The perfect country song | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The perfect country song

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2006 at 5:12 AM

No it's not just about momma, trucks, trains, drinking and cheating. It's also anti-war.

Well, OK, maybe not exactly. But the NY Times today has a good feature about Nashville Music Row Democrats working to release recordings that disabuse the notion that you have to be a right-wing Republican to sing country music. And it's not about the Dixie Chicks.

Democrats on Music Row, the country music capital here, have grown frustrated with that reputation. A group of record-company executives, talent managers and artists has released an online compilation of 20 songs, several directly critical of Mr. Bush and the Iraq war.

The price for the set is $20, with most of the proceeds going to the group, which calls itself Music Row Democrats and is using the money to support local and national candidates who share its values.

Bob Titley, a former manager of Brooks & Dunn and a co-founder of Music Row Democrats, has no illusions that the songs will shoot to the top of the charts. Rather, Mr. Titley said, he hopes to use them as fund-raisers and to change the image of country as strictly Republican music.

“My hope would be that they would play this music at campaign rallies,’’ he said, “and when the volunteers are out on a hot day driving door to door, they’ll put it in their cars to keep themselves pumped up and in a good mood.”

The songs include Mr. Braddock’s “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and “Big Blue Ball of War” by Nanci Griffith. Another longtime songwriter, John Scott Sherrill, contributed “You Let the Fox Run the Henhouse,” and former Vice President Al Gore speaks a few words at the end of “Al Gore,” which was written by Robert Ellis Orrall and includes the line, “President Gore lives on my street.”

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