The River's Badge

Friday, October 14, 2016

Crying


I guess this is the 50th anniversary of the CMA awards.

A bit about me:  I was a "countryholic" most of my life (thus the title of this blog), until country music changed and left me behind. I remember settling in, cross-legged, in front of our big living room TV when I was thirteen or so, devouring the CMA's. I rooted for my favorites to win -- I was even geeky enough to join the Country Music Association under false pretenses. (In those days one could claim to be anyone in the music industry and send in their fifteen dollar money order and become a voting member.)

Around the year 2000, things got wacky, as they say. The final nail in my country music coffin was Faith Hill, who had a single on the charts -- something to do with breathing -- and I said, what the hell? This isn't my country anymore!

I'm not ragging on Faith Hill; she was just the catalyst. There was lots of bad country music that year. So I gave up; removed the preset from my car radio, essentially stopped listening to music all together. Where was I going to go? To classic rock? I hate that stuff. And one can only hear the same oldies about a thousand times before they want to plummet off a cliff. Occasionally I would purchase the latest George Strait or Dwight Yoakam CD. Marty Stuart was my redemption angel. I grieved for country music, though -- the country I'd lost. I immersed myself in other interests -- mostly stupid politics, which, for someone like me is a losing game (trust me).

I found Twitter and became addicted. And on a whim, I decided to follow George Strait. That's where I found this video. For wont of anything better to do, I clicked on it.

I didn't plan to cry.

I never even liked some of these artists that much -- Charley Pride was okay; Dolly, too, was fine. I loved her duets with Porter. Randy I loved, yes. And seeing him sitting there, solitary; knowing the ravages he'd suffered, remembering the vibrancy of his stage presence the one time I'd seen him in concert -- well, that started the tears.

Then there was Ronnie Milsap. George, of course. Reba. Martina. Trisha. Brooks and Dunn. My man Alan. Glorious Vince. Even Rascal Flatts.

I don't even know who some of the artists in this video are. But when they started singing, "I Will Always Love You", I thought, hold on. You guys can't do this song -- not without Dolly.

Then there she was.

Dang, I am embarrassed for crying. I shouldn't be. It's good to mourn. And to celebrate, even if what's lost hurts a little.

I have my quibbles with the video -- artists who were left out and shouldn't have been. But shoot, I wasn't in charge.

I'm just thankful somebody actually remembered.

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