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.
Blake is one angry Indian.
No, he is an A-hole.
Anyone know of any good “classic country” stations that stream live on the web?
When we’re in WV, we listen to Big Buck 101.5 (whose spots sound like they’re saying “Big Butt 101.5” half the time, LOL), but I can’t tune them in here in NE Ohio and can’t seem to get their streaming to work.
I call it “crock” country-rock. I saw some doofus, self-acclaimed country singer with a rooster spiked hairdo singing the anthem at a football game Sunday. I muted the tv. Today’s “country star” wears skinny jeans, untucked shirts, and is basically acts that could not make it under a R&R label so they rebrand themselves country.
I haven’t bother to buy or “download” a song by anyone who has entered the “biz” in the last 15 years aside from Zona Jones and Aaron Watson. The rest are absolutely hideous. I haven’t listened to FM radio in 10 years.
I may be a old fart according to this Shelton kid (whom I’ve never knowingly hoid), and I cannot get enough of new music for which I search on bandcamp.com, noisetrade.com and a couple other sites. But I’ve been around long enough to recognize the real thing from the mass produced manufactured and over produced candy (which also shows up on these portals). I’ve got so many Likes and “friends” on Fakebook among these artists now, that few have heard that I have trouble keeping up. Nashville has long longed for a guaranteed method of producing hits, sort of a Brill Building, Motown, or better yet, the late Cameo/Parkway factory, and lucky mediocrities like this Shelton have alw3ays been happy to serve, kiss ass and suck, putting out 4 singles and two albums filled with filler each year, while artists like Waylon in the early 70s would take a walk, and succeed despite the corporate MBA run factory.
Great recent albums: Red Wanting Blue, John the Conqueror, new single from Nicki Bluhm, Jesse & Noah. You only gain by boycotting Nashville.
Recalling a couple bars in small towns in Wyoming where with that yap, you’d be lucky to make it to the door.
I too saw George in Gruene in the 70’s and other places. Before he started selling out arenas I used to go anywhere within driving distance to dance on a dance floor while he sang on the stage. I bet I have seen him at least 50 times before Blue Clear Sky came out.
I also remember seeing dozens of real country stars sing at the old Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas where they played while we danced. George, Mo and Jo, Conway, Merle, Eddie Rabbitt, George Jones, Ronnie Milsap, and others. Tickets were less than $20 most times. Then the late 80’s and 90’s came and the “hat bands” like Mark Chesnut, Tracy Byrd, Tracy Lawrence, and Rick Trevino along with Little Texas, Shenandoah, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Keith Whitley, Travis Tritt... That was a great time for dancing.
Actually went to Turkey for the Texas Playboys (never saw Bob though) reunion before the original band got too old or died out.
I actually created my own country “station” on Pandora. Works pretty darn well (via the Music Genome Project), and it also introduces me to artists I haven’t heard about before.
Being a white, male, middle-aged, Christian Republican, I am getting used to the old fart label.
LOL. Same here but I call myself an “old fart” It took me years to earn that title.
Country music, or at least what came out of Nashville, would occasionally return to the roots from the commercial phase that we are again seeing, and as I noticed in the past that return would coincide with another comeback by the great John Anderson (no, not the loser who would be POTUS!), who himself started out as alt-country, before even the term was invented, with his first recordings on a decidedly not country label Warner Bros. But that return hasn’t happened for a while, and neither has a John Anderson comeback.
Nobody wants to listen to their grandpas music. And I dont care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, My God, that aint country! Well thats because you dont buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they dont want to buy the music you were buying.
A bit of a stretch from the title of the story as usual.
LOL. Same here but I call myself an old fart It took me years to earn that title.
Wow. How amazing that you think he was talking to you. Did you even read the article???? Ugh! FREEPERS reading the title of the story and blasting away. So typical. Love ya Bitsy, but you are better than this!
One hint is if the artist name starts with "'Lil" it's likely not country
I'm kinda confused. I was just responding to Southside being used to being called an old fart. I am not much of a country music fan so I really didn't relate much to the article (I was one of those urban cowboy people of the ‘70’s. After that phase, not much.
