“Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play” – Willie Nelson

We watched the Country Music Awards last Sunday and we’re pretty sure Willie’s right. Almost all the songs are about unrequited love and rejected love; some fairly unusual love affairs and some love that never was. Also, alcohol and pickup trucks seem to figure prominently.

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I mentioned to Mrs. Idler that we sure were lucky to be in the one percent and she nodded. In the affirmative, I mean. After giving it some thought.

I Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back Crying Over You

The one unusual thing we noticed was that it was about an hour and a half into the telecast before we saw anybody in a cowboy hat. Otherwise, it was a real mixed bag on the fashion front. Some of the ladies were really decked out. The Missus was eyeing Taylor Swift’s long white gown but also Miranda Lambert’s studded jeans. The guys, on the other hand, seemed to favor T-shirts and ball caps, the Idler’s favorite ensemble. At least the guy who won for best male performer, Jason Aldean, was sporting a pretty awesome stetson, so that sort of put the Country world back on its axis.

You Stuck My Heart In An Old Tin Can And Shot It Off A Log

We were always a fan of the old timey country singers; guys like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Jones. They used to call it “Outlaw” country. The production values weren’t real high with those fellows, but you don’t need a twelve piece orchestra to tear off “Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain.” And you probably wouldn’t want to see Hank Williams, Senior or Junior, dance, even if there was enough alcohol to make that happen.

I have loved some ladies, and I have loved Jim Beam. They both tried to kill me in 1973

The old time ladies are awesome too; Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire (who performed at the awards show) could always light it up, with or without the big time band. Tammy Wynette is Hillary’s favorite stand-by-your-man singer and the coal miner’s daughter, Loretta Lynn, is practically a  household name.

Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ With Lovin’ On Your Mind

Country performers like to allude to their religious upbringing and call upon the Almighty in good times and bad. Although nothing in the entertainment field stays the same, and the new breed of country performers are a reflection of the times, they’ll all still join in on a chorus of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” The musicians seem more professional and the presentation livelier and maybe a little more theatrical but the message is familiar.

Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life

The other interesting aspect to Country music is the unabashed patriotism. Towards the end of the show, Garth Brooks gave a stirring tribute to the armed forces. Some of our more worldly and sophisticated friends would probably find this excessive, maybe even a little embarrassing. Country music fans don’t seem to think that way. They always return to the universal themes: faith, patriotism and the elusive search for love.

If The Phone Don’t Ring, Baby, You’ll Know It’s Me

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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