Friday, September 2, 2011

The attraction of country and western music--in Jamaica!

I was delighted by this story on NPR yesterday about Jamaicans' affection for country and western music. The story was prompted by the recent release of an album, Reggae's Gone Country, in which reggae musicians cover country music hits like Kenny Rogers "Gambler" and George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today." The reporter, Baz Dreisenger, talked to several Jamaicans about the reasons for their affinity for country music, and those interviewed floated several ideas--mostly related to love of a good story, some noting that stories could be appealing morality tales while others noted that outlaws might be sympathetic.

The most telling comment to me, though, was this quote from University of West Indies professor and blogger, Annie Paul:
Country and western is music that comes from the people at the bottom ... so maybe there's some sort of sympathy there.
Interesting that even Jamaicans know who is at the bottom of the U.S. cultural and social hierarchy.

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