Shelton better watch out for the old farts in Oklahoma who may decide to show up at his home near Tishomingo to discuss why he’s been dissing George Jones or Tom T. Hall or whatever country music legend happens to be their favorite. People take disagreements about country music as a personal insult in those parts unless things have changed since I lived there.
We’ll never forget you Flake.
I remembered the song I was think about I wanted to post on the other thread that isn’t any more.
Can’t you hear Willie Nelson singing;
Old Farts, Jackasses and Watermelon Wine.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. George Strait junkie.
Nobody saw them running
From 16th Avenue
They never found the fingerprints
Or the weapon that was used
But someone killed country music
Cut out its heart and soul
They got away with murder
Down on music row
The almight dollar
And the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition
And for that, someone shouldhang (”Ahh, you tell ‘em Alan”)
They all say “Not Guilty!”
But the evidence will show
That murder was committed
Down on music row
For the steel guitars no longer cry
And the fiddles barely play
But drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars
Are mixed up in your face
Ol’ Hank wouldn’t have a chance
On today’s radio
Since they committed murder
Down on music row
They thought no one would miss it
Once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them ol’
Drinkin’ and cheatin’ songs (”Oh, but I still buy ‘em”)
Well there ain’t no justice in it
And the hard facts are cold
Murder’s been committed
Down on music row
For the steel guitars no longer cry
And you can’t hear fiddles play
With drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars
Mixed right up in your face
Why the Hag wouldn’t have a chance
On today’s radio
Since they committed murder
Down on music row
Why they even tell the Possum
To pack up and go back home
There’s been an awful murder
Down on music row
I suppose there are lots of them, but have you tried listening to them? G-dawful crap--at least to these ears, who enjoyed real rock 'n roll from 1955 on, until it turned to crud in the late 1970s.
Of course, there's no accounting for taste, now, is there?
I listen to this Houston station on the radio...haven’t tried online but their website does have a “listen live” button so you might give it a try:
Thanks for the link!
Country music that all the plastic Blake Sheltons will never grow up to:
"The truth is my statement was and STILL Is about how we as the new generation of country artists have to keep re-inventing country music to keep it popular."
I posted it at the time but the article double posted and that was the thread that got nuked.
It's a shame that I have spend 63 years in this business trying to introduce music to a larger audience and to make it easier for the younger artists who are coming behind me. Every now and then some young artist will record a rock and roll type song , have a hit first time out with kids only. This is why you see stars come with a few hits only and then just fade away believing they are God's answer to the world. This guy sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him. Stupidity Reigns Supreme!!!!!!! Ray Price (CHIEF "OLD FART" & JACKASS") " P.S. YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY AS US OLD-TIMERS. CHECK BACK IN 63 YEARS (THE YEAR 2075) AND LET US KNOW HOW YOUR NAME AND YOUR MUSIC WILL BE REMEMBERED.
Just saw him play a sell out show on his birthday this month.
And saw how Nashville told Johnny Cash to go out to pasture and give it up. Nobody wants you no mo'!
I’ve since reposted the Ray Price quote. I was the one who even alerted the mods to the double post and requested the other thread be preserved. Oh well.
When country performers play rock and roll, they are closer to the roots of country, then when they play that MBA inspired pop schmaltz or arty rock! Garth Brooks through his mega-success contributed a lot to the current corruption of country music.
The entertainment at this year’s rodeo holds little to draw me. I’d like to see Gary P. Nunn on the second stage (opening night) or maybe Justin Van Sandt (saw him perform in a RECORD store). But the main stage? Not so much. Styx (without Dennis DeYoung?)
Youngest country music lineup I can recall. And not even a Hank III in there (Cross Canadian Ragweed were alright, I think they played one time, and drew the ladies; but they’ve broken up or gone on hiatus).
But then what do I know, I’d like to see them book The Sadies with John Doe if it is “new and hip”.