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Thread: Women in Country Music

  1. #161
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    Good for her!!

  • #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    I feel that, on the whole, Carrie prefers subjects that she can sing "in character", as a storyteller, standing back a little from a personal involvement in the song. She is identified with a number of well known, assertive "fight back" songs, that could be thought of as "empowerment" songs - but these do tend to have a strong element of fictional storytelling built into them.
    Carrie's most personal songs tend to be the faith-based ones, which she feels deeply about - and some of her songs which include an element of "worldly" issues (such as "Temporary Home" or "Change") tend to stem from, or be linked to, that perspective.

    Carrie has had a couple of videos, which I feel go further than the actual lyrics of her songs in putting forward a "female empowerment" theme. One was for her early co-write, "All American Girl". The song itself is, I think, open to the criticism that it doesn't go further than a rather stereotyped view of sex roles, with the baby/girl/woman fulfilling the traditional role of captivating men with her non-threatening feminine charms - but in the video, Carrie "rescues" the theme for modern women by showing herself fulfilling a rapid succession of socially active roles.
    The second example was the recent "Smoke Break", where truck driving Carrie shows what she thinks of the tired, self-absorbed man crossing in front of her; walks alone through the desert with her guitar to fulfill her performance date at a small dive bar; and meets in passing a number of women playing iconic Country Music roles such as horse wrangler, rig driver, welder.

    Carrie has spoken out about the lack of opportunities for women in the music business - but I also think there are limitations on how far she's likely to go in incorporating feminist issues into her actual work. One is her preference for less personal "storytelling" songs. Another is the way her albums have tended to be built around a number of songs expected to be radio hits - an approach which allows the individual songs to be varied, but limits the extent to which the album is likely to have an identifiable theme or concept. Connected with that is the fact that Carrie's career is very closely tied into the Music Row machine (without which she's implied, more than once, she would not have persevered with a music career at all). There is also a feature of her song writing, which I find a little surprising - with the one strong exception of Hillary Lindsey, Carrie is not noted for writing with other women. "Play On" seems to be her only album where she wrote with women other than Hillary, and I think "Unapologize" is her only album cut so far which she wrote with two women. This may seem a point of little overall consequence for her hits - but it does rather set Carrie apart from being regarded as a "women's issues" writer.

    It may be of interest that Amanda Shires made a visual statement at the recent CMAs, by wearing a shirt with the message "Mama wants to change that Nashville Sound". (I posted a red carpet picture in the CMA thread). She was both criticized and praised for this - and she elaborates on her reasons for making the statement in this article - which I feel sums up what many feel about the situation for women in the contemporary industry. (Clearly, though, it is easier for an artist to make this sort of statement if her career is not deeply embedded in the system itself)
    https://thebluegrasssituation.com/re...-on-the-carpet
    I think Carrie's brand of female empowerment is more implied rather than spelled out.

    Sure, we have the murder songs and the scorned woman songs. But songs like 'Heartbeat' and 'Like I'll Never Love You Again' express softer sides of love and tenderness; 'Wine After Whiskey' and 'Just a Dream' the pain of losing someone; 'Cupid's Got a Shotgun' and 'Leave Love Alone' as being lovestruck; 'Jesus, Take the Wheel' and 'Something in the Water' a more faith-based, religious side; 'Crazy Dreams' and 'Nobody Ever Told You' the ones where she is encouraging others to realize their true selves; and 'Good Girl' (in terms of the video) celebrating all the different personas a woman can take on. And I think, in what I'm trying to say, GG's video is where Carrie's sense of empowerment lies: it's the celebration of womanhood in general. And not "empowerment" songs that say "yes, you can do this, we can be anything, nobody can stop me". In fact, on her last album, she added 'What I Never Knew I Always Wanted' and 'The Girl You Think I Am' to the celebration as well, being a wife and mother now. And other songs like 'Forever Changed', though about another character, charts a woman's life from her youth to getting old.

    In a sense (and many may not like what I say), she is similar to Taylor Swift because she doesn't spell out empowerment either but merely implies by just expressing different emotions as a woman. That it's alright for women to express themselves too, however they want. They can be jaded, hurt, ecstatic, hopeless, loving, rude, generous and what not.

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  • #166
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    I read that article yesterday. It's very disturbing because unlike the Hollywood movement, they don't sound like they're doing anything to stop what's going on. People need to be fired. There's no power for the women in country music because the jerks will refuse to play them, and they already don't play enough women. They don't have the power in numbers thing going on right now like the actresses. The numbers aren't there.

    It'd take a big name like Carrie speaking out/naming names to get something done, but I don't want anything to have happened to her. I'm hoping since she came in with the huge idol audience, she didn't have to suffer what the other young female artists starting out did.

