Country Virtues


Cheyanne Hicks

For many years, country music has been a very controversial music genre. Many people will choose to never listen to country music in their life, while others have played it in their cars everyday. 

So, why do such a big number of people hate country music so much? 

I was an avid country “hater” up until my junior year of being at Blanchet. The only song I liked at the time was the iconic “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. 

This all changed when I was watching The Voice on TV with my sister. A blonde boy with a mullet, Carson Peters, came on the stage and sang “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams… queue my “country boy” phase. I fell in love with this man from Nashville and would always play his version of the song during my free time. 

I started to realize I didn’t only like the performance because of who was singing it, but the song itself as well. I then questioned what the original artist of the song sounded like, and gave Mr. Don Williams a listen. 

I browsed through different songs on his Spotify account, loving each one. I was obsessed. I began to ask myself “why did I hate country music so much?” 

Months later, I went to a record store in my town with my sister, looking for new CD’s I haven’t seen before, full of music I’ve never listened to. I froze when I saw Don Williams: Icon, which had tons of his top songs including seven of my favorites, for only two dollars. I ran up to my sister frantically with the biggest smile on my face.

We played the CD in the car after I bought it and I noticed the side-eye my sister was giving me. Although I chose to enjoy the melodies, I asked myself “why do people hate country music so much?”

It has become a world-wide decision to not even give the genre a chance, some without ever hearing a song from said genre. There is also a huge assumption that country artists only sing about tractors, trucks, and the cowboy lifestyle as well as an excessive, repetitive mention of God and America. 

This has led to people associating one bad song with the entire genre, when there are tons of subgenres within. Some include Folk, Rock, Soul, and Blues, all of which I love.

“If you say an entire genre of music is bad, you just haven’t dug deep enough,” said sophomore Bella Johnson, a great friend of mine, who wasn’t the biggest fan of the genre in her younger years. “You just have to find the right style, ‘cause there is so much that’s all so different from each other.” Bella is a big fan of artists like Morgan Wallen and Zach Bryan, both artists who take a different approach to their musical genre.

It’s not only these artists that have beautiful tunes in the genre. Tons more have songs that are great for all ears, of all ages. Country music also has a variety of topics with great storytelling and is also very relatable to many listeners.

Some of my favorite artists like Zach Bryan and Jono McCleery give me a chance to wind down after a long day and help me find peace in all the chaos and stress of school, work, and sports. Without Carson Peters and Don Williams, I would be missing out on all of the great tunes the genre has to offer.