Twang-Loving Office Seekers

Presidential hopefuls George W. Bush and Al Gore are tapping into country music during their run to the White House. Texas Governor Bush was entertained by country singers the Bellamy Brothers at a rally last Saturday. David and Howard Bellamy stepped in for Travis Tritt, who was stranded in icy Atlanta. The Republican candidate has also invited singer and fellow Texan Tracy Byrd to entertain Bush supporters on the campaign trail. Bush’s favorite group of all-time is said to be the Everly Brothers, the country-flavored harmony duo whose hits include “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Cathy’s Clown.” His father, former President George Bush, is a country fan who once attended the Country Music Association Awards during his presidency. Vice President Al Gore — a Tennessee native whose campaign headquarters are in Nashville — has used the Dixie Chicks’ “Ready to Run” and Shania Twain’s “Rock This Country!” to fire up crowds at campaign stops. The Democratic front-runner also counts Garth Brooks among his favorites, including the country superstar on an eclectic list with 19th-century Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and R&B legend Ray Charles.