    The comment section is disturbing too. It just proves what an uphill battle it is for the women in country music.
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  • #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuffy View Post
    I read that article yesterday. It's very disturbing because unlike the Hollywood movement, they don't sound like they're doing anything to stop what's going on. People need to be fired. There's no power for the women in country music because the jerks will refuse to play them, and they already don't play enough women. They don't have the power in numbers thing going on right now like the actresses. The numbers aren't there.

    It'd take a big name like Carrie speaking out/naming names to get something done, but I don't want anything to have happened to her. I'm hoping since she came in with the huge idol audience, she didn't have to suffer what the other young female artists starting out did.

    The comment section is disturbing too. It just proves what an uphill battle it is for the women in country music.
    I read it yesterday as well and it is a sad state of affairs for country music radio. I agree with you 100%, though, that nothing is going to be done until a bigger name star speaks out about it. Taylor did get the one guy fired, as he should have been, but that was only one DJ out of who knows how many. Like you said, I really hope that nothing like that has ever happened to Carrie, which means she wouldn't have any names to name. She and Miranda are really the only two big current names in country music with long established careers, although maybe Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini are starting to get enough name recognition that they could speak out if it's happened to them. They're still pretty early in their careers, though, and might not want to speak out for fear of retaliation. I don't know if this was happening in the 90s, but if it did, perhaps stars like Martina, Faith, Trisha, etc, that are well-established, respected country music artists could speak out. We don't know, though, if anything happened to any of these ladies like it seems to be happening in more recent years with the new artists. All of these ladies can speak out in support of those it's happened to, but if it hasn't happened to them it will be hard to single out specific people. The men need to speak up too, though.

    And although Carrie and Miranda are the main two solo stars, there are others in established groups like Hilary Scott, and Kimberly and Karen from LBT, perhaps Jennifer Nettles.

    I think the worst thing is when it appears that label execs or promotion departments may have encouraged their artists to participate in this type of behavior or to ignore it. That's almost as bad as the creeps that have actually done this to these women.
    "Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well."
    -Kelly Clarkson to Scott Borchetta about American Idol artists
    Thanks so much Danielle!

  • #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet311 View Post
    I read it yesterday as well and it is a sad state of affairs for country music radio. I agree with you 100%, though, that nothing is going to be done until a bigger name star speaks out about it. Taylor did get the one guy fired, as he should have been, but that was only one DJ out of who knows how many. Like you said, I really hope that nothing like that has ever happened to Carrie, which means she wouldn't have any names to name. She and Miranda are really the only two big current names in country music with long established careers, although maybe Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini are starting to get enough name recognition that they could speak out if it's happened to them. They're still pretty early in their careers, though, and might not want to speak out for fear of retaliation. I don't know if this was happening in the 90s, but if it did, perhaps stars like Martina, Faith, Trisha, etc, that are well-established, respected country music artists could speak out. We don't know, though, if anything happened to any of these ladies like it seems to be happening in more recent years with the new artists. All of these ladies can speak out in support of those it's happened to, but if it hasn't happened to them it will be hard to single out specific people. The men need to speak up too, though.

    And although Carrie and Miranda are the main two solo stars, there are others in established groups like Hilary Scott, and Kimberly and Karen from LBT, perhaps Jennifer Nettles.

    I think the worst thing is when it appears that label execs or promotion departments may have encouraged their artists to participate in this type of behavior or to ignore it. That's almost as bad as the creeps that have actually done this to these women.
    I kinda wish someone like Reese Witherspoon or Jessica Chastain would share the article. They'd make sure it was more visible to the general audience. If they're a country fan, someone may find the article and read it, but the general audience probably won't. It's important to the women of the genre that people know what's going on behind the scenes.

  • #169
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    I just finished reading this.

    I won't be surprised if Carrie experienced something unpleasant. Coming from a show that appealed to the wider public and had an overall pop leaning, many radio programmers may have expected her to comply with their expectations. I certainly don't mean to imply that pop female artists are more likely to comply; I simply mean to bring attention to the general image associated with pop acts (regardless of whether one considers that accurate or inaccurate) for being more open about flirting, sex, casual encounters and showing more skin; contrast that with the image of country artists who are thought to be more conservative and shy away from topics that might seem controversial.

    At the same time, the fact that her first single wasn't a country-pop gem about boys or something and was instead leaned towards religion and Jesus may have painted her in a different light in front of programmers and they may not have approached her.

    (I don't know why but reading this, Kellie Pickler also came to my mind. Her innocence and humour are often taken by a lot of people as being a dumb blonde. And such women are, unfortunately, more likely to experience sexual harassment. I really hope she hasn't gone through that process though.)

