a lick
When it comes to brains, he got the short end of the stick

Ninety miles an hour down a lover’s lane
On a tank of dreams

But that’s just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there’s no use in backtracking
Around corners I have turned
Still I guess some things we bury
Are just bound to rise again
For even if the whole world has forgotten
The song remembers when

Cause I’ve got friends in low places
Where the whiskey drowns
And the beer chases my blues away
And I’ll be okay

Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Yea, we’re two of a kind
Workin’ on a full house

But there’s somethin’ ’bout this time of year
That spins my head around
Takes me back makes me wonder
What she’s doin’ now

Sittin’ on a city park bench, you outta try a split rail fence

Ain’t as much noise and a whole lot more to see

If I said you had a beautiful body
Would you hold it against me

I ain’t as good as I once was,
But I’m as good once as I ever was.

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song it made him cry

But my heart breakin’
It didn’t make a sound

I sobered up, and I got to thinkin’
Girl you ain’t much fun since I quit drinkin’

Wouldn’t kiss all the asses that they told me to

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself

The queen of my double wide trailer
With the polyester curtains and the redwood deck
Sometimes she runs off and I’ve gotta’ trail her
Dang her black heart and her pretty red neck

Man, it’s not my day tonight

Then, there are the titles of Country Music that are hysterical:

I’m much too young to feel this damn old

This killin’ time is killin’ me

Ain’t going down ’til the sun comes up.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys

It ain’t age that makes me look this way it ain’t the years boy it’s the miles

Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Don’t you know he ain’t worth missing

Yeah, I wish somehow, I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then

Don’t all the girls get prettier after closing time

I’d trade all of my tomorrows for just one yesterday

Man, I feel like a woman

I’m gonna rock this country

My baby’s gotten good at goodbye

Some girls don’t like boys like me, ah, but some girls do

Don’t rock the juke box

This learning to live again is killing me

He stopped loving her today

How Can I Miss You if You Won’t Go Away?

You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too

Keep Forgetting’ That I Forgot About You 

I’m So Miserable Without You, It’s Just Like Having You Around

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?

You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

She’s Actin’ Single and I’m Drinkin’ Doubles.

Sleeping single in a double bed

If You Don’t Leave Me Alone, I’ll Go and Find Someone Else Who Will

If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him

We Used to Just Kiss on the Lips, but Now It’s All Over

I Bought the Boots That Just Walked Out on Me

And, It’s up against the wall you redneck mothers

A bad goodbye

And then, this guy named Garth Brooks hit directly deep into my heart:

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have to miss the dance

With song titles and lyrics like these (and too many more to name), how could you not related and enjoy this music.  I am sorry to say that since somewhere around the mid-2000’s, my love has waned from this genre.  The singers pretty much sound the same and the songs lack imagination and many artists have lost track with what brought country music to it’s glory.

Oh, there are those that hold onto the roots of country music, and I hear all the time that country music has been evolving for decades.  Maybe it has, but not to my liking.

So, thanks to YouTube and Amazon Prime Music, I can build playlists that are to my liking!

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I've been married for 40 years with 3 children and 7 grandchildren. I spent my 45 year career in the grocery retailing industry, from bagging groceries to president of a customer dedicated national food brokerage company. I enjoy golfing, cooking, writing, all kinds of music, and more importantly watching my grandchildren thrive, especially in education and sports.

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