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Mammas don’t let your babies grow up to be country singers in cowboy hats

Apr 04, 2017 • by Mike Zielinski, Host of The Mike Zielinski Show
Mike Zielinski

Music appreciation is quite subjective.

What one man’s jam-fondue-forks-in-my-ears-and-stir nightmare is another man’s sublime symphony.

Different genres for different ears.

So, I’m not afraid to admit that country music isn’t my taste of moonshine.

Remember the godawful sound when someone scratched their fingers across a blackboard?

That’s how I hear country music.

Perhaps it’s because I was exposed to Hee Haw as a child. It was like being exposed to radiation. Indeed, it was toxic.

It was the only television program that made me want to do my homework instead. Buck Owens and Roy Clark were worse than algebra and chemistry.

Years later I don’t know much about country music. Or algebra and chemistry for that matter.

I do know that they hold a major country music awards show every other Sunday.

There’s the Country Music Association Awards. The Academy of Country Music Awards. The Sodbusters Country Music Awards. The Thank God This Ain’t Rap Country Music Awards. The Lasso Me A Calf Country Music Awards. Etc.

And why they even give out Grammys to country music performers mystifies me.

In light of that, they should also award Grammys to singing plumbers and yodeling mountain goats.

The other thing that I know about country music is there has been a fashion revolution among male country-western singers.

There was a time where it was against the law in most states for a country male singer to grab a microphone unless he was wearing a cowboy hat.

Never mind that most country singers never rode a horse or led a cattle drive or were in a gunfight with Billy The Kid or Jesse James.

It was a mandatory fashion accessory. Actually, it was much more than just an accessory. The cowboy hat was as essential as vocal cords.

The cowboy hat was the symbol of the authentic American, exuding rugged masculinity even if the dude in the hat was that smoking mountain man of muscle also known as Willie Nelson.

Stetsons were worn by real everymen with rural identification. Or so the legend went.

Then it happened. Urban renewal transformed how male country singers dressed.

The Stetson suddenly became an endangered species.

Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley wear cowboy hats about as frequently as an English butler. Seldom and Never.

Granted, fashion trends are cyclical.

Who knows? Sometimes soon in this gender-blurring world your favorite male country singer could be strutting on stage wearing a vintage Minnie Pearl hat.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google Minnie Pearl and hit Images.

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