    This is, of course, just speculation on what could have happened or not. I just hope to God that artists, managers and any others who have experienced sexual misconduct or know about it are able to talk about it much more openly along with making their names known to the public as well. I certainly understand why a lot of them don't want to be named in such interviews but the power brought on by publicly talking about it and associating their name with it (especially if it's a prominent artist) can turn the wheel around for women in the country genre. (Secretly, I also hope Carrie touches upon the matter in a song or two at some point in her career when radio play and charts won't dictate it.)

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    Not to detract from the important discussion on the Rolling Stone article, Caitlyn Smith recently performed on Jimmy Fallon and this is the first time I've heard a song by her and also seen a live performance. I must say I didn't know what I was getting into! I'm really impressed (and grooved!) by her stage presence, the energy she brought and the strong vocals. I'm definitely going to start following her.
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  • #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momin View Post
    (Secretly, I also hope Carrie touches upon the matter in a song or two at some point in her career when radio play and charts won't dictate it.)
    I think individual artists should only refer to the issue in their own time, and in their own way (song, interview, speech, joint protest, or whatever) - but unless, or until they do, I don't want to speculate on individuals. (I would guess it's widespread, but I'd also think that some would often have found definite ways of handling it - especially, perhaps, the ones with prominent female managers)

    As for a song on the topic, Margo Price has already addressed the issue in general terms, in "This Town Gets Around"

    In this town everybody's trying
    To get a piece of everybody else
    It gets hard to tell a real friend from a fake one
    So many promises, favors, and lies
    Most of the town wears a good disguise
    And even I too, have been known to wear one

    As the saying goes, it's not who you know
    But it's who you blow that'll get you in the show
    And if that's not the case I hear you pay 'em
    But I don't come easy and I'm flat broke
    So I guess it's me who gets the joke
    Maybe I'd be smarter if I played dumb

    [Chorus:]
    I can't count all the times I've been had
    Now I know much better than to let that make me mad
    I don't let none of that get me down
    From what I've found this town gets around

    Now the very first manager I had
    He was old enough he could have been my dad
    He took me out for drinks and talked a big talk
    He said, "darling sign on the dotted line"
    You know, "kiss my cheek and drink this wine
    But if you walk on me, then you can just walk."

    [Chorus]
    I can't count all the times I've been had
    Now I know much better than to let that make me mad
    I don't let none of that get me down
    From what I've found this town gets around

    When I first came here the streets were paved with gold
    And you can walk that road, I've been told
    But I won't put out or be controlled
    I don't write the **** that gets bought and sold
    Ask any man
    He might know
    Who used to live on Music Row
    But that was then, and this is now
    He told me this town gets around
    From what I've found this town gets around"


    Angaleena explored a different angle in "Dreams don't come true" (which Miranda and Ashley co-wrote with her). This song warns women that going along with it in the hope of success will involve a price, and is unlikely to lead to good results:

    "Thought there'd be a man
    In a suit and a ten-gallon hat
    He'd give me a deal and a red Cadillac
    I'd make hit records and get hooked on drugs
    But I wound up pregnant and strung out on love

    Dreams don't come true
    They'll make a mess out of you
    They'll hang around the darkest corners of your mind
    They'll bleed your heart black and blue
    Don't let anyone tell you they do
    Dreams don't come true"


    I think songs that address sexual exploitation, with direct reference to the music industry, would have been largely avoided - by both established artists and would be newcomers - until recently. But the publicity given to the issue, and the solidarity shown by so many women and men may have now changed that. Mainstream Country may indeed be more conservative and controversy-averse - but it's hard to put a genie back in the bottle once it's out - and I do think we may hear more on this topic.
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    Keeping in with the recent discussion, the Song Suffragettes have released a song called "Time's Up", which is the name of the anti-harassment movement. I really like it for the strong statement it makes and the unity it breeds amongst women. It's a much needed song in these times, especially coming from the country genre. This probably won't get any radio airplay but I sure as hope this makes tides and we can see the ripples long after its been sung.

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    ^I love this. I posted it on Facebook, hoping to draw attention to the plight of women in country music.

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    Its so sad but sadly not surprising. Its so sad women are not being given fair deal and on top of it all being sexually harassed.

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    ^ I don't think that's why she's not played



    Natalie Stovall released a video for her latest today

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    Lari White passed away from cancer.52 years old... :-(


    https://www.billboard.com/articles/n...-singer-eulogy

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    So sad to hear this news. RIP

    Lari was truly a multi-talented lady, whose achievements spanned a number of different aspects of the genre - from her own popular albums, and songwriting, to winning three Grammys in the Traditional Gospel field, and gaining a first for a female producer of a male Mainstream artist, with Toby Keith's "White Trash with Money".

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  • #180
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    the lack of women getting recognition is an epidemic in music


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    this says it all -@nytimes January 26, 2018



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