It’s been said that ‘country music is the voice of the country.’ We have seen it in times of national crisis from John Rich’s Shutting Detroit Down (2009)
to Alan Jackson’s 9/11 tribute Where Were You When the World
Stopped Turning (video – 2001), and Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA (video -1984)
Cross over artists like John Mellencamp tell America’s story. Songs like Little Pink Houses celebrated the dream of a home for everyone. The link takes you to a video of his performance at the Obama Inauguration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while other songs bring the constant plight of the small farmer back in view with Blood on the Scarecrow.
Our country’s music has reflected the voices of its people since its inception – from Yankee Doodle, to the spirituals of slaves, the rallying calls on both sides of the Civil War, Woody Guthrie’s tales of America during the Great Depression or another popular hit of the day, Brother Can You Spare a Dime (audio-1932). The music of the 60’s brought us Joan Baez and Bob Dylan’s rallying cries for Peace and Equality as they searched for an answer Blowing in the Wind (video-1971.)
If music is the voice of the country, I sometimes wonder who is listening.
Each day I try to keep up with what is happening as we struggle through our current time of crisis. Reading the NY Times, the Financial Times, & the Washington Post. Scanning from MSNBC to CNN to Fox and reading through the Republic and the Business Journal, I look for signs of progress. When I find them, sometimes I will send them out on Twitter or Face Book – or blog them out through Plaxo or LinkedIn. The Challenges are out there for certain – but good stuff is happening too. It’s important to show both sides of the story.
Don’t worry – I have no intention of penning songs, re-stringing my guitar, and serenading you with my own songs of the times. There are others who can do it so much better and my family has begged me not to. 😉
So please, turn up the volume and listen to the voices of America around you. Use your voice. Sing out if you have that talent. Speak out about what you believe in. Volunteer to help others – and while you are there – listen to their stories. Share a story of hope. Every voice makes a difference – especially as it blends with the voices of others around the country.
Thanks for listening – Stay Tuned…
– Joan Koerber-Walker