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The Breaking Of The Taboo

the Country was once seen as a so-snow flower-flakes of white like a Winter in the children's book. Who was looking for a America, the Caucasian-looking men as long-bearded as predictable stammtisch talks about beer, Pick-up Trucks and infidelity of Housewives led, you could rely on the Country Charts. As well as a seemingly God-given right: white guys with Stetson and guitar farm daughters sang, her black contemporaries, with the Baseball cap, however, your Hip-Hop-Hood. This time could be over. At the latest since November of last year, when a historic Moment of two African-American Stars to the top of the Country Charts flushed.

That had experienced the Genre never: Jimmie Allen, a 32-year-old singer and Songwriter, shoots with his debut single "Best Shot" to the top of the Country Charts – as the first black musicians at all. At the same time, Kane Brown, a former Youtube Cover Star reached with his second Album "Experiment" in both the Billboard Pop and Country Charts in the first place. What does that say about a rather backward-looking Genre that still dominates the American radio landscape?

"Like a White in a black Church"

let's Go back four decades, in the March 1979: James brown's first and last appearance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, the country, the sanctuary par excellence. Country legend Porter Wagoner had invited him. After all, Brown was raised, like so many Soul Stars of his time, with Country and cover versions of Hank Williams had recorded classics. Many of the regulars indignant, however, about the "desecration" of her temple. When James Brown decided to a Medley of Country songs with his radio Hit "I Feel Good", he was met by icy silence.

How like him, wanted to know a Reporter then. "I felt honored," countered Brown, "like a white man going to a black Church and a hundred dollars in the collection plate." Forty years later, brown's seems to carry a mild gift in Nashville fruits. Long ago, the Country has adapted to the Regret of many a tradition Keeper influences of Hip-Hop and Dance. On the other, the race seems to be a barrier no longer hold so tightly to how to the time, as a black Country for most of the with the name Charley Pride was checked. The record company pulled it before the end of the sixties, to not send any Promo photos of Pride to the radio station.

Jimmie All landed with his song "Best one of the top riders in the Country Charts. Source: Youtube

Today is different. "I want to," says Jimmie Allen, "the young people of today an example: the proof that you can do it with a black face." His success was not the boy from a small town in Delaware in the Shot. His father, a laborer, told All, heard all day Country: "Why should I find me another Genre?"

All made in 2007 as a 21-Year-old on the way to Nashville, but initially, no publisher and no Label wanted to give the African-Americans from the East coast a Chance. Not as the R'n'B singer a better chance? All four slept for months in his car, made his living as a waiter, a janitor, and a fitness trainer. When he says, "they simply had no experience with guys that look like me", then no bitterness resonates. But the desire to convince by sheer musical quality. And to remind you of a forgotten history: "the Country is rooted in large part in black music."

Not only the Banjo originally came from West Africa. Early country singers such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and Bill Monroe had learned their craft in the black, the blue men, many Evergreens, the Carter Family had eavesdropped Country forefather of A. P. Carter, his African-American companion, Lesley Riddle. "Of all the ethnic groups," wrote Bill C. Malone in the standard work "Country Music USA", and "had not provide a more important role played by the country musicians and song material and styles, as the slaves brought in from Africa."

Kane Brown sings in "Bad American Dream" about loose gun laws and police violence. Source: Youtube

The success story of the genre has always been a history of Segregation. The Country has allowed white Southerners to approve a pinch of black music, without your distance. The industry had decided in the fifties to market Genres on their ethnic Association. Here, Race, or Rhythm and Blues, there, Hillbilly and Country. That according to a survey conducted in 1993 nevertheless, a quarter of all African-American Country heard, demonstrates the persistence of this population still hangs onto part of a sorely tried love.

The self-consciousness of a new Generation

Should there not also a share of the black musician in Nashville? All of the missing role models: "The success of Motown in the Sixties and seventies, a whole generation has set on this role model." Black pop stars were there provided to you only as a newcomer points: as Ray Charles, Tina Turner or Lionel Richie, big country hits. Most recently, Darius Rucker, formerly lead singer of the Mega-gave-platinum rock band Hootie & The Blowfish, the black alibi, the face at the Country Grammys.

Kane Brown and Jimmie All but Mickey Guyton as your colleague, for the self-consciousness of a new Generation of black singers. After all, even a Rapper like Young Thug now play, quite without irony, with Country insignia. Allen's just released debut "Mercury Lane" supports the dreams of tip recipients and Truck fetishists. The only reference to his skin color is found in the Song "Not All Tractors Are Green" with the line "I might sound a little different than I look".

Kane Brown is a lot clearer, So he dares, for example, in "the American Bad Dream", loose gun laws and police to criticize violence. Breaking a taboo, especially in the light of the musically rather conservative country rock Crossover stands out. In a Tweet, Brown complained that they had treated him at the Country Music Awards of his skin color because from the top down. He has deleted it again. To much controversy looks bad for business.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 04.01.2019, 10:23 PM

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