06 December, 2007

Politics and music

A little book, more like a pamphlet, called When ol' blue eyes was a red, which was a valiant attempt to save Sinatra from his older, Reagan embracing, 'That's Dr Sinatra, you little bimbo' right-wing image, and make a case for him being a subversive leftie in his youth. It's not a very good case. He was a pretty good guy in his youth; he made several prominent stands against racism long before the civil rights movement was really big, and it's well documented that he was a generous, liberal guy who gave generously to some left causes. Betsy Blair, Gene Kelly's first wife, who was very left wing, enough that she was blacklisted, described him as a 'good democrat', and that's alway been my impression of him too. This book tries to stretch it out into something more and doesn't really succeed. [72]

Rednecks and bluenecks, a book about the politics of country music, was very interesting: it starts with the reception that the Dixie Chicks got in the US when they made a joke about George Bush, and then interviews a whole lot of country musicians about their politics. It paints a very interesting picture of American society and what seem like great fractures based on moral and political beliefs, and made me want to track down quite a lot of coutry music (i only really know the older, schmaltzy stuff). [73]


Niall said...

What or who would you like to track down? My record collection contains a whole world of twang.

woodscolt said...

Oh, next time you come over, bring some stuff. That would be great.