Sunday, August 19, 2007

Country Music: Border Radio

(published in SPIN)

There's every reason to believe that country music might well have withered away without the mighty Mexican stations hurling it back across the border; it's certain the music would have lost all of its oddball backspin. Hank Williams and Professor Longhair and Bob Hope all sold Hadacol tonic ("...Had'ta call it somethin'....) for Louisiana's Senator Dudley LeBlanc; the Carter Family sold anything you put in front of them; Wolfman Jack howled rhythm and blues and roach powder in the same thrill-packed tones. Consider that the next time some constipated rock critic complains about music 'n' merchandising being hazardous to the integrity of rock'n'roll. Consider the alternative they'd prefer: pop music as museum culture, hermetically sealed behind non-reflective glass, with tastefully illuminating exhibition notes provided by . . . well, you know who. Consider, too, that Dr. Pepper used to be good for what ails you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Bart,

I'm an NPR producer working on a piece about border radio and wondered if there's any way to reach you to discuss this post/article?

thank you,
Jamie York
NPR's On The Media