Last Sunday evening, the American Country Music Awards were held at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. A three hour show on prime time TV. A far cry from when I was growing up in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
This was a time before TV and multi-radio stations that play a single genre of music. Country music was big in the valley, you know, “The Streets of Bakersfield” (Buck Owens and Merle Hagard), Maddox Bros and Rose, and, of course, Hall of Famers Hank Williams and George Jones. Saturday night dances were mostly country and then there were the concerts at Ft. Washington Beach (Fresno) on Sunday. I know, that’s a golf course now.
Enough history. Music is a huge part of any culture. It is an expression using sound and rhythm and words. The themes are the same no matter what kind of music you prefer or what part of the world you live. From Country to Classic to Rap it is a picture of the human condition. No one type of music is better than another. It comes from the soul and represents the musicians view of it. You know, “different strokes for different folks.”
When it is used to seperate us, when people are said to be stupid for their choices, we are killling their soul. Young children love music and only judge it as a result of some adult’s point of view. No matter how you slice it, music is a universal conversation. What might happen if we listened?
What I have just said isn’t a new idea. What if we started listening to each other worldwide? Without judgement. Without fear and malice. With appreciation and respect. The great musicians will tell you there is a little bit of everything in their music. As people are different so is their music. This I do know. Everyone in the world woke up this morning wanting their lives to work. What if we worked at appreciating each other’s music?