What?! No Jimmie Rodgers?

EW has the 25 country albums you should own even if you don’t like country (or some such similar conceit).  I point it out only because a.) I’ve heard a lot of shit about what the Country Music Hall of Fame will or won’t do and I myself have maybe even a time or two been known to grouch about the bizarro choices the Hall of Fame makes and how they make them (starting with their utterly stupid and making-impossible-to-take-them-seriously insistence on people referring to it as the Country Music Hall of Fame ™.  Talk about making you look third rate.), but I have never heard that Gram Parsons has no chance of ever ending up in the Hall.

Is that true?  And, if it is, what’s to stop Gram Parsons fans from making a plaque, smuggling it into the hall, and supergluing it to the wall?  It’s not like someone goes in there every day and counts the faces.  The reverence with which people treat institutions they have little respect for just kills me.

But that’s country music for you, right there, folks.

And b.) that article, if you look beyond the mere words, is a perfect illustration of how country music works.  Here, for your edification, is a brief history of country music.

Group A: But we’ve always done it this way and we like it.

Group B: Too bad.  It’s our time now.

Group A: You have no respect for tradition.

Group B: But we’re rich, so we’re right.

Group C: We’re going to try something new.

Group B: But we’ve always done it this way and we like it.

Group C: Too bad.  It’s our time now.

Group B: You have no respect for tradition.

Group C: But we’re rich, so we’re right.

Group D: We’re going to try something new.

And so on.

9 thoughts on “What?! No Jimmie Rodgers?

  1. Heh. 19 Rock Albums You Should Own That Have Been Sorta Kinda Influenced By Country Music Plus 5 Country Albums By Country Artists Who Had An Impact On Rock Music, Plus An Album By Robbie Fulks. Or something like that.

    The HoF doesn’t even have The Maddox Bros. and Rose as members, because they lived in California instead of Nashville; Buck Owens probably wouldn’t even have made it in if it hadn’t been for Hee Haw. So I’m no fan of their selection process.

    But by what criteria would you make Gram Parsons a member? He had a profound impact on rock music and rockers, and was one of a handful of people who created country rock, which was very important in the 1970s. And I guess you could say that a lot of the country music of this decade sounds just like country rock from the ’70s, so he was an influence on Brooks & Dunn. But his influence on country music was … what? That he got Emmylou Harris to listen to the Louvin Brothers? Look, I love Parsons; I still have his albums on vinyl because I can’t bear to get rid of the physical objects that were so important to me. But he wasn’t a country artist, and he didn’t affect the music.

  2. Well you’ve said more clearly what I was trying to get at. It’s like McDonald’s complaining that their CEO can’t be in PETA. It’s not like Parsons isn’t in the Hall of Fame because he doesn’t belong there/petulance, he doesn’t belong there/genre.

  3. impossible-to-take-them-seriously insistence on people referring to it as the Country Music Hall of Fame ™

    Actually, it’s a registration symbol after “Fame” rather than the ™ – I did a 3 month stint in graphics dept and know the drill well.

    Emmylou got in, so hopefully that will pave the way for Parsons…

  4. LOL nm….

    I do recall hearing that petitioning the HoF for someone to be inducted doesn’t hurt… that apparently was a factor in Sonny James’ induction a few years back – at least that was the word around the campfire at the time.

  5. Hmm, *interesting* collection. While I have most of those, I’m not sure if I-were-on-a-desert-island-and-could-only-have-25-records these would be my choices.

    I would have liked to have seen:
    George Jones’ “Cold Hard Truth”
    Anything ELSE by Alison Krauss
    Something by Tammy Wynette
    Anything at ALL by Marty Stuart (like The Pilgrim)

    Then again, I’d probably just be happy with 25 Yoakam records! :-D

  6. I love that Alison Krauss album, but it’s not exactly country. I’m surprised they didn’t have any George Jones on there. His songs are great and he’s got a kind of screw you attitude that you’d think would appeal to most hipsters.

    That’s part of my problem with that list, though, too, is that it’s one thing to sell people on music, but when you’re trying to sell people on attitude… well, really, how is Loretta Lynn more “feminist” than Tammy Wynette in real life? And why would we even play that game?

    It seemed to me a list written by someone who’s never listened very deeply to country music.

  7. I like the Raising Sand album too, but like you said, it really can’t be considered a country.

    Oh and I would really have also liked to see Marty Robbins Gunfighter Ballads – that album has TONS of hipster cache.

    And I would have liked to have seen Lyle Lovett on the list.

    Surprising no Patsy.

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