Skip to comments.Blake Shelton Calls Classic Country Fans “Old Farts” & “Jackasses”
Posted on 01/24/2013 9:52:52 AM PST by a fool in paradise
The reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year and reality TV personality Blake Shelton made some disparaging remarks about traditional country fans in a recent interview with GAC as part of their Backstory series. The “Hillbilly Bone” singer and judge on NBC’s The Voice made the remarks as part of an update to the original GAC Backstory episode to include more information on Blake Shelton’s continued success. In connection with Blake’s first CMA for “Male Vocalist of the Year” award in 2010, Blake Shelton said,
If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.
The new version of Blake Shelton’s GAC Backstory aired first in mid December 2012, and will be airing numerous times in February.
Blake Shelton’s comments are not only hurtful to classic and traditional country fans, they are incorrect. According to a study of country radio conducted by Edison Research and released during last year’s Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, listeners actually want more classic country on radio, and the lack of it has been given credit for the contraction being experienced in the radio format. Edison Research President Larry Rosin last February said,
I believe that we as an industry have really made a mistake in our conception of our own stations. While many people dont want to listen to classic country music, some still do, and weve let them float away We run the risk that we just are more and more pleasing to fewer and fewer people until all we are is ecstatically pleasing a tiny, unsustainable number of people.
Blake Shelton also specifically mention “records,” but statistics shows that older music listeners are the ones that still by music in physical formats, while younger listeners (aka “kids”) tend to download music illegally, stream it at very low margins for artists and their labels, or purchase individual songs.
Furthermore Blake Shelton brought up the common misconception that classic and traditional country fans do not want country music to evolve. Though this may be true for some traditional fans, as Saving Country Music pointed out in a piece titled Progress Vs. Traditionalism in Country Music, the progression of country music while still keeping it tied to its roots is the foundation of Americana which has benefited from tremendous growth over the last few years.
Blake Shelton has landed in hot water before for making inflammatory comments, especially on his infamous Twitter account. In May of 2011 Blake got in trouble for seemingly advocating violence against gays by re-writing the words to a Shania Twain song. The singer later apologized.
Apart from the lack of diplomacy in the delivery, the message hits the nail on the head about music sales.
Blake may just “Dixie Chick” himself right into the poor house. I know he’s trying to be “cool” for the idiots that watch the Voice but urban youth don’t buy country no matter how “progressive” it is. You’d think his grandpa would have taught him that you dance with the one that brung you.
I agree. It was not artfully put, but it was also true. “Rock” music is the same way. If there’s a market, and people still buy the records, there’s a niche. Look at how many “Classic Rock” radio stations there are.
A singer who shoots his mouth off and insults people. Yeah, that sounds a lot more like modern popular music signers than old-school country singers.
How come the other thread with 37 replies and the priceless Ray Price quote has been pulled as a duplicate?
My question too!
As I said in the other thread, it almost sounds like Blake is referring to industry people in his comment.
He is supposed to be part of the world’s largest rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which my wife is a member.
I just contacted them to ask them to drop this guy from their pool. he has not place he can escape from people who love country music like me and the many thousands more out there.
Huh? There is agreement here with a vulgar know-nothing pop singer pretending to play country, because it sells?
Listen to Americana instead, y’all. Carrie Rodriguez has a new album out, John the Conqueror group is begging people on Facebook to buy their records, ‘coz they’re poor and have to keep their day jobs, there are new Bellamy Brothers’ Jesse and Noah, and I can list a dozen other Americana artists better than these Nashville pretty faces.
May I respectfully disagree with the sentiments of Mr Shelton. The “thing” that country music has that rock doesn’t have is longevity.
In my youth I played music in rock, folk, country and “other”. I saw George Strait at Gruene Hall in 1975, 1976, Willie Nelson/Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins in the summers of the mid-70’s, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Black Oak Arkansas and ZZ Top did a local gig in 1972 that still has my ears ringing. I saw Jim Croce and James Taylor as well as loving the music of Chet Baker, Nat King Cole, Harry Chapin, Dan Fogelberg and others. My background show that I’m eclectic about music.... however for some reason my choices in rock/pop/jazz/folk have ebbed and flowed and “progressed” to different artists but the constant is my love for only certain types of country musicians.
George Strait, Dwight Yoakum, Travis Tritt, Sammy Kershaw, and on the female side Allison Krause can sing to me any night . The thing is that I like songs with good/interesting lyrics, great melodies and able to dance a bit of two-step or waltz with. The new stuff is ok but just a little bit over produced, in my opinion only, and while some of it is inspirational, I just don’t feel the warm feeling in my heart that some of my old tunes bring out.
Finally ALL MUSIC is generational. It speaks to the times that the artist lives in and they act as entertainers explaining the human condition in a manner that makes us smile, reflect, dance for joy, make love, make war and generally cope with life. I suspect Blake is a little bit of a a promoter for the show and saying crap to “get attention” in order to generate ratings. Country fans, at least REAL country music fans like the real thing and hate the “talking point” and “corporate” public relation manipulations of the tight legged suits in offices. He risks getting labeled a sell-out and country music fans don’t like rude little pussies that bad mouth their elders.
Much of what I hear on FM “Country” stations today is a lot more Pop than country, and not because it’s “new”, either. There is a lot of really good country music out there, recorded in the past few years. But almost none of it is on the radio because it doesn’t come from Nashville, is not formulaic, and thus can’t easily be marketed with ads for trucks, beer and fast food.
My paternal grandfather liked Spike Jones & the City Slickers, and my maternal grandfather liked The Beverly Hill Billies (the singing group, not the TV show)--and I like them, too. I've never heard of Blake Shelton, but I doubt that he could hold a candle to those groups.
Yeah typical MSM tricks, the title says "FANS" yet the quote says "Old Farts around Nashville." Why would he limit his insult to FANS around Nashville. Because he wasn't talking about fans he was talking about the "Old Guard" in Nashville who are losing their control of so-called "Country" music.
Great comments at the link. Look up the one with these phrases: “Real country music is like a great pizza, it will out sell a crappy pizza every time” “that boy sucks like a homo in heat!”
I can't disagree with that. Can you say, "Dixie Chunks?" It was not artful, and that could be trouble for Mr. Shelton.
Indeed...and that thread preceded this one as I recall. The mods are evidently a tad skittish today having also pulled a thread about a brawl in East St. Louis involving the, ahem, Amish.
Who can tell the difference between what passes for country music now days & pop music?
If he had just called them old farts, there wouldn’t be a problem.
Being a white, male, middle-aged, Christian Republican, I am getting used to the “old fart” label.
I grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry broadcast and watching the likes of Porter Waggoner and “Hee Haw”, so I guess those have defined my tastes. Country music has evolved, but I don’t see “evolve” as meaning progressing or improving. I would like to listen to contemporary country performers, but I find a lot of their music to lack any real creativity or soul. It sounds to me like bad, and sometimes whiny and annoying, rock and roll. I try to listen to the local station, but always wind up switching after a few songs.
I’m entitled to my opinion, and so is Blake Shelton. He is no doubt correct about what sells. He just won’t be seling any of it to me. For an old fart, I buy a lot of music and am glad that the kinds I like are available. I’m also glad that when I am on the road at night, I can hear WSM.
I’m older, I do buy country music cds and Blake Shelton will not be on my buy list. Rude and crude don’t cut it for me.
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